Architect of CIA Rendition Program: If Torture Prosecutions Go Ahead, Indict Clinton Too

I hosted a panel on Al Jazeera English the other day about Obama’s first 100 days of policy around torture, rendition and detention. It yielded a moment of inconvenient truth.


Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, the architect of the rendition program under Bill Clinton, said what many Democrats know but would rather not hear: that when it comes to sending people to face torture in other countries, the Clinton administration may be as vulnerable to indictment as the Bush administration.

I suggested that perhaps Scheuer ought to be indicted, as the one who designed the program. He insisted that he was only following the orders of the president.

Of course Scheuer is a longtime libertarian Republican, and his contempt for his fellow panelist, the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer, is not relaxing television. But for those who are arguing that prosecutions -- or other forms of reckoning with the policies of the last eight years -- are necessary, his point is important to confront. If you’re arguing

that history matters, then the full history of these programs and practices ought to come to light.

Watch the full panel. Scheuer’s outburst begins around 8:30.

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