Archive for Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rice delivered OK to waterboard

April 23, 2009


— As national security adviser to former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice verbally approved the CIA’s request to subject alleged al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, the earliest known decision by a Bush administration official to OK use of the simulated drowning technique.

Rice’s role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA’s harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.

The new timeline shows that Rice played a greater role than she admitted last fall in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The narrative also shows that dissenting legal views about the severe interrogation methods were brushed aside repeatedly.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

Is this any surprise? Rice has a long record of doing whatever she could to ingratiate herself to her superiors so that she could move up the ranks.

It's a shame that someone with so much talent and ability thought it necessary to totally scrap any scruples she might have ever had.

50YearResident 9 years ago

I knew that Rice's blind obedience to Bush for any and all of his whims and mistakes was going to get her in trouble!

Flap Doodle 9 years ago

Pelosi was in the know on waterboarding.

kugrad 9 years ago

The only people who could have ultimately approved this are George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzalez, George Tenent, and Rice.
Our allies are furious about our torturing of people. We have lost any moral authority we may have had in the world; who listens to the criticism of torturers? We know that our extreme rendition program included worse torture than waterboarding, just performed by our surrogates so Bush would have plausible deniability to say "The US does not torture." So, Clinton lies over a BJ and is impeached. Bush lies about torture, trashes our constitution and values, and yet his defenders and apologists continue to maintain we should just put it all behind us, we did nothing wrong? What a twisted age we live in. These leaders need to be held accountable. The ONLY mechanism we have for preventing the recurrance of these types of crimes is impeachment and government investigation. There is nothing partisan about holding people accountable in government. It is the mechanism by which we maintain checks and balances and essential to our nation. We need a thorough, complete, transparent investigation into torture and our extreme rendition program.

feeble 9 years ago

This is important because Rice submitted sworn, written testimony as part of a Senate hearing that explicitly claimed she had no knowledge of torture and never approved any use of torture.

She perjured herself.

HW 9 years ago


All she has to do is say she did not believe waterboarding was torture when she made that statement. Not saying it is right or wrong, but an easy out for her.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Who cares what the rest of the world thinks about us? The world seems to like Obama, yet he accomplishes nothing. Bush got much more cooperation from our allies.

You stand up and call for the destruction of the US. You are linked to terrorism. You are fair game. Waterboard away.

All of you ninnies calling for heads to roll over torture are more concerned with protecting terrorists than protecting your own people.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

Again, I ask any of you defending the waterboarding and other forms of interrorgation that Bush's administration okay'd, what valuble information did this get? I am asking seriously, even though my phrasing sounds a bit snotty. I really, truly want to know. In 6 years of these interagation techniques, how many terrorist attacks were prevented? Because I honestly have not heard of a single terrorist plot that was prevented.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Jersey, how many terrorist attacks were prevented? ALL of them. We haven't been attacked since 9/11. Let's hope the current admin. can do as well.

Shane Garrett 9 years ago

Jersey_Girl: the Congress is asking Hillary to release the memos that show the valuble information that the "I'll tickle you until you talk" interrorgations brought about. Her reply was something naughty about Cheney. She then lost creditability with the board. The info is there, Cheney said so, but the democraps do not want the American people to have knowledge; they want to continue to solidify their own power grab.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Wally, according to Cheney, the info. ithat would prove the validity of "torture" exists in these documents. So, it's never going to be released. The witchhunt begins.

Shane Garrett 9 years ago

Either way I could care less. When the enemy saws the head off of an American, kills thousands of innocent civilians, and launches a sneak attack, of sorts; then any information gained by uncomfortable methods is ok by this American.

Jersey_Girl 9 years ago

managialamiseria - that there weren't any attacks doesn't mean that they were prevented. Your answer doesn't prove that waterboarding prevented anything.

Wally - if Cheney said the info is there, then he should have provided it. If Bush and Cheney got results through their methods, they should have let the public know. I am a Democrat and was not comfortable with the idea of torture as a form of interagation, however if the government had been able to say that a plot to attack a certain city was uncovered and the terrorists were apprehended, all because of informaiton learned through those techniques, then I might reconcider. I never liked George W. He creeped me out before he was even elected. Reagan never bothered me, nor did George Bush Sr. But W. seriously creeped me out.

akuna 9 years ago

I have to chime in because the comments on the is story are very saddening.

@Wallythewalrus, @managialamiseria Torture is not okay no matter the circumstance. This is the problem with having morals and ethics. Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you really want to do in order to maintain your morals. To me, this situation is a no brainer. If you are struggling with your morals on this issue then you probably have the moral fortitude of the devil.

Besides how would you like your children to get caught and be tortured? The Bush Administration's actions have given our enemies justification to torture our soldiers and citizens without fear of condemnation or repercussions.

Additionally, the Bush Administration supported and taught methods of torture to their interrogators that were developed and perfected in communist China. Under the Bush Administration America slipped so far back into the past that our fair nation is no longer the America that it once was: Proud, Moral, and Spirited. It is now Arrogant, Immoral, and Bigoted. The Bushies were and are no better the the horrendous Communists of the mid 20th century.

