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Rice gave OK to torture


Swami57
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It's sad really. She had so much potential to do good. Too bad she may end up taking the fall but if you lay down with dogs you're bound to come up with fleas.

As Bush Adviser, Rice Gave OK to Waterboard

WASHINGTON -- As national security adviser in the Bush White House, Condoleezza Rice verbally OK'd the CIA's request to subject alleged Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, a decision memorialized a few days later in a secret memo that the Obama administration declassified last week.

Rice's role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA's harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.

The new timeline shows that Rice played a greater role than she admitted last fall in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The narrative also shows that dissenting legal views about the severe interrogation methods were brushed aside repeatedly.

The Intelligence Committee's timeline comes a day after the Senate Armed Services Committee released an exhaustive report detailing direct links between the CIA's harsh interrogation program and abuses of prisoners at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in Afghanistan and at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Both revelations follow President Barack Obama's release of internal Bush administration legal memos that justified the use of severe methods by the CIA, a move that kicked up a firestorm from opposing sides of the ideological spectrum.

According to the new narrative, which compiles legal advice provided by the Bush administration to the CIA, Rice personally conveyed the administration's approval for waterboarding of Zubaydah, a so-called high-value detainee, to then-CIA Director George Tenet in July 2002.

Last fall, Rice acknowledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee only that she had attended meetings where the CIA interrogation request was discussed and asked for the attorney general to conduct a legal review. She said she did not recall details. Rice omitted her direct role in approving the program in her written statement to the committee.

A spokesman for Rice declined comment when reached Wednesday.

Days after Rice gave Tenet the nod, the Justice Department approved the use of waterboarding in a top secret Aug. 1 memo. Zubaydah underwent waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002.

In the years that followed, according to the narrative issued Wednesday, there were numerous internal legal reviews of the program, suggesting government attorneys raised concerns that the harsh methods, particularly waterboarding, might violate federal laws against torture and the U.S. Constitution.

But Bush administration lawyers continued to validate the program. The CIA voluntarily dropped the use of waterboarding, which has a long history as a torture tactic, from its arsenal of techniques after 2005.

According to the two Senate reports, CIA lawyers first presented the plan to waterboard Zubaydah to White House lawyers in April 2002, a few weeks after his capture in Pakistan.

Tenet wrote in his memoir that CIA officers themselves originated the idea.

In May 2002, Rice, along with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales met at the White House with the CIA to discuss the use of waterboarding.

The Armed Services Committee report says that six months earlier, in December 2001, the Pentagon's legal office already had made inquiries about the use of mock interrogation and detention tactics to a U.S. military training unit that schools armed forces personnel in how to endure harsh treatment. A former intelligence official said Wednesday the CIA officers also based their proposed harsh interrogations on the mock interrogation methods used by the unit.

He declined to be identified because the CIA had not authorized the disclosure of the information.

In July 2002, responding to a follow-up from the Pentagon general counsel's office, officials at the training unit, the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, detailed their methods for the Pentagon. The list included waterboarding.

But the training unit warned that harsh physical techniques could backfire by making prisoners more resistant. They also cautioned about the reliability of information gleaned from the severe methods and warned that the public and political backlash could be "intolerable."

"A subject in extreme pain may provide an answer, any answer or many answers in order to get the pain to stop," the training officials said in their memo.

Less than a week later, the Justice Department issued two legal opinions that sanctioned the CIA's harsh interrogation program. The memos appeared to draw deeply on the survival school data provided to the Pentagon to show that the CIA's methods would not cross the line into torture.

The opinion concluded that the harsh interrogation methods would be acceptable for use on terror detainees because the same techniques did not cause severe physical or mental pain to U.S. military students who were tested in the government's carefully controlled training program.

Several people from the survival program objected to the use of their mock interrogations in battlefield settings. In an October 2002 e-mail, a senior Army psychologist told personnel at Guantanamo Bay that the methods were inherently dangerous and students were sometimes injured, even in a controlled setting.

