Since my April 22 post, Torture In Context, I’ve noticed a number of people pursuing the same logical conclusion from slightly different angles: The reverse engineered SERE torture resistance training used on various al Qaeda captives was not designed to produce actionable intelligence but to elicit false confessions to support the case for the invasion of Iraq.
These have included Paul Krugman, who the following day wrote:
Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.
There’s a word for this: it’s evil.
Bob Cesca in his post on HuffPo yesterday titled “The Real Motive Behind the Cheney Family Torture Tour” wrote
It’s apparent that torture was authorized for the purpose of fabricating a case for invading Iraq.“
Tonight Rachel Maddow featured the former NBC investigative producer Robert Windrem, whom I mentioned in my first update on April 23 Torture In Context” Philip Zelikow Edition (but whose name I misspelled), laid the origin of the waterboarding request to Darth Cheney‘s door.
Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection.
(In his post today Windrem underscores the point I made about why the official 9/11 Commission report has an additional reason to be suspect:
Much of the information in the report of the 9/11 Commission was provided through more than 30 sessions of torture of detainees.)
But the best quote of the week goes to former Navy Seal and Minnesota governor Jessie Ventura who on The Larry King Show yesterday said:
You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.
The intent of The Darth Cheney Torture Tour is now obvious. His ‘torture produced actionable intelligence and saved thousands of lives’ frame is a sleight of hand maneuver to obscure its real mission– the elicitation of a false narrative to support the invasion of Iraq.
It’s high time for the MSM to get a clue.
UPDATE 5/15: Missed this CNN interview yesterday with Colin Powell’s top aide Lawrence Wilkerson saying the same thing.
“Its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at preempting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al Qaeda,” Wilkerson wrote in The Washington Note, an online political journal.
UPDATE 5/15: Joe Conason at Slate has more .
Whether Bush, Cheney and their associates were seeking real or fabricated intelligence, they knowingly employed methods that were certain to produce the latter — as American officials well knew because those same techniques, especially water torture, had been used to elicit false confessions from captured Americans as long ago as World War II and the Korean conflict.
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