I am glad Obama is president. It is going to take a hell of a lot of time for us to regain our credibility in the world. At least Obama is tending the wounds instead of constantly irritating them.

I truly hope Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, Tennent, and anyone else that was in the know (Dems included) about these practices come to justice. They deserve far worse than being thrown in prison, but my morals won't allow me to truly wish what they absolutely deserve.

feeble 9 years ago

@HW: I believe she made statements explicitly denying water boarding occured and that water boarding was torture.

More to your point, the argument isn't whether it was torture or not, none of the Bybee memos contest that the SERE technique is torture. The US gov't prosecuted Japanese POWs for that performing that very act, alleging that it was torture.

No one is actually forwarding a legal theory that the techniques are not torture. Rather, the legal position adopted by the Bush DOJ is that it was a permissible to use that act to obtain information that otherwise might pose an immediate threat to US National Defense if left undiscovered.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Well, akuna, if you were in a position of government responsibility, your morals would get us attacked again. You, and Obama, are making a big mistake if you think that our enemies are going to respect us, or leave us alone, because we take a high moral ground.

I don't even consider a terrorist that is willing to kill innocent people a human being. They are dogs, worse, and have no rights afforded to humans.

They should be used to get information with whatever means is most effective. If that is torture, who cares?

Shane Garrett 9 years ago

tor⋅ture   /ˈtɔrtʃər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tawr-cher] Show IPA noun, verb, -tured, -tur⋅ing. –noun 1. the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty. 2. a method of inflicting such pain.

I'm sorry, water boarding does not qualify. Semantics?…maybe. But definitions are definitions, otherwise I could probably prosecute my neighbor under the Geneva convention for playing his horrible music so loud all the time….It causes me much mental anguish.

I copied this from another post as I thought it reflected well on the subject. The i will even call them "harsh" interrorgations do not qualify as torture. And even president Obama does not want to waste time with the past administration. Only those crazed with power want to pursue this topic.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Ask the families who watched their loved ones get their heads sawed off on video how many "rights" these terrorists should have.

Ask families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks if torture would have been an acceptable way to prevent those attacks.

My only problem with torture is the argument that it is not the best way to get information, which is what we're after.

Shane Garrett 9 years ago

"The Bushies were and are no better the the horrendous Communists of the mid 20th century." & "The US gov't prosecuted Japanese POWs for that performing that very act, alleging that it was torture."

These two statements alone show a true lack of historical knowledge. Comparing the deaths of thousands by organized dictatorships to "harsh" interrogations is just truely.....stupid. But, I have read it all. Democrates comparing Bush to Stalin and Hitler. Such words lead to a lack of creditably by those who would make such remarks. And relfects merely to personal prejudices.

Kyle Reed 9 years ago

We should all definately sit around and debate who has the higher ground on the "torture" issue while the scoundrels plotting against us make further progress towards their goals. We are mulling around playing Monday morning quarterback when the game has barely begun.

bad_dog 9 years ago


Here's the balance of the definition you cited above:

  1. Often, tortures. the pain or suffering caused or undergone.
  2. extreme anguish of body or mind; agony.
  3. a cause of severe pain or anguish.

–verb (used with object) 6. to subject to torture. 7. to afflict with severe pain of body or mind: My back is torturing me.
8. to force or extort by torture: We'll torture the truth from his lips!
9. to twist, force, or bring into some unnatural position or form: trees tortured by storms.
10. to distort or pervert (language, meaning, etc.).

Note the inclusion of "suffering" in addition to inflicting pain as well as the fact torture can cause extreme "anguish" to the mind as well as the body. The portion you cited above overlooks these facets. Semantics? Maybe not.

I've seen a couple of video demonstrations of waterboarding and neither one of the rather self-assured individuals wanted any more of it after the first try. One lasted about 10-12 seconds and the other perhaps 5-6 seconds. They both struggled to verbally relate why it was so disturbing to them, but essentially stated it was a very primal response where they had absolutely no ability to physically or mentally resist the sensation they were about to drown. These individuals could make it stop by dropping their hand as a signal to the interrogator. A prisoner does not have that capability.

I would submit that almost anything a person is forced to submit to, perform, eat/drink, listen to, look at, smell, read, etc, etc, can become "torture" assuming it is sufficiently repugnant to the recipient and the subject is required to do so without free will or ability to make it cease. The key is determining which button to push to evoke the desired response. In the case of waterboarding, the interrogator pushes a universal physiological button, triggering a fear of drowning.

akuna 9 years ago

@managialamiseria I agree that the families of lost loved one want closure, though that is not exactly how you phrased it. Torture will not bring about that closure. How can they get closure when we aren't even fighting the people that were responsible for 9/11? We are fighting an unjust war that was started under the premise that Sadam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 terrorists. A premise that was sought to be solidified by forcing confessions from terrorist by means of torture. This is shameful. Truly and utterly shameful.

With your mindset of we must root out evil with any and all means possible, we will never be at peace. We will always be at war because that position forces others to take a stance against us instead of with us. Honey and vinegar.

