Recent letters written by the Justice Department were reportedly sent to Congress alleging that American intelligence operatives can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law if the operatives are attempting to thwart terrorist attacks — translation: the Justice Department is effectively continuing to redefine the meaning of justice, showing how highly politicized it has become and using delusional ‘legal rationale’ to obstruct justice while helping the Bush administration keep their illicit activities covered up.
The legal interpretation outlined in the letters sheds new light on rules for interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)…which still remain secret. The Bush administration argues that boundaries for interrogations should be subject to some latitude, even under an executive order issued last summer that President Bush said meant that the CIA would comply with international strictures against harsh treatment of detainees.
Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity.” A March 5 letter sent to Congress by the Justice Department makes clear that the Bush administration has not drawn a precise line in deciding which interrogation methods would violate that standard and is reserving the right to make case-by-case judgments.
Some legal experts are critical of the Justice Department interpretation — and that’s all it is — that seems to be arguing that the prospect of thwarting a terror attack could be used to justify interrogation methods that would otherwise be illegal. The Justice Department says that the purpose of the interrogation would be just one among many factors weighed in determining whether or not a specific procedure could be used.
In 2004 the Justice Department rescinded a number of classified legal opinions, including a memo written in 2002 by John Yoo arguing that nothing short of the pain associated with organ failure constituted illegal torture.
Earlier this year the House and the Senate passed legislation imposing further limits on CIA interrogations. Bush vetoed that bill saying the use of harsh interrogation methods had been effective in preventing terrorist attacks. More information about the letters can be found from the New York Times, Reuters, MSNBC and the Boston Globe. Here are more links to information about the CIA and their involvement with Al-Qaeda.
Illegal Interrogation Techniques In Afghanistan
Between the lines below is a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) regarding newly released government documents that show illegal interrogation techniques were used by Special forces in Afghanistan.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666 or (646) 785-1894; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union obtained documents today from the Department of Defense confirming the military’s use of unlawful interrogation methods on detainees held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. The documents from the military’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), obtained as a result of the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, include the first on-the-ground reports of torture in Gardez, Afghanistan to be publicly released.
“These documents make it clear that the military was using unlawful interrogation techniques in Afghanistan,” said Amrit Singh, an attorney with the ACLU. “Rather than putting a stop to these systemic abuses, senior officials appear to have turned a blind eye to them.”
Special Operations officers in Gardez admitted to using what are known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) techniques, which for decades American service members experienced as training to prepare for the brutal treatment they might face if captured.
Today’s documents reveal charges that Special Forces beat, burned, and doused eight prisoners with cold water before sending them into freezing weather conditions. One of the eight prisoners, Jamal Naseer, died in U.S. custody in March 2003. In late 2004, the military opened a criminal investigation into charges of torture at Gardez. Despite numerous witness statements describing the evidence of torture, the military’s investigation concluded that the charges of torture were unsupported. It also concluded that Naseer’s death was the result of a “stomach ailment,” even though no autopsy had been conducted in his case. Documents uncovered today also refer to sodomy committed by prison guards; the victims’ identities are redacted.
“These documents raise serious questions about the adequacy of the military’s investigations into prisoner abuse,” added Singh.
The ACLU also obtained today a file today related to the death of Muhammad Al Kanan, a prisoner held at Camp Bucca in Iraq. The file reveals that British doctors refused to issue a death certificate for fear of being sued for malpractice:
In October 2003, the ACLU – along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace – filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for records concerning the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU’s FOIA lawsuit.
Attorneys in the FOIA case are Lawrence S. Lustberg and Melanca D. Clark of the New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons, P.C.; Jameel Jaffer, Singh and Judy Rabinovitz of the ACLU; Arthur Eisenberg and Beth Haroules of the New York Civil Liberties Union; and Shayana Kadidal and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
In addition, many of the FOIA documents are also located and summarized in a recently published book by Jaffer and Singh, Administration of Torture. More information is available online at:
The documents received in the ACLU’s FOIA litigation are online at:
All of today’s documents are available at:
Noted by legal scholar Jonathan Turley, international law does not change for motivation. “When a cop tortures a prisoner in a Dirty Harry situation, he has the best motivations. However, it is a means that is prohibited under law.”
The time has come for accountability…for anyone and everyone involved from ALL branches of the Federal Government and the large corporations behind them.
