When President Bush stood before the American people and described the captured al Qaeda member, Abu Zubaydah, as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States", Bush not only was lying, but he knew he was lying, as by that point he had already been informed that Zubaydah was mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure the CIA and intelligence services had supposed him to be.
Later Bush revealed his concern's about this to Tenet. Did he ask how the CIA could have got the info so wrong and worry about the implications of bad intelligence impacting on the War on Terror? Hmmmm. Not quite.
"I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied.Bush then appears, according to a new book, "The One Percent Doctrine" to personally approve the torturing of this mentally ill individual.
Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?"That's the President of the United States, who believes Zubaydah to hold vital information that could be useful to them, asking "Do some of these harsh methods really work?"
What is that, if not a green light from the Oval Office to torture someone?
Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning.I think the more that comes out the more it appears obvious that this administration is knowingly indulging in torture.
They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty.
With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."
The President is asking, in effect, does torture work? Oh, he might not think of it in those terms, but that's what he's asking.
And that's what took place.
A few bad apples? Maybe. But they're in the Oval Office!
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