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[Bear­bei­te­tes Zitat / Quel­le; sie­he hier­zu auch ]

The Tor­tu­re 13 explo­i­ted the federal bureau­cra­cy to estab­lish a tor­tu­re régime in two ways. First, they based the enhan­ced inter­ro­ga­ti­on tech­ni­ques on tech­ni­ques used in the U.S. military's Sur­vi­val, Eva­si­on, Resi­stance and Escape (SERE) pro­gram. The pro­gram -- which sub­jects volun­te­ers from the armed ser­vices to simu­la­ted hosti­le cap­tu­re situa­tions -- trains ser­vice­men and -women to with­stand coer­ci­on well enough to avoid making fal­se con­fes­si­ons if cap­tu­red. Two reti­red SERE psy­cho­lo­gists con­trac­ted with the government to "rever­se-engi­neer" the­se tech­ni­ques to use in detai­nee inter­ro­ga­ti­ons. The Tor­tu­re 13 also abu­sed the legal review pro­cess in the Depart­ment of Jus­ti­ce in order to pro­vi­de per­mis­si­on for tor­tu­re. The DOJ's Office of Legal Coun­sel (OLC) play­ed a cru­cial role. OLC pro­vi­des inter­pre­ta­ti­ons on how laws app­ly to the exe­cu­ti­ve branch. On issu­es whe­re the law is unclear, like natio­nal secu­ri­ty, OLC opi­ni­ons can set the bounda­ry for "legal" acti­vi­ty for exe­cu­ti­ve branch employees. As Jack Golds­mith, OLC head from 2003 to 2004, exp­lains it, "One con­se­quence of [OLC's] power to inter­pret the law is the power to bestow on government offi­cials what is effec­tively an advan­ce par­don for actions taken at the edges of vague cri­mi­nal sta­tu­tes." OLC has the power, Golds­mith con­ti­nues, to dis­pen­se "get-out-of-jail-free cards." The Tor­tu­re 13 explo­i­ted this power by col­la­bo­ra­ting on a seri­es of OLC opi­ni­ons that repeated­ly gave U.S. offi­cials such a "get-out-of-jail-free card" for tor­tu­ring. Bet­ween 911 and the end of 2002, the Tor­tu­re 13 deci­ded to tor­tu­re, then rever­se-engi­nee­red the tech­ni­ques, and then craf­ted the legal cover. Here's who they are and what they did:


Dick Che­ney, vice pre­si­dent (2001−2009)
 On the morning of 911, .. Dick Che­ney (and) David Adding­ton, .. worked tog­e­ther to plot an expan­si­ve grab of exe­cu­ti­ve power that they clai­med was the cor­rect respon­se to the ter­ro­rist thre­at .. (they) also fought bureau­cra­ti­cal­ly to con­struct this tor­tu­re pro­gram. Che­ney led the way by con­trol­ling who got access to Pre­si­dent Bush -- and making sure his own views pre­emp­ted others .. Most shockin­gly, Che­ney is repor­ted to have orde­red tor­tu­re hims­elf, even after inter­ro­ga­tors belie­ved detai­nees were coö­pe­ra­ti­ve. Sin­ce the 2002 OLC memo known as "Bybee Two" that aut­ho­ri­zes tor­tu­re pre­mi­ses its aut­ho­riz­a­ti­on for tor­tu­re on the asser­ti­on that "the inter­ro­ga­ti­on team is cer­tain that" the detai­nee "has addi­tio­nal infor­ma­ti­on he refu­ses to divul­ge," Che­ney appears to have orde­red tor­tu­re that was ille­gal even under the spu­rious gui­de­li­nes of the memo.