Links to More Information
Links to the information above as well as a lot of links to and snippets of other interesting information can be found below:
John McCain and Bush’s torture powers article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News
Scalia, Yoo and Fitzgerald article from FireDogLake
The High Crimes of John Yoo article from Counter Punch
Memo Sheds New Light on Torture Issue article from The New York Times
Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale article from The New York Times
U.S. asserts new interrogation rights: NY Times article from Reuters
CIA tactics given legal cover, newspaper says article from MSNBC News / Reuters
Justice Dept. gives looser view on interrogation tactics article from The Boston Globe
Al-Qaeda or al-CIA-duh article from OilEmpire.us
The Power of Nightmares: Baby It’s Cold Outside article from The BBC News
Top ranking CIA Operatives admit Al Qaeda is a complete fabrication.
New Al Qaeda Video More CIA Black Op Propaganda article and video from InfoWars
Fake Al Qaeda article from WhatReallyHappened.com
The CIA and al-Qaeda article from HumanEvents.com
Why the CIA is not interested in ending al-Qaeda article from BTInternet.com
A lot of information regarding why the CIA isn’t interested in ending al-Qaeda – Duplicity and ‘The Government behind the Government.’
Documents Obtained By ACLU Describe Charges Of Murder And Torture Of Prisoners In U.S. Custody article from The American Civil Liberties Union
Bush Admininstration Re-Asserts Right to Torture article from JonathanTurley.org
The Bush team’s Geneva hypocrisy article from RINF.com
Neocons Launch New Propaganda Offensive Against Iran article and video from InfoWars:
“Now that we have the neocons attempting to sell us on the dubious prospect of a Syrian nuke, the corporate media is stepping up the propaganda, same as they did in late 2002 prior to the invasion of Iraq. For instance, the Telegraph is pushing the following:
One of the most terrifying possibilities the world faces is that al-Qa’eda, or some other Islamist group, gets hold of a nuclear bomb. Islamist terrorists are certainly trying to obtain one: Osama bin Laden has issued a document entitled “The Nuclear Bomb of Islam”, which insists it is “the duty” of Muslims to acquire a nuclear bomb in order to use “as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God”.
In 1998, Osama bin Laden supposedly released a “pamphlet” calling for Muslims to obtain nuclear material because “it is the duty of the Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God.” On the one hand the corporate media tells us the Iranians are having a difficult time enriching uranium and on the other they have told us for nearly a decade now al-Qaeda may develop a nuclear bomb, no doubt from a cave in Afghanistan.”
Neocons in Cheney’s Office Fund al Qaeda-Tied Groups … and No One Cares? article from AlterNet:
“Seymour Hersh’s recent report that Iran-Contra veterans working out of Dick Cheney’s office are using stolen funds from Iraq to arm al Qaeda-tied groups and foment a larger Sunni-Shia war is a very big deal.”
9/11/01: Where Was George? article from The Nation
George W. Bush – Terrorist in the White House information from NoGW.com
Bush Caught in a Lie About the 9/11 WTC Attacks article from WhatReallyHappened.com
The 911 Evidence that May Hang George W. Bush article from Scoop Independent News
September 11th And The Bush Administration article from Information Clearing House
“Clearly, one of the most critical questions of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.”
Government Prior Knowledge and Involvement in his 9-11 Attacks information from InfoWars
Why George W. Bush Is The World’s Leading Terrorist! article from TVNewsLies.org:
“Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Read the sentence carefully. You didn’t hear it on any corporate media newscast since 9/11. It’s the official US FBI definition of terrorism. In its official definition, the FBI does not limit terrorism to stateless individuals or groups. In its official definition, the FBI does not suggest that terrorism cannot be perpetrated by the leader of a nation state. But even more amazing is that the official FBI definition of terrorism describes exactly what George Bush did in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11!”
151 Congressmen Derive Financial Profit From War article from The Intelligence Daily
Bush chides Congress for lack of action article from MSNBC News / The Associated Press:
How to try and place the blame for all of your failures on everyone else…blaming Congressional Democrats….typical.
“‘Tough time for our economy,’ he says, accusing lawmakers of ‘delay.'”
Criminal Corporate Media article from TVNewsLies.org:
“We have a government made up of members of a group called the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). The most elementary investigation into this group would raise suspicions about virtually everything that has taken place under the Bush administration yet not a word of this group has been uttered with the exception of a single Nightline episode.”
