"Do you remember what it was like right after September the 11th around here? People were saying, 'How come they didn't see it, how come they didn't connect the dots?' Do you remember what the environment was like in Washington? I do. When people were hauled up in front of Congress and members of Congress were asking questions about, how come you didn't know this, that, or the other? And then we start putting policy in place -- legal policy in place to connect the dots, and all of a sudden people were saying, 'How come you're connecting the dots?' "
Translation: we were so frightened of another 9/11 and we had so little idea of what was out there that I decided to torture anyone we captured and ordered my flunkies to write memos saying it was legal.
Abu Ghraib was a "huge disappointment" because it revealed exactly what they had authorized: Gestapo and Communist Chinese torture techniques that were never originally designed to get intelligence, but to provide false confessions to buttress police states. We do not yet know how much damage Bush and Cheney did to reliable intelligence-gathering; but we do know that even after Abu Ghraib, Bush and Cheney insisted on maintaining Abu Ghraib methods, and insisted they could be used on American citizens in the US if need be.
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