Monday, November 28, 2016

K. T. McFarland Should Be Nowhere Near National Security or the White House

From FOX to the White House — Why? No Surprise There

This short clip is monitored by FOX's Sean Hannity... BTW: Another disgusting human being and for his remarks, makes my point. 

McFarland is a hardcore dumb ass and God help us if she is anywhere near the President at critical decision time... She is truly unbalanced. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Eric Trump: Very Sick, Dumb, Stupid, Arrogant, and Misinformed

Even the Trump Smug, Arrogant Look Says It All - Pathetic

Short post in Eric Trump: Video his own words not mine. And, of course, on FOX TV.

I say short and sweet: Give me 2 minutes with Eric Trump. I will show him how waterboarding works and won’t be anywhere near Frat House antics.

I probably could accomplish that task and still have 1:30 seconds to spare of the scheduled two minutes. 

Eric Trump is one sick, sick man, and apparently the rotten apple does not fall from the rotten tree. Video clip is about 1-minute: 

Eric Trump: Very Sick, Dumb, Stupid, Arrogant, and Misinformed

Even the Trump Smug, Arrogant Look Says It All - Pathetic

Short post in Eric Trump: Video his own words not mine. And, of course, on FOX TV.

I say short and sweet: Give me 2 minutes with Eric Trump. I will show him how waterboarding works and won’t be anywhere near Frat House antics.

I probably could accomplish that task and still have 1:30 seconds to spare of the scheduled two minutes. 

Eric Trump is one sick, sick man, and apparently the rotten apple does not fall from the rotten tree. Video clip is about 1-minute: 

Eric Trump: A Very, Very Sick Dumb, Stupid, Arrogant, Uninformed Man

Even the Trump Smug, Arrogant Look Says It All - Pathetic

Short post in Eric Trump: Video his own words not mine. And, of course, on FOX TV.

I say short and sweet: Give me 2 minutes with Eric Trump. I will show him how waterboarding works and won’t be anywhere near Frat House antics.

I probably could accomplish that task and still have 1:30 seconds to spare of the scheduled two minutes. 

Eric Trump is one sick, sick man, and apparently the rotten apple does not fall from the rotten tree. Video clip is about 1-minute: 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Whew Boy, Here We Go Again: Old Issue, New View, Same Crime, Same Result

McCain Again Takes the High Road

If Anyone Knows Anything About Torture It is John McCain
(Trump, Pompeo, and others should ask him)

Updated after the below was originally posted earlier:

VP-in-waiting Mike Pence (R-IN) it seems is as sick as Trump on this issue: Making torture national policy once again.

Pence refused to say whether or not the new Trump administration would rule out water boarding of the nation's enemies. In an interview on CBS “Face the Nation” Pence was asked to respond to Sen. John McCain's fiery remarks (see above and again here:  “I don't give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do… We will not water board. We will not torture.”

Pence went on to say: 
What I can tell you is going forward, as he outlined in that famous speech in Ohio, that a President Donald Trump is going to focus on confronting and defeating radical Islamic terrorism as a threat to this country. And we're going to have a president who will never say what we'll never do. I think in President-elect Donald Trump, you have someone who believes that we shouldn't be telling the enemy what our tactics or our strategies are.”

Call this a Mike Pence WTF moment:

I interject: Torture is not a military strategy nor combat tactic used to gain valuable military ground intelligence from a detainee. Torture of any kind is not a good step… torture, and please keep in mind has but one purpose and that is NOT to glean good actionable intelligence: The purpose of torture is to inflict pain and agony… period.

Also, allow me to say again, for maybe the millionth time that “Torture, and yes, water boarding is torture, is illegal, unlawful, and a war crime and has been for decades. It does not work, period.” (reference cited below from Cornell law).

The GOP has to get over their sick fixation with torture as a valuable aid to gain information in intelligence gathering… that is a false and dangerous and quite frankly, a very sick premise with 100% no legal or logical basis…

I know, I was an active duty Marine Corps interrogator for 10 years and later as a DOD civilian for some time after that. I know what I am talking about, but more importantly, I know the legal rules.

Additionally, secret White House memos that were written for Geo. W. Bush to justify torture, written by lawyers and advisers John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and a few others does not justify breaking the law against torture in any way, or any other law for that matter. 

We are governed by law and not memos written to give opinions on the law that otherwise need no legal opinion. 

