Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gonzales approved ‘borderline torture’ months before ‘torture memos’ issued

Months before the first “torture memo” was issued by Bush administration lawyers in 2002, Alberto Gonzales – then White House counsel – personally approved “borderline torture” techniques used on Abu Zubaydah, according to a new report.

An anonymous source told NPR that in April and May of 2002 CIA contractor James Mitchell sought approval on a daily basis for so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” via top-secret cables to the CIA’s counterterrorism center. The CIA forwarded those cables to the White House, according to National Public Radio, and Gonzales would approve the technique, thus granting a legal basis for Mitchell’s actions – in theory at least.

Yesterday, the CIA sent the ACLU a document that corroborates the source’s account. The document shows that during the spring and summer of 2002 many top-secret cables went from Zubaydah’s black site prison to CIA headquarters every day.

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