Friday, May 29, 2009

Poor Dick, That Hole is Getting Deeper and Deeper

General Petraeus, the man the right has proclaimed the best hope for resolving the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, the man that John McCain quoted extensively during his campaign, and the man that many Republicans are floating as a possible presidential candidate for 2012, was on Fox's Live Desk today. What he had to say will not please Dick Cheney. It isn't the first time he's come out against torture, but today he was a little firmer, and a little clearer.

General Petraus made it clear he supports President Obama's plan to close Guantanamo, agreeing that it "...has inflamed anti-US hostility." He added:
“When we have taken steps that have violated the Geneva Conventions we rightly have been criticized, so as we move forward I think it’s important to again live our values, to live the agreements that we have made in the international justice arena and to practice those,” Gen. Petraeus said on Fox News Friday afternoon.
When asked about the disposition of the detainees currently being held at Guantanamo - a subject of much controversy and a massive NIMBY (not in my backyard) campaign, he said:
“I don’t think we should be afraid of our values we’re fighting for,” he added. “What we stand for and so indeed we need to embrace them and we need to operationalize them in how we carry out what it is we’re doing on the battle field and everywhere else. So one has to have some faith I think in the legal system. One has to have a degree of confidence that individuals that have conducted such extremist activity would indeed be found guilty in our courts of law.”

The interviewer asked him then if he was confident then that the detainees at Guantanamo would never go free, to which he replied:

"I certainly hope that's the case."

It was clear listening to General Petraeus that he is willing to take the risk, unlike the current and past administration, that like anyone else entering our judicial system, the detainees currently held at Guantanamo might be found not guilty and as a result, be required to be released.

Asked about the use of so-called enhanced interrogation during the previous administration, Petraeus said that, "...banning the more extreme techniques had taken away “a tool” employed by “our enemies” as a moral argument against the United States."

To continue the bad news for Dick Cheney, last night Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) spoke at the Foreign Policy Association. Senator Levin is Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee which recently released its 200-page bipartisan report of its 18-month investigation into Abu Ghraib. If you haven't yet read the report, it is very accessible, and damning.

In his speech last night, Levin responded specifically to Cheney's speech last week, stating that he had seen the memos Cheney had asked to be de-classified. The memos that would prove - according to Cheney - that what they did was right and necessary. The memos that would prove - according to Cheney - that what they did saved thousands of lives. Unfortunately (for Cheney), the memos show no such thing, says Senator Levin. In fact, Senator Levin said that Mr. Cheney lied.

Here's a clip from Countdown that shows clips from Senator Levin's speech.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.

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