Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Library: Quiet

In their scrambling to justify their torture policies, the Bushies and their flacks have resurrected an old chestnut. Never mind that it was long ago debunked; Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen (e.g.), Karl Rove (e.g., at about 1:00), and others (e.g.) are trying to spin torture as useful because doing it to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed supposedly prevented a 9/11-style attack on the Library Tower in Los Angeles.

Slate's Tim Noah does a good job of putting this one back into the trash where it belongs. It's worth reading the whole thing, but here's the ace of trumps:

These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush's characterization of it as a "disrupted plot" was "ludicrous"—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn't captured until March 2003.

(h/t: uncle ebeneezer)

[Added] The WaPo's Dan Froomkin has a good post up on the more general spinning efforts, with a number of useful links debunking the claims that the Bushies have been making ever since their "we don't torture" talking point was revealed for the lie that it was. His conclusion:

There is something crazy about arguing over whether torture works or not. After all, it really doesn't matter, if you believe that torture is never justified. But since at least early last year, the main defense of the Bush apologists has been to argue that the ends justified the means. And you can't just leave their assertions unaddressed.

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