The JPRA Memo Described the “Improvised” Techniques Later Used

Remember this post, in which I argued that a JPRA memo sent to DOD (and probably to CIA and OLC) on July 26, 2002, was probably the description of torture for which OLC gave an oral authorization on that same day? Now that we’ve seen the CIA’s IG Report and many of the documents requesting approval for "new" torture techniques, it’s clear that this document not only described waterboarding as it was practiced, but also a number of other other torture techniques integrated in the program.

Here’s how the SASC Report described the contents of this memo.

On July 26, 2002, JPRA completed a second memorandum with three attachments to respond to the additional questions from the General Counsel’s office. The memo stated that "JPRA has arguably developed into the DoD’s experts on exploitation and as such, has developed a number of physical pressures to increase the psychological and physical stress on students …"

In the memo, JPRA informed the General Counsel’s office that it had already "assist[ed] in the training of interrogator/exploiters from other governmental agencies charged with OEF exploitation of enemy detainees."190 The memo also stated:

Within JPRA’s evolving curriculum to train interrogators/exploiters many interrogation approaches are taught along with corresponding options for physical pressures to enhance the psychological setting for detainee interrogation. Several of the techniques highlighted (Atch 1) as training tools in JPRA courses, used by other SERE schools, and used historically may be very effective in inducing learned helplessness and ‘breaking’ the OEF detainees’ will to resist."

The first attachment to the July 26,2002 memo was ”Physical Pressures used in Resistance Training and Against American Prisoners and Detainees."192 That attachment included a list of techniques used to train students at SERE school to resist interrogation. The list included techniques such as the facial slap, walling, the abdomen slap, use of water, the attention grasp, and stress positions. 193 The first attachment also listed techniques used by some of the service SERE schools, such as use of smoke, shaking and manhandling, cramped confinement, immersion in water or wetting down, and waterboarding.

JPRA’s description of the waterboarding technique provided in that first attachment was inconsistent in key respects from the U.S. Navy SERE school’s description of waterboarding. According to the Navy SERE school’s operating instructions, for example, while administering the technique, the Navy limited the amount of water poured on a student’s face to two pints. However, the JPRA attachment said that "up to 1.5 gallons of water" may be poured onto a "subject’s face." While the Navy’s operating instructions dictated that "[n]o effort will be made to direct the stream of water into the student’s nostrils or mouth," the description provided by JPRA contained no such limitation for subjects of the technique. While the Navy limited the use ofthe cloth on a student’s face to twenty seconds, the JPRA’s description said only that the cloth should remain in place for a "short period of time." And while the Navy restricted anyone from placing pressure on the chest or stomach during the administration of this technique, JPRA’s description included no such limitation for subjects of the technique.

Attachment one also listed tactics derived from JPRA SERE school lesson plans that were designed to "induce control, dependency, complia[n]ce, and cooperation," including isolation or solitary confinement, induced physical weakness and exhaustion, degradation, conditioning, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, disruption of sleep and biorhythms, and manipulation of diet.

Just for clarity, here are the techniques discussed in this memo:

  • Use of smoke
  • Shaking and manhandling
  • Cramped confinement
  • Immersion in water or wetting down
  • Waterboarding (as actually practiced in the CIA program)
  • Isolation or solitary confinement
  • Induced physical weakness and exhaustion
  • Degradation
  • Conditioning
  • Sensory deprivation
  • Sensory overload
  • Disruption of sleep and biorhythms
  • Manipulation of diet

With the exception of "smoking" and "shaking and manhandling," every single one of these techniques was eventually integrated into the CIA torture program approved by OLC. Though in just about every example, official OLC approval appears to have come after the technique was actually first used. And "use of smoke" was one of the techniques treated as an "unauthorized" technique in the IG Report, while the "hard take down" might resemble the "manhandling" technique.

In other words, this JPRA document appears to have been the techniques used in the CIA program and, in the case of waterboarding, it described the technique as it was actually used, rather than the way it was described in the Bybee Two memo.

I’m working on some follow-up to this to both describe the timing implications and more evidence that this was the actual CIA program. 

But for the moment, remember the other document included in this packet of documents: a JPRA document referring to these techniques as torture.

