Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, May 17, 2004  

Another good weekend for the Bush administration. On Meet the Press, Powell yesterday said he regretted making his case for war to the UN, even while one of his handlers tried to stop the interview. (The good soldier continues to diss Bush.)

When I made that presentation in February 2003, it was based on the best information that the Central Intelligence Agency made available to me. We studied it carefully; we looked at the sourcing in the case of the mobile trucks and trains. There was multiple sourcing for that. Unfortunately, that multiple sourcing over time has turned out to be not accurate. And so I'm deeply disappointed. But I'm also comfortable that at the time that I made the presentation, it reflected the collective judgment, the sound judgment of the intelligence community. But it turned out that the sourcing was inaccurate and wrong and in some cases, deliberately misleading. And for that, I am disappointed and I regret it.

Meanwhile, Seymour Hersh continues his weekly expose of Pentagon misdeeds in the New Yorker.

The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld’s decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror.

According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon’s operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.

For those who don't read the New Yorker, much of the same information is available in a new Newsweek article.

But a NEWSWEEK investigation shows that, as a means of pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, Bush, along with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to such methods. It was an approach that they adopted to sidestep the historical safeguards of the Geneva Conventions, which protect the rights of detainees and prisoners of war....

The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos obtained by NEWSWEEK.

Hey, at least no former Bush official was on 60 Minutes to promote a tell-all book about administration incompetence. When reports are coming out that are tantamount to fingering you for war crimes, I guess you take your victories where you can find them.

posted by Jeff | 8:36 AM |
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