Thursday, April 3, 2008

Moral Authority

From The Green Light in the May 2008 Vanity Fair by Phillippe Sands:

As the first anniversary of 9/11 approached, and a prized Guantánamo detainee wouldn’t talk, the Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques, circumventing international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the army’s own Field Manual. The attorneys would even fly to Guantánamo to ratchet up the pressure—then blame abuses on the military.

Doug Feith, former Undersecretary of State, was the brains behind this pressure, and if you are wondering where Mr. Feith stands on the subject of the Geneva Conventions and whether or not our abuse or ignorance of them has any impact on our moral authority as the defenders of freedom, justice, and democracy, let this quote settle the matter:

“The problem with moral authority,” he said, was “people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely.”

While Mr. Feith may not be an objective judge of moral authority, he is well-informed when it comes to being an asshole.