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The Presidents Coming-Out Party
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Harper's magazine

Harper's magazine, December 15, 2007
Posted: December 28th, 2007

This has been an important week in the torture debate in America. It has been the week of the Presidents coming-out party. This week, a CIA agent, John Kiriakou, appeared, first on ABC News and then in an interview with NBCs Matt Lauer, and explained just how the system works. When we want to torture someone (and it is torture he said; no one involved with these techniques would ever think anything different), we have to write it up. The team leader of the torture team proposes what torture techniques will be used and when. He sends it to the Deputy Chief of Operations at the CIA. And there it is reviewed by the hierarchy of the Company. Then the proposal is passed to the Justice Department to be reviewed, blessed, and it is passed to the National Security Council in the White House, to be reviewed and approved. The NSC is chaired, of course, by George W. Bush, whose personal authority is invoked for each and every instance of torture authorized. And, according to Kiriakou as well as others, Bushs answer is never no. He has never found a case where he didnt find torture was appropriate. Heres a key piece of the Kiriakou statement: LAUER: "Was the White House involved in that decision?" KIRIAKOU: "Absolutely, this isnt something done willy nilly. Its not something that an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides hes going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner. This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department." He then goes into the process in considerable detail. Watch the video here. So now the process can be fully diagrammed, and the cast of characters is stunning. The torture system involves the operations division of the CIA on the implementation side. The Justice Department is right in the thick of it. And finally the White House. David Addington, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadleythese are all names we can now link directly to the torture system. They decided who would be tortured and how.

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