A new examination by our partner The New York Times, shows that in 2002 top officials in the Bush administration for the first time signed off on the barbaric interrogation procedures, that in the past it had always condemned. And no one involved in that decision, from the President down through the House and Senate, knew the history behind the methods they had just signed off on. Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal didn't know of the history of these programs.
What was that history? According to several former top officials interviewed by the New York Times, the methods used by the CIA against terror suspects were taken from a military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. The program had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of Communist torture methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans during the Korean War. Obviously not something you want to pick up off the shelf and start using again. Here to present his report is New York Times reporter Scott Shane.
For more, read Scott Shane's and Mark Mazzetti's article, In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Inquiry Into Their Past Use
in today's New York Times.