A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.
"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.
"The main one 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."
That's right. People were tortured not because they were lying, but because they were telling the truth.
"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."
Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.
Cheney and Rumsfeld didn't give a damn whether it was true or not. They didn't give a damn that torture didn't work. They just wanted some cover. This began as early as the summer of 2002.
Last night Rachel Maddow interviewed former executive director of the 9/11 Commission Philip Zelikow who had written a memo against the use of torture. Not only did the Bushies ignore it, they sought to suppress it, to pretend it never happened.
They knew it was illegal. They didn't care. It was party time. These scumbags gave themselves absolute power over other people's lives, bodies and sanity and crushed them just to show how tough they were. They and their enablers on the Democratic side, like Jane Harman, who is shocked, shocked, I tell you, that they would abuse their self-bestowed powers.
Obama who is reluctant to get involved in an investigation and possible prosecution, has gotten hammered (yes!) by the Left for it, has still left the door open. We'll see if anyone steps through it.
I've said this before and I'll keep saying it until it happens or I die, these people belong in prison.