Senate Report: Bush Solicited “Wish List” of Torture Techniques

Crossposted from Antemedius

According to a RawStory article about an hour ago:

A report by the Senate Armed Services Committee released Tuesday night says that torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib prison and approved by officials in the George W. Bush administration were applied only after soliciting a “wish list” from interrogators.

President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. This act, the committee found, cleared the way for a new interrogation program to be developed in-part based on “Chinese communist” tactics used against Americans during the Korean War, mainly to elicit false confessions for propaganda purposes.

“In mid-August 2003, an email from staff at Combined Joint Task Force

7 (CJTF-7) headquarters in Iraq requested that subordinate units provide input for a ‘wish list’ of interrogation techniques [to be used at Abu Ghraib], stated that ‘the gloves are coming off,’ and said ‘we want these detainees broken,'” the report found.

The report is available as a .pdf file from the Senate Armed Services Committee site, and opens with this extraordinary paragraph:

On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third Geneva Convention. The President’s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President’s order stated that, as “a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions,” the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legal compliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.

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    • Edger on April 22, 2009 at 5:14 am
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    to include in my own wish list for Mr. Bush.

    • Edger on April 22, 2009 at 5:40 am
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    a much more in depth post on this senate report up a few minute ago at dKos: Rumsfeld Began Post-9/11 Torture Long Before Abu Ghraib  

  1. I seem to be having a particularly strong reaction to this. I suppose its partly the roller-coaster of the past five or 6 days.

    I just really feel an overwhelming grief and shame… that my country did this, torture, and for these most insanely obscene “reasons”. I mean, I knew it already, we here do. But… somehow… this “official” report from the Senate Armed Services Cte,,, basically confirming it, Im just

    heartsick.

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