George Bush: Preliminary Indictment for Torture - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article addressed torture as official US policy under Bush, accessed through the following link:
It remains so under Obama, authorized at the highest levels of government as part of America's bogus war on terror to instill fear and target suspected political opponents globally, including at home. No matter that it violates US and international law that prohibits torture at all times under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.
Nonetheless, on September 17, 2001, Bush issued a 12 page "memorandum of notification" directive to CIA's director and National Security Council members, authorizing CIA to capture suspected terrorists and Al Qaeda members, then hold and interrogate them in offshore detention facilities. It launched his torture program by vesting CIA operatives with unprecedented lawless power. It gave them carte blanche authority to function extra-judicially by whatever methods it chose.
Numerous subsequent Bush administration memos, Executive Orders, National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, findings, and other documents explicitly or implicitly authorized torture, including one on August 2, 2002, written by John Yoo, then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee (now a federal judge), and David Addington. It argued for letting interrogators use harsh measures amounting to torture. It said federal and international laws don't apply when dealing with Al Qaeda because of presidential authorization during wartime. It "legalized" anything in the war on terror, as well as authorizing supreme presidential power.
On March 14, 2003, the same quartet issued another memo titled: "Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States," now called the "Torture Memo." It swept away all legal restraints, authorizing military, CIA or other US interrogators to use extreme measures amounting to torture. It also gave the president "the fullest range of power....to protect the nation," stating he "enjoys complete discretion in the exercise of his authority in conducting operations against hostile forces."
Other administration documents reflected John Yoo's views that interrogation methods may inflict "intense pain or suffering" short of what would cause "serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure, (loss of significant body functions), or permanent damage" may result.