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In the News Any Means Necessary

December 12, 2008

“The president has ... determined that the Geneva Convention does not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda, in Afghanistan or elsewhere.”
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense (2001-'06)

When the Abu Ghraib prison story broke in 2004, the Pentagon response was, "a few bad apples." Now, four years later, a bipartisan Senate panel has concluded otherwise. The report (PDF) of the Senate Armed Forces Committee tracks responsibility for the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, up through the chain of command to the highest levels of the executive branch. At or near the top of this pyramid: then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose central role in the story was documented three years ago, in a FRONTLINE program called The Torture Question.

The excerpt on this page gets right to Secretary Rumsfeld, but you can see the entire program, and dig into the supporting materials, on the program Web site.

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