Reports are in that link up the US torture program and the hunt for the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Jonathan S Landay in McClatchy News quotes a “former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue”:
“The main [reason for the torture] is that everyone was worried about some kind of
follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003,
Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links
between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed)
Chalabi and others had told them were there.”
“There was constant
pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do
whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees,
especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming
up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push
harder,” he continued.
All this is not really a surprise; I covered it in real time over on Nonviolence.org. There were numerous reports that the Vice President and Secretary of Defense were pushing the intelligence agencies to come up with evidence that would back their flawed theories.
The United States is supposed to be the champion of freedom but we resorted to the most brutal of communist-era torture techniques because our highest officials were more interested in their cartoon view of the world than the complex reality (and not so complex: anyone who’s taken an “Intro to Islam” class would know that an alliance between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden would be have been very unlikely). When facts and ideological theories don’t match up, it’s time to dig for more facts and revisit the ideologies.