See my note below. I will be hosting a live streaming discussion with New Yorker Washington Correspondent Jane Mayer on her new book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.
I just received permission from Random House to share with TWN readers the press release that they are issuing Monday evening on the key findings in her book.
Here is a roster of some of the revelations about the White House’s path towards embrace of a torture policy:
~ The single minded campaign, born in the office of the Vice President, to legalize torture and expand the President’s powers as “Commander-in-Chief” to the point of unchecked authority with the ability to violate virtually any law.
~ The first full account of the secret Red Cross report describing the detailed allegations of torture made by the CIA’s top fourteen terror suspects — all of whom are currently held in Guantanamo Bay — and the Red Cross’s warning to the United States government that this treatment unequivocally constituted “torture,” exposing Bush Administration officials to prosecution for war crimes.
~ The personal reasons that drove Dick Cheney to so many undisclosed locations post-9/11 — including his fear that he had personally been exposed to Anthrax.
~ Details about the scores of innocent people the United States Government has abused — including the inside story of a mistaken CIA “rendition,” and the revelation that the CIA is investigating a half-dozen more such erroneous kidnappings.
~ The unorthodox CIA psychologists who advocated the use of Cold War KGB methods intended to obtain false confessions, and the near complete lack of actionable intelligence gained from these un-American techniques.
~ The viral spread of legally dubious torture techniques from an obscure U.S. military training program, known as “SERE,” throughout the U.S. war on terror.
~ Previously unpublished, shocking details showing what the CIA did to detainees to make them talk and new revelations about the growing doubts and fights within the intelligence agency over these harrowing tactics.
~ The fear of criminal charges that drove the CIA to destroy interrogation videotapes — and what the tapes may have shown.
~ Vice President Cheney’s intimidation of the U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who admitted he disagreed with the torture program, but couldn’t fight back.
~ The stories of the brave dissenters, many of who were lifelong conservatives, inside the administration, as well as the military officers and FBI agents, who openly challenged the legality of these practices and lost their jobs in the process. Two top Justice Department officials critical of the White House became so fearful; they conversed in codes, in case their phones were tapped.
~ The crisis that caused the top State Department lawyer, John Bellinger III to threaten to resign.
~ The mounting of a secret internal rebellion aimed at closing Guantanamo.
~ The admission by Cofer Black, the former head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, that he expected to be indicted some day for the program they ran.
~ The striking declaration by Condoleezza Rice’s former counselor, Phillip Zelikow, that the Bush Administration’s descent into torture will be seen as abhorrently as Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese during World War Two. Zelikow declares candidly of the administration he served “Fear and anxiety were exploited by zealots and fools.”
~ David Addington openly admitted that they were going to “push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop.” Larger forces, in the form of the Supreme Court and public outrage have tried to put a stop to these programs, but most of them are still operational today.
— Steve Clemons