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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/24/14

Ex-Bush Official: U.S. Tortured Prisoners to Produce False Intel that Built Case for Iraq War

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And from that point on, though I did take some of the stuff out as late as 2:00 a.m. in the morning in the Waldorf-Astoria prior to the morning of the presentation, and had Phil Mudd, George Tenet's counterterrorism czar, standing behind me in the Waldorf, trying to prevent me from taking things out, until I finally told him I would physically remove him from the room if he didn't leave of his own will, people were trying to get that portion back into the presentation. But the damage was done. The secretary, as you know, presented the information as if there were substantial contacts.

AARON MATÉ: Colonel, in your judgment, how big of a motive was the Iraq War in the torture program, in the torture of prisoners to get information that could tie al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: One of the things that I have to say rather stunned me was when Powell, in April, right after the Abu Ghraib incident was made public or incidents were made public, asked me to look into it and to get a tick-tock for him, to get a chronology -- essentially, to tell him how we got to that point. And I began my investigation. I learned that there was, as early as April-May 2002, efforts to use enhanced interrogation techniques, also to build a legal regime under which they could be conducted, and that those efforts were as much aimed at al-Qaeda and contacts between Baghdad and al-Qaeda, and corroboration thereof, as they were trying to ferret out whether or not there was another attack coming, like 9/11. That was stunning to me to find out that that was part -- I'd say probably 50 percent of the impetus that I discovered in both the classified and unclassified material I looked into.

AMY GOODMAN: In June, we spoke to Richard Clarke, the nation's former top counterterrorism official. Clarke served as national coordinator for security and counterterrorism during Bush's first year in office. He resigned in 2003 following the Iraq invasion. Clarke said that after 9/11, right after, in the days after, President Bush had wanted him to place the blame on Iraq.

RICHARD CLARKE: I resigned, quit the government altogether, testified before congressional committees and before the 9/11 Commission, wrote a book revealing what the Bush administration had and had not done to stop 9/11 and what they did after the fact, how the president wanted me, after the fact, to blame Iraq for the 9/11 attack.

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