53 replies
  1. perris says:

    it’s really interesting they’ve decided to document their crimes by conding them.

    and the members of team b didn’t even want to put out their own necks so they made certain if they were going down then those on top were going down too

    every time they thought up something new to try out they went out of their way to implicate those above them

    these requests for autorizations each time boil down to the following;

    “if I go down you are going down”

  2. Garrett says:

    These techniques seem much closer to what DOD actually used in Iraq, than Rumsfeld’s or Sanchez’s counter-resistance lists.

    Smoke from blowing cigarette smoke in their face, to noxious fumes in a cell.

    Manhandling does not need spelled out. One of the Asad Jaleel soldiers uses the phrase “take down,” required after the starved elderly nearly-dead leg-shackled man escaped from his razorwire cage, while they were distracted watching Buffy. Though that could easily be a general use.

    For cramped confinement, Taguba once hints that there was an actual “hole” at Abu Ghraib, in addition to Sadaam’s tiny isolation cells. The garbage can stories.

    Use of water in lots of ways. From water bottles to enforce sleep deprivation, to “they told us to to lie face down in the water and we stayed like that until the morning,” to the four hour cold shower, to the seventy-three year old Baathist widow made to “swim“.

    “Exercise” sometimes called “smoking a PUC” was bog standard.

    Even waterboarding, I think, though they seem to have usually not known or not used the rag trick.

    • perris says:

      you forgot to mention the “being hung from the ceiling naked” which was aluded to by the fbi agent that left the program when he saw the “techniques” they used

      • Garrett says:

        Also, for cramped confinement, General Mowhoush in the sleeping bag.

        I think the first time I ever dared pipe up in an EW post, was about the super secret Iraqi nuclear scientist who tried to turn himself in, and a joke about him being hung upside down in chains. I thought way back then, that the upside down part might be exaggeration.

        • bmaz says:

          Not so much; we have crossed the threshold where the reality of US governmental conduct exceeds the mind’s exaggeration of its normal citizens.

  3. Jeff Kaye says:

    This is excellent reportage on the issue of the July 26 memo/attachments by JPRA to the DoD (and as you note, probably CIA and OLC). You mention at the end one of the other memos, the one revealed by the Washington Post (with link). You might remember that that I wrote an article on all this, too, and noted that the third attachment was the one from a SERE psychologist, wherein he was asked to give his opinion on the effects of waterboarding, among other things. OLC subequently published a hodge-podge of the “statistics” provided.

    The third attachment was a memorandum written by SERE psychologist Jerald Ogrisseg, “Psychological Effects of Resistance Training.”

    Now why this is also relevant to information I posted in a new article at The Public Record the other day (and is due out in the next day or two at Truthout). It documents the years long research program into the effects of SERE techniques, whose lead researcher was a CIA psychiatrist. These peer-reviewed scientific articles — and one not peer-reviewed, but published in the major Special Ops journal, Special Warfare, in 2000 — are clear evidence of the effects of SERE torture. This information was suppressed by JPRA, certainly, and the failure to include them in the OLC reports — this research was government funded, by the way, at hundreds of thousands of dollars — is also clear evidence, IMHO, of criminal conspiracy and fraud in the construction of the OLC memos and the activities of the CIA, Special Operations, and JPRA in putting together this new torture program.

    They used a lowly officer like Ogrisseg to give cover for the use of the waterboard and other techniques.

    I look forward, Marcy, to reading your conclusions about the timing of the memo.

    • Boston1775 says:

      I have been at Jeff’s site asking him questions about his article which is also published at The Public Record.

      I find it important because he is covering recent history, pre and post 9/11, that sheds further light on what the US clearly knew about what works if you want to terrify and torture.

      As Jeff wrote so compellingly at the end of one of EW’s threads (which I will find and put up here) the United States has been in the business of human experimentation and torture since the end of World War II.

      His latest article tells us how thoroughly advanced we were as WTC buildings 1,2 and 7 were demolished. This information concerning the body’s production of terror-induced chemicals is telling.

      Dr. Charles A. Morgan III did a lot of work on PTSD in veterans and how to trigger elevated fear and panic.

      The connections between the CIA’s MKULTRA human experiments in torture and mind control and the work of CIA and others following that time is crucial to our understanding of what is happening NOW.