David Adding­ton, coun­sel to the vice pre­si­dent (2001−2005), chief of staff to the vice pre­si­dent (2005−2009)
 David Adding­ton cham­pio­ned the fight to argue that the pre­si­dent -- in his role as com­man­der in chief -- could not be bound by any law, inclu­ding tho­se pro­hi­bi­t­ing tor­tu­re. .. In par­ti­cu­lar, he ran a "War Coun­cil" with Jim Hay­nes, John Yoo, John Riz­zo and Alber­to Gon­za­les .. which craf­ted and exe­cuted many of the legal approa­ches to the war on ter­ror tog­e­ther .. Adding­ton and Che­ney wie­l­ded bureau­cra­tic car­rots and sticks -- nota­b­ly by giving .. pro­mo­ti­ons for lawy­ers who sup­por­ted the­se ille­gal poli­ci­es. When Jack Golds­mith with­drew a num­ber of OLC memos becau­se of the legal pro­blems in them, Adding­ton was the sole admi­ni­stra­ti­on lawy­er who defen­ded them.
Alber­to Gon­za­les, White Hou­se coun­sel (2001−2005), and attor­ney gene­ral (2005−2008)
 As White Hou­se coun­sel, Alber­to Gon­za­les was nomi­nal­ly in char­ge of repre­sen­ting the president's views on legal issu­es, inclu­ding natio­nal secu­ri­ty issu­es. In that role, Gon­za­les wro­te and review­ed a num­ber of the legal opi­ni­ons that attemp­ted to immu­ni­ze tor­tu­re .. in a Jan. 25, 2002, opi­ni­on .. Gon­za­les paved the way for exemp­t­ing al-Qai­da detai­nees from the Gene­va Con­ven­ti­ons. His memo clai­med the "new kind of war" repre­sen­ted by the war against al-Qai­da "ren­ders obso­le­te Geneva's strict limi­ta­ti­ons on que­stio­ning of enemy pri­soners."
James Mit­chell, con­sul­tant
  .. James Mit­chell, a reti­red mili­ta­ry psy­cho­lo­gist, had been a lea­ding expert in the military's SERE pro­gram. In Decem­ber 2001, with his part­ner, Bruce Jes­sen, Mit­chell rever­se-engi­nee­red SERE tech­ni­ques to be used to inter­ro­ga­te detai­nees. Then, in the spring of 2002, befo­re OLC gave offi­cial legal appro­val to tor­tu­re, Mit­chell over­saw Abu Zubaydah's inter­ro­ga­ti­on. An FBI agent on the sce­ne descri­bes Mit­chell over­see­ing the use of "bor­der­line tor­tu­re." .. Under Mitchell's gui­d­ance, inter­ro­ga­tors used the water­board with "far grea­ter fre­quen­cy than initi­al­ly indi­ca­ted" -- a total of 183 times in a mon­th for Kha­lid Sheikh Moham­med and 83 times in a mon­th for Abu Zubay­dah.
Geor­ge Tenet, direc­tor of Cen­tral Intel­li­gence (1997−2004)
  .. Published reports say Tenet appro­ved every detail of the inter­ro­ga­ti­on plans: "Any chan­ge in the plan -- even if an extra day of a cer­tain tre­at­ment was added -- was signed off on by the Direc­tor." .. After appro­val of the har­sh tech­ni­ques, CIA head­quar­ters orde­red Abu Zubay­dah to be water­boar­ded even though onsite inter­ro­ga­tors belie­ved Zubay­dah was "com­pli­ant." .. this addi­tio­nal use of the water­board was clear­ly ille­gal accord­ing to the memo.
Con­do­leez­za Rice, natio­nal secu­ri­ty advi­sor (2001−2005), secreta­ry of sta­te (2005−2008)
  .. Rice coör­di­na­ted much of the administration's inter­nal deba­te over inter­ro­ga­ti­on poli­ci­es. She appro­ved (she now says she "con­vey­ed the aut­ho­riz­a­ti­on") for the first known offi­cial­ly sanc­tion­ed use of tor­tu­re .. The appro­val from the OLC was given oral­ly in late July and in writ­ten form on Aug. 1, 2002. Rice's appro­val or "convey[ance] of aut­ho­riz­a­ti­on" led direct­ly to the inten­si­fied tor­tu­re ..
