"We Didn't Torture, We Don't Torture, Prove It ..."
Enhanced Interrogation Kept Us Safe
(GWB: "Yeah, we water boarded KSM, and I'd do it again to save lives.")
Quick Update: Original post follows. Subject: “State Department Endorses Conclusions of Senate that CIA Misled Congress and Brutalized Suspects” Authored by Jonathan Turley (
July 31, 2014).
Short Synopsis: “We didn't torture per se since the White House lawyers and others told Mr. Bush in a series of memos that “We don't and can't torture, but “enhanced” interrogation techniques are just fine and dandy” and that apparently included being pretty damn brutal. Wow ... oops...
Original Post Starts from Here: It is based on this developing event cited in this story:
WASHINGTON (July 25, 2014) — Just after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to declassify hundreds of pages of a withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program, C.I.A. Director John O. Brennan convened a meeting of the men who had played a role overseeing the program in its seven-year history.
Thus this review seems to be in order to see the trail of torture: Where did it begin and where will it lead?
1. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
2. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT: 2002 letter from Amnesty International Letter to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld [click here].
The most-critical memos follow:
3. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel. This memo [click here] - lays out an expansive vision of presidential power, arguing that Congress cannot “place any limits on the President's determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.”
4. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: President George W. Bush. This military order [click here] declares the Commander-in-Chief's unilateral authority to hold prisoners in the war on terror indefinitely.
5. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHORS: John Yoo & Patrick Philbin, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, OLC. This memo [click here] concludes that federal district courts would lack jurisdiction to accept habeas petitions from prisoners who were held at
6. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel. In this memo [click here] Yoo writes, “We conclude that these treaties, including
7. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: William Taft IV, Legal Adviser to the State Department (to John Yoo). Taft’s 40-page memo [click here] - describes Yoo's legal analysis as “seriously flawed,” and the memorandum also warns that “this raises the risk of future criminal prosecution for
8. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld declares in this memo [click here] that “The United States has determined that Al Qaida and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense are not entitled to prisoner of war status for purposes of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”
9. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. Bybee in this memo [click here] signs off on John Yoo's January 9th draft memo [above], and sends it in its final form to Pentagon General Counsel Jim Haynes and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. The memo explains that “certain deviations from the text of Geneva III may be permissible, as a matter of domestic law, if they fall within certain justifications or legal exceptions, such as those for self defense.”
10. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Alberto Gonzales, White House Counsel. This memo for President Bush [click here] outlines the benefits of opting out of the Geneva Conventions and lists the benefits of such a finding. Gonzales notes that non-compliance with
11. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Colin Powell, Secretary of State. Powell warns in this memo [click here] of the consequences of opting out of the Geneva Convention. “It will reverse over a century of
12. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: John Ashcroft, Attorney General. Ashcroft concludes in this memo to President Bush [click here] that opting out of
13. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. In this memo to Gonzales [click here] Bybee states that the President has the power to ignore
14. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: President George W. Bush. Mr. Bush in this memo to Cheney, State, DOD, AG, JCS, and others [click here] declares that the United States will not be bound by the Geneva Convention's protections for prisoners of war.
15. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. In this Bybee memo [click here] and in the wake of the capture of the so-called “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, questions about the rights of American citizens captured in the war on terror became a new issue. In conclusion, Bybee notes to Haynes, “even if the Government did in fact violate Rule 4.2 by having military lawyers interrogate represented persons (including Mr. Walker) without consent of counsel, it would not follow that the evidence obtained in that questioning would be inadmissible at trial.”
16. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. In this memo to Gonzales [click here] what has become the notorious “torture memo,” Jay Bybee signs off on an opinion authored by John Yoo. The memorandum systematically dismisses numerous
17. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, OLC. Yoo in this memo to Gonzales [click here] warns of potential threats of international prosecution regarding the administration's interrogation policies. Yoo notes that “Interrogations of al-Qaeda members ... cannot constitute a war crime” because of the Presidential determination that
18. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. This memo from Bybee was sent to the CIA [click here] is heavily redacted. It was released to the ACLU in 2008. It details “advising the CIA regarding interrogation methods it may use against al-Qaeda members,” and in one un-redacted portion, argues that “to violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering. Based on the information you have provided us, we believe those carrying out these procedures would not have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.”
19. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. A one page summary [click here] of Pentagon General Counsel Jim Haynes and Vice President Cheney's legal counsel David Addington trip to
20. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT:
AUTHOR: Email author: Mark Fallon. In this memo [click here] a senior CIA lawyer meets with military officials at
The remaining memos (numbers 21 –34) that relate to this history of the issue can be found and read at the main site [click here] then open link: “Read the Key Documents.”