The phrase was dropped from rest of the news programmes I have access to inside the US - and his speech rolled uneventfully with the usual damage control wording.
(b) It seems, by reminding us that it was G.W. himself who authorized the use of torture on "senior al Qaeda" members, one of his earliest actions after 911 - (by the way, the organizers of the event MUST have been the "wag-the-dog" Hollywood types: setting the date by itself is Oscar stuff, what great evocative power it has for an American!) - NY Times, it seems, made more understandable to an outsider those Rumsfeld and Myers in-the-face remarks about interrogation procedures having been legally approved. Of course they were, long ago. By G.W. himself. Then the approval creeped all the way down the chain of command.
(c) The meaning of some points read aloud in Congress - to which Rumsfeld responded with the above legality remark - of sleep and food regulation as allowed procedures during interrogation - became a bit clearer from a published testimony of a released Iraqi. "Food procedure" was that the caprive was brought some food, then the guard picked out the best, and burned it in front of him. The remaining shitty food was left for the prisoner.
US Congressmen and journalists would also miss the irony pointed at in LJ: Solzhenicyn described sleep deprivation as one of the most cruel NKVD torture methods he knew. For Rumsfeld it belongs to the "milder" half of the table and is among "legal" means of interrogation "in accordance with Geneva Convention".
(d) In the meantime Congress looked at the yet unpublished 1800 images, squirmed, and announced that it would be unwise to publish them for a number of reasons. There was quite a display of creativity at that point. At least one lawmaker ventured "privacy" concerns, but his more substantial colleagues proposed "interference with tribunals" (they are right,of course - if the public knew what the scum are court-marshalled for, that would interfere with the internal and hidden nature of the military procedures all right), and everyone immediately seized upon the safety floating device of Berg decapitation thrown in with such marvellous precision.
(e) Berg affair, it looks, so far has produced, first, total media frenzy, and second, a fair number of questions not likey to be addressed any time soon. The partial list follows:
- unattended, secretive operations of a double-citizenship American Jew in Iraq. He was arrested at some point because he travelled without any identification. Some claim he performed as an Israeli spy operator. In that sense his story seems to have common points with another hidden Israeli operator, Daniel Pearl executed in Pakistan earlier.
- His contacts with FBI; last known whereabouts were under US/FBI control.
- His father claims Berg came to Iraq because he supported the Bush war wholeheartedly and wanted "to get contracts" there. A US newspaper claims Berg was listed as one of the "opponents" of the Bush regime.
- His executioner, said to be an Al Quaeda second senior operative, a Jordanian, spoke with a wrong arabic accent.
- CNN senior Middle East person said Al Quaeda was not even mentioned in the "sentence" speech. US government adjusted "al quaed" to become "al quaeda", the first meaning "the sitting" - so instead of "Al Quaeda cannot afford not to act" it was "we cannot be sitting and not act".
- Arabs claim that the person in question, the executioner with the knife (a) had one leg (b) was actually killed earlier
- One of the "tribunal" reading the sentence on the execution tape had a golden ring on his finger, prohibited in Islam
- Someone claimed that the Kalashnikov visible on the tape is of the type produced in Israel
- the timing, the timing - and immediate, without any hesitation to think up a correct new approach (which is usually visible in the first interview(s) and article(s)) embracing of the story by the American media and Congress as a pretext to limit torture revelations.
Seems there are a lot of questions to ask - and no one appears to want to pick them up.
But probably the meaning of the scandal, the fact that the leading - and totally, TOTALLY, TO-TAL-LY controlled "big" media in the US published the photos is that disgust with the Neocon cabal is so great among the ruling class that they, Neocons, will be made to go by the end of this year, no matter what.
Their stupidity costs US too much in the game of globalization, which their opposition is not going to sacrifice.
P.S. Almost forgot - while listening to Colin Powell's soft rumbling on "isolated incidents" I remembered another detail that surfaced this week. During Vietnam war the village of Mai Lai became a symbol of american bestiality. During that war and the Mai Lai massacre Colin Powell was one of the officers who basically buried a soldier's report on the atrocities and later was involved in managing the fallout of the scandal. Such nice roundness of career path, such symmetry can be only produced by conspiring Gods for the amusement of the enlightened. Enjoy.