John Yoo, depu­ty assi­stant attor­ney gene­ral, OLC / Office of Legal Coun­sel (2001−2003)
 As depu­ty assi­stant attor­ney gene­ral of OLC focu­sing on natio­nal secu­ri­ty for the first year and a half after 911, Yoo draf­ted many of the memos that would estab­lish the tor­tu­re régime, star­ting with the opi­ni­on clai­ming vir­tual­ly unli­mi­ted power for the pre­si­dent in times of war. In the ear­ly mon­ths of 2002, he .. (draf­ted) two key memos aut­ho­ri­zing tor­tu­re:
- Bybee One (pro­vi­ding legal cover for tor­tu­re) and
- Bybee Two (describ­ing the tech­ni­ques that could be used), both dated Aug. 1, 2002.
- The .. memos argue that "neces­si­ty" or "self-defen­se" might be used as defen­ses against pro­se­cu­ti­on, even though the United Nati­ons Con­ven­ti­on Against Tor­tu­re expli­ci­tly sta­tes that "no excep­tio­nal cir­cum­stan­ces whatsoever, whe­ther a sta­te of war or a thre­at or war ... may be invo­ked as a justi­fi­ca­ti­on of tor­tu­re." .. the tech­ni­ques the CIA could use in inter­ro­ga­ti­on, was pre­mi­sed on hot­ly deba­ted assump­ti­ons. For examp­le, the .. memo clai­med Zubay­dah was mental­ly and phy­si­cal­ly fit to be water­boar­ded, even though Zubay­dah had had head and recent gunshot inju­ries. .. In all of his tor­tu­re memos, Yoo igno­red key pre­ce­dents rela­ting .. to sepa­ra­ti­on of powers. .
Jay Bybee, assi­stant attor­ney gene­ral, Office of Legal Coun­sel (2001−2003)
 As head of the OLC when the first tor­tu­re memos were appro­ved, Bybee signed the memos named after him that John Yoo draf­ted. At the time, the White Hou­se knew that Bybee wan­ted an appoint­ment as a Cir­cuit Court judge; after signing his name to memos sup­porting tor­tu­re, he recei­ved such an appoint­ment. Of par­ti­cu­lar con­cern is the timing of Bybee's appro­val of the tor­tu­re tech­ni­ques. He first appro­ved some tech­ni­ques on July 24, 2002. The next day, Jim Hay­nes, the Defen­se Department's gene­ral coun­sel, orde­red the SERE unit of DOD to collect infor­ma­ti­on inclu­ding details on water­boar­ding. While the record is con­tra­dic­to­ry on whe­ther Hay­nes or CIA Gene­ral Coun­sel John Riz­zo gave that infor­ma­ti­on to OLC, on the day they did so, OLC appro­ved water­boar­ding. One of the docu­ments in that packet iden­ti­fied the­se actions as tor­tu­re, and sta­ted that tor­tu­re often pro­du­ced unre­li­able results
Wil­liam "Jim" Hay­nes, Defen­se Depart­ment gene­ral coun­sel (2001−2008)
 As gene­ral coun­sel of the Defen­se Depart­ment, Jim Hay­nes over­saw the legal ana­ly­sis of inter­ro­ga­ti­on tech­ni­ques to be used with mili­ta­ry detai­nees .. Hay­nes play­ed a key role in making sure some of the tech­ni­ques were adop­ted, with litt­le review, by the mili­ta­ry. He was thus cru­cial to the migra­ti­on of tor­tu­re to Guan­tá­na­mo and then Iraq. In Sep­tem­ber 2002, Hay­nes par­ti­ci­pa­ted in a key visit to Guan­tá­na­mo .. Hay­nes igno­red repeated warnings from wit­hin the armed ser­vices about the tech­ni­ques, inclu­ding state­ments that the tech­ni­ques "may vio­la­te tor­tu­re sta­tu­te" and "cross the line of 'huma­ne' tre­at­ment." In Octo­ber 2002, when the legal coun­sel for the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff attemp­ted to con­duct a tho­rough legal review of the tech­ni­ques, Hay­nes orde­red her to stop, becau­se "peop­le were going to see" the objec­tions that some in the mili­ta­ry had rai­sed. On Nov. 27, 2002, Hay­nes recom­men­ded that Secreta­ry of Defen­se Donald Rums­feld aut­ho­ri­ze many of the reque­sted tech­ni­ques, inclu­ding stress posi­ti­ons, hoo­ding, the remo­val of clot­hing, and the use of dogs -- the same tech­ni­ques that show­ed up later in the abu­se at Abu Ghraib.
Donald Rums­feld, secreta­ry of defen­se (2001−2006)
 As secreta­ry of defen­se, Rums­feld signed off on inter­ro­ga­ti­on methods used in the mili­ta­ry, nota­b­ly for Abu Ghraib, Bagram Air For­ce Base and Guan­tá­na­mo Bay. With this appro­val, the use of tor­tu­re would move from the CIA to the mili­ta­ry. A recent bipar­ti­san Sena­te report con­clu­ded that "Secreta­ry of Defen­se Donald Rumsfeld's aut­ho­riz­a­ti­on of inter­ro­ga­ti­on tech­ni­ques at Guan­tá­na­mo Bay was a direct cau­se of detai­nee abu­se the­re." Rums­feld per­so­nal­ly appro­ved tech­ni­ques inclu­ding the use of pho­bi­as (dogs), for­ced nudi­ty and stress posi­ti­ons on Dec. 2, 2002, signing a one-page memo pre­pa­red for him by Hay­nes. The­se tech­ni­ques were among tho­se deemed tor­tu­re in the Charles Gra­ner case and .. the plan used many of the same tech­ni­ques .. inclu­ding sen­so­ry depri­va­ti­on and "sleep adjust­ment." And through it all, Rums­feld main­tai­ned a dis­da­in­ful view on the­se tech­ni­ques, at one point quip­ping on a memo appro­ving har­sh tech­ni­ques, "I stand for eight to 10 hours a day. Why is stan­ding limi­ted to four hours?"
John Riz­zo, CIA depu­ty gene­ral coun­sel (2002−2004), acting gene­ral coun­sel of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agen­cy (2001−2002, 2004-pre­sent)
 As depu­ty gene­ral coun­sel and then acting gene­ral coun­sel for the CIA, John Rizzo's name appears on all of the known OLC opi­ni­ons on tor­tu­re for the CIA .. Riz­zo pro­vi­ded a descrip­ti­on of water­boar­ding using one stan­dard, while the OLC opi­ni­on descri­bed a more mode­ra­te stan­dard. Signi­fi­cant­ly, the descrip­ti­on of water­boar­ding sub­mit­ted to OLC came from the Defen­se Depart­ment .. Riz­zo also pro­vi­ded a docu­ment that cal­led enhan­ced methods "tor­tu­re" and deemed them unre­li­able -- yet even with this warning, Riz­zo still advo­ca­ted for the CIA to get per­mis­si­on to use tho­se tech­ni­ques.
Ste­ven Brad­bu­ry, princi­pal depu­ty assi­stant attor­ney gene­ral, OLC (2004), acting assi­stant attor­ney gene­ral, OLC (2005−2009)
 In 2004, the CIA's inspec­tor gene­ral wro­te a report con­clu­ding that the CIA's inter­ro­ga­ti­on pro­gram might vio­la­te the Con­ven­ti­on Against Tor­tu­re. It fell to Acting Assi­stant Attor­ney Gene­ral Ste­ven Brad­bu­ry to wri­te three memos in May 2005 that would dis­miss the con­cerns the IG Report rai­sed -- in effect, to affirm the OLC's 2002 memos legi­ti­mi­zing tor­tu­re. Bradbury's memos noted the ways in which pri­or tor­tu­re had exce­e­ded the Bybee Two memo: the 183 uses of the water­board for Kha­lid Sheikh Moham­med in one mon­th, the gal­lon and a half used in water­boar­ding, the 20 to 30 times a detai­nee is thrown agains the wall, the 11 days a detai­nee had been made to stay awa­ke, the extra ses­si­ons of water­boar­ding orde­red from CIA head­quar­ters even after local inter­ro­ga­tors deemed Abu Zubay­dah to be ful­ly com­pli­ant. Yet Brad­bu­ry does not con­si­der it tor­tu­re. He notes the CIA's doc­tors' cau­ti­ons about the com­bi­na­ti­on of using the water­board with a phy­si­cal­ly fatigued detai­nee, yet in a sepa­ra­te memo appro­ves the use of sleep depri­va­ti­on and water­boading in tan­dem. He repeated­ly con­ce­des that the CIA's inter­ro­ga­ti­on tech­ni­ques as actual­ly imple­men­ted exce­e­ded the SERE tech­ni­ques, yet repeated­ly points to the con­nec­tion to SERE to argue the methods must be legal.
