American Torture Practices are degrading our National Security

16 09 2009

Torture First, Justify Afterwards

By Jason Leopold
September 15, 2009

Torture First, Justify Afterwards

By Jason Leopold
September 15, 2009

The Bush administration gave its initial clearance for CIA interrogators to brutalize an al-Qaeda “high-value detainee” through verbal guidance and didn’t follow up with a formal legal opinion until “months later,” the CIA’s former inspector general said. n an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, ex-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson confirmed what has long been suspected, that the abusive interrogation of al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in 2002 began well before the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel cobbled together a controversial legal opinion justifying acts that are commonly regarded as torture.

Der Spiegel’s reporter posed a question to Helgerson that assumed Zubaydah’s torturous interrogation had predated the Aug. 1, 2002, legal memo from OLC attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee. “Did the lawyer who signed the memorandum simply authorize a technique months after this technique had already been applied?” reporter Britta Sandberg asked Helgerson.

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