@Wallythewalrus I am not "Comparing the deaths of thousands by organized dictatorships." I am comparing the methods used by Communist China to those sanctioned by the Bush Administration. Don't put words into my mouth to further your immoral argument. I won't stand for it.

Though, I think your comparison may be apt too. We are in an immoral and unjust war that was perpetrated by lies and deception by arguably the most dictatorial Presidency in America's history. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people have died under the guise of defeating terrorism. This is an atrocity on a global scale.

Defending the practices of the Bushies shows true stupidity and reckless decision making. Not to mention the moral fortitude of evil incarnate.


Then and again, I think the terrorist won. They achieved their goal of crippling American and expediting our fall from the top. We are no longer THE global power. We are now A global power along with most developed countries. Bush played right into their hands and now we have a much, much weaker America. We no longer have the coffers to protect ourselves as we spent more than reasonable for this "6-month" war. The only true protection that we will get in the future is by realigning and reinforcing our relationships with our allies. Thankfully we have an actual diplomat at the helm now. Not a flunky that has nearly bankrupted every enterprise that he has been in charge of.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Akuna, I wouldn't start comparing Obama's experience to anyone, 'cause he has none, or very little prior to becoming POTUS (gawd).

As for his statesmanship/diplomatic abilities, on his recent trip he made a pretty big fool of himself on several occassions (bowing to a king, letting Chavez make a fool of him, et al) and came back empty handed, so the rule is still out on his diplomatic skills.

Bush was way ahead of Obama at this point, because he actually got buy-in and help. I don't think most foreign diplomats respect Obama, just my guess, 'cause he came back with nothing.

Taking out Saddam, a dictator that killed thousands of his own people with WMDs can only have been a good thing. And, we've kept the terrorists busy in their own country, without the time to plot another attack on US soil.

So, I'm not 100% sure that although Iraq did not attack us that is was a complete mistake to attack them.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Akuna, and I agree that we cannot continually ride the range like the Lone Ranger saving the world. We'd be at war all the time.

That's why we need a functioning UN....which, unfortunately, doesn't.

Shane Garrett 9 years ago

Akuna: I would have to agree with you on your last point. And I would never argue that GW Bush was even a good president. I could make a case for him being the worst president in my lifetime. Except, I hold a special place for Nixon. And one for Johnson also. Every generation has had to fight for their right to freedom and all the death seems so pointless. But since the first recording of history there are only about 100 days of world peace. History is a record of mans inhumanity against man. Until those in power give up that power for the betterment of mankind, then we the people are the only guards for our own beliefs and values. I appreciate all the discussions that take place in this open and free fourm. May everyone live long and prosper.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

duplenty, did you watch your own video? Bush isn't bowing, he is lowering his head so the king can give him a necklace, then he, appropriately shakes the sheak and kisses him on both cheeks.

Bush was anything but polished, but he was more effective than Obama has been, to date. And Chavez didn't make a fool of him. Bush was definitely more "presidential".

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Call it what you may, but Obama is making the country less safe. We'll see the result when we are attacked on his watch and he won't be able to blame it on the previous admnistration.

Come to think of it, all the whining that is being done by the Obamanations is quite unique. When do you suppose they'll shut up and mind their own fences?

managialamiseria 9 years ago

Yes I do duplenty, but you clearly don't. Obama was freaking bent at a right angle, his head right around the king's crotch. Bush merely (slightly) lowered his head so the shorter sheek could get the necklace on.

No bow. No how. But I'm sure you won't be convinced.

akuna 9 years ago

I think this discussion calls for a group hug . . . which to some people would be torture ;) I appreciate this open discussions too. Even when I get worked up - sorry about that.

It's unfortunate condition of humankind to retaliate with more force than was original delivered by the first slight. It takes an amazing amount of self control to act fairly and with deliberation. I think our forefathers knew this and that is why they set up the gov't the way they did. It takes checks and balances and a fresh perspective to make sure our actions are not unwarranted. Sometimes our systems fails us. After all it is only as good as the people in the system.

We are where we are. It is going to take camaraderie and sacrifice to get ourselves out of the hole that we are in. I, for one, am worried that we as don't have the gumption to overcome our obstacles - war, moral declination, recession, global warming, and more. We have a lot to deal with. Obama has a lot on his plate. I am behind him unless he starts showing signs of insanity like that of the Bush Whitehouse.

Peace my friends.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

geez duplenty....what did I write?...."“Bush was anything but polished,...."

then, and I'll type slowly....

"but he was more effective than Obama has been, to date".

Pls read and not inbetween the lines. English works well.

managialamiseria 9 years ago

akuna, behind Obama unless he starts "showing signs of insanity" last smile of the day....with that, I am outta here, leaviing duplenty to wring his hands in frustration.....

jumpin_catfish 9 years ago

Oh poor little terrorist got waterboarded.

I had harsher training in high school football practice back in the day.

Saps in DC make me ill.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years ago

Replace scruples with scalpels. Apply the medical model. Cut out the cancer.

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