Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tortured to find al Qaida link to Iraq

McClatchy reports this morning that persistent torture was used to force a confession on links to Iraq,
"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.
If true this represents a very dark chapter in US history.

Can we all agree that these allegations must be investigated in a non-partisan way by a special prosecutor and if reliable evidence that prisoners were tortured by US personnel to compel them to link Iraq to al Qaida can be found, than those ordering this torture need to be prosecuted, no matter who they might be?

If we simply ignore these allegations it will take a generation or more to restore or moral standing in the world.

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