In yet another story alleging an intentional falsehood from the Bush Administration given to the public and Congress, the Washington Post is reporting that Bush Administration officials began laying the foundations for a torture program using waterboarding long before there was any request or inquiry from field interrogators — a direct contradiction of what the Administration has been saying for years.
The Senate has evidence that the torture program was initiated in the summer of 2002. Yet, the administration claimed that it only began to look at waterboarding and torture after field commanders requested the authority months later. The evidence most directly contradicts William J. “Jim” Haynes II, who served as Defense Department general counsel under Donald Rumsfeld and was a long nominee for the federal bench — barred by opposition of civil liberties groups. Haynes told a Senate panel in 2006 that the request for tougher interrogation methods originated in October 2002.
Haynes described his personal anguish when confronted with the request: “Many people struggled over that question, I struggled over that question.” However, memos now sow that Haynes ad other officials were eagerly soliciting ideas for the torture program in July 2002.
Haynes is scheduled to testify this week. While the democrats have blocked any effort to bring charges over torture or impeachment proceedings, they may now be confronted with the question of perjury and obstruction.
Notably, for those who decried the opposition of Haynes for the federal bench, this disclosure should now given them pause as to his qualification for that (or any) legal position of authority.
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