The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Talking Point: cross fingers while condemning torture

It's no secret that the US government is using the military to fly prisoners to countries that will torture them for us. But that's really handy, because it allows members of the administration to state unequivocally that "we do not condone, nor will we tolerate, the use of torture by US forces." Makes those congressional conference hearing soooo much easier, you see.

Case in p0int: this transcript from a White House briefing. Note the "skill" with which McClellan sticks to the party line....

Q And then on a different subject, does this administration transfer detainees or prisoners in the war on terror to third countries in order to have them interrogated with means that would be against this country's law -- in order to have them tortured?

MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, I think the President has made our view very clear when it comes to torture. The President does not condone torture, and he would never authorize the use of torture. So I think it --

Q That's not what I asked, though.

MR. McCLELLAN: Understood. So I think I want to make that very clear right off the top. Our policy is to adhere to our laws and our treaty obligations. There are very clear laws in the United States regarding torture, and there are clear laws at the international level regarding torture. And our policy is to adhere to that. So I make that very clear.

In terms of intelligence or national security matters, I'm not in a position to get into commenting -- to get into discussing those. Those are questions you might want to direct to the appropriate agencies. But our policy is very clear, and that's what the President expects to be followed.

Q Right, but you can't tell me whether or not there are detainees that have been transferred to third countries and then tortured, with the acquiescence of the United States?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I made our view very clear. And in terms of torture, we do not condone torture and the President has never authorized torture -- nor would he.

Nicely done. Just stick to answering questions from Internet prostitutes using fake names.