Finally, this is related and added for reinforcement on this issue:

1.  Torture is a crime (and a felony) – from Cornell Law.
2.  Torture, George Washington told his troops in 1775, brings “shame, disgrace, and ruin” to the country.
3.  Sen. John McCain previously called the CIA’s enhanced interrogation (buzzword for torture) tactics “shameful and unnecessary” and decried their employment.
4.  The UN expressly banned torture in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and twice underlined the position in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted in 1966) and Convention Against Torture (adopted in 1984).
5.  Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions (1949) prohibits “violence of life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture,” as well as “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”
6.  In our own Constitution, the Eighth Amendment, it is brilliant in its brevity: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
7.  Torture is also implicated in the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.


This post is pretty much of what I had previously predicted and actually kind of expected. So, here we are again back on ugly street with the GOP about to have total control of government and ready to tackle the worst stain on America ever: The Issue of Torture, and just like “Johnny said: I'm bacccccck.” Now about to enter thanks to Donald J. Trump and Mike Pompeo, or so they claim:

Now enter Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his fiery warning to President-elect Donald Trump, and anyone else, on the subject of torture. He said clearly to Trump and his CIA-nominee, Mike Pompeo, and their desire to resume water boarding and other extreme examples of torture:

I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not water board. We will not torture people… It doesn’t work.” (McCain speaking to an audience at the annual Halifax International Security Forum in Canada).

BACKGROUND: Trump for his part has repeatedly said that he would use much harsher measures against suspected terrorists saying at times: “We have to fight fire with fire. We have to fight so viciously and violently” against the Islamic State (when asked about torture and water boarding he asked a crowd who cheered) “What do you think about water boarding? I like it too, a lot. I don’t think it is tough enough.”

Then at a Republican primary debate in February, Trump vowed that he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than water boarding.”

Now enter McCain, who knows a bit about torture – he spent 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton and subject to all sorts of shit; he reminded the audience that torture remains illegal under the Geneva Conventions and was also banned by Congress last year. 

That law, signed by President Obama, restricts interrogation techniques to those outlined by the U.S. Army Field Manual — which does not permit water boarding as one of the so-called “enhanced techniques” the fav GOP buzzword for torture.

Some conservatives argue that water boarding, practiced on terrorist suspects by the Bush administration in the mid-2000s until Congress banned it in 2005, does not meet the definition of torture.

Former top national security officials, including some who served under Bush, have predicted insubordination and resignations from the military and CIA if Trump orders them to torture.

Trump just recently announced that he would tap GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to head up the CIA.

Pompeo for his part has defended Bush-era interrogation programs that included water boarding and other techniques widely defined as torture as “within the law, within the constitution.” 

Pompeo also in 2014, criticized Mr. Obama for “ending our (enhanced) interrogation program” adding: “[our] intelligence officials are not torturers, they are patriots.” 

McCain summarized in his speech by saying: “Anyone who tries to resume torture would find themselves in court in a New York minute.”

There is nothing I can add except the tons posted below for a long time on this subject.

As I have said a million times: Torture (and yes, water boarding is torture) is and has been for a very long time illegal, unlawful, and a war crime.

Stay tuned - think Mr. Trump will back down - hardly.  I think he will push this to the limits ... hopefully he will be shot down quickly and effectively.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mental Review of Gitmo Detainees: A Doctor's Up Close and Personal Perspective

Fifteen Years and Counting

Doctor (Lt. Cmdr.) Shay Rosecrans crossed into the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. She always tucked her medical school class ring into her bra, covered the name on her uniform with tape, and hid her necklace under her T-shirt, especially if she was wearing a cross. She also tried to block out thoughts of her 4-year-old daughter back home. She is a Navy psychiatrist who had been warned not to speak about her family or display anything personal, clues that might allow a terrorism suspect to identify her.

Gitmo patients called her the “torture bitch.”

They spit at her co-workers and shouted death threats. One even hurled a cup of urine, feces, and other body fluids at a psychologist who was working with her. Even interviewing prisoners to assess their mental health set off recriminations and claims that she was torturing them.  Some even demanded from her: “What would your Jesus think?”

Dr. Rosecrans has since retired from the Navy. She had led one of the mental health teams assigned to care for detainees at Gitmo – some for over the past 15 years.

Some of detainees had arrived as mentally disturbed and traumatized adolescents hauled in from the battlefield. Others are unstable adults who disrupted the cell blocks. 

Most face indefinite confinement, and continue to struggle with despair.

Her story continues at the link… quite astonishing insight into the mental status of detainees held there.

