Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Profoundly Diseased Tree

There are two ways to think about the Bush administration's willingness to torture prisoners in the wake of 9/11. One is the story we were sold after we learned about Abu Ghraib: A few "bad apples" at the lowest levels of the military went a little crazy and tortured some prisoners on their own initiative, for which (some) were duly punished. The second is confirmed in a new and devastating piece of investigating by The New Yorker's Jane Mayer: A systematic and rigorous program of highly abusive interrogation was approved at the highest levels of government at so-called "black sites" around the world. This second version of the national torture story reveals not so much the bad apples as a profoundly diseased tree.

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