This fascinating article, by Jane Mayer for the New Yorker, describes the efforts made by Alberto J. Mora, outgoing general counsel of the U.S. Navy, to ban the abuse and torture of detainees in U.S. custody. It got a fair amount of media attention earlier in the week; we just got around to reading it now. (Cut us some slack! It’s a long article, and we have lots of other things to read — like stupid headlines on CNN.com.)
The article is full of fodder for a Senior Administration Official Guessing Game. After the jump, a few items that caught our eye.
Here they are:
1. “[Alberto Mora] agreed to confirm the authenticity and accuracy of the memo and to be interviewed. A senior Defense Department official, whom the Bush Administration made available as a spokesman, on the condition that his name not be used, did so as well.”
2. “Another military official, who worked closely with [David] Brant and who has been denied permission to speak on the record, told me that the news [of how Mohammed al-Qahtani was interrogated] ‘rocked’ Mora. The official added that Mora ‘was visionary about this. He quickly grasped the fact that these techniques in the hands of people with this little training spelled disaster.’”
3. “A former Administration official told me that [Donald] Rumsfeld was unconcerned [about the torture allegations]; he once more joked that he himself stood eight hours a day, and exclaimed, ‘Torture? That