Folkard Wohlgemuth recommends the op-ed "Degrading our soldiers and ourselves" in the International Herald Tribune, which deals with Vice President Cheney's attempt on allowing the CIA to treat (or should one rather say: "abuse"?) captives basically as they please. "It is worth remembering that the rule of law is not just a "value," much less a luxury confined to more peaceful times", comments the author, Anne-Marie Slaughter. "Our founders looked to law as constraint, not as license; as a check on power, not authorization. The difference is a matter of honor, of values, of identity itself."
A Washington Post editorial calls Vice President Cheney "an open advocate of torture."
The Wash Post's Dana Priest reports about a "covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries":
Although the CIA will not acknowledge details of its system, intelligence officials defend the agency's approach, arguing that the successful defense of the country requires that the agency be empowered to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists for as long as necessary and without restrictions imposed by the U.S. legal system or even by the military tribunals established for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. (...)
It is illegal for the government to hold prisoners in such isolation in secret prisons in the United States, which is why the CIA placed them overseas, according to several former and current intelligence officials and other U.S. government officials. Legal experts and intelligence officials said that the CIA's internment practices also would be considered illegal under the laws of several host countries, where detainees have rights to have a lawyer or to mount a defense against allegations of wrongdoing. (...) [via Dialog International]
One month after 9/11, President Bush spoke about the government's ethical standards:
Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourself not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.
Second, I want us to set an example of humility. As you work for the federal government there is no excuse for arrogance, and there's never a reason to show disrespect for others. A new tone in Washington must begin with decency and fairness. I want everyone who represents our government to be known for these values.
The liberal monthly magazine The American Prospect features a commentary by Robert Kuttner entitled "Bush Just Doesn't Learn." The Bush administration "finds itself in a shockingly deep hole" as a consequence of the Libby- and Delay-indictments, the disastrous nomination for Supreme Court Justice of Harriet Miers, the highly criticized reaction to hurricane Katrina, and the discomforting count of 2,000 American soldiers in Iraq. "Bush could recover by governing as the moderate he once pretended to be. […] But instead, Bush is appeasing the base that just humiliated him, suggesting that the man just doesn’t learn."
In October the Atlantic Review described how the US Senate and an army captain stood up for moral values in the war on terrorism.