"The risk with real detainees is increased exponentially," he said.

Nevertheless, for the next two years, the CIA and military officials received interrogation training and direct interrogation support from JPRA trainers.

Last week, the Obama administration's top intelligence official, Dennis Blair, privately told intelligence employees that "high value information" was obtained through the harsh interrogation techniques. However, on Tuesday, in a written statement, Blair said, "The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means."

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The issue isn't what he did. It's how he did it.

Obama just needs to leave this alone. Period.

Uhh if there were crimes committed there needs to be Justice. Just wiping crimes under the table if discovered will be just as bad as the acts themselves. Obama is doing this the right way he is not spending a ton of money prosecuting people but releasing the documents and letting things take there course.

We can't just sweep this kind of crap under the table and expect the world to take us seriously.

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Allow me to play the cynic for a moment.

Part of me thinks that President Obama has a very devious and vindictive side to his personality (fellow lefties don't get upset, the man is not Christ) I've felt for awhile that he was holding these investigations and threats of prosecution of Bush administration officials in his back pocket. If G.O.P. leaders would have been willing to show a little bi-partisanship and cooperation, or heck just not criticize every move he made at every turn I don't think these memos would have ever been leaked. If ***** Cheaney would have just bowed out gracefully and not do what he has done since he has left office I don't think Obama would have been so willing to allow Holder to possibly proceed with investigations. I think he truly wanted to move on and let the past be the past. But the right has shown they are going to do nothing but be a constant voice of opposition to everything he does..So he just said screw it.. You wanna be a thorn in my side? Than I can be a thorn in yours. You wanna be a prick? Then I can be an even bigger prick. And part of me believes this is truly what all of this is about. Now if he goes forward with this and takes it all the way to the top, he can kiss away all the promises of bi-partisanship he made during the campaign. He will probably go down as the most partisan, polarizing president in history. It will be 3 years of bickering and decent similar to Clinton administration post Lewinsky

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Uhh if there were crimes committed there needs to be Justice. Just wiping crimes under the table if discovered will be just as bad as the acts themselves. Obama is doing this the right way he is not spending a ton of money prosecuting people but releasing the documents and letting things take there course.

We can't just sweep this kind of crap under the table and expect the world to take us seriously.

The "world" does not need to know every crappy detail. If there is indeed dirty laundry, then there's no need to air it out for all to see and ridicule. We've been through enough of that in the past eight years with Bush. Why keep it going?

It serves no purpose except to bow down to his constituency. I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, they wouldn't want their perceived screwups aired.

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The "world" does not need to know every crappy detail. If there is indeed dirty laundry, then there's no need to air it out for all to see and ridicule. We've been through enough of that in the past eight years with Bush. Why keep it going?

It serves no purpose except to bow down to his constituency. I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, they wouldn't want their perceived screwups aired.

Hiding crimes committed against foreign prisoners is not the way to repair the damage that has been done. If we really want them to trust us and take us seriously and try and rebuild relations we need to expose these crimes and punish those that committed them.

If these allegations are true we broke American and International Laws, if you are not going to hold up the laws to our own standards how can we ever expect anyone to work with us in a diplomatic manner? Why would any country ever pay attention to us in the future if we can't even abide by our own laws or punish those found guilty of our own laws?

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Hiding crimes committed against foreign prisoners is not the way to repair the damage that has been done. If we really want them to trust us and take us seriously and try and rebuild relations we need to expose these crimes and punish those that committed them.

If these allegations are true we broke American and International Laws, if you are not going to hold up the laws to our own standards how can we ever expect anyone to work with us in a diplomatic manner? Why would any country ever pay attention to us in the future if we can't even abide by our own laws or punish those found guilty of our own laws?

