Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Trust me," he says.

"What we're doing is within the law. We had our lawyers look at it."

Lawyers like Alberto Gonzales.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday that Bush set broad guidelines, rather than dealing with specific techniques. "While we will seek to gather intelligence from al Qaeda terrorists who seek to inflict mass harm on the American people, the president expects that we do so in a way that is consistent with our laws," McClellan said.

White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales said in a May 21 interview with The Washington Post: "Anytime a discussion came up about interrogations with the president, . . . the directive was, 'Make sure it is lawful. Make sure it meets all of our obligations under the Constitution, U.S. federal statutes and applicable treaties.' "

An Aug. 1, 2002, memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, addressed to Gonzales, said that torturing suspected al Qaeda members abroad "may be justified" and that international laws against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogation" conducted against suspected terrorists.

This is their definition of "lawful". What we says goes. And Bush stays out of the dirty work of picking and choosing specific "techniques". With a wink and a nod, he says, "Keep it legal, boys," and everybody understands what that means:

"Do what you want, just don't get caught."

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