Bush White House Explicitly Approved Torture

Lest we forget the pure, unadulterated lust for power and disregard for human rights and the Constitution that marks the Bush Administration:


The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.
They retroactively provided cover for the CIA's torture of detainees, which the CIA knew damn well was illegal.

I deliberately stayed away from the word "evil" in my opening sentence, though I was sorely tempted. But classing these clowns as "evil" just puts them in a category separate from the rest of humanity, and makes their behavior and attitudes something exceptional and therefore easily dismissed.

It's not, though. This is human behavior, and as disgusting as it is, we have to accept that our leaders (and ourselves) are capable of it, and to not shrink from the duty of guarding against these baser impulses becoming acceptable. They way they got away with it was to keep the populace whipped up into a state of fear, because they knew that if the people were afraid, they'd be willing to hand over not only their own rights, but far more eagerly the rights of others.

What's really interesting about this is that the CIA pushed for these memos so that they weren't left holding the bag:

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