Iraq Torture

ACLU: Bush ordered Abu Ghraib abuses

According to the FBI, this would be legal under Bush's Executive OrderA new set of documents obtained by the ACLU via the Freedom of Information Act seems to indicate that Bush himself authorized the use of certain forms of torture via an Executive Order.

An e-mail (download pdf) sent from a redacted "On Scene Commander--Baghdad" to a number of FBI agents references "techniques authorized by Executive Order" which included "stress positions", "use of military working dogs", "prisoners with hoods on their heads", and "sleep deprivation".

Some of the wording indicates that agents were instructed, either before or after the Abu Ghraib story broke, not to employ the illegal techniques seen in the Abu Ghraib photos, as well as the "legal" ones (authorized by Bush) also seen in the photos. MORE...

This is the first evidence we've seen of the torture practices being authorized by Bush himself. Previously, any abuse allegations only reached as high as White House counsel Al Gonzales, and most recently Donald Rumsfeld. Up to this point, there's been no official mention of any Executive Order regarding prisoner abuse.But what has Bush had to say this year about a prison of which he could barely pronounce the name at first? Let's go to the videotape...

"[U.S. soldiers who did this] will be brought to justice. The people in the Middle East must understand that this was horrible." George W. Bush, May 5, 2004

"I talked to the secretary of defense this morning. I said: Find the truth, and then tell the Iraqi people and the world the truth. We have nothing to hide." George W. Bush, May 5, 2004

"The U.S. remains steadfastly committed to upholding the Geneva Conventions. These acts were wrong. They were inconsistent with our policies and our values as a nation. I have directed a full accounting for the abuse of the Abu Ghraib detainees, and investigations are under way to review detention operations in Iraq and elsewhere." George W. Bush, June 26, 2004

"We will not compromise the rule of law or the values and principles that make us strong. Torture is wrong no matter where it occurs, and the United States will continue to lead the fight to eliminate it everywhere." George W. Bush, June 26, 2004

"Under the dictator [Hussein], prisons like Abu Gar -- reb -- were symbols of death and torture. That same prison became a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregardered [sic] our values. America will fund the construction of a modern, maximum security prison. When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Garub will be relocated. Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Garab prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning." George W. Bush, May 24, 2004

And he signed an Executive Order allowing many of the abuses seen in the photos. Unless Bush is like Colonel Blake from M*A*S*H and signs things indiscriminately, he's spent the last seven months lying to the world. Which is no surprise.