Are You An American Citizen?

by tristero

Are you an American citizen? Yes? Then, as far as the world's concerned, you signed your name to this:
The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.

The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency's interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing.

The memos were the first -- and, for years, the only -- tangible expressions of the administration's consent for the CIA's use of harsh measures to extract information from captured al-Qaeda leaders, the sources said. As early as the spring of 2002, several White House officials, including then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Cheney, were given individual briefings by Tenet and his deputies, the officials said. Rice, in a statement to congressional investigators last month, confirmed the briefings and acknowledged that the CIA director had pressed the White House for "policy approval."
Not my fault! I didn't vote for Bush! I hate torture , I only saw 24 once!

Nobody cares. Are you an American? You live in a country that tortures people as official policy (no, the present tense is not a careless mistake), it's your responsibility. That is how the world sees us. And we will - not may, will - pay a heavy price for our failure of outrage when this first started to ooze out. Even those of us, like myself, who spoke out loudly in opposition? Yes.

For more on what each and every one of us will be held accountable for, read Jane Mayer's book. This should be assigned reading for every senior in high school, to impress upon kids that under no circumstances should the government of the United States be permitted to degenerate into a torture regime again.


UPDATE: Emptywheel asks a good question: Who signed the memo authorizing torture? Did Bush? Cheney?