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ABC News reported tonight that President Bush’s most senior and trusted advisers met in “dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House” beginning in 2002 to approve the use of “combined” interrogation techniques (the joint use of harsh interrogation techniques). Those tactics included whether detainees “would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding.”
Members of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee — Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and John Ashcroft — approved the use of these techniques. “Sources said that at each discussion, all the Principals present approved.” According to ABC’s report, Ashcroft indicated he was troubled by the meetings:
According to a top official, Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: “Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.”
Bush’s former Secretary of Homeland Security — Tom Ridge — has said there is “no doubt” that waterboarding is torture.
It also was discussed and approved in meetings by the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a group that included Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, John Ashcroft.
There’s your war crimes tribunal list right there. While ABC brings up two terrorists that were connected to 9/11–implying that even though our country’s leaders have dragged us down to torturing people, at least they directed it at bad men who committed the worst tragedy on American soil–but what they fail to connect are names like Maher Arar, Khaled al-Masri, Bisher al-Rawi and Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah. Names of innocent men who were guilty of nothing more than being Muslim and were renditioned and tortured for information they could not provide.
So while it is a small comfort that a MSM is actually acknowledging and validating things that the liberal blogosphere have been yelling about for years, it is but a incremental step towards the truth that all Americans must know.