“Taint Problem”

Your attention please. If you are surprised by this, please smack yourself between the eyes with a ball peen hammer (via The Washington Post):

Five years ago, as troubling reports emerged about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a career lawyer at the Justice Department began a long and relatively lonely campaign to alert top Bush administration officials to a strategy he considered “wrongheaded.” [Wrongheaded? – ed.]

Bruce C. Swartz, a criminal division deputy in charge of international issues, repeatedly questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics at White House meetings of a special group formed to decide detainee matters, with representatives present from the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA.

Swartz warned that the abuse of Guantanamo inmates would do “grave damage” to the country’s reputation and to its law enforcement record, according to an investigative audit released earlier this week by the Justice Department’s inspector general. [Emphasis added].

O.K. I know these stunning revelations have been neither stunning nor revelations for a while. What I really don’t get is why people keep quavering “What will the neighbors think?” in response to torture. Jesus Para Sailing Christ, whatever happened to “It’s fucking wrong!” in response to torture? Nope, in BushCoVille, everything, every single damn thing has to be run through the filter of “Why should I?” and “What’s in it for me?” and “Heh!”

Perhaps Pasquale D’Amuro, who at the time was the FBI’s assistant director for counterterrorism and has since wound up in the gutter, gets it:

D’Amuro told the investigators that he protested the tactics at a meeting with Mueller at the time, an account confirmed by his colleagues. D’Amuro stated that such aggressive interrogation techniques would not be effective, that they would impede the ability of FBI agents to appear as witnesses at trials, and that the tactics would blacken the country’s reputation by helping al-Qaeda spread negative views.

D’Amuro recognized that the bureau would have a “taint problem” if the FBI did the interviews after the CIA had used its aggressive approaches, the report said. Mueller subsequently decided that the FBI agents would not go back to the sessions.

Silly me.

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1 Comment

Filed under Misguided Self-justification, The War Against Terror

One response to ““Taint Problem”

  1. Hmmm, he doesn’t seem to have exactly suffered. I wonder what else he knows about…