December 17, 2010
Playing by Torquemada Rules

Like Macbeth, we Americans are by now “in blood stepped in so far that … returning were as tedious as go o’er.” The two torturers named below are psychologists. Their equally responsible enablers, to pick a few out of millions, are John Ashcroft, John Yoo, George Tenet, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and now Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

Joining these moral cripples are the millions who think torture may be regrettable but is sometimes necessary, and after all, Daddy knows best. Besides, waterboarding isn’t really torture anyway. For these last, I refer you to the world’s greatest expert, Henri Alleg. Waterboarding was not the first torture to which French army sadists subjected him. It was the last and most terrible resort, after beating, testicle-burning and electric shocks had failed to break their victim.

WASHINGTON — The CIA agreed to cover at least $5 million in legal fees for two contractors who were the architects of the agency's interrogation program and personally conducted dozens of waterboarding sessions on terror detainees, former U.S. officials said.

The secret agreement means taxpayers are paying to defend the men in a federal investigation over an interrogation tactic the U.S. now says is torture. The deal is even more generous than the protections the agency typically provides its own officers, giving the two men access to more money to finance their defense…

Mitchell and Jessen were recorded interrogating Zubaydah and al-Nashiri and were eager to see those tapes destroyed, fearing their release would jeopardize their safety, former officials and others close to the matter said.

They often contacted senior CIA officials, urging them to destroy the tapes and asking what was taking so long, said a person familiar with the Durham investigation who insisted on anonymity because the case's details remain sensitive. Finally the CIA's top clandestine officer, Jose Rodriguez, made the decision to destroy the tapes in November 2005.

Durham investigated whether that was a crime. He subpoenaed Mitchell, Jessen & Associates last year, looking for calendars, e-mails and phone records showing contact between the contractors and Rodriguez or his chief of staff, according to a federal subpoena. They were ordered to appear before a grand jury in northern Virginia in August 2009.

Last month, Durham closed the tapes destruction investigation without filing charges.


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at December 17, 2010 11:18 AM
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