Skip to main content

Joe Conason has strung together the mounting evidence that the Bush Administration employed torture techniques to help justify their invasion and occupation of Iraq better than anyone else I've seen.  For the raw facts, read this Zachary Roth piece as a primer.  For the more literary version that you should send around to everybody you know, Conason's your man.  Here's an excerpt:

The single most pertinent question that Dick Cheney is never asked -- at least not by the admiring interviewers he has encountered so far -- is whether he, Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush used torture to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq. As he tours television studios, radio stations and conservative think tanks, the former vice-president hopes to persuade America that only waterboarding kept us safe for seven years.

Yet evidence is mounting that under Cheney’s direction, "enhanced interrogation" was not used exclusively to prevent imminent acts of terror or collect actionable intelligence -- the aims that he constantly emphasizes -- but to invent evidence that would link al-Qaida with Saddam Hussein and connect the late Iraqi dictator to the 9/11 attacks.

Read the whole thing.  It's short, and it incorporates all the evidence we have up until today about how Cheney and the Administration used torture to lie us into war.  You can take a look at Charles Duelfer's sit-down with Rachel Maddow last night as well.  Duelfer claims that Cheney asked him to waterboard a senior Iraqi intelligence official to get him to confirm an Iraq/Al Qaeda link.  While this was after the invasion itself, this was also the time when the WMDs could not be found and the White House was casting around for some retrospective justification for the war.

<iframe height="339" width="425" src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/30754007#30754007" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Meanwhile, we learned today that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was asked about Iraq/Al Qaeda links after being captured in March 2003.

Some of the first questions asked of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed upon his capture and during the time during which he was waterboarded were about possible connections between al Qaeda and Iraq, according to a review of several reports on U.S. intelligence operations.

The mastermind of the September 11 attacks was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003, and according to Office of Legal Counsel memos released last month, was waterboarded 183 times that same month.

The substance of the intelligence that was being sought from him has been an object of some speculation, with several defenders of the interrogation practice arguing that the goal was to prevent an impending attack on America. But a line buried on page 353 of the July 2004 Select Committee on Intelligence report on pre-Iraq war intelligence strongly suggests that the interrogation was just as centered on a possible Iraq-al-Qaeda link as terrorist activity.

"CTC [Counter Terrorist Center] noted that the questions regarding al-Qaida's ties to the Iraqi regime were among the first presented to senior al-Qaida operational planner Khalid Shaikh Muhammad following his capture."

This is from primary sources, directly out of the 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee report signed off on by the REPUBLICAN majority.  

Up until this point, we have lacked the political will to really investigate the Bush-Cheney torture regime.  These revelations about the nexus of torture and Iraq changes that dynamic tremendously.  The political will must now be renewed, from the bottom up.  And at this point, without moral clarity, particularly in light of this torture/Iraq link, we lose all of our moral authority well into the future.

As has been the case for years, Democratic leaders, operating within the Washington bubble, misconstrue the concerns of the netroots and often privately dismiss them as the rantings of immature outsiders and political neophytes.

But as always, the progressive community, a far more efficient thinking machine than a handful of strategists and advisers, is looking ahead and raising a unified alarm. The message is this: anything less than absolute moral clarity from Democrats, who now control the levers of power, will enshrine Bush's abuses and undermine the rule of law for generations to come.

Setting aside all the campaign slogans about hope and change, what Obama really signifies is a razor sharp break from Bush, Cheney, Yoo, Rice, Rumsfeld, Addington, Libby, Bybee et al. After eight years of damage to the fabric of our Constitution and our nation, the entire point of a new face, a smart, youthful, inspiring Democratic president is to completely and totally reject the Bush years, to reject the lawless behavior, the Orwellian rationales, the blatant disregard of the Constitution.

Neglecting to do so, and leaving any doubt about where Democrats stand on these issues, is profoundly detrimental to the country.

We tortured to justify the war in Iraq.  If we let that go, how much more torture?  How many more wars?

