Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bush Administration Pressured Interrogators to Elicit False Confessions Through Torture

McClatchy Newspapers are reporting that the Bush Administration applied "relentless pressure" on interrogators to apply "harsh techniques" on detainees in order to obtain information that would connect Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. It was during this time period that Khalid Sheik Muhammed was waterboarded 183 times and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in a month.

McClatchy quotes a former Senior U.S. Intelligence official in the article:

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.
"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

In addition, the Senate Armed Services Committee has released a 232 page report that discusses details on the treatment of detainees and the approval of said techniques by the Bush Administration. From the Washington Post:

The military's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) has been reported to have reverse-engineered these methods to break al-Qaeda prisoners. The techniques, including waterboarding, or simulated drowning, were drawn from the methods used by Chinese Communists to coerce confessions from U.S. soldiers during the Korean War -- a lineage that one instructor appeared to readily acknowledge.

So, it becomes increasingly clear that the Bush Administration used torture techniques on individuals that were reversed engineered from the military's SERE program in order to elicit (false) confessions from detainees in U.S. custody and then retroactively attempted to provide legal cover for themselves via the torture memos. Astonishing that we would even consider NOT moving forward with a special prosecutor. Chris Floyd:

What's more, it is now undeniable that they began this program long before they had captured even one "high-profile al Qaeda detainee," and that they were using these heinous techniques not in a desperate bid to save the nation from further attacks – which has long been their preening, self-serving claim – but instead to produce spurious data about the non-existent link between Iraq and al Qaeda. In other words, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld ordered their minions to beat and torment captives in order to get them to say something a – anything – that could then be used to "justify" a war of aggression that these grand statesmen had been planning long before the September 11 attacks.

You cannot disentangle the torture program from the war of aggression in Iraq – nor from the illegal wiretapping program, the corrupt war profiteering, and all the other degradations of liberty and law that have been so accelerated in the past eight years. They are all of a piece, part and parcel of a plan to expand and entrench America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs with a thoroughly militarized state led by an unaccountable, authoritarian "Unitary Executive."

No comments: