To judge from some of the comments readers have been posting on this blog, the early response to Seymour Hersh's new charges has been to ignore the reporting and attack the reporter. But now Newsweek is independently echoing his central contention:
The Bush administration created a bold legal framework to justify this system of interrogation, according to internal government memos obtained by NEWSWEEK. What started as a carefully thought-out, if aggressive, policy of interrogation in a covert war—designed mainly for use by a handful of CIA professionals—evolved into ever-more ungoverned tactics that ended up in the hands of untrained MPs in a big, hot war. Originally, Geneva Conventions protections were stripped only from Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. But later Rumsfeld himself, impressed by the success of techniques used against Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay, seemingly set in motion a process that led to their use in Iraq, even though that war was supposed to have been governed by the Geneva Conventions. Ultimately, reservist MPs, like those at Abu Ghraib, were drawn into a system in which fear and humiliation were used to break prisoners' resistance to interrogation.
Update: A reader calling himself "Matt XIV" directs us to yet another damning article, this one in the Washington Post. As blogger Matthew Yglesias notes, the Post piece "directly contradicts the claim put out in the DOD's rebuttal of the Hersh story to the effect that Undersecretary Cambone was not involved in the interrogations. They have this, moreover, from Pentagon sources rather than CIA people who might just be engaged in a turf fight."