January 17, 2008
…by the Twilight’s Last Gleaming
Day by day Bush and Cheney drag our nation’s honor — and our own — further down into their sewer:
OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada’s foreign ministry has put the United States and Israel on a watch list of countries where prisoners risk being tortured and also classifies some U.S. interrogation techniques as torture, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Thursday…
The document — part of a training course on torture awareness given to diplomats — mentions the U.S. jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where a Canadian man is being held…
“The United States does not permit, tolerate, or condone torture under any circumstances,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.
As a former spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Laos, I offer this spokeswoman my sympathy and this advice: quit while you still know you’re lying; I did, and it didn’t hurt at all.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 17, 2008 06:13 PM
Sadly, if she is a typical Bush appointee chosen more for blind obedience than for brains, she *doesn't* know that she is lying. All she knows is that Dear Leader said that America doesn't torture, and Dear Leader wouldn't lie, thus America doesn't torture. That's how Bushbots' "minds" operate. Their blind faith and obedience would do a typical cult leader proud.
- Badtux the Non-cultist Penguin
With few exceptions (none in my experience) the only presidential appointees in American embassies are the ambassadors. An embassy spokesman would almost certainly be a State Department career officer and a member of the Foreign Service. Positions filled by presidential appointments, generally known as Schedule C jobs, are usually few in number and clustered at the top of any agency or department. I was a Schedule C at the FAA back in the day, and I don't think there were more than eight or ten of us altogether. In theory we ran a huge national and international bureaucracy with a budget of billions of dollars. In reality, guess who ran it…
Given the politicization of even low-level jobs in the Federal government during the Bush Administration, where all new hires are required to be vetted for "ideological compatibility" before hiring, I would not be so sanguine about this young lady's background. While Dear Leader may not have directly appointed her to this position, public-facing jobs in particular now face an ideological purity requirement in order to be filled, and the civil service system has been subverted or corrupted to such extent that there is no counterweight to this process. I've seen this process at work at the National Forest Service, where all new hires must be approved by a Party commissar to insure ideological heterodoxy prior to being hired, and where older hires who believed their job was to manage the resource for anything other than the profit of large corporations have been pushed out or forced into retirement. It has happened at most other large federal bureaucracies too. If this young lady was hired during the seven years of the Bush presidency, most likely her hiring occurred via this process, rather than the process you remember, which occurred during the days when the President gave at least lip service to that whole "rule of law" thing and would make statements like "If the President does it, it's not a crime" only once safely out of office.
Sadly, rule #1 for hiring even low-level flunkies in the Bush Administration has been "personal loyalty to our Supreme Leader", which generally trumps competence, intelligence, and ability to tell truth from lies.