The Facts About Secret Detentions, and the President's Version

by TChris

Three presidential claims, three probable lies. It was just another day at the Bush White House.

In defending the Central Intelligence Agency's secret network of prisons on Wednesday, President Bush said the detention system had used lawful interrogation techniques, was fully described to select members of Congress and led directly to the capture of a string of terrorists over the past four years. A review of public documents and interviews with American officials raises questions about Mr. Bush's claims on all three fronts.

TalkLeft wrote about torture in the secret prisons here and here. As to briefing Congress:

Some lawmakers questioned Mr. Bush's claims that his administration fully briefed some members of Congress on details of the secret detention program. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that the Bush administration had "withheld details of the C.I.A. detention and interrogation program from the Congressional intelligence committees."

As to the assertion that secret detentions have produced intelligence leading to the capture of terrorists, the president's credibility is, as usual, suspect:

Mr. Bush said it was Mr. Zubaydah who disclosed to C.I.A. interrogators that Mr. Mohammed was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and often used the alias Mukhtar, sometimes spelled Muktar. ... The report of the Sept. 11 commission said that the C.I.A. knew of the moniker for Mr. Mohammed months before the capture of Mr. Zubaydah. ...

Mr. Bush also said it was the interrogation of Mr. Zubaydah that identified Mr. bin al-Shibh as an accomplice in the Sept. 11 attacks. American officials had identified Mr. bin al-Shibh's role in the attacks months before Mr. Zubaydah's capture.

It's good to see journalism doing its job by correcting the president's inaccuracies promptly. Will this become a trend?

< N.C. Tosses Search of Private Parts | Armitage 'Fesses Up With Permission From Fitz >
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