Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tortured Evidence For War
Frank Rich Edition

Frank Rich on the allegations that we tortured prisoners in order to get evidence of an al Qaeda-Iraq link.

Now, we know that, until now, the Bush dead-enders have defended almost every action of Bush's, no matter how indefensible. (Except, of course, for a handful of actions deemed insufficiently conservative...) They have even defended torture and, indeed, have apparently become enthusiastic advocates of the practice. But their defense has largely turned on the premise that Bush and Cheney were trying to prevent further attacks. The question now is: will they defend torture that sought evidence of al Qaeda-Iraq links?

They could argue that this, too, was in the service of preventing attacks...but that seems to stretch the limits of credulity even by wingnut standards.

And what about the allegations that torture was used not to discover evidence of al Qaeda-Iraq links, but to fabricate them? Everyone who was paying attention in 2002 knows that the administration's arguments were war were tortured. Were prisoners also tortured in order to manufacture "evidence?" Would the dead-enders still defend that? That would be conclusive evidence of their irrationality...but my guess is that even the dead-enders would have to abandon ship at that point. Such conclusive evidence of irrationality rarely shows up, but is rarely needed. Our friends across the aisle have slipped into all-out defense mode. They'll say almost anything to defend their favored president, facts and reason be damned. Presumably there's some point beyond which even they won't go. Unfortunately, their limits seem to lie rather far beyond those of reason.


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