Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CIA ,DOD Lied To Red Cross About Detainees Held By US & Doug Feith "Only Assholes Care About Torture& The Machismo of Torture

Torture INC. : Only America is permitted to state what is or is not Torture or abuse of its Prisoners-
The American view reiterated on FOX NEWS and CNN is that the International Community has no say over what America decides to do- end of story
Remember as Sean Hannity and his ilk claim the US was created by God's Providence and therefore any act committed by the US is therefore part of GOD's WILL-

...definition of torture, as set out in the 1984 Convention, which is binding on 145 countries, including the United States. Torture includes “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.” from The Green Light , Vanity Fair , 2008

Spain's Sense of Justice -Obama not so much !!!
Spanish Court may issue Arrest Warrants Bushco on Torture? April 1, 2009

Jack Bauer's ( TV 24 ) influence on the Bush Regime's use of torture
Jack Bauer as role model
The role of Machismo in torturing ( it gives them a hard on )
Manly Men torture effeminate weak men dislike torture
If Obama and his team seek indictments of those who took part in torture and abuses of detainees they will be seen as not being Manly Men and of being somewhat effeminate and weak and as anti-American, or not real Americans-
They have to prove that they are as tough on terrorism as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and that they too are willing to do whatever it takes to defend America even if that means using torture
To take on the Torturers or other criminals in the Bush Regime would be to take on the Washington/ Pentagon/ CIA establishment and that is probably not going to happen
Obama would rather just forget about it

And From The Green Light Vanity Fair , 2008:

Diane Beaver...was the lawyer who would later be asked to sign off on the new interrogation techniques. When the administration made public the list, it was Beaver’s legal advice the administration invoked. Diane Beaver gave me the fullest account of the process by which the new interrogation techniques emerged. In our lengthy conversations, which began in the autumn of 2006, she seemed coiled up—mistreated, hung out to dry. ..She was working as a lawyer for the Pentagon when the hijacked airplane hit on 9/11, and decided to remain in the army to help as she could. That decision landed her in Guantánamo.

...Ideas arose from other sources. The first year of Fox TV’s dramatic series 24 came to a conclusion in spring 2002, and the second year of the series began that fall. An inescapable message of the program is that torture works. “We saw it on cable,” Beaver recalled. “People had already seen the first series. It was hugely popular.” Jack Bauer had many friends at Guantánamo, Beaver added. “He gave people lots of ideas.”

The brainstorming meetings inspired animated discussion. .. as she surveyed the men around the room, 30 or more of them. She was invariably the only woman present—as she saw it, keeping control of the boys. The younger men would get particularly agitated, excited even. “You could almost see their dicks getting hard as they got new ideas,” Beaver recalled, a wan smile flickering on her face. “And I said to myself, You know what? I don’t have a dick to get hard—I can stay detached.”

and details from interrogation / torture of inmate 063 we get an idea of what Americans in general see as acceptable in the treatment of prisoners since as Feith has said "Only assholes care about torture" and anyone who is concerned about the rights of detainees is unAmerican or anti-American and therefore pro-Al Qaeda this in part explains why so many people in Obama's administration are afraid to take on the Torturers " for they will be seen as weak as effeminate, as assholes and as anti-American- -

...Detainee 063 was subjected to systematic sleep deprivation. He was shackled and cuffed; at times, head restraints were used. He was compelled to listen to threats to his family. The interrogation leveraged his sensitivities as a Muslim: he was shown pictures of scantily clad models, was touched by a female interrogator, was made to stand naked, and was forcibly shaved. He was denied the right to pray. A psychiatrist who witnessed the interrogation of Detainee 063 reported the use of dogs, intended to intimidate “by getting the dogs close to him and then having the dogs bark or act aggressively on command.” The temperature was changed, and 063 was subjected to extreme cold. Intravenous tubes were forced into his body, to provide nourishment when he would not eat or drink...

From :" The Green Light" by Philippe Sands, Vanity Fair , May 2008

And as Jane Mayer points out there are a number of people who were in the Bush administration or who still work in the US government who are fearful that Obama or the Department of Justice may actually start proceedings against those who took part in the abuses and the torture of detainees under the Bush Regime.

