"Rumsfeld and Myers
approved the torture program".
Bush was immediately informed
|Excerpts from Seymour Hersh's article in The New Yorker:
http://newyorker.com/fact/content/?040524fa_fact - Posted 2004-05-15
A Pentagon consultant: Rumsfeld and Myers approved the program. ... "but [Rumsfeld] is responsible for the checks and balances. The issue is that, since 9/11, we've changed the rules on how we deal with terrorism, and created conditions where the ends justify the means." ...
The government consultant said that there may have been a serious goal, in the beginning, behind the sexual humiliation and the posed photographs. It was thought that some prisoners would do anything - including spying on their associates - to avoid dissemination of the shameful photos to family and friends. The government consultant said, "I was told that the purpose of the photographs was to create an army of informants, people you could insert back in the population." The idea was that they would be motivated by fear of exposure, and gather information about pending insurgency action, the consultant said. If so, it wasnít effective; the insurgency continued to grow. ...
Scott Horton, who was then chairman of the New York City Bar Associationís Committee on International Human Rights: "They wanted us to challenge the Bush Administration about its standards for detentions and interrogation," Horton told me. "They were urging us to get involved and speak in a very loud voice. It came pretty much out of the blue. The message was that conditions are ripe for abuse, and itís going to occur." ...
"They said there was an atmosphere of legal ambiguity being created as a result of a policy decision at the highest levels in the Pentagon. The jag officers were being cut out of the policy formulation process." They told him that, with the war on terror, a fifty-year history of exemplary application of the Geneva Conventions had come to an end. ...
The abuses at Abu Ghraib were exposed on January 13th, when Joseph Darby, a young military policeman assigned to Abu Ghraib, reported the wrongdoing to the Armyís Criminal Investigations Division. He also turned over a CD full of photographs. Within three days, a report made its way to Donald Rumsfeld, who informed President Bush.
The inquiry presented a dilemma for the Pentagon. The C.I.D. had to be allowed to continue, the former intelligence official said. "You canít cover it up. You have to prosecute these guys for being off the reservation. But how do you prosecute them when they were covered by the special-access program? So you hope that maybe itíll go away." The Pentagonís attitude last January, he said, was "Somebody got caught with some photos. Whatís the big deal? Take care of it." Rumsfeldís explanation to the White House, the official added, was reassuring: "ĎWe've got a glitch in the program. We'll prosecute it.í The cover story was that some kids got out of control."