Friday, April 24, 2009

The Tortured Iraq-Al Qaeda Connection

New item up at Comment is Free:
Though dozens of civilians continue to be killed every week by terrorist bombings in Iraq, and simmering tensions between the Shiite-dominated central government and Sunni and Kurdish factions threaten to boil over, the American people have by and large tuned out the Iraq debate.

Exhausted of hearing about a war that most now believe never should have been fought, and lulled and distracted by endlessly repeated claims that the surge worked, it is perhaps understandable that Americans would prefer to read and hear about more immediate concerns such as the deepening economic crisis.

But the Iraq issue crept back into the public eye this week in an unexpected way – as an element of the torture debate.

Among the most notable and disturbing revelations of the recently released full report of the Senate armed services committee's Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in US Custody was that one of the principle drivers of the use of torture – I refuse to use the term "enhanced interrogation" for waterboarding, a technique invented by torturers for use as torture – on key detainees was the need to produce evidence that would support the Bush administration's arguments about the threat posed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein.

Read the rest here.