Bush Official Admits That Administration Tortured Detainees

torture -abu ghraibWith congressional Democrats and the Obama campaign struggling to avoid the investigation and prosecution of torture, a Bush official just made it a bit more difficult. Susan J. Crawford has publicly admitted that they did engage in clear torture at Guantanamo Bay. With the hearings for Eric Holder on Thursday, the admission by Crawford could make the torture question hard to avoid. I will be discussing the Holder hearing on Countdown tonight.

Crawford is quoted in the Washington Post as saying “We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture.” She explained that “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for.”

This week I debate this issue with Charles Fried, the Harvard Professor and former solicitor general on Talk of the Nation and discussed the issue on MSNBC Countdown.

With Obama admitting that waterboarding is torture and now both Bush officials and former interrogators admitting that it was torture, the question is how the Democrats can continue in their plan to avoid any prosecution.

For the full story, click here.

31 thoughts on “Bush Official Admits That Administration Tortured Detainees”

  1. What? No pre-confirmation paranoia about what he really means by
    ‘not wanting to criminalize policy differences that may exist between the two administrations?’?

    Re Ken Starr – I’d kinda like to hear what he thinks of bringing back the Independent Counsel Act…

  2. Damn you regular contributors. I had a prescient comment ready on this and you’ve gone and said all that needs to be said, what’s a guy to do?

  3. USA update:

    “Water-boarding is torture, Holder says.

    “I agree with you Mr. Chairman, water-boarding is torture,” Holder just told committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

    And, Holder said, “the president does not have the power” to authorize torture.”

  4. Mespo,
    That was an amazing sleight of hand that Roberts used in the Herring case. Bobfrog, You said it much better than I could have. This is one more example of what happens when you cooperate with these Republicans. They pushed through fascists like Roberts and his friends and they have an agenda that will give us problems for years. I can only hope that we have some retirements during Obama’s tenure so we can get some progressive Supremes. I am nominating Jonathan Turley for the first spot that opens up.

  5. Mespo:

    “Have you seen the decision today in HERRING v. UNITED STATES (No. 07-513), 492 F. 3d 1212? It’s a 4th Amendment case wherein Roberts further erodes the exclusionary rule by immunizing it from errors committed by court clerks which are “reasonably relied upon” by police officers executing an arrest warrant.”

    Ginsberg: … “Others have described “a more majestic conception” of the Fourth Amendment and its adjunct, the exclusionary rule. Evans, 514 U. S., at 18 (Stevens, J., dissenting). Protective of the fundamental “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,” THE AMENDMENT “IS A CONSTRAINT ON THE POWER OF THE SOVEREIGN, NOT MERELY SOME OF ITS AGENTS.” (EMPHASIS ADDED) …. I share that vision of the Amendment.”

    Rights confer power; not vice versa!

    Alexander Hamilton: “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For WHY DECLARE THAT THINGS SHALL NOT BE DONE WHICH THERE IS NO POWER TO DO? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; BUT IT IS EVIDENT THAT IT WOULD FURNISH, TO MEN DISPOSED TO USURP, A PLAUSIBLE PRETENSE FOR CLAIMING THAT POWER. THEY MIGHT URGE WITH A SEMBLANCE OF REASON, THAT THE CONSTITUTION OUGHT NOT TO BE CHARGED WITH THE ABSURDITY OF PROVIDING AGAINST THE ABUSE OF AN AUTHORITY WHICH WAS NOT GIVEN, AND THAT THE PROVISION AGAINST RESTRAINING THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS AFFORDED A CLEAR IMPLICATION, THAT A POWER TO PRESCRIBE PROPER REGULATIONS CONCERNING IT WAS INTENDED TO BE VESTED IN THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. (Emphasis added) This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.” (Federalist 84)

  6. Buddha Is Laughing:

    “Without the rule of law, there is nothing but tyranny….”

    J. Locke: “AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.”

    “Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another.”

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