Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Memos reveal Bush Administration approved torture

By Michael J.W. Stickings


The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.

The memos themselves remain classified. All that has been confirmed is their existence.

But let's be clear about something: We're not talking about questionable legal approval from Yoo-like Justice Department lawyers here, we're talking about actual "policy approval" from administration officials, likely from Rice and the National Security Council, if not from higher up, on behalf of the entire Bush Administration itself. (Ultimately, it is Bush himself who must be held accountable, whether he was in on it or not at the time.)

Now, of course, it may be claimed that waterboarding and other such "interrogation techniques" are not torture. But then let Bush and Rice and the rest of them make that case. Those in the know know that it is.

Bush himself has said that "we don't torture" -- namely, the United States. But evidently it does, and with the ultimate approval of Bush himself.

This is an important story. Make sure to read the WaPo article in full.

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