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  Senate Report: Rice, Cheney Ok'D Cia Use Of Waterboarding - Cnn.ComApril 23, 2009 11:28 Top Bush administration officials gave the CIA approval to use waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique, as early as 2002, a Senate intelligence report shows.

On July 17, 2002, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who later became secretary of state, said the CIA could proceed with "alternative interrogation methods," including waterboarding, when questioning suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

The decision was contingent on the Justice Department's determining the method's legality. A week later, Attorney General John Ashcroft had determined the "proposed interrogation techniques were lawful," the report said.

The same techniques also were used in the interrogations of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the first person charged in the United States in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
  Karl Rove Loses It Over Torture InvestigationApril 22, 2009 21:52 Judging from Karl Rove's unhinged reactions on Hannity last night (4/21/09), I can only conclude that he is very, very worried about the possibility of an investigation into torture under the Bush administration. Sure, he couched it in terms of national security. But this is the guy whose fingerprints are all over the outing of an undercover CIA agent. You need more than a shaker of salt to swallow Rove's argument that his meltdown last night was due to concern for the country, not his own derriere or at the least the derrieres of some close friends. In addition to signalling that his Justice Department may investigate Bush administration officials responsible for its torture policy, Obama has tacitly endorsed a bipartisan Congressional commission. On top of that, a lengthy article in the New York Times came out last night detailing the ineptitude of the Bush administration that led to the approval of the tactics in the first place. And how is Sean Hannity handling all that? By doubling down on his Republican rehab efforts. He was so busy with that, he had hardly any time to attack Obama. With video.

Much of the show was taken up with interviews with Dick Cheney and then Rove. You could hardly find two people with more self-interest in a) defending Bush administration tactics and b) discrediting Obama's release of the torture memos but that was never noted in the interviews nor were any of Cheney's or Rove's questionable, self-justifying statements challenged in any way.

Hannity and Cheney went through the motions of trying to make the discussion about Obama but somehow Cheney always kept veering off into a justification of the Bush administration's policies.

For example, in Part 2 of the interview, Hannity took his usual tack of painting Obama as endangering the United States, this time for changing the terminology for the “war on terror.” “How dangerous is that?” Hannity asked. “He just doesn't have the courage to say it's a war on terror?”

Cheney said Hannity had “hit on a key point.” But instead of attacking Obama, he began a long monologue justifying Bush administration actions post 9/11, including an indirect defense of the war in Iraq, military action against “not only terrorists but those who sponsor terror and provide sanctuary and safe harbor for them.” Funny how he didn't mention WMD's. He also bragged about the “terror surveillance program” and the “robust interrogation program on detainees.”

Cheney later took another swipe by saying that Obama had sent a signal to the world that “Our most important obligation/responsibility is to read their rights to the people we capture.” Obama has said nothing of the sort but predictably, Hannity didn't challenge the assertion.
  Obama may allow Torture ProsecutionsApril 21, 2009 21:25 President Barack Obama opened the door on Tuesday to possible prosecutions of U.S. officials who laid the legal groundwork for harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects during the Bush administration.

Obama also said he would not necessarily oppose an effort to pursue a "further accounting" or investigation into the Bush-era interrogation program that included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, shoving people into walls and other methods.

That marked a shift for the Obama administration, which has emphasized it does not want to dwell on the past with lengthy probes into policies put in place by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks.