Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Senate Torture Report Could Derail or Hamper Detainee Trials

/s/ Team Dubya 

Major update on this subject from here:

[Detainee’s] Defense attorneys in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are eagerly awaiting the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program, hoping its revelations will help the accused terrorists they represent at military commissions on the island.

President Obama said bluntly earlier this month that the CIA “tortured some folks,” and the long-awaited report is expected to describe that torture in detail. That could be good news for the five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks and one accused of the USS Cole bombing. All have been in pretrial proceedings for years now at Guantanamo and were in CIA custody before that.

“It’s going to have an effect on the way everything is perceived,” said James Harrington, attorney representing one of the accused 9/11 plotters: Ramzi bin al-Shibh.  

The Guantanamo prosecution team decided back in 2006 not to use any evidence obtained while the detainees were in CIA custody and subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” like water boarding. They believed they had enough evidence from other sources, including statements that the detainees made to the FBI’s “clean team of interrogators, who questioned the detainees” without the use of methods that meet international definitions of torture — after they were moved from secret “Black Sites” in foreign countries to Guantanamo.

But the Senate report revelations could call into question the clean team’s findings, defense lawyers believe. Harrington for example said he’s planning to argue that “these interviews should be just as inadmissible as the CIA’s findings, since his client was too psychologically damaged by the earlier interrogations to be questioned fairly.”

The Senate report could also be useful to the defense if and when the lengthy proceedings — which have been stuck in pretrial motions for more than two years — get to the sentencing stage.
Attorney Harrington also plans to argue that the torture his client suffered is a mitigating circumstance that means he should not be put to death if found guilty.

Related Stories:
Original Post: One huge gap here folks from a supposed "interrogator" in the early days of the Iraq war, saying in part (this appears in the pending Senate torture report, too, BTW): 

“Interrogators were being pressured about — You have to get info from these people — there was no consideration that the person we were interrogating may not know. That was always seen as a resistance technique. They, the detainees, must be lying! There was pressure on us from above to produce what they wanted. Not a single person I worked with knew how to conduct an interrogation or [had] ever conducted an interrogation.”

From an article written the Army General (Maj Gen. Taguba) who conducted the Abu Ghraib prison torture case (remember those days) ... 
Image result for Abu Ghraib

“A few months after I completed the investigation, I was reassigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where I could be closely monitored. Then, in early 2006, I received a telephone call from Gen. Richard A. Cody, then the Army’s vice chief of staff, who said, “I need you to retire by January of 2007.” No explanation was given. But none was needed.”

Accountability, right? I doubt most in office at the time and a few even still today actually know a thimble full of anything about interrogation. That quote above proves the point and makes that aspect clear.

Stay tuned - this is going to get a lot nastier.

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