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Bad apples, rotten tree

From libertarian blogger Andrew Sullivan: "What we were told were just frat-guy, crazy techniques on the night shift -- had been deployed by the best trained, most tightly controlled, most professional interrogation center we have ... Abu Ghraib is and was policy -- just policy absorbed by ill-trained, unprofessional hoodlums. But those hoodlums didn't get their ideas from thin air. They got them from the Pentagon and the White House.

" ... We now know that almost every one of the Abu Ghraib techniques was practised and innovated at Guantanamo. These were not improvised out of nowhere. They were what the report calls 'the creative application of authorized interrogation techniques,' and the interrogators 'believed they were acting within existing guidance.' Here's a list of techniques used at Gitmo. You might find some of them familiar ... " Read about them here.

Note: Sullivan and Peek depart when it comes to EVER USING TORTURE.

Here's the point of departure: "I'd say that use of aggressive techniques against high-level members of al Qaeda is easily the most defensible use of 'coercive interrogation.'"

Which is just damned disappointing coming as it does a few paragraphs after he makes the powerful ethical argument that the military's Schmidt report on Guantanamo Bay was: "riddled with worrying euphemisms ... " Or perhaps Sullivan is just showing us exactly why euphemisms can be very, very dangerous. (Andrew Sullivan via Political Animal)

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