The Project for the New American Century information from Information Clearing House
Learning to love Big Brother / George W. Bush channels George Orwell article from The San Francisco Chronicle
The Enablers Of Fascism, The Mainstream News Media article from JustAnotherCoverUp.com
The Clearest Evidence Of Complicity In the 9/11 Attacks. article from LA IndyMedia.org
Clueless Or Complicit? article from FireDogLake
Al Qaeda Links information (lots of links) regarding Al Qaeda from TVNewsLies.org
Bush’s Conspiracy to Create an American Police State: Part VII, The Government Denies ‘Due Process of Law’ article from The Existentialist Cowboy Blogspot:
“The Bush administration is credibly compared to a cult. Like Hitler’s ‘Third Reich’, its assault on civil liberties and democracy have resulted in a ‘state’ bearing no resemblance to the one created or envisioned by the ‘founders’ and ratified September 17, 1787. Like the history of any ‘police state’, a history of the Bush administration must chronicle its methodical, deliberate dismantling of ‘Due Process of Law’
There’s a lot of anxiety inside the — you know, our professional military and our intelligence people. Many of them respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as much as anybody here, and individual freedom. So, they do — there’s a tremendous sense of fear. These are punitive people. One of the ways — one of the things that you could say is, the amazing thing is we are been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease.”
–Seymour Hersh, We’ve Been Taken Over By a Cult
It is a ‘cult’ which has historically opposed what good Americans, legal scholars, historians, and jurists call ‘Due Process of Law’. Due Process of Law is the difference between a tyranny and legitimate government, between a free citizenry and slavery, between totalitarian decrees and Democracy.
American history is stained by the likes of Prescott Bush and other fascists and fascist sympathizers who found in “Due Process of Law” an obstacle to their dreams of installing a fascist dictatorship in America. While the Project for the New American Century openly pined for a ‘catalyzing event like Pearl Harbor’ that would rally Americans to their fascist dreams, the real Pearl Harbor thrust the US into a great world war that was, presumably, intended to defeat the fascist threat once and for all. Simply, with the defeat of the Axis powers, all the fascists but those in America were defeated. Here, under Bush, the threat of fascism to the Due Process of Law has never been greater.”
Torture victim’s records lost at Guantanamo, admits camp general article from The Guardian UK
Few Clear Wins in U.S. Anti-Terror Cases article from The Washington Post
The Military-Media Complex article from The Washington Post
Destruction of Evidence, Obstruction of Justice and Other Just Plain Old Dumb as Dirt Ideas article from FireDogLake
The Pentagon’s Media Analyst Domestic Psy-Ops Program: Is It Legal? article from Emptywheel FireDogLake
There Were Orders to Follow article from The New York Times
The White House – The Green Light: Politics & Power article from Vanity Fair:
“As the first anniversary of 9/11 approached, and a prized Guantánamo detainee wouldn’t talk, the Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques, circumventing international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the army’s own Field Manual. The attorneys would even fly to Guantánamo to ratchet up the pressure-then blame abuses on the military. Philippe Sands follows the torture trail, and holds out the possibility of war crimes charges.”
Announcement Of War Crimes Tribunal article from RINF.com:
“International Lawyer Alfred Lambremont Webre, JD, MEd, who is a Judge on the Kuala Lumpur International War Crimes Tribunal, will make a public call for an International Citizen’s 9/11 War Crimes Tribunal. He will speak at Ready for Mainstream, a 9/11 Anniversary Conference (Sept.8-9, 2007) at Cooper Union, 7th St and 4th Avenue, New York.
According to Independent Scientist Leuren Moret and Alfred Webre, 9/11 was a False Flag Operation to provide a pretext to engage in Genocidal & Ecocidal Depleted Uranium (DU) bombing of Central Asia (Afghanistan and Iraq) in order to secure vast oil and uranium reserves; to roll out a Terror-based National Security state-system world-wide; to implement the final stages of a world Depopulation policy; and to trigger a World War III conflagration.”
INTERNATIONAL CITIZENS 9/11 WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL home page
Skepticism toward Bush claims about Syria and North Korea article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News
Cheney camp ‘behind Syrian reactor claim’ article from ABC News Australia
All the president’s liars …. article from The San Francisco Chronicle
Judge Rejects Bush Administration’s ‘State Secrets’ Claim; Says FBI and Department of Homeland Security Must Reveal ‘Watchlist’ Status for Americans article from Yahoo! News / PR Newswire
Pentagon Suspends Briefings for Analysts article from The New York Times:
“The Pentagon announced on Friday that it was suspending its briefings for retired military officers who often appear as military analysts on television and radio programs.
A spokesman for the Pentagon said the briefings and all other interactions with the military analysts had been suspended indefinitely pending an internal review.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that since 2002 the Pentagon has cultivated several dozen military analysts in a campaign to generate favorable coverage of the administration’s wartime performance. The retired officers have made tens of thousands of appearances for television and radio networks, holding forth on Iraq, Afghanistan, detainee issues and terrorism in general.”
