Tail wags dog; Gonzales approved torture before OLC memosh/t Jay McDonough
The timelines have never matched up; the OLC memos were written subsequent to the onset of the reported harsh interrogations of Abu Zubaydah. The obvious question then is with what "legal" (using the term for the sake of argument) justification was waterboarding used on Abu Zubaydah?
New evidence suggests then counsel to the president, Alberto Gonzales, allegedly approved the use of torture well before any hack OLC opinions that justified its use.An anonymous source told NPR that in April and May of 2002 CIA contractor James Mitchell sought approval on a daily basis for so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” via top-secret cables to the CIA’s counterterrorism center. The CIA forwarded those cables to the White House, according to National Public Radio, and Gonzales would approve the technique, thus granting a legal basis for Mitchell’s actions – in theory at least.This is what will continue to happen in the absence of any investigation of the Bush Administration interrogation policies. The slow drip of damning evidence that the program was, indeed, a lawless sham.
“I can’t believe the CIA would have settled for a piece of paper from the counsel to the president,” (a) former government official told NPR. “If that were true,” says the former official, “then the whole legal and policy review process from April through August would have been a complete charade.” (Link)