Thursday, May 14, 2009


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted today that the C.I.A. had "misled" Congress about its techniques. At the same time Pelosi acknowledged she learned that the CIA had subjected suspects to waterboarding in 2003.

Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, comments yesterday should help open Pandora's Box on the relationship between torture and the Bush administration's real goals behind torture (if the press can piece together the pieces):

... what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 -- well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion -- its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.
In a few words, when it comes to torture, the Bush administration may not have been so concerned about national security as much as they were in CYA mode.

- Mark

UPDATE: It appears that evidence for using torture to uncover a "Saddam-Al qaeda" link has Sea Legs ...

*Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection.

*The former chief of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, in charge of interrogations, tells The Daily Beast that he considered the request reprehensible.

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