Magazine September 21, 2009, Issue

Getting to the Truth

President George W. Bush stands with Vice President Richard Cheney in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, D.C., November 22, 2005. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Newly declassified documents show that the Bush administration’s interrogation policies were both responsible and effective

Prior to the release of every newly declassified document related to the CIA interrogation program, some horrifying detail is previewed in the press. In April, Mark Danner wrote an account in the New York Review of Books of interviews that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had conducted with high-value detainees. According to the ICRC, top detainee Abu Zubaydah told how his interrogators had used a plastic collar to slam him “directly against a hard concrete wall.” Danner dwells on the plastic collar as a ghoulish instrument, on par with rubber poles the Soviets used to beat political

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