The Mark Mazzetti piece this morning moves the ball forward by getting closer and closer to who authorized the torture techniques used at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib (as depicted n the photos) and everywhere else in the Bush-Cheney war on terror. The newly critical information is that AEI's and Berkeley's John Yoo gave an oral okay for torture to be used before the torture memos were written. So Yoo's war crimes now go back way into the beginning of the process, long before abu Ghraib. These people were intent on torture from Day One, and Yoo gave the oral permission.
Next up: Condi Rice was in on all of this:
“I recall being told that U.S. military personnel were subjected in training to certain physical and psychological interrogation techniques and that these techniques had been deemed not to cause significant physical or psychological harm,” Ms. Rice, now secretary of state, wrote in response to one question. Still, Ms. Rice wrote that she asked Mr. Ashcroft personally to review the program and “advise N.S.C. principals whether the program was lawful.”
That's classic Rice: no real independence, passive absorption of the decisions of Bush and Cheney, only seeking to cover her posterior. And Rice had previously denied she was in on any of it.
The other key principals discussing how to torture prisoners in 2002: Ashcroft, Rumsfeld and, of course, the vice-president for torture himself, Dick Cheney.