Geor­ge W. Bush, pre­si­dent (2001−2009)
 While Pre­si­dent Bush main­tai­ned some distance from the tor­tu­re for years -- Che­ney descri­bes him "basi­cal­ly" aut­ho­ri­zing it -- he ser­ved as the chief pro­pa­gan­dist about its effi­cacy and neces­si­ty. Most nota­b­ly, on Sept. 6, 2006, when Bush first con­fes­sed to the pro­gram, Bush repeated the claims made to sup­port the Bybee Two memo: that Abu Zubay­dah wouldn't talk except by using tor­tu­re. And in 2006, after the CIA's own inspec­tor gene­ral had rai­sed pro­blems with the pro­gram, after Ste­ven Brad­bu­ry had admit­ted all the ways that the tor­tu­re pro­gram exce­e­ded gui­de­li­nes, Bush still clai­med it was legal. "[They] were desi­gned to be safe, to com­ply with our laws, our Con­sti­tu­ti­on and our trea­ty obli­ga­ti­ons. The Depart­ment of Jus­ti­ce review­ed the aut­ho­ri­zed methods exten­si­ve­ly, and deter­mi­ned them to be law­ful." With this state­ment, the decep­ti­ons and bureau­cra­tic games all came full cir­cle. After all, it was Bush who, on Feb. 7, 2002, had decla­red the Gene­va Con­ven­ti­ons wouldn't app­ly (a view the Supre­me Court ulti­mate­ly rejec­ted). Bush's inac­tion in tor­tu­re is as important as his actions .. (he) fai­led to ful­fill legal obli­ga­ti­ons to noti­fy Con­gress of the tor­tu­re pro­gram. A Sena­te Intel­li­gence time­li­ne on the tor­tu­re pro­gram makes clear that Con­gress was not brie­fed on the tech­ni­ques used in the tor­tu­re pro­gram .. then Hou­se Intel­li­gence ran­king mem­ber Jane Har­man shows that she had not yet seen evi­dence that Bush had signed off on this poli­cy. This sug­gests Pre­si­dent Bush did not pro­vi­de the legal­ly requi­red noti­ce to Con­gress, vio­la­ting Natio­nal Secu­ri­ty Deci­si­ons Direc­ti­ve-286. What Bush did not say is as legal­ly important as what he did say.

Yet, ulti­mate­ly, Bush and wha­te­ver appro­val he gave the pro­gram is at the cen­ter of the administration's embrace of tor­tu­re. Con­do­leez­za Rice recent­ly said, "By defi­ni­ti­on, if it was aut­ho­ri­zed by the pre­si­dent, it did not vio­la­te our obli­ga­ti­ons in the Con­ven­ti­on Against Tor­tu­re." While Rice has tried to reframe her state­ment, it uses the same logic used by John Yoo and David Adding­ton to justi­fy the pro­gram, the shocking claim that inter­na­tio­nal and dome­stic laws can­not bind the pre­si­dent in times of war.

Bush's clo­se allies still insist if he aut­ho­ri­zed it, it couldn't be tor­tu­re.