All the President’s Men – Torturers?

Bush’s key men face grilling on torture and death squads

Former vice-president Dick Cheney could be forced to testify to Congress over allegations that a secret hit squad was set up on his orders, as Democrats press for inquiries into the conduct of the ‘war on terror’.

by Paul Harris reports from New York

America is bracing itself for a series of investigations that could see top officials from the administration of President George W Bush hauled in front of Congress, grilled by a special prosecutor and possibly facing criminal charges.

Several investigations will now cast a spotlight on Bush-era torture policy and a secret CIA assassination programme, examining the role played by big names such as the former vice-president Dick Cheney and the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In one investigation into the controversial firing of federal prosecutors, Bush’s political guru, Karl Rove, has already been forced to appear before Congress and give testimony behind closed doors. Another investigation, by the House of Representatives’ intelligence committee, has already asked for documents from the CIA and has now announced that it will examine the legality of keeping a secret CIA hit squad hidden from Congress, something alleged to have been ordered by Cheney himself.

“I intend to make this investigation fair and thorough,” said the committee’s chairman, Texas congressman Silvestre Reyes late on Friday.

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