By Becky Akers
June 9, 2008
A hidden bomb will detonate in an hour, killing hundreds of people and injuring thousands. You have the bomber in your power. Do you torture him to discover the device’s location?
The Principals Committee answered “Yes” to the classic “Ticking Time Bomb Scenario.” And what is the Principals Committee? A rogue group that Klingons have infiltrated aboard the starship Enterprise? A league of banana republics? No. It’s part of the United States’ National Security Council, and its members hail from the highest levels of the Federal government. In 2002, when it pressured the CIA to torture suspected terrorists, it included then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as its chairman as well as Vice President Dick Cheney and such former officials as Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
ABC News reported on April 11, 2008 that the committee met frequently at the White House to discuss the details of torturing men — with presidential approval: “Yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue,” George Bush acknowledged to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz. “And I approved.”
That approval spread like Agent Orange from the president and his advisers to the men on the ground who were guarding and interrogating prisoners. It turned Abu Ghraib’s hooded, leashed, and naked “detainees” from an aberration that shamed America into official policy. No longer can the administration claim that only “a few” low-hanging “bad apples” are guilty: the president and his advisers are the biggest of those apples.
The Third Degree Approved