The chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell says that the Bush Administration authorized torture of detainees before even rendering a legal opinion on the practice — and that they sought to torture detainees in an effort to produce intelligence tying Iraq to al Qaeda.Also this:
“What I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002–well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion–its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida,” former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson wrote Wednesday evening.
One of the big developments yesterday was Robert Windrem's report about Dick Cheney's attempt to get Charlie Duelfer, the guy then in charge of investigating Iraqi WMD in the aftermath of the invasion, to waterboard a senior Iraqi intelligence official to get him to admit that Iraq had WMD and any stuff about a link between Iraq and al Qaida. Remember, at this point it's about getting a retrospective rationale for the invasion. Rachel Maddow had Windrem and Duelfer on her show last night discussing what happened. Check it out here. Maddow has a really good run-down of the key events and then the key interview begins a bit after six minutes in.(see link for link to the show)