5,404. 10/6/2003

Jack Goldsmith replaced Jay Bybee as Chief of the Office of Legal Counsel on October 6, 2003, and he was expected to give legal guidance immediately. “Senior officials had to know right away if it was legal to move Iraqi terror suspects outside the country for interrogation. …Goldsmith didn’t know that in Iraq the CIA had begun to seize ‘ghost prisoners’…moving some outside the country for especially harsh interrogations. The answer…would affect thousands of U.S. soldiers and CIA officers in Iraq who were unsure whether they were breaking the laws. …Captain Ian Fishback…said that he tried for seventeen months to get clear legal guidance, while witnessing a wide variety of abuses that would ordinarily be illegal under military and international law. …But because the command authorities–beginning with President Bush–cast the fight in Iraq as part of the global war against terrorism, he said, no one knew which laws applied.”

 – Jane Mayer, The Dark Side, Pages 261-264

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