White House Authorized Torture (in Writing)

As Big Tent Demcocrat noted earlier today, uneasy about the blessing it received from the Justice Department to engage in torture, senior CIA officials wanted express White House approval as political cover for its aggressive (and illegal) interrogation techniques.

The repeated requests for a paper trail reflected growing worries within the CIA that the administration might later distance itself from key decisions about the handling of captured al-Qaeda leaders, former intelligence officials said.

The Washington Post reports that the administration finally issued memoranda in 2003 and 2004 "that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects." The classified memos have not been previously disclosed.

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    So let's prosecute... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:15:17 PM EST
    Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. - GW Bush, June 03

    "I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment." - Bush again.

    Whatta slimeball. Yech...

    Gotta laugh.... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:33:26 PM EST
    that even the CIA didn't/doesn't trust Bush. "Put in writing"...lol

    I wonder if Barbara even trusts her boy anymore.

    Despite the seriousness of the situation (none / 0) (#12)
    by nycstray on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:38:25 PM EST
    I had to laugh at "Put it in writing" also.

    But...but...but....we don't torture. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Angel on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 12:52:46 PM EST
    That's what Dubya and Dickie-poo always said. But we knew they were liars before they ever entered office.  

    So, who signed them? (none / 0) (#2)
    by hairspray on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:12:10 PM EST

    The U.S has been "authorizing" (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:24:40 PM EST
    torture at least since Operation Phoenix. Or, was there some point when we stopped?

    Making it official policy only served to give a veneer of quasi-legality to what we've been doing, directly or through proxies, right along.


    As if it were (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:31:56 PM EST
    somehow less of an affront to common decency when we all go nod-nod-wink-wink as some Langley weasal hands another list of names to Pinochet or D'Aubuisson.

    Important to remember.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 02:17:08 PM EST
    every guy who has sat in the big chair in the oval room has known about the torture in our names since I've been alive, and longer than that.

    All Bush did was take it to another level, and to be so untrustworthy in the eyes of even his own people that they wanted a C.Y.A. document in writing.


    This is interesting, (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:09:20 PM EST
    I wonder if other potus' have had to issue such docs in writing, but this is the only one that's surfaced? And I assume BO will immediately issue a document in writing that remands Bush's approval of the procedures.

    I'm inclined to assume.... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:31:25 PM EST
    past presidents had the faith of the CIA and the like to have their back if any of the sh*t going down hit the fan...no CYA letters required, just a wink and a nod.

    You'd think. (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 04:22:53 PM EST
    I'll bet (none / 0) (#4)
    by eric on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:17:34 PM EST
    the Nazi's had lots of signed authorizations, too.

    tortuous (none / 0) (#5)
    by cjbr on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:20:17 PM EST
    The circular firing squad is in the process of loading their rifles.  It will be a long time before the truth emerges officially even though we know what the answer is now.  The court of public opinion has rendered a verdict.

    Clear and Present Danger (none / 0) (#6)
    by coast on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:21:08 PM EST
    movie meets reality...Henry Czerny as Robert Ritter..."you got one these Jack".  Wow....never put anything on paper that you wouldn't want your mother to read.

    Is there a link (none / 0) (#7)
    by eric on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:21:57 PM EST
    to the documents themselves?  I didn't see one in the story.

    Heh (none / 0) (#15)
    by eric on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 01:57:49 PM EST
    so what does this mean legally? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 02:17:52 PM EST
    they acknowledged they wb'ed in 2007, no?  So if they said they did it and nothing has happened, what has changed?

    Is there potential for charges, impeachment, a gitmo sentence?  

    Not trying to be deft here but as a non lawyer who cannot understand more than 4 words put together in legalese, what does this mean?

    Was there ever any doubt? (none / 0) (#18)
    by magnetics on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 02:28:10 PM EST

    None (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jen M on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:33:39 PM EST