Is Sanchez guilty of perjury?

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The ACLU yesterday made public a September 2003 memo, signed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top military commander in Iraq, authorizing “29 interrogation techniques, including 12 which far exceeded limits established by the Army’s own Field Manual.”

As numerous bloggers have already pointed out, the memo contradicts Sanchez’ earlier Senate testimony on the subject, when he said he “never approved any of those measures.” Guilty of perjury? The ACLU has already sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales calling for an investigation. It will be interesting to see if the Bush administration tries to defend Sanchez by claiming that the commander obscured the truth to protect national security interests. After all, the authorization memo above was originally classified for “national security” reasons, and Sanchez might try to claim that he was unable to divulge its existence during his testimony.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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