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Stop Torture » Blog Archive » High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Cheney et al. directly authorized torture

Stop Torture

The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Cheney et al. directly authorized torture

Posted by stoptorture on April 10th, 2008

ABC News reports that the “Principals Committee,” consisting of Dick Cheney, Condelezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, George Tenet, and Colin Powell, met in the White House routinely to directly authorize torture techniques to be used on specific detainees, including combinations involving water torture (waterboarding), sleep deprivation, and other methods. This opens them all up for criminal liability under the War Crimes Act and the federal torture statute.

Mr. Bush, where is your signature on all of this? I suppose we will only see that later. Impeachment anyone?

Highlights from the report:

  • “According to multiple sources, it was members of the Principals Committee that not only discussed specific plans and specific interrogation methods, but approved them.”
  • The Jay Bybee Torture Memo (Aug. 2002) was referred to as the Golden Shield in the CIA.
  • Ashcroft (who apparently agreed with the policy and thought it legal) did not, however, want to get into the dirty details and said : Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.
  • Rice (who led the advisor’s group and was reportedly “decisive” on this) pushed the CIA to go torture:This is your baby. Go do it.

And, just for the record, because we think this will be important one day:

Rice’s top legal advisor at the time was none other than our illustrious alum, John B. Bellinger III HLS ’86. This is the same guy who followed her to the White House when she became Sec. of State. This is the same guy who wants us to think of him as a knight for human rights in the wilderness of this administration.

The time has come for accountability.

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45 Responses to “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Cheney et al. directly authorized torture”

  1. fensterm Says:

    A potpourri of links on the subject from Cursor.Org The original ABC report. None dare call it war crimes?
    Mathew Yglesias dares.
    Newshoggers put Nuremburg in play and ask what a Democratic DOJ might do.The guy by the door wonders if they aren’t a bit optimistic.

    Balkanization suggests a 9/11 style commission.

    Despite all of these obstacles, Congressional investigations and/or a truth commission into interrogation and detention practices is a far more likely response to the criminal behavior of members of the present Administration than a prosecution for war crimes within the United States.

    Given the obvious flaws of the 9/11 Commission, this proposal does not give me warm fuzzies, but in the current political climate Balkin’s assessment may be right. We should be Anti-Picardian, “Number One! Make it NOT so!”

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