Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Afghanistan Follies: Gates punk-slaps Cheney, sides with Obama in favor of a more restrained imperialism


In addition to pointing out how we're losing percetually and, to a large extent, strategically in Afghanistan (important because the public, Gates charges, will soon run out of patience), the Defense Secretary weighed in on torture and Gitmo, and punk-smacked Dick Cheney--though Gates is far from the first Bush administration veteran to do so.
Mr. Gates, a Bush administration holdover, also waded into the debate over the Guantanamo Bay prison and Bush-era antiterror tactics. He said critics of the Obama administration's plans to close Guantanamo and move some prisoners to the U.S. were guilty of "fear-mongering."
"If people begin to absorb the fact that we've got several dozen very dangerous terrorists in our jails right now...maybe a little greater perspective would be brought to the issue," he said.
Colin Powell, a former secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in Republican administrations, on Sunday told CBS News's "Face the Nation" that he had lobbied former President George W. Bush to close the facility and that Mr. Bush had wanted to close it but "couldn't get all the pieces together."
Mr. Gates, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said government interrogators should be limited to the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual and barred from using harsher methods.
"We have as high a motive to get information that will prevent attacks on our soldiers as anybody does," he said of the military. "And yet we find the methods that we use are sufficient."
The defense chief sided with Mr. Obama in his debate with former Vice President Dick Cheney, who defended the Bush administration's interrogation tactics and criticized the president in a speech last week. "Having been in this business a long time, I think that you never can underestimate the power of American values," Mr. Gates said.

And AP reports that the U.S. captured 4 Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan yesterday. AP devoted a huge article to this, and their photo editor made sure a picture of Bin Laden appeared alongside the article in search engines. The suspected members "are believed to be associated with an al-Qaida leader" in Afghanistan. That's certainly worthy of attention, isn't it? It isn't? Really? Congratulations to the skilled journalists at AP for using "believed" and "associated" in order to pump up morale. That's the role of the media, isn't it? It isn't?

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