Meaningless in the grand scheme of things, interesting on the level of political phenomenon and moving the Overton Window.
George W. Bush could be investigated for the steps taken after 9/11.
It’s extremely unlikely, but the Obama administration is taking its first steps along a path that could lead in that direction, with the investigation of Central Intelligence Agency interrogators involved in the war on terror.
“You don’t know where these things are going to end up,” former CIA agent Peter Brookes told me. “They could go to very high levels in the government.”
I have never heard of this polling outfit, so it must be considered with a grain of salt, but…
As the myth propagated by Cheney and the Washington Post that ‘torture works’ starts to fade under the facts revealed by the CIA’s own report, and as the slow unraveling exposes the fact that torture actual HURT counter terrorism efforts, perhaps we will get to the real story, and what really matters.
Torture is illegal.
The President and Vice-President authorized and ordered the CIA and military torture.
The President and Vice-President authorized and ordered the CIA and military to create an organized, planned and funded NETWORK of torture.
The President and Vice-President broke the law. And not just the law, but every moral code on earth.
AND hampered counter terrorism efforts by true professional interrogators such as Ali Soufan, who had an Op-Ed piece in the NYT yesterday…
It is surprising, as the eighth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, that none of Al Qaeda’s top leadership is in our custody. One damaging consequence of the harsh interrogation program was that the expert interrogators whose skills were deemed unnecessary to the new methods were forced out.
Mr. Mohammed knew the location of most, if not all, of the members of Al Qaeda’s leadership council, and possibly of every covert cell around the world. One can only imagine who else we could have captured, or what attacks we might have disrupted, if Mr. Mohammed had been questioned by the experts who knew the most about him.
Supporters of the enhanced interrogation techniques have jumped from claim to claim about their usefulness. They have asserted, for example, that harsh treatment led Mr. Mohammed to reveal the plot to attack the Library Tower in Los Angeles. But that plot was thwarted in 2002, and Mr. Mohammed was not arrested until 2003. Recently, interviews with unnamed sources led The Washington Post to report that harsh techniques turned Mr. Mohammed into an intelligence “asset.”
This latest claim will come as news to Mr. Mohammed’s prosecutors, to his fellow detainees (whom he instructed, at his arraignment, not to cooperate with the United States) and indeed to Mr. Mohammed himself. He told the International Committee of the Red Cross that “I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear.”
In the words of a premier expert on interrogation, not only did Bush and Cheney’s Official Policy of Torture not help the efforts against Al Qaeda, they actually hurt them.
And as the meaningless mouthings that torture somehow worked, despite all evidence to the contrary, are slowly discredited and begin to fade, perhaps we can get to the real crux of the matter.
That no matter the justification or excuses or smokes screens, torture IS illegal. And George Bush and Dick Cheney broke the law.
George Bush and Dick Cheney may never end up behind bars….but they certainly belong in front of the bar of justice to answer for their panicked, and illegal, and HARMFUL to the security of the United States, actions in creating an Organized Policy of Torture.