Originally posted to dday on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:15 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Kimberley, Louise, elishastephens, JekyllnHyde, chrississippi, LeislerNYC, Aeolus, hazey, Mogolori, Upper West, Beth, Radiowalla, eugene, baked potato, ferg, Ben P, SarahLee, apsmith, El Zmuenga, Trendar, Todd Beeton, Liberal Thinking, Linda Wood, Detlef, Joan McCarter, TrueBlueMajority, am, mattman, emal, janinsanfran, PeterHug, RunawayRose, dengre, Yoshimi, johnny71, KumarP, Shockwave, Ugh6, LynChi, Andrew C White, cotterperson, hyperstation, bellatrys, lysias, ablington, rhubarb, eeff, Mnemosyne, frsbdg, Pompatus, Sandy on Signal, MackInTheBox, frisco, dash888, RFK Lives, SallyCat, FyodorFish, bumblebums, mataliandy, Jerome a Paris, hubcap, Nonie3234, Heart of the Rockies, Dumbo, shermanesq, humbucker, NoisyGong, KB, Zinman, 88kathy, conchita, EricS, sponson, elveta, whenwego, OCD, Ian S, nudger, biscobosco, peace voter, miholo, KMc, boadicea, cosmic debris, boilerman10, rickpickett, barath, Aquarius40, roses, Frederick Clarkson, JuliaAnn, ovals49, luku, itskevin, bwren, Menocchio, navajo, Cedwyn, nuttymango, dksbook, nalakop, Eddie C, wader, Quege, jdmorg, tidalwave1, Moody Loner, Lynwaz, BleacherBum153, danthrax, oldjohnbrown, Miss Jones, bogdanmi, pointsoflight, MA Liberal, RaulVB, astronautagogo, churchylafemme, NYFM, manwithlantern, chachabowl, cat chew, John Driscoll, The Walrus, Timbuk3, walkshills, Donna in Rome, skywalker, randallt, tomjones, JayDean, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Marianne Benz, Mosquito Pilot, vacantlook, boran2, Sybil Liberty, thereisnospoon, cohe, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Tirge Caps, rapala, greenskeeper, ddp, joanneleon, chumley, ExStr8, tovan, cantwait08, Bluesee, radarlady, kingubu, DianeNYS, Jeffersonian Democrat, m16eib, munky, yuriwho, LarisaW, JanetT in MD, CTPatriot, arnott, OpherGopher, sc kitty, PBen, jhutson, ccasas, frandor55, clammyc, DocGonzo, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, tomfool, Brooke In Seattle, thefos, Laurence Lewis, Simpletonian, reflectionsv37, ratzo, boofdah, NeuvoLiberal, eru, mojo workin, Viceroy, Sun Tzu, CarolynC967, jorndorff, jimstaro, Sara R, where4art, aaraujo, SJerseyIndy, lotlizard, QuickSilver, Skid, gerardbellavita, Eric K, SheriffBart, rolandzebub, Southside, Cyber Kat, deep, SBandini, Arctor, Savvy813, mph2005, serrano, coolbreeze, LithiumCola, Pluto, bunsk, Cory Bantic, Ekaterin, empathy, dancewater, timba, Snud, danger durden, Land of Enchantment, jay23, Asinus Asinum Fricat, Jim R, begone, Reality Bites Back, lcork, RiaD, third Party please, LeftOverAmerica, esquimaux, snazzzybird, Shep014, Nightprowlkitty, Compound F, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, rmwarnick, BlueInARedState, yamamizu, Yellow Canary, liberalconservative, kestrel9000, poleshifter, buhdydharma, KenBee, dougymi, The Wizard, Magnifico, Wary, carolita, sailmaker, Blue Wind, DarkestHour, triv33, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, eglantine, erratic, Ashaman, jasonbl, Glorfindel, pascal, Crashing Vor, imabluemerkin, NC Dem, NearlyNormal, CTLiberal, Preston S, el cid, snafubar, soccergrandmom, doinaheckuvanutjob, llbear, Nancy Hartley, jim d, profh, Roatti, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, chgobob, Bernie68, HGM MA, duha, Hedwig, blueintheface, markthshark, lorzie, mapman, Cartoon Messiah, BentLiberal, tegrat, ammasdarling, subav8r, One Pissed Off Liberal, A Mad Mad World, ibonewits, donnamarie, Cronesense, Fredly, Loudoun County Dem, byDesign, offgrid, suburi, gloriana, moosely2006, Calvin Revolt USA, la urracca, chigh, noofsh, flumptytail, ezdidit, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, twinpeaks, Strabo, bnasley, artisan, jayden, jello5929, steamkettle, chicago jeff, Immigrant Punk, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, Bridge Master, carpunder, Pinecone, Rumarhazzit, ErictheBlue, KJC MD, JML9999, Zydekos, keikekaze, Terra Mystica, mall teacher, TomP, Empower Ink, ashwken, sand805, MKinTN, Light Emitting Pickle, John Poet, condorcet, bluehawaii, Hippokleides, dotster, OleHippieChick, NewDealer, radiomarti, John Barleycorn, Sharon Wraight, jamess, Greasy Grant, monkeybrainpolitics, rssrai, hwmnbn, icebergslim, daddy4mak, temptxan, KttG, pragprogress, LaFajita, makettle, luckylizard, James Kresnik, Abe Frohman, mary13L, A Man Called Gloom, Athenocles, Mike Taylor, watercarrier4diogenes, bucadibeppo, CIndyCasella, legendmn, FudgeFighter, Hound Dog, maggiejean, Sun dog, prettygirlxoxoxo, gooners, Bule Betawi, multilee, Florene, McGahee220, Sportin Life, OHeyeO, litoralis, ewmorr, holger smed, An Affirming Flame, WereBear, bsmechanic, Notus, Stranded Wind, Inky99, Nebraskablue, Jdories, Partisan Progressive, LeftyEngineer, IndySlip, BlueInRedCincy, DefendOurConstitution, politicalrunt, beijingbetty, followyourbliss, obiterdictum, TobyRocksSoHard, Calfacon, DClark4129, papahaha, MooseHB, obscuresportsquarterly, COwoman, sanglug, kevinpdx, The BBQ Chicken Madness, Thutmose V, maxzj05, Muzikal203, Knarfc, ArthurPoet, azadmanish, MizKit, Livvy5, ratmach, Larsstephens, Choom Gang Vets for Truth, bronxcharlie, kydoc, rb137, KroneckerD, flitedocnm, LaughingPlanet, The Jester, amk for obama, PurpleMyst, stunzeed, Big Danny, chrome327, Ronald Singleterry, legalchic, NY brit expat, sullivanst, Lady Libertine, Yasuragi, Jaimas, albrt, ourtime08, JRandomPoster, Johnny Q, washunate, sapientgrape, ericlewis0, nosleep4u, Xtatic, bicycle Hussein paladin, PaDemTerry, RepTracker, Front Toward Enemy, heart of a quince, slowbutsure, stone clearing, kirbybruno, flyonawall, island in alabama, Situational Lefty, logic is optional, page394, Escamillo, gokinsmen, fabina12, lizard people, Vtdblue, Edgewater, pensivelady, chira2, dibsa, MinistryOfTruth, Peace Corps Mexico, sum quod eris, cailloux, innereye

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site