It Was All Directed From the Top

by Andrew

More evidence that the entire notion of "bad apples" improvising the torture techniques at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere is a massive, self-interested lie by Cheney and Bush. Money quote from today's NYT:

Waterboarding might be an excruciating procedure with deep roots in the history of torture, but for the C.I.A.’s Office of Medical Services, recordkeeping for each session of Waterboard3-small near-drowning was critical. “In order to best inform future medical judgments and recommendations, it is important that every application of the waterboard be thoroughly documented,” said medical guidelines prepared for the interrogators in December 2004.

The required records, the medical supervisors said, included “how long each application (and the entire procedure) lasted, how much water was used in the process (realizing that much splashes off), how exactly the water was applied, if a seal was achieved, if the naso- or oropharynx was filled, what sort of volume was expelled, how long was the break between applications, and how the subject looked between each treatment.”

When the doctors gauged what a drenching in a cold cell might do to a prisoner, they did their research, consulting a textbook entitled “Wilderness Medicine,” in particular Chapter 6 on “accidental hypothermia,” as well as a Canadian government pamphlet, “Survival in Cold Waters,” according to footnotes.

Yes, they studied very carefully how far to freeze a human being to avoid killing him. So when we hear about Navy Seals using rectal thermometers to determine how far they could go in freezing prisoners in iced baths (if you recall this as a Gestapo technique, you are not wrong), we know they were acting on guidance from the White House. 

The real war criminals are in the political elite. And the same political and media elite is intent on protecting their own. Even now.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Just In