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Posts Tagged ‘waterboarding’

Playing by the Book

Posted by msrb on September 19, 2009

Thought for the Day

The integrity and security of a  nation depends on its officials playing by the rule of law, not by conducting “false flag” operations.

When a bunch of despicable creatures like George Tenet, James Woolsey…  sign a petition, you know instinctively that they are still conspiring against the entire nation.

Seven former heads of the CIA have written to President Obama urging him to abort the probe into abuse of prisoners held by the agency, “arguing that it would hamper intelligence operations.” Reuters reported.


Richard B. Cheney: Former VP and one of the Masterminds of 9/11 attacks on America. Does any sane person in the country trust this mass murderer?

“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last month named a prosecutor to examine whether criminal charges should be filed against Central Intelligence Agency interrogators or contractors for going beyond approved interrogation methods, including [torturer techniques like  waterboarding, electric shocks to the genitals,] using a power drill and death threats [to coerce information from] detainees [in violation of U.S. and international law.]“


George Tenet: Former Director of CIA, a pathological liar and war criminal. Does any sane person in the country trust this mass murderer, either?

The former CIA chiefs countered that the cases had already been investigated during the Bush administration and lawyers had declined to prosecute all but one contractor.

“This approach will seriously damage the willingness of intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country,” they said in their letter. “In our judgment, such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against terrorists who continue to threaten us.”

The letter to Obama was signed by three CIA directors under President George W. Bush — Michael Hayden, Porter Goss and George Tenet — as well as by John Deutch, James Woolsey, William Webster and James Schlesinger, who dates to the Nixon administration.

Holder, who has the President’s confidence on the issue, said in late August that he had decided to reopen the cases because “it is clear to me that this review is the only responsible course of action for me to take.”

The White House has so far declined to comment on the letter.

The Washington Post, citing two sources briefed on the matter, reported on Friday night that the Justice Department review would focus on only a very small number of cases, including one in which an Afghan prisoner died at a secret CIA facility in Afghanistan seven years ago.

‘CONTINUOUS JEOPARDY’

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, and other officials in Bush administration, have repeatedly defended their actions [torture,] claiming coercive  interrogations yielded useful information.

The former CIA directors warned that Holder’s decision “creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy” for those involved and that there was no reason to believe the investigation would be narrowly focused.

They also warned that releasing more details about interrogation methods could help al Qaeda operatives elude U.S. intelligence efforts and plan operations.

“Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks,” they said.

A CIA’s inspector general’s report detailing the harsh interrogation techniques noted that they did not succeed.

Holder’s spokesperson said,  the attorney general has decided to name a prosecutor to investigate the torture allegation, based on the recommendation of the Justice Department’s ethics office and other information.

“The attorney general’s decision to order a preliminary review into this matter was made in line with his duty to examine the facts and to follow the law,” said spokesman Matt Miller.

“As he has made clear, the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees.”

Related Links:

Posted in CONTINUOUS JEOPARDY, Dick Cheney, enemy combatants, international law, Office of Legal Counsel, White House | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The United States Waterboarding Team

Posted by msrb on April 23, 2009

sent by a reader

Rice approved torture in 2002

Rice, Ashcroft, Richard Cheney [and by extension GW Bush] and others again approved the CIA techniques in July 2003


The Evil Eyes:
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, shown Jan. 15, 2009. (UPI Photo/Mannie Garcia/Pool). Image may be subject to copyright.

Condoleezza Rice and John Ashcroft, among other U.S. administration staff, approved harsh CIA interrogation methods in 2002, documents reveal.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

Does it look like someone is absent?


Condoleezza Rice meeting with President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales in September 2001.
(By J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

“Rice gave a key early green light when, as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, she met on July 17, 2002, with the CIA’s then-director, George J. Tenet, and ‘advised that the CIA could proceed with its proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaida,’ subject to approval by the Justice Department, according to the timeline.” Washington Post reported.

“A year later, in July 2003, the CIA briefed Rice, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft, White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and National Security Council legal adviser John B. Bellinger III on the use of waterboarding and other methods, the timeline states. They ‘reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy.'”


Several hundred students gathered on Sproul Plaza at the University of California Berkeley on Wednesday November 14, 2007 to witness a demonstration of Waterboarding. Source: Indybay

Four senior members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), were briefed on the CIA interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in 2002, U.S. officials said. “Pelosi has confirmed that she was then ‘briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Justice Department had concluded that the techniques were legal.'” Post said

Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were  briefed on the program in September 2003. “Strikingly, unless there is a further story in records not yet shown to us, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense were not involved in the decision-making process, despite the high stakes for U.S. foreign policy and for the treatment of the U.S. military,” Post reported Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) as saying.

