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Did David Addington, Architect of the Bush Torture Policy, Out a CIA Agent to Save His Own Ass?

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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-29-08 07:13 PM
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Did David Addington, Architect of the Bush Torture Policy, Out a CIA Agent to Save His Own Ass?
David Addington does not get much press, but I am starting to wonder if he decides what you read in the press. He used to be Dick Cheneys Gonzo---his general counsel. Then, when Libby took a fall for the VP, Addington become Cheneys chief of staff. I became interested in him when I began to suspect that he was the one who arranged for the NYTs to out a CIA agent whose crime was that he did not torture Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he only talked to him and got him to talk back. Or, as the NYTs Scott Shane so colorfully put it, he played a successful game of good cop, bad cop.

Despite the pleas of CIA director Hayden and the CIA employee in question, the NeoCon New York Times outed the former agent turned CIA contract employee in a flashy article. Google the agents name, and you now get a third of a million hits. Why? So that Shane could prove that torture works after all? As long as one person applies the torture and a different person asks the questions.

On one level, the story obviously benefits the NeoCons, who have been waging war against the CIA---specifically the CIAs Iran NIE---since last winter by portraying the CIA as a bunch of criminals and liars. This is just one of a series of such articles which the NYTs has written starting a few days after the release of the Iran NIE when someone, most likely someone within the administration, informed them that the CIA had destroyed two torture tapes. Both the NYTs and the WaPo immediately seized upon this red herring as grounds to dismiss the Iran NIE as suspect and no reason not to rush to war with Iran.

However, the timing of this latest story is especially significant for David Addington who was forced to testify before Congress this week about his role as the architect of the Bush-Cheney torture policy. Recall that among the many criticisms of torture is the practical consideration that it does not work. The NYTs article above is contrived to make a point which may well be fallacious. The outed agent, we are told, was only able to get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to talk, because someone else tortured him first.

Scott Shanes piece is actually a great big endorsement of torture. Never mind that it is all hearsay. He never interviewed his subject or asked him whether the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been brutalized helped or hindered him in the task of gaining his trust. The whole piece is a work of fiction designed to support the conclusion that whoever came up with the idea of torturing Al Qaeda suspects was on the right track.

And who came up with the idea of torturing Al Qaeada suspects? Probably Dick Cheney. But who made it all possible? David Addington, his then chief counsel. Here is a little background from Source Watch.

"Addington was the first to suggest that the issue be taken away from the Prosper group and that a presidential order be drafted authorizing the tribunals that he, Gonzales and Timothy E. Flanigan, then a principal deputy to Gonzales, supported. It was intended for circulation among a much smaller group of like-minded officials. Berenson, Flanigan and Addington helped write the draft, and on Nov. 6, 2001, Gonzales's office secured an opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that the contemplated military tribunals would be legal."
"The task of summarizing the competing points of view in a draft letter to the president was seized initially by Addington. A memo he wrote and signed with Gonzales's name -- and knowledge -- was circulated to various departments, several sources said. A version of this draft, dated Jan. 25, 2002, was subsequently leaked. It included the eye-catching assertion that a 'new paradigm' of a war on terrorism 'renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners."

And here is AfterDowningStreet with a summary of Addingtons testimony to Congress:

Yoo and Addington were evasive, repeatedly stonewalling members of the subcommittee. The Justice Department evidently placed limitations on what Yoo was allowed to discuss, but he invoked privileges where it did not appear privilege was authorized. This led to Yoo's refusal to answer several direct questions. Jeanne Mirer stated, The evasiveness of Yoo and Addington did not earn them credibility with the subcommittee, and frustrated many of the questioners. These tactics prevented the subcommittee from getting answers to the many important questions about the source of legal authority for the positions espoused in the 'torture memos' regarding aggressive interrogation techniques.

Addington knew that he was not going to give Congress shit. During those hearings, his name was going to be David Stonewall Addington. However, he would have wanted to prove to the public that he did the right thing when he wrote up the memo authorizing torture. The Scott Shane piece was so well timed. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, purported mastermind behind 9/11, Al Qaeda superstar, forced to talk.

Was that the reason why the NYTs absolutely had to print that story about the CIA employee who wanted to remain anonymous? Because David Addington needed to prove to the world that torture works? Its as good an explanation as any other I can think of for a really lame story that accomplished nothing except invading a mans privacy.

Know your torturers.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-29-08 07:23 PM
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1. Addington needs to be front and center in the war crimes trials. nt
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