NBC takes a look inside the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation program in a report that raises as many questions as it answers about what the CIA is doing. One thing the piece makes perfectly clear is the importance of President Bush’s July 20th exectutive order in keeping the program operational:
Intelligence officials tell NBC News then CIA Director George J. Tenet ordered a suspension of the enhanced measures in early 2004, as torture allegations mounted. The Abu Ghraib prison revelations, beginning in April 2004, was a major factor in the decision to suspend the measures, said intelligence officials. But the main concerns, they added, were legal: Could CIA officials, including both the interrogators and their superiors, ultimately be prosecuted? President Bush’s order in July removed a lot of those legal concerns, as CIA Director Gen Michael V. Hayden stated in an e-mail to agency employees hours after the order was issued.