Bush alters rules for interrogationsSo Fearful Leader once again authorized torture by his, and his alone, interpretation of what constitutes torture.
President Bush signed an executive order Friday prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment,
including humiliation or denigration of religious beliefs, in the detention and
interrogation of terrorism suspects.
The executive order was the result of legislation Bush signed in October that authorized
military trials of terrorism suspects. The court system was designed to protect
classified information and eliminated some of the rights defendants are guaranteed in
civilian and military courts.
It also gave Bush wide latitude in interrogating and detaining captured enemy
combatants. While it outlines specific war crimes such as rape, the legislation said the
president can "interpret the meaning and application" of international standards set by
the Geneva Conventions when authorizing less severe interrogation procedures.
The executive order has been months in the making, with some in the CIA increasingly
eager to get the rules of the road laid out. Asked if one of the agency's most extreme
techniques — waterboarding — would be allowed, a senior intelligence official declined
to provide any specifics. But, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity about
the order, said: "It would be wrong to assume the program of the past transfers to the
In a call with reporters, senior administration officials repeatedly refused to say what
specific kinds of interrogation techniques would be barred, arguing that doing so could
tip off al-Qaida members training to withstand hostile questioning. But sleep is not
among the basic necessities outlined in the order, one official said, opening the
possibility that sleep deprivation is among the approved interrogation methods.
The order also does not permit detainees to contact their family members or have access
to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Explaining why, one official said those
provisions are not part of the part of the Geneva Conventions that apply to these kinds
Bush has said many times that the US doesn't torture and does follow the GenCons.
Gee, I guess that's easy when he alleges he can redefine those terms.