'These People Fear Prosecution': Why Bush's CIA Team Should Worry About Its Dark Embrace of Torture By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. April 11, 2009."

The New Yorker's Jane Mayer discusses the fallout from the Red Cross' shocking report on CIA torture and its serious legal implications.

Among the revelations of the ICRC Report is that the CIA did indeed hide prisoners from the Red Cross.

...it's clear that the CIA -- and I think you'd have to guess the Department of Defense -- lied to the Red Cross. They told the Red Cross when it visited Guantanamo [in 2002] that it had seen all of the detainees. But what the report says is that some of the detainees -- some of the high-value detainees -- realized when they were finally sent to Guantanamo in 2006 that they'd been there before. They were there. And yet the Red Cross was not allowed to see them. The Red Cross was told they'd seen everybody.

So the CIA and DOD lied to the Red Cross. There were some hidden prisoners in Guantanamo. That's an overt act; lying to the Red Cross, hiding prisoners from them. So, that's interesting to me.

There are also some specific details [about the torture] I didn't know. I didn't realize they used hospital beds to waterboard people, with motorized reclining backs, which is hideous.

I knew there were doctors there -- I mean, people will tell you that there were doctors there, and it's in the book -- but there's still something so specifically terrible about reading that they would attach some kind of modern monitor that could monitor oxygen to the finger of a prisoner while they were busy depriving him of oxygen.

They told him -- Khalid Sheik Mohammed -- that they would take him to the brink of death and back but they wouldn't kill him. So, they used sort of the most modern medicine to make sure they did exactly that. Its kind of a horrible combination of modernism and the Dark Ages all in one.

...all of these people fear prosecution. And it seems unthinkable to prosecute them to most people. But face it: The ICRC report; from some standpoints, it can be seen as a crime scene. And its a crime scene that was authorized by the top of our government. They all have some legal liability here. Cheney coming out -- you know, I can't really -- it's hard to get inside Cheney's mind, but I can say politically what it has the effect of doing is putting a marker down, so that if there's another attack, the Republicans can say, "You see, the Democrats weakened America. We warned them, and we told you so." So, I think in some ways it's a political gambit. And it's also a play for his legacy. He's trying to say "I'm not a war criminal."

...This was not just an isolated episode of bad behavior, it was not just the people at the bottom of the barrel, as Donald Rumsfeld called them.

This was an authorized program of abuse from the top of the U.S. government. So there are a lot of parallels there. In both cases, what makes the headlines is the abuse, but the larger point that people have to grapple with is going up the chain of command, how it was authorized.

Douglas Feith proudly states that he was a major player in the decisions being made in the Bush administration in regards to torture. Feith had argued long before being a member of the Bush team that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to "terrorists" and therefore the gloves could come off in the treatment of Terrorists suspects . So Feith argued that torturing terrorists suspects would be acceptable under International Law and the Geneva Conventions. This is what lawyers and academics of Feith's ilk do which is to chip away at the law until it in the end has no meaning or force .

"Doug Feith: "I Was a Major Player" in Bush's Torture Policies" by Jason Leopold, Truthout.org, April 6, 2009

Doug Feith, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, is best known for cooking up bogus prewar Iraq intelligence linking Iraq and al-Qaeda and 9/11.

But in addition to his duties stove piping phony intelligence directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney, Feith was also a key member of a small working group of Defense Department officials who oversaw the implementation of "enhanced interrogation techniques" at Guantanamo Bay that has been widely regarded as torture.

Last year, in response to questions by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, Condoleezza Rice, who, as National Security Adviser, was part of a working group that included Haynes, Yoo, Addington and Gonzales, said interrogation methods were discussed as early as the summer of 2002 and Yoo provided legal advice at "several" meetings that she attended. She said the DOJ's advice on the interrogation program "was being coordinated by Counsel to the President Alberto Gonzales."

Last weekend, Spain's investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzon, who issued an arrest warrant for former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, ordered prosecutors to investigate Feith and five other senior Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at the prison facility.

On Sunday, Feith responded to the charges. He told the BBC that "the charges as related to me make no sense."

"They criticize me for promoting a controversial position that I never advocated," Feith claimed.

But Feith's denials ring hollow.

The allegations against Feith contained in the 98-page complaint filed in March 2008 by human rights lawyer Gonzalo Boye and the Association for the [Dignity] was largely gleaned from a lengthy interview Feith gave to international attorney and University College London professor Phillppe Sands. Sands is the author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.

The other Bush officials named in the complaint are: former Justice Department attorneys John Yoo and Jay Bybee, Alberto Gonzales, Cheney's counsel David Addington and former Pentagon general counsel William Haynes II. The charges cited in the complaint against these officials were also largely based on material Sands cited in his book about the roles they played in sanctioning torture.

...Yoo met with Gonzales and Addington to discuss the subjects he intended to address in two August 2002 torture memos, according to a declassified summary of the Armed Services Committee report.

Feith was also included in the discussions.

Sands wrote that as early as 2002, "Feith's job was to provide advice across a wide range of issues, and the issues came to include advice on the Geneva Conventions and the conduct of military interrogations."

Feith told Sands that he "played a major role in" George W. Bush's decision to sign a February 7, 2002, action memorandum suspending the Geneva Conventions for al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners who were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.

The memo did say that prisoners had to be treated "humanely," but Feith told Sands the verbiage needed "to be fleshed out." "But it's a fine phrase - 'humane treatment,'" Feith added. Still, even with the phrase intact, the Common Article 3 restrictions against torture and "outrages upon personal dignity" were removed.

Feith said 2002 was a special year for him.

"This year I was really a player," Feith told Sands.

"I asked him whether, in the end, he was at all concerned that the Geneva decision might have diminished America's moral authority," Sands wrote. "He was not. 'The problem with moral authority,' [Feith] said, was 'people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely.'"

"Douglas Feith had a long-standing intellectual interest in Geneva, and for many years had opposed legal protections for terrorists under international law," Sands wrote in his book. "He referred me to an article he had written in 1985, in The National Interest, setting out his basic view. Geneva provided incentives to play by the rules; those who chose not to follow the rules, he argued, shouldn't be allowed to rely on them, or else the whole Geneva structure would collapse. The only way to protect Geneva, in other words, was sometimes to limit its scope. To uphold Geneva's protections, you might have to cast them aside."

... Moreover, Feith and Haynes were members of a Pentagon "working group" that met from January through March 2003 and prepared a report for Rumsfeld stating what methods military interrogators could use to extract information from a prisoner at Guantanamo. Yoo worked on the legal memo for the group.

According to an executive summary of the Armed Services Committee report released last December, "techniques such as stress positions, removal of clothing, use of phobias (such as fear of dogs), and deprivation of light and auditory stimuli were all recommended for approval" by Feith, Haynes and other Defense Department officials.

Early drafts of the report advocated intimidating prisoners with dogs, removing prisoners' clothing, shaving their beards, slapping prisoners in the face and waterboarding.

Though some of the more extreme techniques were dropped as the list was winnowed down to 24 from 35, the final set of methods still included tactics for isolating and demeaning a detainee, known as "pride and ego down."

Such degrading tactics violated the Geneva Convention, which bars abusive or demeaning treatment of captives.

Rumsfeld signed the final version of the report Feith and Haynes helped prepare on April 2, 2003, two weeks after Bush ordered U.S. forces to invade Iraq.

and on Feith's connection with Abu Ghraib:

According to a report by a panel headed by James Schlesinger on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses in 2004, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez said Bush's Feb. 7, 2002, memo suspending Geneva Conventions, which Feith had said he was principally responsible for, led him to implement "additional, tougher measures" against detainees.

and see the original article at

" The Green Light" 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.by Philippe Sands, Vanity Fair , May 2008

and here's some excerpts which I have chosen to highlight from the article:

The abuse, rising to the level of torture, of those captured and detained in the war on terror is a defining feature of the presidency of George W. Bush. Its military beginnings, however, lie not in Abu Ghraib, as is commonly thought, or in the “rendition” of prisoners to other countries for questioning, but in the treatment of the very first prisoners at Guantánamo. Starting in late 2002 a detainee bearing the number 063 was tortured over a period of more than seven weeks. In his story lies the answer to a crucial question: How was the decision made to let the U.S. military start using coercive interrogations at Guantánamo?

The Bush administration has always taken refuge behind a “trickle up” explanation: that is, the decision was generated by military commanders and interrogators on the ground. This explanation is false. The origins lie in actions taken at the very highest levels of the administration—by some of the most senior personal advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense. At the heart of the matter stand several political appointees—lawyers—who, it can be argued, broke their ethical codes of conduct and took themselves into a zone of international criminality, where formal investigation is now a very real option. This is the story of how the torture at Guantánamo began, and how it spread.

...November 2002 “action memo” written by William J. (Jim) Haynes II, the general counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, to his boss, Donald Rumsfeld; the document is sometimes referred to as the Haynes Memo. Haynes recommended that Rumsfeld give “blanket approval” to 15 out of 18 proposed techniques of aggressive interrogation. Rumsfeld duly did so, on December 2, 2002, signing his name firmly next to the word “Approved.” Under his signature he also scrawled a few words that refer to the length of time a detainee can be forced to stand during interrogation: “I stand for 8–10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

The second document on the table listed the 18 proposed techniques of interrogation, all of which went against long-standing U.S. military practice as presented in the Army Field Manual. The 15 approved techniques included certain forms of physical contact and also techniques intended to humiliate and to impose sensory deprivation. They permitted the use of stress positions, isolation, hooding, 20-hour interrogations, and nudity. Haynes and Rumsfeld explicitly did not rule out the future use of three other techniques, one of which was waterboarding, the application of a wet towel and water to induce the perception of drowning.

...definition of torture, as set out in the 1984 Convention, which is binding on 145 countries, including the United States. Torture includes “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person.”

(But Bush's team of lawyers developed what they considered to be an acceptable definition of torture which gave them a great deal of leeway in their treatment of detainees and that the administration could argue that what they were doing was therefore was legal :

The Yoo-Bybee Memo declared that physical torture occurred only when the pain was “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death,” and that mental torture required “suffering not just at the moment of infliction but … lasting psychological harm.” Interrogations that did not reach these thresholds—far less stringent than those set by international law—were allowed.

(The Bush Public Relations and propaganda campaign after the scandal at Abu Ghraib developed a narrative that those actions had Abu Ghraib were not the result of official secret policies but were the result of a few bad eggs. They further claimed that the administration was responding from requests by those in the field at Guantanamo to use harsher techniques but the facts and the paper trail contradict these claims )

..The real story, pieced together from many hours of interviews with most of the people involved in the decisions about interrogation, goes something like this: The Geneva decision was not a case of following the logic of the law but rather was designed to give effect to a prior decision to take the gloves off and allow coercive interrogation; it deliberately created a legal black hole into which the detainees were meant to fall. The new interrogation techniques did not arise spontaneously from the field but came about as a direct result of intense pressure and input from Rumsfeld’s office. The Yoo-Bybee Memo was not simply some theoretical document, an academic exercise in blue-sky hypothesizing, but rather played a crucial role in giving those at the top the confidence to put pressure on those at the bottom. And the practices employed at Guantánamo led to abuses at Abu Ghraib.

The fingerprints of the most senior lawyers in the administration were all over the design and implementation of the abusive interrogation policies. Addington, Bybee, Gonzales, Haynes, and Yoo became, in effect, a torture team of lawyers, freeing the administration from the constraints of all international rules prohibiting abuse.

Killing Geneva

In the early days of 2002, as the number of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan began to swell, the No. 3 official at the Pentagon was Douglas J. Feith. As undersecretary of defense for policy, he stood directly below Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. Feith’s job was to provide advice across a wide range of issues, and the issues came to include advice on the Geneva Conventions and the conduct of military interrogations.