      Jeff’s article is here:…..ges-human/

  4. cinnamonape says:

    I think it might be interesting for someone to go through all those IRRC reports and other reports to compare and contrast all the “approved” torture methods with those reported by the “lying” detainees. I suspect most of them could be subsumed under the broadest of methods allowed. Then there are the things like the drug suppositories…were these a means to an end? Caffeine or other “dietary supplements” to achieve “sleep deprivation”?

  5. fatster says:

    9/11 accused’s lawyers ask to halt military tribunals
    Published: Saturday September 12, 2009

    “Lawyers for Ramzie ben al-Shaibah, one of five men accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks, have asked a federal appeals court to halt all judicial proceedings at a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    “They also have asked the appeals court in Washington to invalidate special military tribunals set up by the administration of former president George W. Bush to try terrorism cases.”


  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Degradation is the predominant theme in all those techniques. They are punishments that used collectively and over a long enough period break down the personality and leave it mush. They are more cruel than a remote-controlled bomb or sawing off someone’s head, something we might all acquiesce to if we believed it would save our sons’ testicles from being crushed in a vice or saved our wives and daughters from rape or mutilation.

    Those techniques are not about interrogation. The broken personality will repeat whatever you want in its own words and accent, but it won’t reveal reliable information in a timely fashion, unadulterated by lies and gibberish. They are ideal to use on those intended to remain permanently incarcerated. The broken personality struggles to remain conscious; it won’t cause trouble or be insubordinate, it won’t foment insurrection, demand its legal rights or its release.

    These combined techniques as applied by Cheney’s regime are and ought to be war crimes.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      The goals of the techniques were quite clear, as this footnote from the SASC report, which quotes the “Physical Pressures…” document Marcy is discussing, makes clear (my bold emphasis, italics in original):

      In other JPRA materials, techniques designed to achieve these goals [i.e., “establish absolute control, induce dependence to meet needs, elicit compliance, shape cooperation”] include isolation or solitary confinement, induced physical weakness and exhaustion, degradation, conditioning, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, disruption of sleep and biorhythms, and manipulation of diet. Physical Pressures Used In Resistance Training and Against American Prisoners and Detainees. [p. 9, footnote 56]

      • perris says:

        your bold is very important, far more important then the rest of the quote so I believe it needs to stand alone;

        cheney was told in no uncertaint terms teh information he wanted was false, there was no al-qaeda Iraq link, he wanted information that established the link that he was told did not exist anyway

        the only way to establish that was with torture, “elicit compliance, shape cooperation” is cleary “when we want them to say something you make sure they say it true or not”

  7. behindthefall says:

    many interrogation approaches are taught along with corresponding options for physical pressures to enhance the psychological setting for detainee interrogation

    I have long railed against the introduction into a field of jargon whose meaning is not immediately obvious. What the heck is a “Southern Blot”? The other danger of jargon, though, is its use as euphemistic cover. What we have here is jargon papering over inhumanity and evil.

  8. Boston1775 says:


    Jeff Kaye September 7th, 2009 at 5:46 pm
    In response to phred @ 13 (show text)

    To phred and all,

    Does anyone wonder why torture existed under multiple administrations, from Truman to Obama? The pro-torture crowd is not limited to Cheney, or the GOP, or the Pentagon, or the CIA. It is a wide-ranging constituency that is united in one thing only: to maintain U.S. world-wide supremacy at any cost. Whether it was Operation Chatter, or Bluebird, or Artichoke, or MKULTRA, MKNAOMI, or outsourcing the training of torture to South Vietnamese, or Chileans, or SAVAK, or Brazilians, or Greeks, or Salvadorans and Guatemalans, or whether it was CIA, or JPRA/SERE, or Special Operations, or Ft. Huachuca, AZ, it was all about torture, and supported by a wide-swath of the ruling and military-intelligence elite, Democrats and Republicans alike.

    This is why a far-ranging investigation is not about to happen. This is why there were no calls to prosecute the head of the CIA when in the 1970s he admitted he destroyed boxes of evidence on MKULTRA. This is why they fight today to suppress any real investigation. The press, the enablers of this policy, also have nothing to gain, and plenty to lose, by letting an investigation go the whole hog.

    Ali Soufan fights for the supremacy of the FBI, which he equates with the well-being of the United States. He is a shaky ally of anti-torture forces, because he decries the barbarities unleashed by the SERE program. But the FBI is not against all forms of coercive interrogation, and has been known to work with many other agencies using dubious techniques. In the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, he clearly stated that the FBI techniques were themselves not Geneva-compliant. I have yet to hear Mr. Soufan speak out against the use of isolation, or sleep deprivation, or manipulation of phobias, as used in the Army Field Manual’s Appendix M. Also, to take credit for information gained while the “good cop” to James Mitchell’s “bad cop” does not endear me to Mr. Soufan. Also, we keep hearing about the information from Mr. Zubaydah, who was later proven not to be a member of Al Qaeda or the Taliban at all. From this, Soufan still touts his intelligence coup: Jose Padilla. Enough said on that.

    The torture issue is intricately tied to the fate of the entire post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, and the consolidation of a national security military-industrial-intelligence apparatus. The criminals are in their second and third generation. No one yet has stood trial for their crimes. They believe they are untouchable, and who knows, they may be, under current circumstances. They have the current president in their back pocket, and the Democratic Party Congressional majority, outside of a few belly-achers, is compliant.

    Only when the political opposition is ready to take on the whole of the military-foreign policy of the Pentagon and its powerful contractor-industrial-technological base will we be able to see real change. Even after a major election and the defeat of the Bush and the GOP, the U.S. maintains high troop levels in Iraq, and is expanding the Afghan War. We still hear next to nothing about serious operations in Columbia and the Horn of Africa. — Shameful!
    Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

  9. WTFOver says:

    Fear was no excuse to condone torture

    By Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar

    Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of US Central Command from 1991 to 1994.…..ni_popular

    In the fear that followed the 11 September 2001, attacks, Americans were told that defeating Al Qaeda would require us to “take the gloves off.” As a former commandant of the US Marine Corps and a retired commander-in-chief of US Central Command, we knew that was a recipe for disaster.

    But we never imagined that we would feel duty-bound to publicly denounce a vice president of the United States, a man who has served our country for many years. In light of the irresponsible statements recently made by former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, we feel we must repudiate his dangerous ideas — and his scare tactics.

    • fatster says:

      The Miami Herald is really focusing on the Cheney torture regime these days, making a laudable effort to investigate it and then educate Herald readers about it and the shame it has brought upon us. Does anyone know why? Has there been a change in the editorial board or . . . ?

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      It appears, believe it or not, that the Marines were among the most strenuous opponents of the torture program. This comes out in the SASC report as well. Perhaps they knew their soldiers were among the ones most likely to be caught in action, and subject to torture and other barbarities by an enemy force. With no real adherence by the U.S. to international law, and a legacy of brutal torture, the enemy forces have no reason (unless they are more moral) to not torture, and in fact, given the ill will generated, reasons to do so, i.e., revenge.

      Maybe the ruling elite should be forced to sit down and ponder the fate of the Grangerfords, from Mark Twain’s Huck Finn.

      • SKIMPYPENGUIN says:

        Marines will gladly kill an enemy of the United States. They love to fight and are conditioned to protect and defend America and her values from Day One. They have no qualms about killing in defense of our nation.

        What they will not do, and never will, is torture. It should be noted that not once, out of all the contractors, former Special Operations personnel and civilians have we heard about a rogue Marine beating or torturing someone to death.

        And you won’t.

        • Garrett says:

          The point that organizational culture is important in tamping down or allowing abuse is a good one. Prosecution of abuse keeps the abused to death level down.

          The Marines really did seem to often investigate and prosecute allegations seriously. Here is a list from the ACLU FOIA collection. A roughly 50% “substantiated” rate is impressive. The list might be a bit incomplete.

          Two Marines were successfully prosecuted for shocking a detainee with an electric transformer, even with the usual prosecution problem of not knowing where the victim had gone to.

          A Marine was successfully prosecuted for lighting a detainee on fire with alcohol sanitizer, causing second degree burns to the hands.

          The sodomy with an object allegation (rifle muzzle) had the common problem that the detainee had no idea who did it.

          “Al Mumudiyah” and “Marine” seems to be trouble. See the three incidents above.

          There is one common and straight SOP allegation of a detainee being exercised to exhaustion, then forced to kneel on rocks. There is no way to enforce this without threats of worse. Captives held in cages are pretty vulnerable.

          There are two interesting charges of false statement. A Marine taken to the hospital with a broken hand said he got it by punching a detainee in the face. Then he retracted the claim. They prosecuted him for the first false statement, with the perhaps amusing additional charge of injuring himself.