We've broken international laws, including torture, long before the Bush Administration. Some of you are naive enough to believe that these tactics and approaches were suddenly thought up in a whirlwind post 9/11. We did it in South and Central American in the 70's and 80's, and we did it in the 90's via rendition. We're actually going to return to that policy under the Obama Administration. Bush's mistake is he attempted to come up with a way to make it official policy instead of unofficial policy, and provide some legal support for it through government channels.

The CIA's original Human Resource Exploitation Manual from the 60's was declassified long ago. Google it if you don't believe me.

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I think Obama should currently focus on the economy and foreign policy. That's a full plate. Once the economy stabilizes, then he can shift some of his focus to other issues like this.

I wouldn't mind seeing Bush administration members be prosecuted, but it can be held off for a little bit.

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OK, so how about the people who were tortured who weren't terrorists?

This argument that folks seem to make almost always assumes the premise that the people being tortured are terrorists, when we really don't know if they are or aren't.

That faulty premise is at the root of most people's problem with the practice (torturing innocent people), yet the pro-torture argument glosses right over it like it isn't even in question.

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The "world" does not need to know every crappy detail. If there is indeed dirty laundry, then there's no need to air it out for all to see and ridicule. We've been through enough of that in the past eight years with Bush. Why keep it going?

It serves no purpose except to bow down to his constituency. I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot, they wouldn't want their perceived screwups aired.

The world knew that we were torturing long before those memos were released. The memos simply expose our modus operandi, which was to have our justice department sanction torture and call it something other than what it is. The SAS Committee report further exposes what we were doing, where we were doing it and who ordered it to be done. Once the Pandora's Box was opened, torture and inhumane treatment of detainees became systemic. There is a lot more here than just the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on a couple of bad guys. This isn't dirty laundry, it's a cancer that has to excised from our body politic.

When we first saw the photos out of Abu Graib we were shocked but our mind was put at ease that it was just a few bad apples. Well it turns out those bad apples didn't fall far from the tree and were actually following orders which is what a good soldier is supposed to do. The only mistake they made was documenting it and the Bush White House hung them out to dry for it knowing full well they were only doing the job that THEY had given the orders to do.

This is beginning to snowball, much like Watergate, and at this point I think both Congress and the Media, including folks like Shepard Smith at FOX, are going to demand that the people who perpetrated this are brought to justice. This is a national shame that has to be cleansed if we are to achieve our former status as Reagan's "shining city upon a hill".

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OK, so how about the people who were tortured who weren't terrorists?

This argument that folks seem to make almost always assumes the premise that the people being tortured are terrorists, when we really don't know if they are or aren't.

That faulty premise is at the root of most people's problem with the practice (torturing innocent people), yet the pro-torture argument glosses right over it like it isn't even in question.

This is one of the major problems I have with this. (although I'm still on the fence). If we okay torture in these cases whats to stop the government from torturing ANY of us? What's to stop them from waterboarding someone with a Ron Paul bumper sticker because they "think" or "were told" he has information on a potential threat? I don't think people have totally thought out this issue.

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We've broken international laws, including torture, long before the Bush Administration. Some of you are naive enough to believe that these tactics and approaches were suddenly thought up in a whirlwind post 9/11. We did it in South and Central American in the 70's and 80's, and we did it in the 90's via rendition. We're actually going to return to that policy under the Obama Administration. Bush's mistake is he attempted to come up with a way to make it official policy instead of unofficial policy, and provide some legal support for it through government channels.

The CIA's original Human Resource Exploitation Manual from the 60's was declassified long ago. Google it if you don't believe me.

Bear, I think everyone understands that there has always been a netherworld of spies and espionage where bad things happened. There is a huge leap between that and institutionalizing torture which you have pointed out. The problem with George W is he didn't think things through. This was always going to come to a bad ending. What amazes me the most is that they thought they could get away with it. That we as a nation would sell our collective souls so that they could prosecute a bogus war by peddling fear and xenophobia.

