The White House won't comment on the latest -- and fairly definitive -- accusation of torture in Guantanamo Bay. The reason is laughable --
Q I had a question about Gaza -- but on the issue of [Mohammed al-]Qahtani, can you just define the term "command influence" -- what the issue --
MS. PERINO: I'm sure there is a legal definition of it, but as I understand it, the Commander-in-Chief should not be commenting on cases where the government is bringing a case against a detainee. It would be inappropriate to do so from the White House. DOD is running the interrogations and the detainee trials -- tribunals, as we call them, military tribunals -- and so it's appropriate that we keep that over there. And Geoff Morrell* put out a statement last night and I'd refer you to that.
The claimed logic being that since George Bush is, as he constantly reminds us, Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces, he should be commenting on a "trial" in which those armed forces are judge, jury, and executioner. But how does a policy of no comment change the fact that George Bush is, as he constantly reminds us, Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces which is running trials in which those armed forces are judge, jury, and executioner? An imaginary wall between the White House and Pentagon doesn't do much. That's precisely the reason not to be running these tribunals in the first place.
*She seems to mean Bryan Whitman.