April 22, 2009

The Innocents in the Bush Administration

Hilzoy points to an article in the NY Times which says the Bush administration adopted torture because leaders in the CIA insisted that the administration use it.

Guess who are not apportioned any blame in this piece. Why it is ole Dead-eye Dick and his puppet commander in chief, GW Bush.

Where have we seen this MO before? Oh, that's right. It was the nasty CIA that led the Bush administration to invade Iraq because they insisted that Saddam was developing Weapons of Mass Destruction and was planning to bomb the White House in 45 minutes. And they forced old Dick and George to bomb Iraq even though the threat was not real.

Geeze. Can the NY Times just stop with running with the Bush lies and their deflecting culpability on others? It was Dick Cheney who has been running his mouth off lately that torture works and he can prove it if they will just declassify the reports. How much convincing did it take to make him a believer?

And it was Mr. Bush who had been totally into the torture game because his gut told him it worked. As reported by Ron Suskind in 2006:

Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. "I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?" Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each ... target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

Here's a quote from Dead-eye Dick when he was all gung ho for torture:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.

So today, we are supposed to believe that they were gullible innocents who never, ever would have considered torture if it wasn't for that mean ole George Tenet? Puleeze.

Posted by Mary at April 22, 2009 02:10 AM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |

It doesn't matter to me what the CIA asked for. People in government agencies ask their bosses for unreasonable things, particularly when they are in over their heads. It's the job of the bosses to find out if they're reasonable or not, at least in cases where it's clearly possible that what they're being asked for is illegal or unethical.

If Bush gave the CIA what it asked for in this case, he's still to blame.

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