The Bush administration "torture memos" will be 10 years old this week


It doesn't take a genius to understand that people were tortured during the Bush administration. They can use as many euphemisms as they want-- "enhanced interrogation techniques," the third degree, or even hopscotch for all I care-- but what they did to human beings was clearly torture. BushCo justified it in any number of ways, including writing law that they claimed made it all okay, but it wasn't okay. It was cruel, it was criminal, and it didn't work.

Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and now on the faculty of the Howard University School of Law, wrote an op-ed for the L.A. Times that he titled "Consign Bush's 'torture memos' to history."

If only those who were responsible would or could be prosecuted:

The Bush administration "torture memos" will be 10 years old this week. As the administration developed its interrogation policies, it concealed various forms of torture under the moniker "enhanced interrogation techniques." It consulted with the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice on the legality of these techniques, including waterboarding, walling (slamming detainees against walls), forcing detainees into stress positions and subjecting them to sleep deprivation. Ultimately, the OLC provided legal cover for the use of most of these techniques. [...]

[T]he Bush administration embraced it by renaming it enhanced interrogation techniques and claiming that it was necessary for our national security. Upon taking office, President Obama issued an executive order halting the use of torture.

Torture is counterproductive. Professional interrogators — Ali Soufan of the FBI, Matthew Alexander of the Air Force and Glenn Carle of the CIA — have said this clearly. Torture is always illegal [and] is also a moral abomination.  [...]

The Senate Intelligence Committee has undertaken an investigation into the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques allowed by the memos. It is essential that its findings be released to the public so that the American people can know the truth about what was done in their name.


here; That link includes one specific to only *Fayiz al-Kandari’s story here.

Here are audio and video interviews with Lt. Col. Wingard, one by David Shuster, one by Ana Marie Cox, and more. My guest commentary at BuzzFlash is here.

Lt. Col. Barry Wingard is a military attorney who represents Fayiz Al-Kandari in the Military Commission process and in no way represents the opinions of his home state. When not on active duty, Colonel Wingard is a public defender in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

If you are inclined to help rectify these injustices: Twitterers, use the hashtag #FreeFayiz. We have organized a team to get these stories out. If you are interested in helping Fayiz out, e-mail me at The Political Carnival, address in sidebar to the right; or tweet me at @GottaLaff.

If you’d like to see other ways you can take action, go here and scroll down to the end of the article.

Then read Jane Mayer’s book The Dark Side. You’ll have a much greater understanding of why I post endlessly about this, and why I’m all over the CIA deception issues, too.

More of Fayiz’s story here, at