Big news that first appeared in the New York Times this morning, but lost in the Boston bombings:
A bipartisan panel said President George W. Bush’s administration engaged in torture after the Sept. 11 attacks and blamed “the nation’s highest officials” for “allowing and contributing to the spread of torture.”
The 560-page report by a task force of the Washington-based Constitution Project also takes aim at the Obama administration for maintaining secrecy on past abuses and failing to prosecute acts of torture.
...The report was less definitive on whether torture provided any valuable information to U.S. officials tracking potential terrorist plots.
...Still, the task force said there is no “firm or persuasive evidence” to indicate that torture was beneficial and called on those who disagree to offer some factual basis.
Big news however you slice it, but the local angle is that Asa Hutchinson, the former congressman and current Republican gubernatorial candidate, was a leader of the task force. He was a Homeland Security official in the Bush administration.
“Torture was used against detainees in many instances and across a wide range of theaters,” Hutchinson said at a news conference, citing instances of waterboarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation.