Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 31, 2005

Paging Mr. Fitzgerald

Newsweek: Secret Memo—Send to Be Tortured:

In a memo forwarded to a senior FBI lawyer on Nov. 27, 2002, a supervisory special agent from the bureau's behavioral analysis unit offered a legal analysis of interrogation techniques that had been approved by Pentagon officials for use against a high-value Qaeda detainee. After objecting to techniques such as exploiting "phobias" like "the fear of dogs" or dripping water "to induce the misperception of drowning," the agent discussed a plan to send the detainee to Jordan, Egypt or an unspecified third country for interrogation. "In as much as the intent of this category is to utilize, outside the U.S., interrogation techniques which would violate [U.S. law] if committed in the U.S., it is a per se violation of the U.S. Torture Statute," the agent wrote. "Discussing any plan which includes this category could be seen as a con-spiracy to violate [the Torture Statute]" and "would inculpate" everyone involved.
(The memo's author, a former New York City prosecutor, declined to comment to NEWSWEEK.)

Posted by b on July 31, 2005 at 17:27 UTC | Permalink


More torture:

Blogger Khalid Jarrar reports about his recent time in a Baghdad prison

Posted by: b | Jul 31 2005 20:02 utc | 1

A little OT, but the story behind the new Saudi "ambassador" is one about which you all need to be aware.

Posted by: kelley b. | Aug 1 2005 1:26 utc | 2

@kelley b Because I find your link worth commenting on and the original topic posted by Bernhard is also worthy of remark I have aired some thoughts on your link in the open thread. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2005 8:00 utc | 3

@kelley b sorry to sound so damned precious but I decided not to post a response anywhere since some of us have been niggling at each other like a bunch of fishwives all day and on review what I wrote seemed to be more of the same.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2005 8:36 utc | 4

Pick your favorite incredulous part of the article. My favorite is this statement.

A senior FBI official, who asked not to be identified because the issue is sensitive, said the memo was not an official bureau legal conclusion. Its author was at Gitmo to advise on interrogation techniques, not to render legal opinions, the official said.

So a senior FBI lawyer is there to "advise" but not to provide "legal opnions"? Huh? It seems clear to me that his job was exactly to advice on what techniques were legal and which weren't. If this guy is using "legal opinion" in a formal and official sense, then this is parsing as high art.

Here is another favorite:

"No one is sent anywhere for the purpose of being tortured," the official said. A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense Department does not engage in renditions, but officials have confirmed that 65 detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo for further detention or prosecution by foreign governments, including 29 to Pakistan, seven to Russia, five to Morocco and four to Saudi Arabia—countries the State Department criticizes for practicing torture.

Huh? So DoD does practice "rendition", but it does "transfer" prisoners? My lord, what have we come to?

Posted by: Bubb Rubb | Aug 1 2005 9:46 utc | 5

It seems that there are still honest and compassionate Americans who try to do what they believe is their moral duty even in the face of institutional obstacles. Probably they represent a proportion of the military and law-enforcement agencies similar to that of those who share their view in the U.S. public-at-large. They clearly face an up-hill battle, since it would seem that criminal elements and traitors are in positions of authority.

The ability of such traitors and their media allies to suppress embarassing facts should not be underestimated:
the Sibel Edmonds case or the dead-end Anthrax investigation are text-book cases of treasonous misprison of felonies.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 1 2005 10:33 utc | 6

Along the same lines as mentioned above Sibel Edmonds
has written a
blistering reproof to 9/11 Commissioner Kean. She remains within the limits of her gag order (a scandal in itself!) but blasts Kean for acting as if he and the whole Kean-Hamilton-Zelikow cover-up commission had also been subjected to a juridical gag order, when in fact it merely
adopted a treasonous self-imposed silence to avoid embarassing the untouchables.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 1 2005 15:57 utc | 7

that edmonds letter to kean was sent a year ago. did kean ever reply?

Posted by: b real | Aug 1 2005 16:48 utc | 8

Was, Mein Sorge?

To counter the growing inculpation of senior Bush Administration officials in this AbuGate conspiracy, Pat Robertson invokes his
"Operation Supreme Court Freedom", or more popularly known as,
'Three (Dead) Judges, Three Days' prayer vigil. Replacing three
judges with some Bush-Gonzales look-alikes, of course, solves the
pesky inculpation issue. Republicans will own Federal government,
then Geneva Accords, SALT Treaties, NAFTA, GATT, forged abad et.

Halleluah, a Grand Slam for Jesus! Once the US forces pull out of
Iraq and the Iraqi militia take over, the BushCo ghost rewriters
can take over, and bing-bang-boom, in no time, it'll be Saddam's
own former Baathist militia who conducted the Abu Ghraib tortures,
all part of Der Bushster's autobiographical, "Was, Mein Sorge?"

Don't you get that tingly feeling in your gut, listening to Bush
and Robertson, like the Boy Scouts must have had, huddled under
their tents, America is about to be struck by divine lightning?

Posted by: lash marks | Aug 1 2005 17:25 utc | 9

When is the press and even the disallusioned GOPers going to start pitching a bitch. I am amazed at how blatant the Bushies are. Its in your face mo fo and theres nothing you can do. As lash marks says. The GOP owns the whole shoot'en match and no-one is calling them.

The dems were real dumb asses when they were talked into the route we're on by the eastern elites. But I think the Rockefeller Rethugs never thought it would go this far.

kelly b, hello from Northern Mich.

Posted by: jdp | Aug 1 2005 21:21 utc | 10

@ b real
You're right, of course. I misread the date,
but don't know the answer to your question. Certainly the issues raised by Ms. Edmonds merit wider attention, and seem more urgent than ever given the current anti-Iran propaganda campaign.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 2 2005 4:41 utc | 11

hkol- i couldn't find a response either. thanks for pointing that letter out though. been reading up on the 1950's/60's era turkey/cia/fbn/israeli narcotics trafficking. more dots to connect.

Posted by: b real | Aug 2 2005 4:57 utc | 12

@ b real
I assume you are looking at Alfred McCoy's book, with title The Politics of Heroin. It's simulataneously scholarly and devastating. Of course, there's a whole literature devoted to CIA involvement in drug dealing.
One gets the feeling that somewhere along the line (quite early) the ostensible justification ("the (patriotic anti-communist) ends justify the means") was transformed into a conscious and deeply corrupt money-making criminal ethic within U.S. intelligence agencies. Gary Webb's Dark Alliance<\i> and Peter Dale Scott's Cocaine Politics add detail and analysis. It's depressing reading.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 2 2005 5:25 utc | 13

Closing a tag.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 2 2005 5:26 utc | 14

hkol- strength of the wolf: the secret history of america's war on drugs by douglas valentine. it was quite detailed & covered up to 1968. and evidently, he's at work on part 2. the first volume sits very comfortably among the other authors you mention.

peter dale scott's recent briefing for congressional staff, Deep Politics: Drugs, Oil, Covert Operations and Terrorism.

Posted by: b real | Aug 2 2005 14:22 utc | 15

@ b real
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll put it on my
reading list.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 2 2005 14:27 utc | 16

@ b real

Ms. Edmonds, in response to my question regarding the letter to Kean, wrote

No; they did not respond to this letter, and they did not respond to letters
and requests by 9/11 family members re: my letter to Kean.

Depressing, but not surprising.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 2 2005 16:05 utc | 17

well he's had plenty of time to work up a reply. seems like it would make a good followup story for an aspiring reporter somewhere. his nonfeasance implies coverup. that was a pretty powerful letter.

Posted by: b real | Aug 2 2005 16:54 utc | 18

raw story previews the upcoming vanity fair article on sibel edmonds, "denny boy" hastert & his turkish admirers.

Posted by: b real | Aug 4 2005 4:40 utc | 19

@ b real
Sorry, I posted this on the open thread before
reading your posting here. The article also mentions
both drug dealing and illegal arms sales, so I am wondering if in the end we will see a link between the Edmonds scandal and the Viktor Bout ring. In my
opinion the information already in the public domain should be enough to blow the roof off the Capitol and the FBI building, but our bipartisan congressional leadership lacks the courage to admit that treason is endemic in Washington. For example, the fact that Maj. Dickerson is still on active duty "somewhere in Europe", if true, certainly calls for explanation.
Leahy and Grassley seem to have been frightened into silence (or coerced into it via the scandalous gag order).

I fail to understand why there is no visible outrage,
and indeed scarcely even a muffled grumble of discontent for this scandal.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 4 2005 6:07 utc | 20

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