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Submitted by Robert Naiman on 26 May 2009 - 8:02am
The most damning credible allegation to emerge regarding the Bush Administration is arguably that Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration officials ordered the use of torture to produce false evidence of a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff at the State Department under Colin Powell, recently wrote,
as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 - well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion - its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.
Wilkerson cited the case of detainee Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, whose tortured testimony was crucial for building the case for war, and was cited in Powell's speech to the UN.
when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts.
About this case, Human Rights Watch has recently written,