Documents now made public prove that Philip Zelikow told the Bush administration that their policy of “enhanced interrogations” amounted to felony war crimes. That means the policies Pres. Obama followed after Bush, also ignoring the warnings, are too.
The State Department adviser under Secy. Condoleezza Rice, Philip Zelikow, describes himself as “Rice’s policy representative to the NSC Deputies Committee” covering intelligence and terrorism issues.
Spencer Ackerman of Wired, who received documents from the State Dept., broke the story today.
A top adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned the Bush administration that its use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” interrogation techniques like waterboarding were “a felony war crime.”
What’s more, newly obtained documents reveal that State Department counselor Philip Zelikow told the Bush team in 2006 that using the controversial interrogation techniques were “prohibited” under U.S. law — “even if there is a compelling state interest asserted to justify them.” [...]
This is what happens when a Democratic president and the majority party of Congress who matches him are more concerned with politics than doing what’s right.
Pres. Obama and the Democratic majority Congress, with Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi as leaders, all chose not to follow the investigation and find the truth, wherever it might lead.
That was interpreted as tacit permission to mimic what had come before.
[...] Zelikow’s memo was an internal bureaucratic push against an attempt by the Justice Department to flout long-standing legal restrictions against torture. In 2005, he wrote, both the Justice and State Departments had decided that international prohibitions against “acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture” do not “apply to CIA interrogations in foreign countries.” Those techniques included contorting a detainee’s body in painful positions, slamming a detainee’s head against a wall, restricting a detainee’s caloric intake, and waterboarding.
[...] Zelikow’s warnings about the legal dangers of torture went unheeded — not just by the Bush administration, which ignored them, but, ironically, by the Obama administration, which effectively refuted them. In June, the Justice Department concluded an extensive inquiry into CIA torture by dropping potential charges against agency interrogators in 99 out of 101 cases of detainee abuse. That inquiry did not examine criminal complicity for senior Bush administration officials who designed the torture regimen and ordered agency interrogators to implement it.
Nothing to see here, move along, now.