The Torture Program

We've learned a lot this past week:

Now the process can be fully diagrammed, and the cast of characters is stunning. The torture system involves the operations division of the CIA on the implementation side. They rely heavily on contractors, it seems, in torturing people. And a special role is apparently played by a couple of psychologists. (Time used to be that healthcare professionals had an oath. It started “first, do no harm.” But, just like the Bible and the Constitution, that’s so pre-9/11.)

We know that the Justice Department is right in the thick of it. Who precisely? The answer is most likely the Office of Legal Counselwhich has now emerged as what George Orwell called the “Ministry of Love” (remember: the ministry that picked and approved torture practices). But it doesn’t end with the opinion lawyers. The National Security Division is also in the thick of things, apparently. And with Alberto Gonzales running the shop, the man who played station master for the initial series of torture memos, and who turns out to be deeply engaged in those that came subsequently, we now know that the Attorney General was fully in the loop in this process.

And finally the White House. David Addington, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadleyall people we can now link directly to the torture system. Not just as a matter of theory. As a matter of practical application.