Friday, May 15, 2009

Torturing to Justify War

Huge revelations from Colin Powell's former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson:

Likewise, what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002--well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion--its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

There in fact were no such contacts. (Incidentally, al-Libi just "committed suicide" in Libya. Interestingly, several U.S. lawyers working with tortured detainees were attempting to get the Libyan government to allow them to interview al-Libi....)

So from a former Bush Administration official, we know that Dick Cheney authorized torture in order to fabricate a link between Iraq and Al Qaida, a link which was then used to advocate a war that led to the the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and four thousand US soldiers.

If that doesn't lead to some sort of criminal investigation, we should probably just give up and abandon this "rule of law" thing altogether.

1 comment:

  1. More kudos to Wilkerson, although I still wish he hadn't waited years to start talking about this.