Via Media Monitor Brian C. comes this segment from last night's Rachel Maddow Show, which began with the host stressing the need to "disambiguate" the various streams of new information coming to light about torture and policy in the Bush administration. But as it went on, the segment did more than elucidate connections. As far as torture goes, a recent report from the Senate Armed Services committee shows that similar interrogation instructions were getting passed to both the military and the Central Intelligence Agency along the same critical time frame. But, more importantly, with the recent news that detainees were being frenziedly pressed to offer up some connection between al Qaeda and Iraq, a unified field theorem of foreign policymaking becomes stunningly clear.
Guest Ron Suskind, author of The One-Percent Doctrine, spoke to this directly:
SUSKIND: What's fascinating here, is that if you run the timelines side by side, you see for the first time...that the key thing being sent down by the policymakers, by the White House, is find a link between Saddam and al Qaeda, so that we can essentially link Saddam to the 9/11 attacks, and then march into Iraq with the anger of 9/11 behind us. That was the goal, and was being passed down as the directive.
It's often called "the requirement" inside the CIA, for both agents with their sources and interrogators with their captives: "Here's what we're interested in, here's what we, the duly elected leaders want to hear about. Tell us what you can find." What's fascinating, is in the Senate [Armed Services] report, is finally, clear confirmation that that specific thing was driving many of the activities, and, mind you, the frustration inside of the White House...as frustration built inside of the White House that there was no link that was established, because the CIA told the White House from the very start that there is no Saddam to al Qaeda link - we checked it out, we did it every which way, sorry - the White House simply wouldn't take no for an answer, and it went with another method: torture was the method. "Get me a confession, I don't care how you do it." And that bled all the way through the government, both on the CIA side and the Army side.
Suskind noted that the "impetus was not to foil potential al Qaeda attacks. The impetus here was largely political and diplomatic. The White House had a political/diplomatic problem. It wanted it solved in the run up to the war."
People were tortured, FOR THE SAKE OF "SPIN."
ONCE AGAIN, WITH FEELING! People were tortured, FOR THE SAKE OF "SPIN."