This from McClatchy:
- The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.
- A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.
- [In late 2002 and] into 2003 (Emphasis mine; this is very important.), Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."
- "There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.
- "Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."
- Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.
- A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.
- In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.
If torture was to "keep us safe" (although team-Bush had already let us be attacked on 9/11 despite very specific security memos warning just such an attack was going to take place), then why were the extreme measures not used immediately following the attack 11 September 2001?
Now we know.
The torture was not to keep us safe.
The torture was to give team-Bush an excuse to attack Iraq. When no link between al Qaida and Saddam Hussein was found, and when the yellow cake uranium/aluminum tube fiasco was exposed, team-Bush turned to torture. They did this in a desperate attempt to give themselves cover for their invasion of Iraq.
There seems to be no depth to which they would not sink to give themselves cover for that which they went into office desiring to do.
I am beginning to feel as though I awoke into a country where the Monty Python crew is running our internal security forces--the CIA, the FBI, etc.