As I have always said in the past, imagine our VN POWs had had been held in the Hanoi “Hilton” for 15 years like those now detained at Gitmo under U.S. custody.

This continues to be an ugly stain on the honor of all Americans. Those not charged and many are in that category should have been released long ago. Those facing charges should be tried ASAP and put away for life via Federal courts which have been proven to be 100% effective NOT military tribunals, which are weak and quite honestly ineffective. Our civil courts have processed and sentence big name terrorists and none have escaped and most are will never be released. 

Sadly the GOP does not trust our own judicial system, but they should.

Thanks for stopping by… Come again. Updated when appropriate. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Many Believe “Torture Works” — Okay, Imagine You're On The Receiving End

Ask John McCain About Torture (Does it work or not)

(December 9, 2014)

A fine NY Times Essay on Torture follows below:

INTRODUCTION: The torture itself was horrific enough. Beatings, hangings, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, mock executions — a litany of abuse authorized by the U. S. government against terrorism suspects held in the wake of the September 11 attacks, and for which no one in any position of power has ever been held accountable.

But taking fuller stock of the damage inflicted during those dark and brutal days is a continuing task. A series by The Times that began this month (October 2016) details the psychological and emotional scars that haunt the men, potentially hundreds, who suffered at the hands of interrogators at secret CIA “black sites” around the world and at the military detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

A disturbingly high number of these men were innocent, or were low-level fighters who posed so little threat that they were eventually released without charge. Yet despite assurances from lawyers in the DOJ that “enhanced interrogation techniques” (Note my insert: Enhanced interrogation is a fancy buzz word used to avoid saying torture) should have no negative long-term effects,

The Times found that many of the men still suffer from paranoia, psychosis, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to their abuse.

They have flashbacks, nightmares, and debilitating panic attacks. Some cannot work, go outside, or speak to their families about what they went through.

One doctor compared the psychiatric disorders he saw among the former detainees to what military doctors observed in former American prisoners of war after they came home from Vietnam, Korea, and WW II.

Thanks for stopping by, and as usual, your comments are always welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2016

GITMO: Review of Detainees Held, Released, and Awaiting Action of Some Sort

[Click image for larger view]

The above map shows the 30 countries where former Gitmo detainees were released from U.S. custody. It also lists the number of former detainees released to those 30 countries.

This is an excellent and very extensive rundown on the current and historical status of war detainees held by the United States at Gitmo, Cuba.

Here are two key bullet points as way of introduction to the enormous amount of data there:

▪ First Gitmo Captives Arrive: Twenty arrived on January 11, 2002. They were housed at the first camp to open named: Camp X-Ray.

▪ The Last Captive to Arrive: A man named Muhammed Rahim al-Afghani. He is listed as a high-level al-Qaida captive. He arrived on March 14, 2008.

Enjoy the research and as I said, it is an excellent data base – easy to read and follow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Major Update: Abu Zubaydah Captured and Held at Gitmo Since 2002 Seeks Release

Abu Zubaydah seen in 2002 (Later wounded and captured in Pakistan)
(Real name: Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn)

Abu Zubaydah in 2016 at Gitmo Detention Center

MAJOR UPDATE with this headlines from the NY Times

Abu Zubaydah, Tortured Guantánamo Detainee, Makes Case for Release

Extract from that article is here: Over 14 years in American custody, Abu Zubaydah, has come to symbolize, perhaps more than any other prisoner, how fear of terrorism after the September 11, 2001, attacks changed the United States.

He was the first detainee to be water boarded (over 80 times), and his brutal torture later was documented in a U.S. Senate report. He is among those held without charges and with no likelihood of a trial. The government long ago admitted that he was never the top leader of al-Qaeda that it had claimed at the time of his capture in 2002, but still insists today that he may still be dangerous and cannot be released.

In all that time, Mr. Zubaydah, now 45, had never been seen by the outside world. That changed on Tuesday, as his calm face was beamed via video feed from the Guantánamo Bay military prison to a Pentagon conference room.

That story continues at the link provided above.

His original capture and story follow here with this original background from April 23, 2009 also in the NY Times written by Ali Soufan former FBI supervisory special agent from 1997 to 2005. Mr. Soufan was the first to interrogate Abu Zubaydah and gain valuable intelligence without any harsh interrogation techniques. The following is in Agent Soufan’s own words from that article regarding that ordeal:

“For seven years I have remained silent about the false claims magnifying the effectiveness of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques like water boarding. I have spoken only in closed government hearings, as these matters were classified. But the release of the four Justice Department memos on interrogations allows me to shed light on the story, and on some of the lessons to be learned.  One of the most striking parts of the memos is the false premises on which they are based. The first, dated August 2002, grants authorization to use harsh interrogation techniques on a high-ranking terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, on the grounds that previous methods hadn’t been working.

