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Report: Torture architect feels guilt for Abu Ghraib
Michael Roston
Published: Thursday May 10, 2007
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A journalist who wrote about Abu Ghraib has revealed that a key architect of the secretive interrogation programs that were used against innocent civilian in Iraq has reportedly expressed guilt for his role in the scandal involving the former Iraqi prison, according to a report at the Harpers website.

Tara McKelvey, an editor at The American Prospect, told Harpers' Ken Silverstein that a top official who helped craft the infamous "torture memo" had expressed sincere regret about what the policy he contributed to resulted in.

"Guys like [John] Yoo and Timothy Flanagan, who was deputy White House counsel under Alberto R. Gonzales, discussed techniques like stress positions and sleep deprivation that were approved for high-level Al Qaeda suspects—and those techniques were used on Iraqi civilians. I had a heartfelt conversation with Flanagan and told him what I had heard from Iraqis: that these techniques had been used on men, women and children in Iraq. He feels bad about it; I know he does," McKelvey said.

Still, McKelvey did not let Flanagan off the hook.

"But the fact is that he and Yoo and some of these other people from the best law schools and universities in this country were the ones who came up with the legal definitions that allowed for the abuse to happen," she added.

McKelvey also argued that Abu Ghraib is only the tip of the iceberg for detainee abuse in Iraq.

"Thousands of detainees have gone through U.S.-run facilities in Iraq, but thousands more—anyone held for less than fourteen days—were never registered or tracked. Human-rights reports and interviews I conducted show that some of the worst abuses took place at short-term facilities—a police station in Samarra, a school gymnasium, a trailer, and places like that, where individuals were held for up to two weeks," she noted.

The full interview with McKelvey can be read at the Harpers website.