A Whole Bushel Of Bad Apples

June 17th, 2008at 06:59am Posted by Eli

This is a lot like that report out of the Senate Intelligence Committee – you know, the one saying that BushCo. knowingly lied about the intelligence they had against Iraq before the invasion:

A Senate investigation has concluded that top Pentagon officials began assembling lists of harsh interrogation techniques in the summer of 2002 for use on detainees at Guantanamo Bay and that those officials later cited memos from field commanders to suggest that the proposals originated far down the chain of command, according to congressional sources briefed on the findings.

The sources said that memos and other evidence obtained during the inquiry show that officials in the office of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld started to research the use of waterboarding, stress positions, sensory deprivation and other practices in July 2002, months before memos from commanders at the detention facility in Cuba requested permission to use those measures on suspected terrorists.

The reported evidence — some of which is expected to be made public at a Senate hearing today — also shows that military lawyers raised strong concerns about the legality of the practices as early as November 2002, a month before Rumsfeld approved them. The findings contradict previous accounts by top Bush administration appointees, setting the stage for new clashes between the White House and Congress over the origins of interrogation methods that many lawmakers regard as torture and possibly illegal.

“Some have suggested that detainee abuses committed by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and at Guantanamo were the result of a ‘few bad apples’ acting on their own. It would be a lot easier to accept if that were true,” Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a statement for delivery at a committee hearing this morning. “Senior officials in the United States government sought out information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.”

(…)

[M]emos and e-mails obtained by investigators reveal that in July 2002, Haynes and other Pentagon officials were soliciting ideas for harsh interrogations from military experts in survival training, according to two congressional officials familiar with the committee’s investigation. By late July, a list was compiled that included many of the techniques that would later be formally approved for use at Guantanamo Bay, including stress positions, sleep deprivation and the hooding of detainees during questioning. The techniques were later used at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Iraq.

(…)

The Guantanamo Bay visit and the effort to compile interrogation tactics appear to show that Pentagon officials were moving toward a formal policy on interrogation before military commanders at the detention camp requested special measures, the officials said. However, top military officers objected to the proposals in a series of memos in November 2002, much earlier than previously reported, congressional investigators said. In early 2003, Rumsfeld formally authorized the techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay.

(…)

“It is increasingly clear that the decision to abandon the rule of law and order torture and abuse was made at the very top,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office. “We look forward to the full investigative report from the Armed Services Committee and call on Congress to hold accountable any and all public officials involved in ordering illegal torture.”

A group of 56 Congressional Democrats last week asked the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether any Bush administration officials may have broken laws in approving the use of harsh interrogation techniques for suspected terrorists.

As with the Senate Intelligence report, this pretty much just confirms and documents what we already knew, and what the Bush administration has been consistently lying about.  In this case, it’s the fact that torture is official BushCo. policy, and they’ve been lying about it all along.

Can’t wait to hear John “I Hate Torture But Voted For It Anyway” McCain’s reaction to this.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Prisoners,Republicans,Torture


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