Ashcroft Torture Memo Coverup

This post was written by marc on June 8, 2004
Posted Under: Bush,Politics

Yahoo Story

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Attorney General refused to give lawmakers copies of a Justice Department memo that allegedly advised the White House that torture during ‘war on terror’ interrogations could be justified.

The Washington Post said an August 2002 memo sent by the Justice Department in response to a Central Intelligence Agency request for legal guidance said international laws against torture “may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations” conducted in the war on terrorism.

But Attorney General John Ashcroft refused to provide the memo to lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We believe that to provide this kind of information would impair the ability of advice-giving in the executive branch to be candid, forthright, thorough and accurate at all times,” Ashcroft said.

Ashcroft told lawmakers that while “this administration rejects torture,” he said he could not provide specific details of communications between his office and the White House.

“Congress has the right to ask whatever questions it wants,” Ashcroft continued.

But, he said, “there are certain things that in the interest of the executive branch operating effectively that I think it’s inappropriate for the Attorney General to say.”

Democrats expressed outrage at Ashcroft’s refusal to provide the document.

Reader Comments

WTF? Can’t the Senate make him turn over the docs?

#1 
Written By richard on June 8th, 2004 @ 1:35 pm

Remember “Executive Privilege” from the Nixon days? Maybe not. The deal works like this– the Supreme Court can order the President to provide the documents– like they did with the Nixon tapes. Then it gets stickier. Nixon could have called out the troops and surrounded the White House– not something Nixon did and PROBABLY not something Bush would do (51% unlikely). Otherwise he hands over the documents and gets impeached. At some point, one side or the other has to back down– or start a shooting war. Nobody would do that, right? He he. No way.

#2 
Written By Dancho on June 8th, 2004 @ 1:47 pm

Can’t that be considered obstruction of Justice?
I realize that some documents can be considered classified, but this just seems wrong.
Ashcroft should release the memos.
I am sure that if he did/does the media will have a field day with whatever is said and it could be detrimental to the Bush White House.
This is a risk that we need to run.
For the good of America.

#3 
Written By Rob on June 8th, 2004 @ 1:50 pm

>>Nixon could have called out the troops and surrounded the White House<<

Huh, is this part of the system of checks and balances?

Speaking of Nixon, I read somewhere on the internet that a seige mentality has taken over the White House, that the list of enemies is growing and that Dubya is slightly …err… on edge.

#4 
Written By richard on June 8th, 2004 @ 2:43 pm

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