Ben Buchwalter


Torture Confirmed by ICRC Report
November 16, 2009, 9:25 am
Filed under: Civil Rights, Crime and Justice, Talking Points Memo | Tags: , ,

March 16. 2009

Barely two months into Barack Obama’s presidency, there remained very few historical accounts proving that the Bush administration authorized torture for its War on Terror. In mid-March, a journalism professor and New Yorker contribute added one of the most complete historical accounts of torture to date in an article for the New York Review of Books. Danner wrote about a confidential report he obtained from the International Committee of the Red Cross that listed, in detail, the torture techniques used on three suspected terrorists, Abu Zubaydah, Walid Bin Attash, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who currently awaits his civilian trial in New York City. I summerized Danner’s piece in a post for TPMmuckraker. Read my synopsis for some of the details about the horrific torture methods used against Zubaydah, Bin Attash, and KSM. Here’s the kicker:

Danner came to a few key conclusions after reading the ICRC report: most importantly, the Bush administration approved torture in its questioning of al Qaeda suspects as early as 2002. And everyone in the administration, including President Bush, knew it was happening.

Danner says that it is unclear exactly how successful these tactics were in gathering key information about potential terrorists. But one key comment from Khaled Shaik Mohammed indicates that the information is worthless. In the worst moments of torture, Mohammed says he “gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop.” This information undoubtedly “wasted a lot of their time and led to several false red-alerts.”

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