Karen Hughes was also distressed, according to colleagues who spoke with her. In her liaison position at the State Department, she had seen firsthand the damage that the torture issue had done to America's moral standing in the world. After reading one of the euphemisms that Bush's speech used to avoid calling the CIA's interrogation techniques torture, she told a confidant, "Yuck! Special procedures? It sounds scary."
It turned out that the speech had gone through many drafts. An earlier version had included a clarionlike call to close down the CIA's secret prison program for good. This had survived edits and rewrites until Vice President Cheney held a short, private meeting with President Bush. Afterward, the President made no more promises to end America's experiment with secret detention.
Copyright 2008 by Jane Mayer. All Rights Reserved