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Well, I don't believe in the interrogation techniques, but IMO, a witch hunt on this issue will do more harm than good. It's one of those issues that needs to be swept under the rug just as a matter of saving face with the world.

Huh?

The world already knows we did it, by sweeping it under the rug the world will see that we will not punish those that break US or international law. We will look like hypocrites anytime we try and enforce International LAW on governments that violate them, our power to enforce anything will be greatly diminished. You can't put the Genie back in this bottle by sweeping it under the rug.

I can't believe at this point people are still suggesting

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Huh?

The world already knows we did it, by sweeping it under the rug the world will see that we will not punish those that break US or international law. We will look like hypocrites anytime we try and enforce International LAW on governments that violate them, our power to enforce anything will be greatly diminished. You can't put the Genie back in this bottle by sweeping it under the rug.

I can't believe at this point people are still suggesting

This Holier-Than-Thou/Boy Scout mentality people are trying to push as what America does or doesn't do doesn't wash. The rest of the world doesn't play by the rules, so why should we? It's bad enough we have to take on the role as being the world's policeman, we have to be it's priest, too?

Hey, I love comics, but we don't live in a comic book world.

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This Holier-Than-Thou/Boy Scout mentality people are trying to push as what America does or doesn't do doesn't wash. The rest of the world doesn't play by the rules, so why should we? It's bad enough we have to take on the role as being the world's policeman, we have to be it's priest, too?

Hey, I love comics, but we don't live in a comic book world.

Excluded middle much? There are a lot of options other than 'torture or be a Priest'.
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This Holier-Than-Thou/Boy Scout mentality people are trying to push as what America does or doesn't do doesn't wash. The rest of the world doesn't play by the rules, so why should we? It's bad enough we have to take on the role as being the world's policeman, we have to be it's priest, too?

Hey, I love comics, but we don't live in a comic book world.

Well if we are going to finally admit that we are no better than them, then we should stop using terms like Axis of Evil...Or anything that includes the words good vs evil. Just go all cowboy and start ******* everyone that ***** with us up and dare them to do something about it. But I don't think thats a world any of us want to live in. You can't be the policeman without being morally superior to the "bad guys". That's why nobody respects cops like Alonzo from Training Day and they usually end up getting whacked.

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Allow me to play the cynic for a moment.

Part of me thinks that President Obama has a very devious and vindictive side to his personality (fellow lefties don't get upset, the man is not Christ) I've felt for awhile that he was holding these investigations and threats of prosecution of Bush administration officials in his back pocket. If G.O.P. leaders would have been willing to show a little bi-partisanship and cooperation, or heck just not criticize every move he made at every turn I don't think these memos would have ever been leaked. If ***** Cheaney would have just bowed out gracefully and not do what he has done since he has left office I don't think Obama would have been so willing to allow Holder to possibly proceed with investigations. I think he truly wanted to move on and let the past be the past. But the right has shown they are going to do nothing but be a constant voice of opposition to everything he does..So he just said screw it.. You wanna be a thorn in my side? Than I can be a thorn in yours. You wanna be a prick? Then I can be an even bigger prick. And part of me believes this is truly what all of this is about. Now if he goes forward with this and takes it all the way to the top, he can kiss away all the promises of bi-partisanship he made during the campaign. He will probably go down as the most partisan, polarizing president in history. It will be 3 years of bickering and decent similar to Clinton administration post Lewinsky

agree that some of this might be payback for the people on the right, especially cheney's "he's making us less safe" nonsense, not moving on themselves.

however, there is no good served by covering up what happened nor by having a prosecution of public officials. i consider what was done to be war crimes. the best outcome is to have an open airing of those crimes, ending the careers of anyone involved (like rice), and move on as a country with a commitment that we will not do this again.

this doesn't need to just go away. americans need to know exactly what was done and need to know why these are violations of international treaties and even US law. then, like nixon after watergate, we move past it.

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