View Full Version : Bush's Top Officials Okayed Torture

04-11-2008, 09:11 AM
Bush's top officials okayed torture


(Gold9472: What's good for the goose... DailyKos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/4/10/95033/2181/104/493151) has a blog that shows Bush is the one that signed off on this.)

www.chinaview.cn (http://www.chinaview.cn) 2008-04-11 11:06:22

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Top Bush administration officials including Vice President Dick Cheney had approved torture for interrogations of terror suspects, ABC News reported Thursday.

The officials held meetings and signed off on how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) would interrogate top al-Qaida suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, according to the report.

The meeting seemed to have taken place during President George W. Bush's first term between 2001 and 2005.

The officials' discussions about these "enhanced interrogation techniques" were so detailed, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

The advisors were members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, a selected group of senior officials who met frequently to advise Bush on issues of national security policy.

At the time, the Principals Committee included Cheney, then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Contacted by ABC News, a spokesmen for Tenet, Rumsfeld and Powell declined to comment about the interrogation program or their private discussions in the meetings.

There were previous reports that Bush administration officials have approved torture, but this is the first time for them to explicitly unveil the details of it.

04-11-2008, 09:24 AM
Dick Cheney Inc. Micromanaged and Orchestrated Torture Interrogations


by Mark Karlin
Editor and Publisher
April 11, 2008

We’ve been so warn down and numbed by more than seven years of outrageous and extremist Bush Administration behavior that revelations of the worst excesses now pass us by like distant storm clouds.

The recent Iraq hearings in which a General who was handpicked to reflect the Bush-Cheney obsession with Iraq and Iran read from the same script we have heard for years failed to rouse but passing dazed interest. It was like the movie "Groundhog Day" in which events are doomed to keep repeating themselves. (The basic context of Bush and Cheney having purged all the top Pentagon brass who disagreed with them, including most recently Admiral Fallon (the head of CENTCOM and Petraeus’s superior), went virtually unnoticed.)

But the revelation that Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Ashcroft and Powell personally orchestrated torture interrogations from a room in the White House once again shocks us into acknowledging the macabre and horrifying deviant behavior of this administration.

Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/04/10/BL2008041002069.html?hpid=opinionsbox1) recounts an ABC News report,

Top Bush aides, including Vice President Cheney, micromanaged the torture of terrorist suspects from the White House basement, according to an ABC News report aired last night.

Discussions were so detailed, ABC's sources said, that some interrogation sessions were virtually choreographed by a White House advisory group. In addition to Cheney, the group included then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then-secretary of state Colin Powell, then-CIA director George Tenet and then-attorney general John Ashcroft.

At least one member of the club had some qualms. ABC reports that Ashcroft "was troubled by the discussions. He agreed with the general policy decision to allow aggressive tactics and had repeatedly advised that they were legal. But he argued that senior White House advisers should not be involved in the grim details of interrogations, sources said.

"According to a top official, Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: 'Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."

If you recall, Ashcroft was the one who resisted, from his hospital bed, a White House effort to strong arm him into signing off on actions that he deemed unConstitutional. When you have John Ashcroft as a conscientious objector, you know that Cheney Inc. has crossed the line into uber illegal activity.

But there is something here that is not just in violation of our Constitution. It passes into the realm of the sadistic to have our senior government officials spending their time (and remember that they are our employees) as torture planners. It’s not only revolting beyond words, but can anyone claim that they have any expertise in this area? We don’t mean to be crass, but we are talking about the most senior members of the administration personally overseeing each step of the torture process.

As Froomkin’s article quotes ABC News, "At one meeting in the summer of 2003 -- attended by Vice President Cheney, among others -- Tenet made an elaborate presentation for approval to combine several different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time, according to a highly placed administration source."

You can bet your bottom dollar that Bush was also somehow involved in this. Remember that there have been reports that Bush personally asked to watch the infamous videotapes of one or two of the torture sessions. After all, this was a guy who got a thrill out of executing more people than any governor in modern times when he was the top guy in Texas. There’s a sadistic vein in George W. Bush that runs a mile wide and a mile deep.

As progressives, we are passionately hashing out who will be the Democratic nominee, with a percentage of each candidate so attached to their choice that they claim that they will vote for McCain if their candidate doesn’t get the Democratic nomination.

Take a moment and fully absorb the horrifying revelations detailed above. When the people at the top of a national government personally plan torture interrogations, the fish has rotted fully from the inside out. This is the type of unsanctionable behavior that would no doubt continue in a pro-war McCain administration.

For those of you who would vote for McCain over either Obama or Clinton, because of your current passion for either candidate, think about that and whether your conscience could live with it.

It is eminently obvious to our readers where we have stood -- and continue to stand -- on the campaign tactics of the Clinton camp, but we made it clear a long time ago that we will fully support the Democratic nominee. Period.

Whatever serious flaws the Clinton campaign has, they pale by comparison to the continuation of a third Bush term via the ascension to the presidency of John McCain.

The latest revelation about the torture planning sessions in the Bush White House just reconfirm that.

Like the vast majority of our readers, we would like to see the principals of the Bush Administration in jail for war crimes. Given the record of Congress – and the direction of the Obama and Clinton campaigns – we believe that the Democrats will once again make the mistake, as Bill Clinton did, of letting Republican crimes go unpunished in the name of "national unity."

But the least we can do is work together to ensure that the Democrats control the White House, no matter who is the nominee.

We’ll continue to express our concerns about the primary contest, but the repulsive actions under the current Republican leadership reconfirm our commitment to supporting the Democratic candidate for President, whichever candidate that might be.

Whatever flaws he or she may have pale by comparison to the nightmare of the last few years.

We need to return America to civilized standards of international behavior, justice and democracy.

04-15-2008, 07:19 AM
Still no arrests though, huh?