Handling The Bush Torture Memos: Softly, Softly

Sensitive Subject  

Amidst the excitement over the Bush administration’s torture memos [in the spirit of TARP let’s call them Legacy Crimes], various former Bush-ists are surfacing with accounts aimed at minimizing their own involvement, or to further their “secret good guy” personal narrative.

9-11 Commission Executive Director and Condi Rice operative Philip Zelikow is out with his own heroic tale of dissent in a dark time.

Zelikow says he learned of the Legacy Crimes while working at State for Condoleezza Rice in May 2005.  He claims he spoke up, but stayed silent, until now:

In the State Department, Secretary Rice and her Legal Adviser, John Bellinger, were then the only other individuals briefed on these details. In compliance with the security agreements I have signed, I have never discussed or disclosed any substantive details about the program until the classified information has been released.

Left out of course is Rice’s presence  at pre-2005 White House meetings,  where Legacy Crimes were plotted, down to the slap level.

Zelikow went on to serve the 9-11 Commission, where between meeting with Karl Rove, pushing 9-11 madwoman Laurie Mylroie‘s Saddam-Did-It theories, and endless battles with the White House over classification,  he didn’t find the occasion to inform the Commission of just what “enhanced” entailed.

Zelikow’s recent version says “The Commission wondered how captives were questioned” but is silent on how he might have shed some light at the time. The 9-11 Report burnished the reputation of jolly Tom Kean and soldier of the republic Lee Hamilton, even as it fed questions into the torture chambers.

We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process.”

Such acute sensitivity to sensitivity will take this boy far!

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