Read more…

Related Links:

Posted in Colin L. Powell, John D. Rockefeller, U.S. foreign policy, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Nancy Pelosi | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Restoring the Constitution: ACT II

Posted by terres on January 6, 2009

As President, [Obama] cannot remain silent and do nothing, otherwise he will inherit the war crimes of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and become soon thereafter a war criminal himself. Inaction cannot be an option. ~ Ralph Nader

Monday, January 5, 2009  San Francisco Chronicle:

Bush-Cheney deserve censure for declaring war against the Constitution

Bruce Fein, Ralph Nader

Before Inauguration Day, the 111th Congress should pass a forward-looking resolution censuring President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for executive aggrandizements or abuses that have reduced Congress to vassalage and shredded the rule of law. The resolution should express a congressional intent to prevent repetitions by the President-elect Barack Obama or his successors. The objective is not Bush-Cheney bashing, but to restore a republican form of government in which “We the People” are sovereign, and the president is checked and publicly scrutinized by Congress and the courts. The Bush-Cheney duumvirate won an undeclared war against the Constitution. Most troublesome, they captured the power to initiate war from a spineless Congress. The Founding Fathers were unanimous in denying the president that constitutional authority. They knew that presidents would chronically deceive Congress and concoct excuses for war to control public information, benefit political friends through government contracts, quell dissent, assert emergency powers and enjoy the intoxicating thrill of, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

By wielding the threat of international terrorism, the Bush-Cheney team put the nation on a permanent war footing – the first time in history that war has been undertaken against a tactic. They maintained that the entire post-9/11 world is an active battlefield where United States military force may be used to kill suspected members of al Qaeda irrespective of international boundaries.

They claimed executive privilege and state secrets to conduct secret government – thereby circumventing political and legal accountability. This included directives to former White House officials Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to flout congressional subpoenas for testimony. They detained hundreds of people (including American citizens) as enemy combatants without accusation or trial. They authorized torture (waterboarding and extraordinary rendition), abductions, secret prisons and illegal surveillance of American citizens.

Like its immediate predecessors, the 110th Congress eagerly yielded its authorities – even the power of the purse – to the president. The Iraqi War Resolution, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act amendments, and the declination to hold Rove in contempt of Congress were emblematic.

If left unrebuked, the Bush-Cheney usurpations of power will become part of the constitutional firmament and risk creating a safe harbor for future presidential abuses. Every member of Congress, moreover, is required to take an oath to “support (the) Constitution” pursuant to Article VI. There is no corresponding oath to support the Republican or Democratic parties or to subordinate the Constitution in the name of political harmony. Censure would be no novelty.

The Senate voted to rebuke President Andrew Jackson for constitutional lawlessness in 1834: “Resolved, That the President, in the late executive proceedings in relation to the public revenue, has assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the Constitution and laws, but in derogation of both.”

The censure resolution we contemplate would enumerate the serial Bush-Cheney constitutional violations; and, censure them for complicity in wrecking the Constitution’s finely tuned balance of powers. In two previous congressional sessions, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., introduced censure resolutions against the president and vice president for deceiving Congress about the war in Iraq and warrantless spying on American citizens in contravention of FISA.

The resolution should also endorse a remedial legislative agenda that would be binding on all future presidents, including the president-elect. It should include a criminal prohibition on intentional misrepresentations to Congress to obtain authorization for war; or, the president’s initiation of war without an express congressional mandate. The president’s withholding of information demanded by Congress should likewise be prohibited.

An independent prosecutor should be created to prosecute crimes allegedly perpetrated by high-level executive-branch officials in the course of executing presidential directives or defending presidential prerogatives. FISA should be amended to restore individualized warrants based on probable cause to spy on Americans in order to gather foreign intelligence.

Censure will not, by itself, remedy the Bush-Cheney vandalizing of the Constitution. But if members of Congress neglect even that modest step, our republic and democracy will have been irreparably harmed.

Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, is chairman of the American Freedom Agenda and author of “Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). Ralph Nader is a citizen advocate and author.

This article appeared on page B – 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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Posted in Congress, Founding Fathers, Iraqi War, lawlessness, secret prisons | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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