The Levin report into Pentagon torture released yesterday tore down the last false flag flying on the devil ship USS Torture, revealing that waterboarding and all the rest of the barbaric acts performed in our name on prisoners resulted from Cheney's frustration at not getting what he wanted: Someone to pin 9/11 on Saddam and 'fess up about how bin Laden was sleeping with The Tyrant of Baghdad.
In other words, the Bush White House authorised torture to elicit false confessions – the exact same way the Chinese did with captured American soldiers during the Korean War.
Yet Ali Soufan, a former FBI interrogator whose career blossomed on his ability to coax the truth out of recalcitrant people, writes in today's New York Times about how he and other actual, trained interrogators got a ton of information from Abu Zubaydah the usual way until Cheney and Rumsfeld sent in Torquemada's priests because he wouldn't confess that Iraq was behind the attacks.
But after being waterboarded 83 times, had his body thrown against a wall who knows how many times, was alternately frozen and sweated, and subjected to countless other horrors, nothing new or useful was learned. Maybe if the CIA waterboarded him 84 times.
Soufan is unflinching in his criticism, noting that all of Zubaydah’s most-useful information came from garden variety interrogation honed over decades by the FBI:
"We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives."
And yet Dick "Open Government" Cheney is on Fox, demanding - demanding, I tell you! - the government reveal all to prove torture works. The man who pixelled his official residence off of Google Earth is on television insisting to a fawning Sean Hannity that Washington open its intelligence books for all to see.
Meanwhile, the list of people with dirty hands keeps growing. Buried in Levin’s committee report is the news that Ms. Squeaky Clean, Condoleeza Rice, gave key early approval to the CIA using torture.
This is the smoking gun: A straight line into the Oval Office. Rice, a close Bush advisor and family friend, would not green light torture for the CIA and Pentagon without the president knowing about it and saying, in effect, “Sure, toss ‘em on the rack, Guru!” Guru was Bush’s nickname for Rice just as he called Vladimir Putin “Ostrich legs,” Colin Powell “balloon foot” and Karl Rove the now-infamous “turd blossom.”
It should be obvious by now that everyone connected with the Bush Administration was either a war criminal, a political hack, an incompetent or a fraud.
But evil by any other name is still evil.
These new revelations, coming on the heels of last week’s release of additional Justice Dept. torture memos, is sparking an intriguing debate among Democrats and the left about how to proceed.
On one side is MoveOn, which released a new ad yesterday, demanding that Eric Holder appoint a special prosecutor:
On the other side is Elizabeth De La Vega, a former US prosecutor and the author of US v. George W. Bush et al. Yesterday, she wrote an article insisting that naming a special prosecutor now will only result in former Bush White House and administration officials who may want to go public with what they know to lawyer up and clam up. Anything they say publicly can and will be used against them. She repeated her argument last night on Countdown.
But the final word goes to Shepherd Smith. He came right out and used one of George Carlin's seven deadly word you cannot say on television on Fox News yesterday in summing up America using torture.