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  • American Entropy is dedicated to the disruption and discrediting of neoconservative actions and the extreme ideals of the religious right.

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    03 August 2005


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    Joe Conason
    Among the most durable stereotypes of American political culture is that military officers secretly yearn for authoritarian rule and blind brutality, especially if they happen to be from the South, while civilian officials and intellectuals supposedly cherish our constitutional order.

    Those old liberal clich's have been proven false in the struggle to curtail the lawless misconduct symbolized by Abu Ghraib. We now know that the most reliable defenders of the Constitution are lifetime military officers—bolstered by a trio of Southern conservative Senators who also happen to be decorated veterans.

    They have been pushing back against the neoconservative academics and experts whose advice led to torture scandals and the abrogation of civil and human rights.

    In an effort to restore the honor of the armed forces and prevent future abuses, Senators John McCain of Arizona, John Warner of Virginia and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have proposed amendments to the Defense Authorization Act that would institute standards for the treatment of military detainees. Having loyally muted their criticism during last year's election season, the three Republican Senators are again voicing demands for candor and reform.

    I don't agree totally with Graham but he's one in a million.
    The White House responded with a blatant threat conveyed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather than accept sane restraints on future abuse, the President would veto the annual defense bill. With the administration's credibility badly diminished, the Senate Republican leadership postponed a vote on the defense bill until September.

    Meanwhile, however, the dispute between the Republican rebels and the White House has revealed similar dissension within the military. Those fissures were exposed when Senator Graham released declassified memoranda written by top Judge Advocate General officers. Pried loose from the Pentagon by the Senator, those memos show that in early 2003, ranking J.A.G. officers from every service branch tried to warn against interrogation methods that violate the human and legal rights of prisoners in U.S. military detention facilities.

    This admin. is an embarrassment.

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