Don’t wait for history, we won’t judge you kindly either!

WASHINGTON (AP) β€” Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.

Original DVD cover.

The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.


Between 2002 and 2003, the Justice Department issued several memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that justified using the interrogation tactics, including ones that critics call torture.

“If you looked at the timing of the meetings and the memos you’d see a correlation,” the former intelligence official said. Those who attended the dozens of meetings agreed that “there’d need to be a legal opinion on the legality of these tactics” before using them on al-Qaida detainees, the former official said.

The meetings were held in the White House Situation Room in the years immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks. Attending the sessions were Cheney, then-Bush aides Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.


The American Civil Liberties Union called on Congress to investigate.


The former intelligence official described Cheney and the top national security officials as deeply immersed in developing the CIA’s interrogation program during months of discussions over which methods should be used and when.

At times, CIA officers would demonstrate some of the tactics, or at least detail how they worked, to make sure the small group of “principals” fully understood what the al-Qaida detainees would undergo.


The small group then asked the Justice Department to examine whether using the interrogation methods would break domestic or international laws.

“No one at the agency wanted to operate under a notion of winks and nods and assumptions that everyone understood what was being talked about,” said a second former senior intelligence official. “People wanted to be assured that everything that was conducted was understood and approved by the folks in the chain of command.”

The Office of Legal Counsel issued at least two opinions on interrogation methods.


Both legal opinions since have been withdrawn.

The second former senior intelligence official said rescinding the memos caused the CIA to seek even more detailed approvals for the interrogations.

The department issued another still-secret memo in October 2001 that, in part, sought to outline novel ways the military could be used domestically to defend the country in the face of an impending attack. The Justice Department so far has refused to release it, citing attorney-client privilege, and Attorney General Michael Mukasey declined to describe it Thursday at a Senate panel where Democrats characterized it as a “torture memo.”

I am not a lawyer, I don’t play one on tv, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but, this sounds like the CIA didn’t want to take the fall when torture was uncovered, and they wanted it in black and white that the higher-ups were on the hook for what they were ordering. Hmmmm, that doesn’t sound very good for Cheney and the rest. Wonder if that will wipe the smirks off their faces. It seems that John Ashcroft wasn’t really too comfortable with the whole idea either, not that he made sure it didn’t happen or anything like that:

“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” [ABC News] network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. “History will not judge this kindly.”

When do the impeachment hearings begin?


Filed under 9/11, ACLU, al-Qaeda, Chimpy, CIA, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Congress, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, humor, John Ashcroft, Justice Department, Michael Mukasey, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, snark, Torture, waterboarding, Wordpress Political Blogs

7 responses to “Don’t wait for history, we won’t judge you kindly either!

  1. nonnie9999

    i apologize for any errors, kids. i’ve been crazy busy, and i suddenly realized about and hour and a half ago that i had nothing to post tonight! 😯 i had to slap something together in a hurry.

  2. if that was last minute…..

    shear genius

  3. jeb

    See, even crazy John Ashcroft was too sane for these guys. There was a reason that he was dumped for “Fredo” Gonzalez at the end of the first term. Fredo would have never made a comment about history – probably because he suspected history wouldn’t be able to remember either.

    Q. What part of the constitution do these people not get?
    A. What’s a constitution?

  4. nonnie9999

    thank you. it really was a last minute thing. i actually was going to use a totally different movie and just have deadeye dick on the cover, but i really wanted to have all of them on there. i looked for another movie, and i was really lucky i found a usable one quickly. i have looked at so many pics of deadeye dick, chimpy, cheney, tenet, and condi that i pretty much knew i could find usable pics. it was just a matter of tracking them down and fussing with them until they fit.
    i may not be getting better, but i sure am getting faster! πŸ˜‰

  5. nonnie9999

    to me, this spells out an airtight case for impeaching all of those present at the meeting and now of chimpy, too. they colluded to break the law, pure and simple. if they didn’t think they were breaking the law, then why were they so worried about the justice department agreeing that it all was hunky-dory? then ashcroft says aloud that they are doing the wrong thing. the cia knew it was illegal, and that’s why they wanted the approval of the powers that be to put their signatures on it. why should they take the fall? i’m not a lawyer, but this is conspiracy, collusion, and cover-up. and now chimpy has piped up that he knew all about it. i wonder if he really did know or if he is saying he did, because he wants people to think that he really is the deciderer.

  6. jeb

    Yep, I watched Countdown the other night and Jonathan Turley (Constitutional Law Scholar) was on. He said the CIA got burned in the 60s and 70s with all of the stuff they were asked to do but then were left out to dry for when they got caught. He said this was clearly them having learned their lesson and ensuring that those who wanted the dirty work done were complicit.

    As for impeachment, 15 or 20 smoking guns into this misadministration is not going to do it. No one has had the will. If I were to slip on my tin-foil hat, I’d have to hand it to Tom Delay (et al) for what they did to Bill; they ensured that the C0ngress would never have the stomach for impeachment again. No matter how egregious the crimes.

  7. nonnie9999

    maybe it is time for dems who care about the constitution to branch out into a new party. congress might not have the stomach for impeachment, but i no longer have the stomach for them.