Sunday, July 29, 2007

"The administration began by dismissing the misconduct at Abu Ghraib as the work of what President Bush called “a few American troops.” The bad-apple defense quickly crumbled, though, with the leak of government memorandums authorizing the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” These new methods were specifically sanctioned for members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda being held at Guantánamo Bay, who the administration determined were not entitled to Geneva Conventions protections. But it is not difficult to draw a line from Camp Delta to Abu Ghraib. In August 2003, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the joint task force at Guantánamo, was dispatched to the Iraqi prison — formerly Saddam Hussein’s favorite torture chamber — to make it a more effective laboratory for producing intelligence that might help defeat the insurgency. In Iraq, the use of harsh interrogation techniques required the signature of a superior officer, though that was apparently not much of a deterrent. “I never saw a sheet that wasn’t signed,” McKelvey quotes one interrogator as saying."