Wednesday, September 3, 2014

C. I. A. = Censoring in America (possible new name forthcoming)

Will this prove to be true or not? Wild guess -- you bet it will...

"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 Major Update: The top graphic and this short statement: Senate intelligence committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) expects the executive summary of her staff’s long-awaited report on the torture of American detainees to be ready for public release before the end of September, she said in a segment of her “Meet the Press” interview (seen at the 10:25 mark in this video clip).

The original post follows:

Everyone is waiting on this report ... but most of it, I suspect, will be heavily redacted. Why? Admitting to torture would be an official admission and strong basis to pursue war crimes.

Forthcoming is the 6,300-page Senate report about the CIA's “so-called enhanced interrogation” program. It will surely renew criticism that the U.S. engaged in torture as we questioned terrorist suspects after the 9/11 attacks in places all over the world.

The report summary is expected to be made public in the coming weeks. It will conclude that the CIA used brutal techniques on detainees, but that they failed to produce life-saving intelligence that many profess it did. Then the CIA misled Congress and the Justice Department about the interrogation program.

Current active and former CIA officials and some Senate Republicans, hotly dispute the conclusion that the techniques, included water-boarding (which has been illegal, unlawful and a war crime for decades) ailed to produce crucial information. The report does not draw the legal conclusion that the CIA's actions constituted torture, although it makes clear that in some cases they amounted to torture by a common definition (two people who have read the report have said).

What is ironic to me is at that President Bush admitted in a speech in Iowa that, “Yes, we water-boarded and I'd do it again – it kept us safe.” Just recently, President Obama just in a speech that, “We tortured some folks.”

How can that crime, or any crime be so easily brushed aside. It is tantamount to hearing someone say, “Yeah, I robbed the f**king bank. I needed the money.” Or worse, “Yeah, I shot and killed the SOB, so what?”

This article was drawn from here.

Original Post is from Here: “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: September 14, 2001 - President Bush declares national emergency after 9/1 [click here].

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: September 25, 2001 – “The President's Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorist and Nations Supporting Them”

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.”

November 13, 2001 – “Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War on Terrorism”

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.

December 28, 2001 – “Possible Habeas Jurisdiction over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

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
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

January 9, 2002 – “SUBJECT: Application of Treaties and Laws to Al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees”

AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel.  In this memo [click here] Yoo writes, “We conclude that these treaties, including
Geneva, do not protect members of the al-Qaeda organization. We further conclude that that these treaties do not apply to the Taliban militia.”

January 11, 2002 – “Your Draft Memorandum of January 9th”

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 U.S. civilian and military leadership and their advisers.”

January 19, 2002 – “Status of Taliban and al-Qaeda”

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.”

January 22, 2002 – “Application of Treaties and Laws to Al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees”

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.”

January 25, 2002 – “Application of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War to the Conflict with al-Qaeda and the Taliban"

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
Geneva “would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 [War Crimes Act] does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution.”

January 26, 2002 – “Draft Decision Memorandum for the President on the Applicability of the Geneva Convention to the Conflict in Afghanistan

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
U.S. policy ... and undermine the prosecutions of the law of war for our troops...” He adds, “it may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops.”

February 1, 2002 - N/A

AUTHOR: John Ashcroft, Attorney General. Ashcroft concludes in this memo to President Bush [click here] that opting out of
Geneva “would provide the highest assurance that no court would subsequently entertain charges that American military officers, intelligence officials, or law enforcement officials violated Geneva Convention rules relating to field conduct, detention conduct or interrogation of detainees.”

13. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT: February 7, 2002 – “Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949”

AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC. In this memo to Gonzales [click here] Bybee states that the President has the power to ignore
Geneva's requirement that prisoners be given “Article 5” hearings to establish their status as POWs. “The President may use his constitutional power to interpret treaties and apply them to the facts, to make the determination that the Taliban are unlawful combatants. We therefore conclude that there is no need to establish tribunals to determine POW status under Article 5.”

February 7, 2002 – “Humane Treatment of al-Qaeda and Taliban Detainees"

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.

February 26, 2002 – “Potential Legal Constraints Applicable to Interrogations of Persons Captured by U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan

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.”

August 1, 2002 – “Standards for Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340 - 2340A (Note: This from Cornell Law. It is the official legal definitions according to current U.S. law [click here]).

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
U.S. federal laws, treaties and international law prohibiting the use of torture, essentially defining the term out of existence.

17. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT: August 1, 2002 - N/A.

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 Geneva's protections do not apply. (Note: The memo(s) they were asked to write).

18. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT: August 1, 2002 – “Memorandum for [REDACTED] Interrogation of [REDACTED]”

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: September 27, 2002 – “Trip Report, DOD General Counsel Visit to GTMO”

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 Guantanamo on September 25, 2002. The report notes that their stated purpose was to “receive briefings on Intel successes, Intel challenges, Intel techniques, Intel problems and future plans for facilities.”

20. MEMO DATE and SUBJECT: October 2, 2002 – “Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting Minutes”

AUTHOR: Email author: Mark Fallon. In this memo [click here] a senior CIA lawyer meets with military officials at Guantanamo. He states that laws banning torture are “basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong.” The Pentagon's top legal adviser at the camp responds, “We will need documentation to protect us.” When the military's top criminal investigator reads the minutes, he forwards them to other senior personnel, noting, “This looks like the kind of stuff Congressional hearings are made of. Water boarding, for example, would shock the conscience of any legal body looking at the results of the interrogations or possibly even the interrogators. Somebody needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”

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.”

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