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Torture, Sexy, Uncool

It didn't garner much attention last week, what with the latest episode of mindless turpitude from the mindfreaks on the right, but a former Guantanamo prosecutor made some pretty startling revelations in the wake of his resignation earlier this month. He alleged that the Bush administration sought to push high profile terrorism cases in lieu of those backed up by more solid evidence. He claims that he felt pressured to push cases deemed "sexy" and that could be milked for their "strategic political value". Given the scandal that ensued over the politicization of US Attorneys (one that may yet still net a few scalps), you would think the Bushies would shy away from anything but the utmost transparency when it comes to prosecutions. Then again, transparency went the way of "compassionate conservative" a long time ago.

But there is another problem the Bushies now face in their overzealous search for the "sexy". The LA Times reports that the FBI is in a mad dash to bolster some of the cases against terrorism detainees. Their main concern is that the CIA's interrogation practices may have rendered (no pun intended) some of the evidence inadmissible even to the highly scripted show trials at Gitmo.
By mid-2002, several former agents and senior bureau officials said, they had begun complaining that the CIA-run interrogation program amounted to torture and was going to create significant problems down the road — particularly if the Bush administration was ever forced to allow the Al Qaeda suspects to face their accusers in court.

[..]"Those guys were using techniques that we didn't even want to be in the room for," one senior federal law enforcement official said. "The CIA determined they were going to torture people, and we made the decision not to be involved."

A senior FBI official who since has retired said he also complained about the lack of usable evidence and admissible statements being gathered. "We knew there were going to be problems back then. But nobody was listening," he said. "Now they have to live with the policy that they have adopted. I don't know if anyone thought of the consequences."

Never was there a more apt description for how the Bush administration chooses to operate.

See also Carpetbagger and Steve Soto.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)