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He added that he could not "advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that is predicated upon the principle that all is well if the ends justify the means and others are not aware of how we conduct our business."
Myers's Legal Counsel, Captain Jane Dalton, had her own concerns (and has testified that she made Gen. Myers aware of them), together with those expressed in writing by the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. Dalton directed her staff to initiate a thorough legal and policy review of the proposed techniques.
The review got off to a quick start. As a first step, Dalton ordered a secure video teleconference including Guantanamo, SOUTHCOM, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Army's intelligence school at Fort Huachuca. Dalton said she wanted to find out more information about the techniques in the request and to begin discussing the legal issues to see if her office could do its own independent legal analysis.Rumsfeld's Lawyer Says Stop
Under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Captain Dalton testified that, after she and her staff had begun their analysis, Gen. Myers directed her in November 2002 to stop the review.
She explained that Myers returned from a meeting and "advised me that Mr. Haynes wanted me ... to cancel the video teleconference and to stop the review" because of concerns that "people were going to see" the Guantanamo request and the military services' analysis of it. Haynes (i.e., Rumsfeld) "wanted to keep it much more close-hold," Dalton said.
Dalton ordered her staff to stop the legal analysis. She testified that this was the only time that she had ever been asked to stop analyzing a request that came to her for review.
Haynes told the Senate committee, "There was a sense by DoD leadership that this decision was taking too long."
On Nov. 27, 2002, shortly after Haynes told Myers to order Dalton to stop her review -- and despite the serious legal concerns of the military services -- Haynes sent Rumsfeld a one-page memo recommending that he approve all but three of the 18 techniques in the correspondence from Guantanamo.
Techniques like stress positions, forced nudity, exploitation of phobias (like fear of dogs), deprivation of light and auditory stimuli were all recommended by Haynes for approval.
On Dec. 2, 2002, Rumsfeld signed Haynes's recommendation, adding a handwritten note referring to the use of stress positions: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?"In Line with the President
Rumsfeld's approval of these techniques, over the objections of the top legal officers of all of the armed services, was in line with, and fleshed out, the "smoking gun" two-page executive memorandum signed by George W. Bush on Feb. 7, 2002. The Senate Committee concluded that Bush's memo "opened the door" to subsequent abuse in interrogation.
In his memo, the President tried his best to square a circle. He declared that Geneva did not apply to al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees, but that they would nonetheless be treated "humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva."
"Conclusion 1" of the Senate committee report stated:
"On Feb. 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees.
"Following the President's determination, techniques such as water boarding, nudity, and stress positions " were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody."
Much later, when Gen. Myers came to Washington to peddle his memoir, I had a chance to quiz him personally in public on May 12, 2009. [See: "Impertinent Questions for Gen. Myers," http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/051309c.html]
"Gen. Myers," I began, "you were one of eight addressees for the President's directive of Feb. 7, 2002. What did you do when you learned of the President's decision about exempting al-Qaeda and the Taliban from the protections of Geneva?"