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One Senator Says 'Enough'

"The executive order they seek would commit the government to using only interrogation methods that the United States would find acceptable if used by another country against American soldiers or civilians.

"It would also outlaw secret detentions, used since 2001 by the Central Intelligence Agency, and prohibit the transfer of prisoners to countries that use torture or cruel treatment. The C.I.A. has allowed terrorism suspects to be taken to such countries.

"Among the signers is George P. Shultz, secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. 'It's a good time to step back, take a deep breath and set a standard,' Mr. Shultz said in an interview. . . .

"In a similar statement issued Tuesday, 15 veteran interrogators, retired from the military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the C.I.A., declared torture and other abusive methods 'ineffective and counterproductive.' The group was convened in Washington last week by Human Rights First, an advocacy group. . . .

"A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, noted that Mr. Bush last year issued an executive order on interrogation that outlawed torture and other abuses while preserving the C.I.A.'s right to use some coercive interrogation methods. He said Qaeda terrorists should not be treated the same way uniformed soldiers were.

"Of the C.I.A. interrogation program, he added, 'There's absolutely no question that the program has prevented attacks.'"

(Actually, there's absolutely no proof that the program has prevented attack, not "no question.")

Over at the Washington Independent, Spencer Ackerman has the full text of the letter from the group of 200.

The New York Times editorial board applauds the federal appeals court ruling that Huzaifa Parhat, detained for six years in Guantanamo, was improperly labeled an "enemy combatant:" "It is a victory for the rights of detainees -- and a rebuke to the lawless policies of the Bush administration. . . .

"Mr. Parhat's case is the latest in a long line of court rulings rejecting the Bush administration's denial of the most basic human and constitutionally guaranteed rights to Guantánamo's detainees. The administration must start obeying the law now, rather than waiting for yet another court to declare that it has trampled on far too many people's rights."

See No Evil

Here's a little nugget to shock even the most jaded Bush watchers.

Felicity Barringer writes in the New York Times: "The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency's conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.


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