You’ve probably seen this already. (I hope you have, because I’d personally make it front-page news all over the country.) The New York Times ran a story yesterday that exposes a secret Justice Department brief endorsing torture, written after the same department publicly denounced the same tactics.
When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.
But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. … The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.
This is sickening on so many levels I don’t know where to start. Congress is already demanding to see the secret opinions so they can hold hearings, so hopefully this can be brought into the light swiftly and dealt with harshly. I really don’t want to discover that we’ve become the kind of country that does otherwise.