March 28, 2009 2:38pm
Ex-Official: Bush Panicked After 9/11
(CBS/AP) A former State Department lawyer tells The Associated Press that the Bush administration panicked after 9/11 and tortured prisoners.
Former President George W. Bush denied anyone was tortured. But Vijay Padmanabhan is at least the second insider to publicly describe as torture the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" used by the
Padmanabhan was the department's chief counsel on
He told the AP Friday that "
Last week, another former official in the Bush State Department publicly criticized the administration for its
Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, said many detainees locked up in the prison camp were innocent swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants
"There are still innocent people there," Wilkerson told The Associated Press. "Some have been there six or seven years."
Wilkerson, who first made the assertions in an Internet posting, told the AP he learned from briefings and by communicating with military commanders that the U.S. soon realized many Guantanamo detainees were innocent but nevertheless held them in hopes they could provide information for a "mosaic" of intelligence.
"It did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in
Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel, said vetting on the battlefield during the early stages of
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney fought efforts to address the situation, Wilkerson said, because "to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership."
Wilkerson told the AP in a telephone interview that many detainees "clearly had no connection to al Qaeda and the Taliban and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pakistanis turned many over for $5,000 a head."
Some 800 men have been held at
© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Donations can be sent to the
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs
Post a Comment