  10. WTFOver says:

    For all of you former and current military types, this post is stinkin’ hilarious !!!…..82136.html

    for all of you civilian types, the military ‘humour’ may not slay you as it did me but please be assured that the general opens a big can of whoop ass and applies liberally – lolololol

  11. skdadl says:

    This is the memo that suggests a crossover between DoD and CIA, yes? Or among DoD, CIA, and OLC? Haynes and Rizzo (at least) colluding? I can’t read it (can I?), and yet it’s already one of my favourite documents.

    • emptywheel says:

      JPRA is the DOD entity that does the SERE training, but (as Jeff has written on extensively) it has very close ties with CIA as well.

      The JPRA stuff was laundered through DOD’s General Counsel office (through Addington hack Jim Haynes).

  12. Boston1775 says:

    What was it about the JPRA that the OLC decided it could give an oral order to torture because of a freakin’ memo?

    I can’t wrap my mind around the importance of the JPRA – the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency?????

    What makes the JPRA so powerful that its memo can overwhelm the Constitution? I CanNot get this.


      JPRA is the parent agency of SERE (the counter-resistance course some military, like myself, and all pilots go through).

      OLC wanted written documentation from the SERE school so they could justify waterboarding. They wanted torture to be policy, instead of the exception. The thought process was:

      – we (OLC) want to torture. We’re going to re-interpret US law so we can.
      – but first, we need the people that actually waterboard our own people…
      – …to tell us it doesn’t hurt anyone and we can do it all we want.

      The rest is history.

  13. BillE says:

    discussion is not intended to address the myriad legal, ethical, or moral implications of torture;”


  14. Rayne says:

    OT — can’t see that we’ve brought this up yet:

    U.S. to Expand Review of Detainees in Afghan Prison

    The Obama administration soon plans to issue new guidelines aimed at giving the hundreds of prisoners at an American detention center in Afghanistan significantly more ability to challenge their custody, Pentagon officials and detainee advocates say.

    The new Pentagon guidelines would assign military-appointed representatives to each of the roughly 600 detainees at the American-run prison at the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. These representatives would not be lawyers but could for the first time gather witnesses and evidence, including classified material, on behalf of the detainees to challenge their detention.

    WaPo also has a piece out, but I refuse to use their product if I don’t have to.

      • JasonLeopold says:

        I thought this was going to be a review of the detainees in Afghan prisons who were killed and that the Durham investigation was going to look into that

  15. fatster says:

    O/T: Chicago politics.

    Ex-Blagojevich fundraiser Kelly dead
    September 12, 2009 8:02 PM

    “Christopher Kelly, a key figure in the federal corruption probe into former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is dead.
    The Cook County medical examiner’s office today confirmed that Christopher Kelly of Burr Ridge was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 10:46 a.m. The office said Kelly died of salicylate intoxication. According to medical reference guides, salicylates are used in anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications”


    • bobschacht says:

      Salicylate? So he took a bottle of aspirin? Aspirin works as a blood thinner, among other things, so taking a bottle probably means he died of a hemorrhage. So, in other words, this was a suicide.

      Bob in AZ


    And for the record: Yes, I’ve attended SERE, in Brunswich, Maine.

    Waterboarding is torture. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

    • Hmmm says:

      Skimpy, a question for you as an insider: When W and Dick would go all holy and swear up and down that “The United States does not torture,” cross their black hearts and hope to die, what’s your take on how they figured that? To use the vernacular around here, what ‘parsing’ was going on their heads that would allow such a bizarre statement to be interpreted as true? Or was it that they were just plain lying, out loud and large?

      • SKIMPYPENGUIN says:

        The US government never did torture anyone.

        The people that did torture were contractors and interrogators in other Special Access Programs that will never see the light of day.

        They were being – pardon the phrase – liberal with the truth.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      As you probably know, the Navy discontinued waterboarding at its Brunswick SERE school, but continue it at their So. Calif. Navy SERE school.

      Do you know, Skimpy, when that happened? Or does anyone know? The date could be important.

      • SKIMPYPENGUIN says:

        Waterboarding stopped at Brunswick SERE in 2005.