“The next three memos cite the successes of those methods as a justification for their continued use. It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another FBI agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence such as for example that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. He then told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counter terrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

“There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

“Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested in May 2002!!

“An FBI colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him. It has been the right decision to release these memos, as we need the truth to come out. This should not be a partisan matter, because it is in our national security interest to regain our position as the world’s foremost defenders of human rights. Just as important, releasing these memos enables us to begin the tricky process of finally bringing these terrorists to justice.

“The debate after the release of these memos has centered on whether C.I.A. officials should be prosecuted for their role in harsh interrogation techniques. That would be a mistake. Almost all the agency officials I worked with on these issues were good people who felt as I did about the use of enhanced techniques: it is un-American, ineffective and harmful to our national security.

“Fortunately for me, after I objected to the enhanced techniques, the message came through from Pat D’Amuro, an FBI assistant director stating: “We don’t do that.” Then I was pulled out of the interrogation by the FBI director, Robert Mueller (this was documented in the report released last year by the Justice Department’s inspector general).

“My CIA colleagues who balked at the techniques, on the other hand, were instructed to continue. (It’s worth noting that when reading between the lines of the newly released memos, it seems clear that it was contractors, not CIA officers, who requested the use of these techniques.)

“As we move forward, it’s important to not allow the torture issue to harm the reputation, and thus the effectiveness, of the CIA. The agency is essential to our national security. We must ensure that the mistakes behind the use of these techniques are never repeated.


“Some of the first questions asked of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed upon his capture and during the time during which he was water boarded were about possible connections between al-Qaeda and Iraq. KSM as he is called is the mastermind of the September 11 attacks. He was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003. According to Office of Legal Counsel (Bush’s legal office) memos released, he was water boarded 183 times that same month.

“The substance of the intelligence that was being sought from him has been an object of some speculation, with several defenders of the interrogation practice arguing that the goal was to prevent an impending attack on America. But a line buried on page 353 of the July 2004Select Committee on Intelligence report (523 pages) on pre-Iraq war intelligence strongly suggests that the interrogation was just as centered on a possible Iraq-al-Qaeda link as terrorist activity (thus a foundation for the invasion of Iraq).

“CTC [Counter Terrorist Center] noted that the questions regarding al-Qaida's ties to the Iraqi regime were among the first presented to senior al-Qaida operational planner Khalid Shaikh Muhammad following his capture. Revelations that KSM was questioned about possible al Qaeda ties to Iraq at roughly the same time that he was undergoing water boarding provides some key insight into the purpose of the CIA interrogations.

“A de-classified Senate Armed Services Committee report quoted army psychologist Maj. Paul Burney as saying that a large part of his time on a Behavioral Science Consultation Team was “... focused on trying to establish a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq.” McClatchy newspapers then published an article citing a former intelligence official acknowledging that the Bush administration had pressured interrogators to use harsh techniques to produce evidence connecting the terrorist organization and Iraq's regime.

“All those efforts at establishing that link never bore fruit. KSM was unaware of any collaborative relationship between al-Qaida and the former Iraqi regime as he cited ideological disagreements as an impediment to closer ties.

“In addition, he was unable to corroborate reports that al-Qaeda associate Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi had traveled to Iraq to obtain medical treatment for injuries sustained in Afghanistan (another Bush team lie).

“All the reports shows that water boarding would be used as a means of establishing a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda also diffuses the Bush team notion that so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques (torture)” were only being used in the so-called “ticking time bomb” scenarios.

“But one fact remains clear: “The Bush administration authorized harsh interrogation (torture) in April and May of 2002, well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion. Their principal priority for gathering critical intelligence was not aimed at preempting another terrorist attack or stopping a “ticking bomb” as they said in every press conference, but was to discover the smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qaeda that they so desperately need to justify the invasion of Iraq. It never happened, but the invasion did – the rest is now history.” [End of story from Mr. Soufan].

Related to this issue and posted at various times at this blog:

As usual, thanks from stopping by – come again and stay tuned to this very important issue.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Donald J. Trump is 100% Certifiable and Ready for the Nearest Padded Cell

Trump Fav Bedroom Pic

Trump wants to be president and take the oath office on Jan 20, 2017 by saying:

I, Donald J. Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Yet he advocates the below utter insanity. A very short clip is below wherein he says he would allow Americans to be tried at the Gitmo detainee center in Cuba … which need I remind anyone would be 100% illegal.

