Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Major shift in the establishment press

The Washington Post editorial board comes as close as they have ever come to acknowledging the dictatorial tendencies of the Bush administration:

There is no justification, legal or moral, for the judgments made by Mr. Bush's political appointees at the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the world that sanction torture on grounds of "national security." For decades the U.S. government has waged diplomatic campaigns against such outlaw governments -- from the military juntas in Argentina and Chile to the current autocracies in Islamic countries such as Algeria and Uzbekistan -- that claim torture is justified when used to combat terrorism. The news that serving U.S. officials have officially endorsed principles once advanced by Augusto Pinochet brings shame on American democracy -- even if it is true, as the administration maintains, that its theories have not been put into practice. Even on paper, the administration's reasoning will provide a ready excuse for dictators, especially those allied with the Bush administration, to go on torturing and killing detainees.

This is the same board that spent much of 2002 and 2003 playing accompaniment to the Bush administration's drumbeat for war. This editorial is a major shot across Bush's bow, challenging him to prove that the critics are wrong (with the implied threat that they will join those critics if he doesn't).


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