Bush's top general quashed torture dissent
New evidence shows that despite warnings from across the military, former Gen. Richard Myers shut down legal scrutiny of brutal interrogation tactics.
By Mark Benjamin
June 30, 2008 | WASHINGTON — The former Air Force general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers, helped quash dissent from across the U.S. military as the Bush administration first set up a brutal interrogation regime for terrorism suspects, according to newly public documents and testimony from an ongoing Senate probe.
Myers...agreed to scuttle a plan for further legal review of the tactics, in response to pressure from a top Pentagon attorney helping to set up the interrogation program for then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
...stress positions, exploitation of phobias, forced nudity, hooding, isolation, sensory deprivation, exposure to cold and waterboarding....
Rumsfeld signed off on almost all of the techniques on Dec. 2, 2002. At the time, the military's interrogation of the so-called 20th hijacker, Mohammed al-Khatani, had recently begun at GuantÃ¡namo — an interrogation in which Rumsfeld was personally involved. Al-Khatani was stripped naked, isolated, given intravenous fluids and forced to urinate on himself, exercised to exhaustion, called a homosexual, forced to wear a mask and dance, leashed and made to perform dog tricks. His interrogations lasted 18 to 20 hours a day for 48 of 54 days.
To develop the CIA interrogation program, the agency turned to two psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, hired as contractors. ...
...In September 2002, military interrogators from GuantÃ¡namo Bay traveled to SERE school for training.
In the preface of a recent report on U.S. abuse of detainees by Physicians for Human Rights, retired Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba, the man the Army enlisted to conduct an initial investigation into the abuse at Abu Ghraib, railed against the Bush administration. "The Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture," Taguba wrote. "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)