The whole story is here from the Miami Herald and in the short clip below:

Trump is certifiable and ready for the nearest padded cell.

Unbelievable – now watch him walk that back in a day or so …

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Guantánamo Detainee Periodic Review Guide: Comprehensive and Up-to-Date

One View of Gitmo Bay, Cuba 

Faces of 15 of the 75 still detained
(See charts and photos in the link)

INTRODUCTION: The Miami Herald guide (as of July 25, 2016) breaks down the status of the last 76 Guantánamo detainees. It starts with those who have been entitled to Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearings. President Obama ordered the hearings in 2011.

Further down, the site charts show which detainees who are gone, both with and without board review, for various reasons.

NOTEWORTHY: Ten captives (listed immediately below) are charged at the war court and are not entitled to go before the PRB. One, Pakistani citizen Majid Khan, and who was educated in Baltimore and already pleaded guilty for being a courier of money used in the al-Qaeda bombing at the J. W. Marriott in Jakarta, Indonesia.

11/03/08 ^
Ahmed Haza al Darbi
Majid Khan
Khalid Sheik Mohammed
Walid bin Attash
Ramzi bin al Shibh
Ammar al Baluchi
Mustafa al Hawsawi
Abd al Rahim al Nashiri
Abd al Hadi al Iraqi
KEY for only one detainee: ^ = Convicted, serving life, still under appeal.

Three other captives were repatriated without Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearings under military commission plea agreements during the period when the Pentagon was setting up the PRB: (1) Ibrahim al Qosi and (2) Noor Uthman Mohammed to Sudan in July 2012 and December 2013 respectively and (3) Omar Khadr to Canada in September 2012.

This is an excellent and very comprehensive review of all the detainees at Gitmo in their various categories and stages of their prosecution, trial, and or possible release status.  

Thanks for stopping – please share this with anyone you choose. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How to Define Torture: Listening to Donald J. Trump Say Torture is Fine and Dandy

“Look, I Take My Orders from Above. And, No One is Above Me”

Now to prove my point: Trump’s stance and view on torture and other critical issues from the NY TIMES here.

Trump rose to prominence by describing the United States responses to terrorism as flaccid. 

For example, back during a GOP debate in February, he inched toward endorsing torture as a way to counteract the Islamic State’s barbarism, saying in part:

“Not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on (he meant the ISIS beheadings and other such horror) as we’ve seen on YouTube and elsewhere. I would bring back water boarding – and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than water boarding.”

Later, he said that “torture works,” and then he even called for killing families of terrorists,” which BTW is a violation of all kinds of laws. 

In March, he released a statement acknowledging the limitations imposed by laws and treaties and saying that he would not “order our military or other officials to violate those laws.”

But then in true Trump-style and one day later, he told a crowd that he would seek to change the laws barring torture, saying: “We’re like a bunch of babies — but we’re going to stay within the laws. But you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to have those laws broadened. Because we’re playing with two sets of rules — their rules and our rules.” (Note: So he says that in essence U.S. Forces who follow the rules of war are like a bunch of babies? And, his man wants to be CINC).

Trump says in so many words that he wants our troops and society, too I guess, to be like and act like and conduct ourselves like our enemies?

Say, like having another Vietnam-style My Lai, or how about more WWII Nazi Concentration Camps, or Russian Gulag, or even more modern and up-to-date horror/science lab? (Since most GOPers don’t believe in science, I’m sure any idea would be very popular and just fine for Trump supporters), or whatever else he could dream up.

Donald J. Trump is one very, very sick man – patently mentally disturbed and way off base in the middle of GOP la-la land not only on this issue, but on tons of several other critical issues. 

One session of “waterboarding” for him I am sure would change his mind in short order, or a full week or less of SERE training.

Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gitmo Detainees at a Glance: The Numbers There Since

Cost Comparison Snapshot
(Federal Lockup vs. Gitmo)

1.  A total of 775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo. Although most of these have been released without charge, we continue to classify many of those released detainees as “enemy combatants.” 

As of June 13, 2016, 80 detainees remained locked up at Guantanamo.

2.  In 2002, Camp Delta was opened to hold detainees swept up in the “War on Terror.”

Seems this scenario will play out until and through the November election, despite efforts by the Obama team to close Gitmo and shift detainee trials to Federal jurisdiction and close that chapter that still stains our entire system.

