Blogging from Phoenix- It seems money was not the only thing George Bush spent eight years borrowing from the Chinese, In what civil libertarians hope is the first of many bipartisan congressional reports into the Bush administrations eight year abuse of civil liberty.

A panel of twenty five Senators which included twelve republicans, concluded former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and senior Bush administration officials are directly responsible for harsh treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the decision to abuse and torture led to more serious abuses in Iraq and elsewhere, it further disclosed the President’s men and women looked toward China for ideas on how to abuse and torture.

The comprehensive report by Congress of military interrogation practices, issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee, accuses Mr. Rumsfeld and deputies of being “authors and chief promoters” of harsh interrogation and torture policies that disgraced the nation and undermined U.S. security. The report, released by Republican John McCain and Democrat Carl Levin contends Pentagon officials later attempted to conspire toward creation of the false impression the policies were unrelated to acts of detainee abuse and torture committed by the military.

“The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of ‘a few bad apples’ acting on their own,” the report states. “The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.” The report directly contradicts the Bush administration’s reason for using torture in interrogation

The administration’s policies and the resulting controversies, the panel concluded, “damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.”
White House officials maintain the measures were approved in response to demands from field officers who complained that traditional interrogation methods were not working on some of the more hardened captives. But Senate investigators said the seeds of the policy originated in a Feb. 7, 2002, memo signed by President Bush declaring the Geneva Conventions, which outline standards for the humane treatment of detainees, did not apply to those captured

As early as that spring, top administration officials, including then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice participated in meetings where the use of torture was discussed, the panel said, In July of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld’s staff began compiling information based on methods adopted by Chinese communists to coerce propaganda confessions from captured U.S. soldiers during the Korean War. “It is particularly troubling that senior officials approved the use of interrogation techniques that were originally designed to simulate torture tactics used by our enemies against our own soldiers,” the report said, “and that were modeled, in part, on tactics used by the Communist Chinese to elicit false confessions from U.S. military personnel.”

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