I posted yesterday that the executive branch has asked for extraordinary privileges in handling detainees, and has subsequently demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with such privileges (not that any government should be). Salon reports today that the day before the prison abuse scandal, the Deputy Solicitor General told the Supreme Court that the US government does not torture prisoners in arguing that the executive branch should be entitled to imprison US citizens for as long as it wishes without the right to due process granted in the Constitution. This thing just keeps on growing. Here are some of the questions the article raises:
Did Clement know he was misleading the justices, or was he kept out of the loop so that he could avoid revealing truths that would undermine the administration’s “trust us” arguments in the enemy combatant cases? Did Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers persuade CBS to delay broadcasting the photographs from Abu Ghraib to protect the lives of U.S. soldiers — or to spare the administration embarrassing questions during the Supreme Court arguments in the enemy combatant cases?
If U.S. soldiers and CIA agents are meting out abuse — “mild torture” — to random Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib and suspected al-Qaida members elsewhere, what is the government doing to Jose Padilla, Yaser Hamdi and any other U.S. citizens it may be holding as enemy combatants? And if the Bush administration can’t be trusted to tell the Supreme Court the truth about its interrogation techniques, how can it be trusted with the power to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, without any oversight from the courts?