CIA Proposed Waterboarding Before OK

They also advised against the idea of forming a "Truth Commission" to investigate the harsh interrogation techniques.

Only one Republican, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, broke from his party, saying the attorney general should prosecute if there is evidence that torture was employed.

"I am opposed to the commission idea because all of the facts are readily available to the Department of Justice," he said in a statement. "If there is evidence of criminality, then the Attorney General has the full authority and should prosecute it. But going after the prior administration sounds like something they do in Latin America in banana republics," he added, sounding a lot like his counterpart Bond.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been leading the charge in criticizing the administration's decision to release the memos.

"One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is they put out the legal memos ... but they didn't put out the memos that showed 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," he said in an interview with Fox News.

Cheney also said he has asked the CIA to declassify those interrogation memos "so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions."

Today, Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, R-Calif., pressed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to push the administration to declassify and release the documents Cheney requested.

Clinton's response: "Well, it won't surprise you, I don't consider him a particularly reliable source of information."

High Level Officials Involved

The report released late Tuesday by the Armed Services Committee shed new light on the authorization and implementation of harsh interrogation techniques at U.S. military prisons around the world.

"The report represents a condemnation of both the Bush administration's interrogation policies and of senior administration officials who attempted to shift the blame for abuse -- such as that seen at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan -- to low-ranking soldiers," said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

"The record established by the committee's investigation shows that senior officials sought out information on, were aware of training in, and authorized the use of abusive interrogation techniques," Levin said. "Those senior officials bear significant responsibility for creating the legal and operational framework for the abuses."

The report shows that these senior officials knew about and authorized these interrogation tactics considered torture by some and banned under the Geneva Conventions.

Levin pointed to "senior civilian leaders," including Cheney and then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzalez, for setting the tone.

The report focuses on interrogation methods that took place in military prisons. It ties those interrogation policies to the abuses of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military authorities at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad as well as to interrogations at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...