Myth: Terrorists have traditionally been tried in military commissions.

FactFederal civilian criminal courts have convicted more than 500 individuals on terrorism-related charges since 9/11Military commissions have convicted only eight, four of which have been overturned completely. Federal courts have convicted many high-profile terrorists, including “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, Ramzi Yousef (1993 World Trade Center bombing), Faisal Shahzad (Times Square bomber), and Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law) in March 2014.

Myth: Military commissions are better equipped to handle terror cases.

Fact: Federal courts have more tools to try terrorists than military commissions. Federal courts, unlike military commissions, can try suspects for offenses involving fraud, immigration, firearms, and drugs. In addition, convictions for crimes of conspiracy and material support before a military commission, rather than a federal court, have been overturned on appeal because these crimes have not generally been considered war crimes. While Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, was convicted of terrorism-related offenses just over a year after he was captured, the military commission trial for the alleged 9/11 perpetrators has remained mired in pre-trial hearings since May 2012.

Myth: Federal prisons cannot safely detain terror suspects.

Fact: Federal prisons hold hundreds of individuals convicted of terrorism-related offenses. None have ever escaped. Guantanamo is also much more expensive than federal prisons, costing more than $5 million per prisoner annually, compared to less than $78,000 in a comparable maximum security federal prison.

Myth: Terrorism trials in federal court risk the safety of Americans.

Fact: None of the districts that have tried terrorism suspects have been attacked in response, and Guantanamo actually hinders counter-terrorism efforts. 

Myth: Terror suspects should be tried before military commissions because they do not deserve our regular courts.

Fact: Prosecuting terror suspects before military commissions makes them look like warriors rather than the criminals that they are. As Judge William Young said when sentencing Shoe Bomber Richard Reid, “You’re no warrior….You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.” 

More later I am sure.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Back in the Spotlight as Predicted: Will Justice Prevail or Be Swept Under a Rug

Jessen and Mitchell

Analysis Statement of Jessen and Mitchell Credentials

Updated (April 24, 2016) of the following, which was posted earlier:

The heart of the lawsuit by former detainees against the two phony CIA program designers, Jessen and Mitchell, is expressed in simple terms from this updated source link.  

First of all, this is the first time a case about the CIA’s use of torture has gotten is far in any American court. A big reason for that is because it’s harder to argue that classified information was at risk, since much of it was declassified in the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence report on the CIA’s use of torture, over 500 pages of which was released in December 2014.

That report confirmed that under former President George W. Bush, “... interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others at the time.”

The Senate report documented a variety of torture methods used on detainees: (1) waterboarding (which has been illegal, unlawful, and a war crime for decades); (2) sleep deprivation, (3) threats made against detainees families, (4) physical beatings, (5) rectal rehydration, (6) ice baths, (7) putting detainees in coffin-sized boxes (sometimes filled with creepy insects, and, (8) a few other horrifying abuses.

And, all done under the label of “national security to keep us safe in name of the American people.”

My simple retort to that weak-ass excuse is and has been along this, and excuse me for being so blunt:

I have written extensively on the issue of torture and this is a major update here regarding key previous posts about the two pictured above (Jessen and Mitchell). This story has this headline:

100 men who were tortured by the CIA are now suing the program’s (two) designers in Federal court…”

First, some key background info on Jessen and Mitchell here, here, here,  here, and here.

Whether this story goes any further than this headlines remains to be seen. If and when it does, I will provide updates.

For the first time since the US launched the so-called War on Terror, two former CIA contractors are in federal court.

Former Air Force Psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who designed the CIA's torture program, are trying to get a judge to throw out the lawsuit filed on behalf of some of the men who were tortured.

More than 100 men say they were subjected to water boarding and beatings during interrogations in Afghanistan.

According to the 2014 US Senate Intelligence Committee report on the torture program, Mitchell and Jessen, neither of whom who had any experience in interrogations, were paid $81 million teach the CIA how to break the detainees during questioning.

The Senate Intelligence Committee torture report called the program “brutal, physically harmful, and not effective.”

More will be posted later as this story takes root, or not. That is to say it may not take root due to provisions already in place to give those two men cover that may be in the form of any contract between them and the CIA – i.e., gives them legal cover as it were if something like this ever were to come up and now it has.

For example, in a brief June 2009 e-mail exchange, Mitchell said his nondisclosure agreement with the CIA prevented him from commenting about the program details. He also suggested that his and Jessen’s work had been mischaracterized. Time will tell what happens next.