I've been saying for months that, while the Administration might try to invent new ways to evade SCOTUS decisions, those decisions might still stop the torture. If those who administer the torture (and, hopefully, those who tap our phones) believe they would face legal consequences, the torture and tapping will end.
Well, now SCOTUS has pretty clearly said, given the clear direction from Congress, torture is not legal, no matter what Rummy has inserted into the Army's manual on interrogation, no matter what Bush said in his signing statement. And I don't think it will even take a very noble person to refuse to carry out these practices. It will just take an awareness of this ruling, which says law trumps executive overstep. As one and another person simply attempts to CYA, to avoid violating McCain's law and the Geneva Convention, it will get harder and harder for BushCo to find people willing to waterboard and humiliate.
At least I hope so.
The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities, according to former CIA officials and people close to the programme.
The former officials said the CIA interrogators’ refusal was a factor in forcing the Bush administration to act earlier than it might have wished.
But the former CIA officials said Mr Bush’s hand was forced because interrogators had refused to continue their work until the legal situation was clarified because they were concerned they could be prosecuted for using illegal techniques. One intelligence source also said the CIA had refused to keep the secret prisons going.
Of course, in true BushCo fashion, they decided to explain a large-scale mutiny by their intelligence services by claiming they were humbly responding to SCOTUS (see any of the last 50 Kagro X posts if you believed that BS).
When Mr Bush announced the suspension of the secret prison programme in a speech before the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, some analysts thought he was trying to gain political momentum before the November midterm congressional elections.
The administration publicly explained its decision in light of the legal uncertainty surrounding permissible interrogation techniques following the June Supreme Court ruling that all terrorist suspects in detention were entitled to protection under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.
But they weren't. They had to close the prisons because no one would agree to do Dick's dirty work for him anymore--not when SCOTUS had made clear they were violating our Constitution.
No wonder Bush is in such a rush to get torture-enabling legislation passed.