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Ashcroft:  are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?

From today’s New York Times, Bush Didn’t Order Any Breach of Torture Laws, Ashcroft Says:

Attorney General John Ashcroft, whose subordinates have written confidential legal memorandums saying the administration is not bound by prohibitions against torture, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that President Bush had “made no order that would require or direct the violation” of either international treaties or domestic laws prohibiting torture.

Mr. Ashcroft refused to provide several of the memorandums, saying they amounted to confidential legal advice given to the president and did not have to be shared with Congress.

Asked by Congressional Democrats about the March 2003 memo in which the President is advised that U.S. and international law prohibiting torture does not apply to him, and in which a key footnote reads that “this view is consistent with that of the Department of Justice,” Ashcroft grew angry.

“That memo is none of your business.  You are tiny men.  The President is a great man,” Ashcroft replied.

Ashcroft insisted that there was no connection between recent legal memorandums authorizing torture, and actual evidence of the torture of U.S. detainees in Guant·namo and Abu Ghraib.

“Let me completely reject the notion that anything this president has done or the Justice Department has done has directly resulted in the kinds of atrocities which were cited,” he said.

“It’s a complete coincidence,” Ashcroft insisted.  “A handful of bad apples brought a lot of Hefty bags with them to Baghdad, that’s all.  We had no idea what was going on.  And it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with anyone advising the President to authorize torture.  It’s just weird.”

“First of all,” Mr. Ashcroft said, “this administration opposes torture,” adding that the “kind of atrocities displayed in the photographs are being prosecuted by this administration.”

Speaking directly to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.- Mass.), Ashcroft concluded:  “You have to understand that the things in those pictures never happened.  Plus, when they did happen, we stopped them.  And finally, they’re all your fault.”

[Passages in italics are direct quotes from the Times and Knight Ridder.]

Posted by on 06/09 at 02:21 AM
  1. I’m living in a land where it is no longer possible to separate parody from the ongoing idiocy.  Are the non-italicized parts of your column actual Asscroft quotes that the New Pravada Times omitted or are they parody.

    I feel my mind slipping away…

    ZTP

    Posted by ztp  on  06/09  at  07:51 AM
  2. You amuse me to no end. Happy day! Enjoy the sun.

    Posted by Donna  on  06/09  at  08:47 AM
  3. At least the Dem senators are getting up on their hind legs more and more fully.

    Posted by Willie Mink  on  06/09  at  08:59 AM
  4. Were there ever Democrats as purely ridiculous and occasionally as dangerous as Ashcroft, Quayle, Agnew, McCarthy?

    Posted by  on  06/09  at  09:00 AM
  5. even though the additions are hilarous, it would be hard to beat the ACTUAL hearing.  at one point sen. leahe, clearly annoyed, asked him something like ‘what is it, you don’t know or don’t want to say?’ and ashcroft said ‘the answer to that question is yes’.  this was after ashcroft was bragging about upholding the laws of the country.  wow!

    Posted by sudeep  on  06/09  at  12:00 PM
  6. Sudeep-- It was hard to beat the actual hearing.  I had to strain every satirical muscle, and even then, “You are tiny men.  The President is a great man” sounded more to me like a distillation of Ashcroft’s attitude than a parody of it.  And yes, Bean, there were once Democrats as ridiculous and as dangerous as these.  But their names were Theodore Bilbo and Strom Thurmond. . . .

    Posted by  on  06/09  at  01:00 PM

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