Apr 24, 2009

Pretty much how I feel

I've changed my mind over the whole torture prosecution debate. I've been inclined to trust Obama's maneuvring on the subject — maybe a prosecution would be too disruptive, maybe it would impede his ability to do his job, etc, etc. But yesterday we found out something important: the factor on which the decision to torture hinged — the piece of information Bush and Cheney were so desperate to get their hands on — was the phantom link between Al Qeada and Iraq.

The report found that Maj. Paul Burney, a United States Army psychiatrist assigned to interrogations in Guantánamo Bay that summer of 2002, told Army investigators of another White House imperative: “A large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful.” As higher-ups got more “frustrated” at the inability to prove this connection, the major said, “there was more and more pressure to resort to measures” that might produce that intelligence.

In other words, what led them to ramp up the interrogation on KSM and Zubaydah, waterboarding them 266 times in a single month was no 'ticking time bomb' scenario, but their desire to pressure Congress to pass a war resolution before the 2002 midterm elections — an act of such heartbreakingly wicked it's difficult to know what to say except: time to prosecute.

1 comment:

  1. Truly interesting, brilliant link...of torture to the need to justify invading Iraq...puts another episode into focus also...the patently criminal outing of CIA undercover agent Plame because her husband blew the cover on yellow cake from Niger. Desperation, thy name is Cheney!!!