Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle – Torture Edition

From Holden:

We had a content-laden gaggle today so I split my obsession into three parts. This is the second of three, dealing with the latest revelations from the ACLU’s Freedom of Information suit.

Bring on the torture!

First up, a classic non-denial denial from the master.

Q Was the President aware of the FBI charges of abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo by the Defense Department?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, I think what you’re referring to is some of the reports about some memos that have been publicly released now. And some of this information dates back to previous periods of time. The President expects that any allegations of abuse are taken seriously and fully investigated, and that corrective measures are taken to make sure that abuse does not occur again. That’s what the President expects. The President made it very clear yesterday again that we are a nation of laws and a nation of values, and we adhere to our laws and values. And he expects —

Q So you’re sure now that it doesn’t go on anymore?

Next, another non-denial denial regaring the White House’s knowledge of the torture conducted at GITMO, followed by an admission that they did indeed know. Scottie must be slipping.

Q Scott, if I could go back to the FBI memos for a moment. Were the concerns of the FBI, as communicated to the Director and other officials there, from its agents who have been at Guantanamo Bay ever shared with any officials at the White House?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s a broad question. I mean, I can go check specifics if you want to bring it to my attention; I can see what else I can get for you. We’re aware —

Q The FBI agents are saying people in Guantanamo, military officials are, one, posing as FBI agents, and two, doing things to prisoners that we are not allowed to do, which they considered abuses.

MR. McCLELLAN: Generally speaking, we are aware of the allegations of abuse that are being made available in some of the documents that have been released.

Then Scottie tried to put the toothpaste back into the tube by resorting to the good ole non-denial denial.

Q Well, the question would be whether the White House knew that the FBI was concerned that there were abuses and that its name was being invoked in perpetrating those abuses. If the White House didn’t know, then we would be led to believe that it was up to Director Mueller to go to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and say, hey, your guys are doing things that are wrong and blaming my guys for doing it.

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there’s a lot of documents that have been released. I’d have to check into specific instances and let you know on that.

Another non-denial denial regarding the documentary link between torture and Chimpy is followed by a firm denial.

Q So you — would you clear up one thing? There was one story out there that the President had signed some executive order that somehow dealt with the interrogation of prisoners?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that’s already been cleared up by the Department of Defense, as well as the Department of Justice, who said that that individual was mistaken.

Q Well, would you just state for the record whether the President had ever signed any sort of order dealing with interrogation?

MR. McCLELLAN: There is no executive order relating to interrogation techniques. When it comes to military detainees and interrogation methods, those are determinations made by the Department of Defense.

Go ahead, Sarah.

You believe Scottie, right?