A Certain Satisfaction

File this under “God, I wish it was still April Fool’s Day so I could write this off as a joke.”

Doug Feith and the torture memo:

It comes just as the Justice Department has released a declassified memo from 2003 that outlined the legal justification for military interrogators to employ harsh interrogation techniques. That memo laid out the administration’s view that members of al Qaeda and the Taliban were not protected by the Geneva Conventions.


Feith confirms that the logic of the law was not followed with respect to Geneva, rather it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall—and that was the point. “Didn’t the administration’s approach mean that Geneva’s constraints on interrogation couldn’t be invoked by anyone at Guantánamo?” Sands asked Feith. “Oh yes, sure,” Feith replied. “Was that the intended result?” “Absolutely.” Sands writes that he asked again: Under the Geneva Conventions, no one at Guantánamo was entitled to any protection? “That’s the point,” Feith reiterated.As he saw it, either you were a detainee to whom Geneva didn’t apply (al-Qaeda fighters, because they weren’t part of a state); or you were a detainee to whom Geneva applied but whose rights you couldn’t invoke (members of the Taliban, because they hadn’t worn uniforms or insignia). What was the difference for the purpose on interrogation? Sands asked. Feith answered with a certain satisfaction: “It turns out, none. But that’s the point.”

When Sands asks Feith whether he was at all concerned that the Geneva decision might have diminished America’s moral authority, Feith tells Sands, “The problem with moral authority” was“people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely.”

According to Sands, Feith’s arguments were so clever that General Richard Myers, joint chiefs chairman, continued to believe that Geneva’s protection remained in force, and was “well and truly hoodwinked,” a seasoned observer of military affairs tells Sands.

Emphases mine.

First of all, Doug Feith is who Tommy Franks described as “the stupidest fucking guy on the face of the earth.” What on earth does that say about Myers?

Second, “a certain satisfaction?” Naturally. That’s all this was to them, a little game. A little game in which they were playing Jack Bauer, and then at night they went home to their snug little houses and slept like babies while the people affected by their decisions got shot at in Fallujah and tortured in Cuba, and for all Feith’s forthcoming bullshit in his book (coming out April 8) none of this was ever about anything for the Bush crew but how wicked awesome their war was gonna be.

Third, forget that it’s the Constitution he’s wiping his feet on. Forget that. Doug Feith’s satisfactory arguments did this:


Siding with the assholes?

That’s an awfully pretty glass house from which he’s chucking rocks.


6 thoughts on “A Certain Satisfaction

  1. I have the reoccurring dream where this line of frog-marching war criminals is paraded before down Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to extradition hearings. The line stretches for as far as the eye can see and is miles long. As the camera closes in for a tight shot, some Chyron guru puts the names and charges against each accused up on the screen. First comes the Chimpster, all squinty and glowering while the Chyron reads Bush, George W., President, Authorization of torture, murder, treason and general stupidity. Then Cheney, Gonzales, Rice, etc. All night long.
    I wake up every morning hopeful and strangely refreshed.

  2. CybScryb, did you bring enough of that dream to share with everyone here? Because my refreshed level hit rock bottom after reading Yoo’s torture memo. I’d always felt like a fucking hippie, but that memo definitely got me to the dirty part.

  3. I’ve got the recipe. Two parts anger, one part cynicism, a dash of despair. Flavor with your favorite progressive blogs, add a dash of Daily Show, a shot of Colbert and temper everything with some classic comedy from George Carlin, Eddie Izzard, Richard Pryor or whatever your favorite tempering agent is. Then just before going to sleep, focus on the one really great thing you can be doing to make all the crap that’s been going on in our country since 1968 go far, far away.

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