Friday, December 03, 2004

I've Lost That Loving Feeling

So apparently it's okay to use evidence gained by torture against Guantanamo detainees.

Evidence gained by torture can be used by the U.S. military in deciding whether to imprison a foreigner indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as an enemy combatant, the government says.

Of course, this is an obvious incentive to torture. Good thing we don't have a problem with that.

A confidential report to Army generals in Iraq in December 2003 warned that members of an elite military and CIA task force were abusing detainees, a finding delivered more than a month before Army investigators received the photographs from Abu Ghraib prison that touched off investigations into prisoner mistreatment.

Meanwhile, former CIA director George Tenet wants to stop the internet from getting into the wrong hands:

[...] Tenet yesterday called for new security measures to guard against attacks on the United States that use the Internet, which he called "a potential Achilles' heel."

"I know that these actions will be controversial in this age when we still think the Internet is a free and open society with no control or accountability," he told an information-technology security conference in Washington, "but ultimately the Wild West must give way to governance and control."

[...] Access to networks like the World Wide Web might need to be limited to those who can show they take security seriously, he said.

I take security seriously! I take security seriously!

So does Brian Boyle, principal deputy associate attorney general of the United States (do you think his business cards have to be two-sided?), who explained to a federal judge yesterday why the US should be able to detain as "enemy combatants" people who've never been near a battlefield:

"The military has an interest in holding people who pose a risk," Brian Boyle, principal deputy associate attorney general, said of the Pentagon's decision to hold some people for nearly three years. "We're not detaining these people just because there's some enjoyment in it."

Do you think anyone actually suggested that Brian enjoys detaining people, or is the PDAAG sounding just a tad defensive here?

[...] "If a little old lady in Switzerland writes checks to what she thinks is a charitable organization for Afghanistan orphans, but it's really supporting . . . al Qaeda, is she an enemy combatant?" the judge asked.

Boyle said the woman could be, but it would depend on her intentions. "It would be up to the military to decide as to what to believe," he said.

You know, when I used to hear Republicans arguing that we need the Second Amendment because the people need guns to defend ourselves from the government, it never occurred to me that they meant defending ourselves against them. Okay, guys, I've learned my lesson--you can stop the scary stuff now.