Friday, October 17, 2008

Scott Horton on Salon Radio with Glenn Greenwald

Via Think Progress

GG:The Bush administration, as I understand your piece, one of the focal points of this documentary is linking what we've long known about what we've done to detainees to formal official policy at the White House, at the top level of the Bush administration. Is that your understanding of one of the purposes of the documentary?

SH: Absolutely correct. And let's put it in little bit more context. Part of the push-back that came, both from the military and the intelligence officers, was them saying, we don't want to get scapegoated in this. We know what's going to happen, a new administration's going to come in to Washington, and they're going to do things differently; you're not to scapegoat us for this. If you want this done, you're going to formally approve it. So there was very serious, adamant insistence that this was going to be approved at the highest level of the administration, and indeed it was.

In fact, John Bellinger, the lawyer for Condoleezza Rice, submitted a statement to Senator Levin just 10 days ago now, in which he confirmed the ABC News report, whereby we know, in a handful of cases in which the most extreme techniques were used, there was a proposal written up; it was approved all the way up the hierarchy at the CIA, then it went to the White House and the National Security Council, and there was a principals' meeting - the principals' committee is all the members of the National Security Council save the president - there was a principals' meeting, at which actual torture techniques being applied to actual individual prisoners were discussed and approved, and this is, one of these sessions, John Ashcroft was reported to have said, in classic words of understatement, history will not look kindly on this.

GG: I guess part of the effort now is to manage what that history looks like, or how it ends up disclosing what it is that our government did, and that's the focal point of your piece, for The Daily Beast, which is, it seems as though there are efforts being exerted, quite deliberate efforts, to block the broadcast of this documentary at least until the Bush administration is out of office. Talk about what's going on with this documentary and what PBS is doing with regard with it's being shown. ...

[Audio and transcript at Greenwald's blog Unclaimed Territory in]

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