Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Romney's Rallying Cry: Four More Years!

The Crossed Pond points out this little tidbit from today's White House press conference:

Q Did the questioning of al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah conform with the
interrogation program approved by President Bush? […]
MS. PERINO: I will say that all interrogations — all interrogations have been done within the legal framework that was set out after September 11th…All of the — the entire program has been legal.
Q Are you saying that whatever was done in this case was not
MS. PERINO: I am saying that the United States does not torture. The President has been — […]
Q But when you have a former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, now saying that waterboarding was used — since you’re saying the interrogations were legal; he’s saying on the record now, waterboarding was used in at least one case. You’re saying waterboarding is legal?
MS. PERINO: Ed, I’m saying I’m not commenting on any specific technique. I’m not commenting on that gentleman’s characteristics of any possible technique. I’ve given you a very general statement about interrogations being legal, limited and –
Q You just said it was legal.
MS. PERINO: I’m sorry?
Q You said it was within the legal framework.
Q Everything that was done.
Q So waterboarding is legal.
MS. PERINO: I’m not commenting on any specific techniques.

As Brad says, "Ugh."

But it gets worse. The evasiveness on this question is almost identical to Mitt Romney's answer to the same question in the last debate:

And as I just said, as a presidential candidate, I don't think it's wise for us to describe specifically which measures we would and would not use.


I did not say and I do not say that I'm in favor of torture. I am not. I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do.

[My emphasis]
I fail to see how Romney is anything less than a handsomer, more artificial version of Bush. Yet, today National Review endorses Romney on the grounds that "Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws." Apparently, the National Review editors considers Bush's evasiveness and skirting of established law to be one of Bush's virtues. (I will notably exempt the Derb from this criticism).