by Amy Goodman
SPOKANE, Wash. - George W. Bush insisted that the U.S. did not use torture.
But the four Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel memos released last week by the Obama administration's Justice Department paint a starkly different picture. The declassified memos provided legal authorization for "harsh interrogation techniques" used by the Bush administration in the years following Sept. 11, 2001. They authorized (as listed in the Aug. 1, 2002, memo by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee) "walling ... facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, insects placed in a confinement box, and the waterboard."
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the OLC under Bush "became a facilitator for illegal government conduct, issuing dozens of memos meant to permit gross violations of domestic and international law."
The memos authorize what the International Committee of the Red Cross called, in a leaked report, "treatment and interrogation techniques ... that amounted to torture." Read more.