See the actual email by clicking on the link below.
I want to know if the administration will direct the Attorney General to try those who authorized torture. With increasingly clear evidence that orders came from the top, I sincerely hope that we as a nation are able to remove this hideous stain on our character, and that our service men and women, journalists abroad, and other citizens who are detained by foreign governments in the future are not subjected to torture simply because we engaged in such despicable behavior with our prisoners.
Written by Jason Leopold,Â Â Tuesday, 28 April 2009 08:25Â
Senior FBI agents stationed in Iraq in 2004 claimed in an e-mail that President George W. Bush signed an executive order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other harsh tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.
The FBI e-mail (click on link to see it)– dated May 22, 2004 — followed disclosures about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and sought guidance on whether FBI agents in Iraq were obligated to report the U.S. militaryâ€™s harsh interrogation of inmates when that treatment violated FBI standards but fit within the guidelines of a presidential executive order.
According to the e-mail, Bushâ€™s executive order authorized interrogators to use military dogs, â€œstress positions,â€ sleep â€œmanagement,â€ loud music and â€œsensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc.â€ to extract information from detainees in Iraq, which was considered a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Bush has never before been directly linked to authorizing specific interrogation techniques at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib. Bush has admitted, however, that he personally signed off on the waterboarding of three “high-value” prisoners.
The May 2004 FBI e-mail stated that the FBI interrogation team in Iraq understood that despite revisions in the executive order that occurred after the furor over the Abu Ghraib abuses, the presidential sanctioning of harsh interrogation tactics had not been rescinded.
“I have been told that all interrogation techniques previously authorized by the executive order are still on the table but that certain techniques can only be used if very high-level authority is granted,â€ the author of the FBI e-mail said.
â€œWe have also instructed our personnel not to participate in interrogations by military personnel which might include techniques authorized by executive order but [are] beyond the bounds of FBI practices.”
Questions about the alleged executive order signed by Bush first surfaced in December 2004. But the White House emphatically denied that any such presidential executive order existed, calling the unnamed FBI official who wrote the e-mail â€œmistaken.â€
At the time, President Bush and his representatives repeatedly denied that his administration condoned â€œtorture,â€ although senior administration officials have acknowledged subjecting â€œhigh-valueâ€ terror suspects to aggressive interrogation techniques, including the â€œwaterboardingâ€ — or simulated drowning — of three al-Qaeda detainees.
One month after the e-mail was sent to FBI counterterrorism officials in Washington, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales held a news conference in an attempt to contain the fallout from the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Gonzales told reporters that the abuses, which included sexual humiliation of Iraqi men, were isolated to some rogue U.S. soldiers who acted on their own and not as result of orders being handed down from high-level officials inside the Bush administration.
â€œThe president has not directed the use of specific interrogation techniques,â€ Gonzales said on June 22, 2004. â€œThere has been no presidential determination necessity or self-defense that would allow conduct that constitutes torture.
â€œThere has been no presidential determination that circumstances warrant the use of torture to protect the mass security of the United States.â€
Gonzales also said the White House defined torture as a â€œa specific intent to inflict severe physical or mental harm or suffering. That’s the definition that Congress has given us and that’s the definition that we use.â€
Read the rest of the article here at The Public Record.