• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Lawrence Wilkerson Explains His J’Accuse Against Dick Cheney

As mentioned yesterday, Colin Powell’s former State Department chief of staff, ret. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, posted at The Washington Note that an “investigation” he was conducting determined that the Bush administration torture program existed primarily to manufacture “a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida” to justify an invasion. That’s a line of inquiry suggested by the Senate Armed Services Committee‘s recently-declassified torture investigation. But Wilkerson went further, writing that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s office took a particular interest in the torture of al-Qaeda detainee Ibn Shaikh al-Libi — who recently was found dead in a Libyan prison — evidently believing he could provide such a smoking gun:

[E]ven when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee “was compliant” (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, “revealed” such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop.

Did Wilkerson mean to say that? And what was the genesis of that “investigation,” anyway? I caught up with Wilkerson via email.

["Investigation" is] just a term I use. Probably more appropriate to say “research”, as I am an academic now.

In 2004, just before the Abu Ghraib photos were plastered over the country, Secretary Powell walked in to my office and told me the photos were going to be revealed and to find out what had happened. He said that Will Taft, his Legal Advisor, was working on the legal aspects and he wanted me to work on the political aspects as well as how we got to where we were–a chronology and such. From that point on, I have been “investigating”. I have not ceased.

Wilkerson didn’t specify a timeline for the torture of al-Libi, but he did write that manufacturing the “smoking gun” was the context for the Bush administration’s top-level deliberations in “April and May of 2002″ about adopting an “enhanced interrogation” program for use on Abu Zubaydah, then the senior-most al-Qaeda captive in CIA custody. Al-Libi, however, was in CIA custody at the end of 2001 and rendered to Egypt for torture in or around January 2002.

Wilkerson’s facts do not add up. Al Libi’s original testimony regarding Iraq-al Qaeda links occurred months before Wilkerson says waterboarding was used to get this admission out of him. We know this because the DIA filed a report saying that it did not trust al Libi’s testimony regarding the training of al Qaeda operatives in Iraq in February 2002 -– two months before Wilkerson says the Bush administration authorized the Egyptians to use harsh interrogation methods on al Libi.

So, when Wilkerson writes that “the [Bush] administration authorized [the] harsh interrogation [of al Libi] in April and May of 2002” and al Libi “had not revealed any al Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts” until then, he is clearly wrong. Al Libi, according to the DIA, first discussed this putative tie between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda before Wilkerson says that harsh interrogation techniques were authorized by Vice President Cheney.

As Joscelyn writes, the DIA indeed filed a February 2002 notice indicating distrust for al-Libi’s claims about Iraq assisting al-Qaeda’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. “It is more likely that this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers,” a DIA report known as DITSUM #044-02 reads. “Ibn al-Shaykh [al-Libi] has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may describing [sic] scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.” Yet al-Libi’s dubious information made its way into the intelligence bloodstream, all the way up to Colin Powell’s since-discredited 2003 speech to the United Nations justifying the invasion — the first draft of which had a big assist from Cheney’s office, including then-chief of staff Scooter Libby. In March 2004, after the invasion, the CIA withdrew its support for al-Libi’s claims.

Joscelyn wrote, “It is doubtful that any part of Wilkerson’s story is true.” I asked Wilkerson if he wished to respond.

If their account is the accurate one, explain to me why Tenet and McLaughlin [then the director and deputy director of the CIA] came to Secretary Powell in February 2003–yes, 2003–with the information about al-Libi as if it were fresh as the morning dew. Powell was ready to throw out almost everything Tenet had given him on the contacts of Baghdad with terrorists, particularly al-Qa’ida. Suddenly, on 1 Feb, there was the shocking revelation of a high-level al-Qa’ida operative who had just revealed significant contacts between al-Qa’ida and Baghdad. Powell changed his mind and that information went into his presentation to the [United Nations Security Council] on 5 Feb 2003. We were never told of the DIA dissent.

And what about the timeline — or suggested timeline — in the original post?

I am basing my conclusions on the fact that DCI Tenet and DDCI McLaughlin presented the information about al-Libi to Secretary Powell in Feb 2003 and not in Feb 2002. The strong impression was that the interrogation had just occurred or, at a minimum, that Tenet had just received the information (otherwise, why wouldn’t they have given it to Powell much earlier, say when he first expressed concerns over the terrorist links some days earlier?). I have no idea when the Egyptians waterboarded al-Libi other than what Tenet and McLauglin implied in their presentation to Powell–which, incidentally, was quite effective on him. Who says the Egyptians tortured al-Libi in Feb 2002? I’m prepared to modify my views if that can be proved. But not by much because that is a minor part of my position.

TWI is on Twitter. Please follow us here.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.