        BRAC can hit anyone, at anytime. But you know that.
        There was a political deal hashed out where BRAC would not come crashing down and close the base before 2011, if they discontinued waterboarding, but only on the East Coast. The SERE school (not wanting the base to be shut down) agreed and the SASC went about making sure they stayed open.

        And yes, they continue to do it in California and Ft Lewis, Washington.

        • Jeff Kaye says:

          Thanks. An internal JPRA document I have seen says that a Navy psychologist did studies on cortisol levels and they were off the roof with the waterboarding. The document, which may be a self-serving narrative by the individual involved, also suggests that JPRA was trying to get the waterboarding shut down. But this was evidently because of the political pressure they were feeling. (The same doc says that congressmen were swarming around the base, and the whole waterboarding issue had turned political. I wonder if someone with clout got BRAC to make their threat, and that ended it there. In North Island, it’s said some Navy ex-POWs feel strongly that waterboarding should be part of the training.

          I’m not real familiar with the Ft. Lewis situation. Isn’t that where the TACP folks go?

          • SKIMPYPENGUIN says:


            People that go to Fort Lewis are sent there to learn many things.
            Mostly sneaky things, and how to get away with doing sneaky things.

            You’ve probably met some of the graduates when you were in North Carolina.

            • Jeff Kaye says:

              Um, for the record, I’ve never been in either Carolina. So you may have me confused with someone else. I don’t want you to think I’m someone I’m not. I live in California.

    • perris says:

      seems a simple thing for congress to get a sere trainee before them and ask straight up;

      “the waterboarding you underwent voluntarily, even though it was tame compared to this program was even that tame version torture?”

      to which the person would answer “of course it is”

      “are there any sere trainees who did not consider it torture when they were done with training or one of these very tame sessions?”

      to which the answer would be

      “I can’t speak for everyone but I can tell you there is no one I have ever spoke to in the training who would claim it was not torture”…and might I add, this very tame session pales by comparison to the program we are talking about here.

      and they should follow with something like this;

      “I’ll tell you what, if anyone was able to get a sere trainee to testify that they did not believe it was torture then they certainly wouldn’t mind undergoing another “training session” to which I GUARANTEE they would say unequivically it was certainly torture”

      and they might add;

      “it seems to me the people who ordered the technique are depraved individuals and I further guarantee that any one of them would GLADLY tell you waterboarding is torture if they went through a single training session…I therefore say, if you find a single person who says waterboarding is not torture, “bring em on”, we’ll see if they change their minds…I predict less then 30 seconds”

      and I know some marines that would have no problem with that kind of testimony

  17. perris says:

    we also have forgotten the phsycological torture not mentioned here but mentioned in other places;

    torturing their child, threatening to torture their daughter, wife, son.

    and threatening to rape their wife, daughter son…and we are told rape actually happened, it was more then a simple threat

    and the torture of taking your son to another room and have a bullet go off as if he is assasinated

    these “techniques” aren’t even mentioned here but we know they took place too

  18. fatster says:

    U.S. to Expand Review of Detainees in Afghan Prison
    Published: September 12, 2009

    WASHINGTON —” The Obama administration soon plans to issue new guidelines aimed at giving the hundreds of prisoners at an American detention center in Afghanistan significantly more ability to challenge their custody, Pentagon officials and detainee advocates say.

    “The new Pentagon guidelines would assign a United States military official to each of the roughly 600 detainees at the American-run prison at the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. These officials would not be lawyers but could for the first time gather witnesses and evidence, including classified material, on behalf of the detainees to challenge their detention in proceedings before a military-appointed review board.”


  19. fatster says:

    Way O/T. Near the end he actually displayed some curiosity. (Note this is from

    “TUESDAY, SEPT. 16: “That afternoon, President Bush, accompanied by Josh Bolten and Joel Kaplan, his chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, and by Keith Hennessey, the director of the National Economic Council, sat down with Paulson and Bernanke in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. ‘So what is going on in our financial system, and what are we going to do?’ Bush asked. Paulson regularly delivered updates to the White House, but from the outset of his tenure as Treasury Secretary he had been making policy to an extraordinary degree. Bush saw himself as a wartime President, and he was deeply involved in defense issues. The economy was secondary. One person who worked with Bush for many years said, ‘My sense is, this came up in the final months of an eight-year term. He was so ground down by Katrina, the war in Iraq. He was just out of gas.’’


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