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Crawling Out from Under the Rocks

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Bard Schmookler     Permalink
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Apparently the timeline of the interrogations of al-Zakari and lid Shaikh Mohammed (waterboarded 83 times and 183 times respectively) suggests what the falsehood was that the Bushites were seeking:  THE BUSHITES WANTED STATEMENTS, it seems, TO BOLSTER THE NON-EXISTENT CONNECTION BETWEEN SADDAM HUSSEIN'S REGIME AND THE ATTACKS OF 9/11.

According to this theory, the Bushites wanted to bolster that connection for their own political purposes:  IT WAS PART OF THEIR EFFORT TO DECEIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE CONGRESS INTO SUPPORTIN THE INVASION OF IRAQ THAT THEY WANTED TO DO FOR OTHER REASONS. [* see note below]

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If an investigation were to prove these increasingly plausible interpretations of the whole motivational underpinnings of the Bushite's disgraceful torture program --and were to disprove the notion that these crimes were all part of a generally well-intentioned commitment to protect the American people from their enemies-- the American people might start seeing these crimes in a wholly different way.

No longer the good ends justify the evil means.  Now it would be the evil means are all of one piece with the rest of their evil ends.  Crime up and down the line.  Betrayal of the American people as well as American principles.

If this is true, and gets fully exposed to the American people, what would then stop the complete exposure, repudiation, and perhaps prosecution of these criminals who --to our lasting national shame-- were entrusted with steering the ship of our state for eight years?

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Note:  It is not yet completely clear if this explanation --the intentional quest for a desired falsehood to deceive the American people-- had been established as valid.  But it is gaining currency. 

Here's one recent instance of it, a passage from "The Banality of Evil" by Frank Rich from the New York Times of April 26, 2009:

<blockquote>The report [--"the comprehensive Senate Armed Services Committee report on detainees released last week"--] found that Maj. Paul Burney, a United States Army psychiatrist assigned to interrogations in Guantánamo Bay that summer of 2002, told Army investigators of another White House imperative: “A large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful.” As higher-ups got more “frustrated” at the inability to prove this connection, the major said, “there was more and more pressure to resort to measures” that might produce that intelligence.

In other words, the ticking time bomb was not another potential Qaeda attack on America but the Bush administration’s ticking timetable for selling a war in Iraq; it wanted to pressure Congress to pass a war resolution before the 2002 midterm elections. Bybee’s memo was written the week after the then-secret (and subsequently leaked) “Downing Street memo,” in which the head of British intelligence informed Tony Blair that the Bush White House was so determined to go to war in Iraq that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” A month after Bybee’s memo, on Sept. 8, 2002, Cheney would make his infamous appearance on “Meet the Press,” hyping both Saddam’s W.M.D.s and the “number of contacts over the years” between Al Qaeda and Iraq. If only 9/11 could somehow be pinned on Iraq, the case for war would be a slamdunk.

But there were no links between 9/11 and Iraq, and the White House knew it. Torture may have been the last hope for coercing such bogus “intelligence” from detainees who would be tempted to say anything to stop the waterboarding.</blockquote>

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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