If Bush Attacks Iran, How should Americans react? article from Just Another Cover Up
FBI wants widespread monitoring of ‘illegal’ Internet activity article from CNET News
Laura Berg’s Letter article from The New York Times:
“The PEN American Center, the literary organization committed to free expression, is honoring an American most people in this country have never read or even heard of: Laura Berg. She is a psychiatric nurse at a Veterans Affairs hospital who was threatened with a sedition investigation after she wrote a letter to the editor denouncing the Bush administration’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war.
That’s right, sedition: inciting rebellion against the government. We suppose nothing should surprise us in these days of government zealotry. But the horror and the shame of that witch hunt should shock everyone.”
Which Gov Agency Should Be Your Computer’s Firewall? article from Wired.com Threat Level
Hold the Presses! Journalist Challenges Karl Rove for Lying article from Harper’s Magazine
Hacker testifies News Corp unit hired him article from Yahoo! News / Reuters
Pentagon Holds Thousands of Americans “Prisoners of War” article from AlterNet
What the Iraq War Is About article from AntiWar:
“Instead, the American sheeple have accepted a succession of transparent lies: weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaeda connections and complicity in the 9/11 attack, overthrowing a dictator and “bringing democracy” to Iraqis.
The great, moral American people would rather believe government lies than to acknowledge the government’s crimes and to hold the government accountable.”
White House Influence Is Cited in Corruption Trial article from The New York Times
Negroponte’s Confession Convicts the Bush Administration article from The Huffington Post
Bush lawyer tangles with judge over wiretaps / Attorney won’t say if Congress can limit president’s power article from The San Francisco Chronicle
Is the Iraq war vanishing from US view? article from BBC News
Why was there Molten Metal Under Ground Zero for Months after 9/11? article from George Washington’s Blog
Fast and Loose With the Facts – How Two Leading Journalists Played the Public to Help Bush Sell His War article from The Washington Independent
Butch & Hoppy: The Lies Take Hold article and video from InfoWars:
“This video provides some of the backstory for the discovery of a potentially devastating method of rigging audits, recounts and mail-in votes. While this particular segment took place in New Hampshire, what we learned about chain of custody and a previously unknown attack vector may have affected all states in the primaries. A project funded and produced by Black Box Voting, these videos show a unique collaboration of citizen volunteers who set out to coordinate and share videotaped evidence.”
Helen Thomas on the Media’s Failure video from YouTube
When Sock Puppets Rule Our Media article from FireDogLake
The harmony between the Right and the media article by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News
Factor military duty into criticism article from The Chicago Tribune:
“In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy’s challenge to, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.
While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.
This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, who has been in the news for comments he made over the last three decades.”
Olbermann: Bush administration lies like a discount department store article and video from The Raw Story
Media Continues Losing Credibility On 9/11 Issue article from InfoWars
Osama bin Laden article from What Really Happened Wiki
Daily Show: The Rise and Fall of FOX News article and video from Crooks and Liars
Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire video from Google
Al Qaeda – What Really Happened Wiki information:
“Al Qaeda (aka Al CIA-da) commonly arises in areas where high staked geopolitical interests of big oil companies and or militaries clash with the local governments. In general one could say there is a link to (fundamental) muslim tribal ruled areas and Al Qaeda.
The western secret services, CIA MOSSAD and MI6 have invented Al Qaeda as a cover for their covert operations in which they seek to further western goals there where diplomacy has failed.
Though Al Qaeda is also a subverted part of the military usually described as military corruption, in which case certain parts of the military operate independently from the structure of command.
The dirty work is then done by infiltrating or bribing local militias or by training terrorists under supervision of the secret agencies or the military.”
Tribute to Those Killed by CIA Atrocities video from YouTube
The Truth & Lies of 9/11 video from Google
Next 9/11 scheduled for week of May 1-8, with Martial Law as a bonus article from Capitol Hill Blue:
“With the next new moon arriving May 5, 2008, which is usually the time the Pentagon War Mongers love to attack countries Israel wants bombed, this next terror drill, coming up next week, could be more than interesting. Especially the part about invoking “Continuity Plans and Capabilities.”
That’s bureaucrat speak for Martial Law.”
Troops Deprived of Email Vote article from Military.com:
“WASHINGTON – U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan can speak to their families by Web camera and fight insurgents using sophisticated electronic warfare. Yet when it comes to voting, most troops are stuck in the past.
Communities in 13 states will send overseas troops presidential election ballots by e-mail this year, and districts in at least seven states will also let them return completed ballots over the Internet, according to data compiled by The Associated Press and the Overseas Vote Foundation.
That still leaves tens of thousands of service members in far-flung military bases struggling to meet voting deadlines and relying largely on regular mail to get ballots and cast votes – often at the last minute because of delays in ballot preparations in some states.”
The Pentagon’s $1 Trillion Problem article from Portfolio.com