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Bush Ignored US Military's Opposition To Torture

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Chickenhawks love to think they're John Wayne tough by saying only wimps oppose torturing prisoners. Well now we know that the US military's own lawyers vehemently opposed the armchair warriors of the White House who wanted to overthrow nearly 100 years of US precedent by ignoring the Geneva Convention and flout international law and everything we hold decent as Americans by torturing prisoners. Yep, our own military made clear that torture is stupid and wrong and it endangers our troops. But does Bush ever listen to his own generals? Of course not.

In memorandums written by several senior uniformed lawyers in each of the military services as the legal review was under way, they had urged a sharply different view and also warned that the position eventually adopted by the task force could endanger American service members....

Rear Adm. Michael F. Lohr, the Navy's chief lawyer, wrote on Feb. 6, 2003, that while detainees at Guantanamo Bay might not qualify for international protections, "Will the American people find we have missed the forest for the trees by condoning practices that, while technically legal, are inconsistent with our most fundamental values?"

Brig. Gen. Kevin M. Sandkuhler, a senior Marine lawyer, said in a Feb. 27, 2003, memorandum that all the military lawyers believed the harsh interrogation regime could have adverse consequences for American service members. General Sandkuhler said that the Justice Department "does not represent the services; thus, understandably, concern for service members is not reflected in their opinion."

Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Romig, the Army's top-ranking uniformed lawyer, said in a March 3, 2003, memorandum that the approach recommended by the Justice Department "will open us up to criticism that the U.S. is a law unto itself."
Yep, Rear Admirals, Brig. Generals and Major Generals all spoke out strongly and consistently against torturing prisoners. Indeed, the entire military spoke with one voice out of concern for damaging our country's core values and for the safety of our men and women who might be captured.

But Bush and Cheney couldn't be bothered to listen to men who had risked their lives defending this country when those two had better things to do. They don't give a damn about the troops. If they did, those men and women would be properly equipped. If they did, Bush and Cheney would listen to their generals and not ignore expert advice about what was best for the safety of our soldiers.

So there's a question for Scotty after beating him up on Rove -- why did Bush ignore the advice of every single branch of the military? Why wasn't Bush worried about the safety of our troops? Does he often ignore the unanimous opinion of his top military leaders?

My only complaint? That no general or major military official has had the bravery to come forward and resign out of disgust with Bush's disregard for the Geneva Convention, the safety of our troops, his incompetence in securing the peace, his refusal to put the boots on the ground needed to get the job done and his lies that dragged the military into an unnecessary war.

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