Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rice, Cheny OK'd CIA use of waterboarding

- High ranking officals of the Bush Administrationin including vice president Dick Cheney, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, attorney general John Ashcroft, and their legal advisors provided thier executive apporval as early as July of 2002 regarding interrogation policies that according to their official report, "the principals reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy". In reality, top U.S. government officals gave the CIA permission to legally preform toturious methods on accused terrorist prisoners . The most controversial method of torture made permissable was "waterboarding", a method in which the victim is laid flat on thier back starpped to a board which is inclined so that thier feet are raised above thier head. Water is then poured onto the victim which unevitably streams down into the nose and breathing passages. This stops breathing and causes choking along with the intense sensation of being drowned.

President Obama declared the waterboarding interregation technique as 'torture' and has banned this method under his administraion. The Senate intelligence report released a series of memos on interrogation tactics from the Bush administration era. One memo provided classified information exposing that CIA interrogators had used waterboarding at least 266 times on Zubaydah and Mohammed, al-Qaeda terrorists involved in the bombing of the USS Cole and the September 11th attacks. Condoleezza Rice who was the national security adviser, and who later became secretary of state, said the CIA could proceed with "alternative interrogation methods," including waterboarding, when questiong suspected al Qaeda terrorists. According to the report, Attorney General John Ashcroft had determined the "proposed interrogation techniques were lawful,". The same torture methods were again endorsed by the Bush administration in spring 2003 when the CIA asked for a "reaffirmation of the policies and practices in the interrogation program."

Dick Cheney has been quoted defending the controversial technique, stating, "Did it produce the desired results? I think it did,". Cheney also said that the Obama administration are withholding memo's which provide information proving the waterboarding technique had succesful results, and provided information that prevented more terrorist attacks. Cheney stated, ""They didn't put out the memos that show the success of the effort, and there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity.. They have not been declassified".

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