The AP has a nice little story about the CIA’s kidnap and torture squad, re-posted here at Talking Points Memo:
Four of the nation’s most highly valued terrorist prisoners were secretly moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003, years earlier than has been disclosed, then whisked back into overseas prisons before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers, The Associated Press has learned.
It amazes me that someone can write an entire article about an illegal secret government program that was designed to kidnap and torture people while hiding them from the courts and the public … without using the words “illegal,” “kidnap,” or “torture.”
But holy hell, what is this next bit about?
Worse for the CIA, if the Supreme Court granted detainees rights, the entire covert program was at risk. Zubaydah and al-Nashiri could tell their lawyers about being waterboarded in Thailand. Al-Nashiri might discuss having a drill and an unloaded gun put to his head at a CIA prison in Poland.
“Anything that could expose these detainees to individuals outside the government was a nonstarter,” one U.S. official familiar with the program said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the government’s legal analysis.
Let me unpack that logic a bit. Individuals in the Bush CIA had to hide these imprisoned men from the courts and anyone else outside the government … because … if the prisoners were allowed to talk to anyone, they might complain about being tortured … by the CIA? Which would, you know, look bad on their annual GS-14 performance reviews. Or something. It’s not like they could have been worried about being charged with crimes. John Yoo and Jay Bybee told them it was all OK! (Guess which one of those two names is missing from the article.)
So instead, everyone in the Bush administration who learned about the illegal secret torture and kidnapping program just… went along with the conspiracy to cover it all up, because hey, why rock the boat? And the AP is granting anonymity to a source who is “familiar” with “the program” because … if we knew the source’s name, presumably he could be charged with a crime, either in the US or somewhere else.
Glad we’ve cleared that up.