Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Real Terrorists - The Bush Administration

About the time you start to think that you might possibly have plumbed the depths of the BushCo political malfeasance; something like this comes up. McClatchy, the outfit who as Knight-Ridder got the run up to the Iraq war right, reports that in order to justify the invasion of Iraq the BushCo used torture to elicit confessions of Iraqi involvement with al Qaida. The reporting uses two kinds of sources, one on the record attributed and some anonymous sources and I'm no fan of anonymous sources. Considering the nature of the disclosures and the attributed back-up I'm a bit more willing than usual to accept it. We'll start with 2006 testimony from A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney.
"While we were there (Guantanamo) a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."

Now regarding the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 an anonymous senior intelligence official had some things to say that are scary. A primary concern was follow up attacks after 9/11 but also important was an invasion of Iraq.
"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."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

If you think firing US Attorneys because they wouldn't engage in political witch-hunts is offensive or you were put off by being accused of treason for opposing the Iraq war because it is politics run amok you might find torture as a political end something beyond that. Well, welcome to the the new nadir of Bushco and don't even bet this is the end of the plumbing. In order to try to get cover to run a preemptive war in violation of US history these cretins tortured helpless humans. Think about that and then mention it to the die hard Republicans you know.

Why doesn't somebody just go ahead and explain to me how it is that these terrorists aren't in orange jumpsuits and manacles? Ask John Ensign, he's a Republican Senator... (see below)

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