Y'all know that line from Pulp Fiction, the one that Harvey Keitel says to Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta after they've cleaned all the dead brains out of their car? The one that begins with "let's not go..."? Pretend I've just repeated it in the context of all the "victories" we've supposedly won in the last two days. Particularly Mr. Bush's "reversal" on the McCain/Warner anti-torture amendment.
The "liberal media" widely reported Mr. Bush as having caved to House and Senate pressure over the McCain/Warner amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill, but, as I suggest here, the "liberal media" have it wrong. As we know, the McCain/Warner amendment didn't specifically outlaw torture; rather, but required that the Army's own anti-torture standard in its interrogation field manual become federal law. So if the Army updates said field manual with ten classified pages that, in the words of one Pentagon officer, teach interrogators how to walk "right up to the edge," then we've got problems. And, dig this, this is apparently the first update to the Army's field manual for interrogation in thirteen years. What timing! Like I said: no benefit of the doubt for Tha Bush Mobb.
Meanwhile, right-wing spinmeisters will no doubt be pillorying the New York Times for breaking its NSA-spying story on Friday, after cravenly sitting on it for "a year" "to do additional research" and even then withholding "some information the Administration has argued could be useful to terrorists." Perhaps the breaking story gave 41 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and Jim Jeffords the steel they needed to block a cloture vote on the PATRIOT Act conference report that day. But right-wing spinmeisters ought to learn to join the debate, instead of shouting everyone else down. They can't whine about how the terrorists now know something they didn't know before, as if America is so weak that it can't withstand self-scrutiny. They can't harp on how one of the Times's authors has a book out coming soon, as if that fact automatically negates any of their charges. They can't merely parrot Mr. Bush's line that he followed the law and the Constitution, as if Moses handed this information down from Mount Sinai. They need to deal with specific charges contained in the New York Times article that the NSA taps violated the NSA charter, federal eavesdropping law, and even the PATRIOT Act. They also need to deal with charges the Times omitted, which Dan Eggen's Washington Post article from the same day runs down. And, yes, they also need to consider what could happen to them under a President Hillary Clinton, with the powers that Mr. Bush would be giving her.
(As always, registration required for New York Times and Washington Post articles. Cockburn and St. Clair review some of Eggen's reporting in this article, which earns them a hat tip.)