Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Knowingly Degenerate

[NOTE: This is from the Associated Press -- with full credit to the same, Please DON'T SUE ME! .. (or make me say nice things about Nedra Pickler & Ron Fournier)]

Military psychologists were enlisted to help develop more aggressive interrogation methods, including snarling dogs, forced nudity and long periods of standing, against terrorism suspects, according to a Senate investigation.

Before they were approved by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, such harsh techniques had drawn warnings from military lawyers that they could be illegal, an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee has found. Officials familiar with the findings discussed them on condition of anonymity because the information has not been formally released.

The psychologists who helped interrogate terror suspects for the CIA were set to testify Tuesday before the Senate committee, which was expected to release details of the investigation.

The hearing is the committee's first look at the origins of the harsher methods used in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq and how policy decisions on interrogations were vetted across the Defense Department. Its review fits into a broader picture of the government's handling of detainees, which includes FBI and CIA interrogations in secret prisons.

How awesome that trained mental health professionals got involved...so much for those oaths.

But, also so much for the claim that these were the isolated actions of but a few low-level folks.

The Pentagon's top civilian lawyer at the time, chief counsel William "Jim" Haynes, was expected to testify Tuesday. Also scheduled to be present were Richard Shiffrin, Haynes' former deputy on intelligence matters, as well as legal advisers at the time to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Guantanamo Bay prison.

According to the Senate committee's findings, Haynes became interested in using harsher interrogation methods as early as July 2002 ...

Shortly after requesting more information about harsh techniques, Haynes traveled in September 2002 to Guantanamo Bay with other administration lawyers, including then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief counsel, David Addington.

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