(and so in 2002 they decided the gloves would come off :)

John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, at the Justice Department, prepared an opinion for Haynes. They concluded that the president wasn’t bound by traditional international-law prohibitions. This encountered strong opposition from Colin Powell and his counsel, William H. Taft IV, at the State Department, as well as from the Tjags—the military lawyers in the office of the judge advocate general—who wanted to maintain a strong U.S. commitment to Geneva and the rules that were part of customary law. On January 25, Alberto Gonzales put his name to a memo to the president supporting Haynes and Rumsfeld over Powell and Taft. This memo, which is believed to have been written by Addington, presented a “new paradigm” and described Geneva’s “strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners” as “obsolete.” Addington was particularly distrustful of the military lawyers. “Don’t bring the Tjags into the process—they aren’t reliable,” he was once overheard to say.

...Not everyone at Guantánamo was enthusiastic. The F.B.I. and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service refused to be associated with aggressive interrogation. They opposed the techniques. One of the N.C.I.S. psychologists, Mike Gelles, knew about the brainstorming sessions but stayed away. He was dismissive of the administration’s contention that the techniques trickled up on their own from Guantánamo. “That’s not accurate,” he said flatly. “This was not done by a bunch of people down in Gitmo—no way.”

That view is buttressed by a key event that has received virtually no attention. On September 25, as the process of elaborating new interrogation techniques reached a critical point, a delegation of the administration’s most senior lawyers arrived at Guantánamo. The group included the president’s lawyer, Alberto Gonzales, who had by then received the Yoo-Bybee Memo; Vice President Cheney’s lawyer, David Addington, who had contributed to the writing of that memo; the C.I.A.’s John Rizzo, who had asked for a Justice Department sign-off on individual techniques, including waterboarding, and received the second (and still secret) Yoo-Bybee Memo; and Jim Haynes, Rumsfeld’s counsel. They were all well aware of al-Qahtani. “They wanted to know what we were doing to get to this guy,” Dunlavey told me, “and Addington was interested in how we were managing it.” I asked what they had to say. “They brought ideas with them which had been given from sources in D.C.,” Dunlavey said. “They came down to observe and talk.” Throughout this whole period, Dunlavey went on, Rumsfeld was “directly and regularly involved.”

also see:

"We must confront the torturers who acted in our name"By Robyn Blumner, St. Petersburg Times April 13, 2009( at AfterDowningStreet.org)

Let's see, a U.S. court successfully convicted the son of the brutal former president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, of torturing his father's political opponents. But we're going to leave it to a Spanish judge to go after our own Torquemadas?

A Spanish court has targeted former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as well former Justice Department lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee -- who is now a federal appellate judge -- along with three other administration lawyers, in an investigation into the torture of five Spanish residents who were prisoners at Guantanamo.

But this is our job, not Spain's. This is our unfinished business. The Bush administration's Torture Nation should not be shielded by President Obama's desire to move forward. Our current president, who used as an applause line during his European tour how we've now "prohibited -- without exception or equivocation -- any use of torture," has some mopping up to do.

It takes no more convincing than reading the sickening descriptions of what we did to the 14 so-called high-value detainees in the leaked report of the International Committee of the Red Cross. ...But it should be remembered that we inflicted these brutalities -- beatings, exposure to frigid temperatures, being shackled with arms overhead or shoehorned into tiny boxes, being denied sleep and kept naked - on hundreds of others, many of whom were never a threat and have since been released. That is, if they weren't among the 108 detainees who died in our hands, a figure offered last year by Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell.

A full accounting of what we did and upon whose orders is essential for a number of reasons. First, by refusing to keep the Bush era's dirty little secrets, Obama fulfills his commitment to transparency in government. Second, doing so will vet the claims of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who continues to say that abusive interrogations were effective, when others equally knowledgeable say they were counterproductive. And third, it is a moral imperative, necessary for us to regain our posture as an international standard bearer.

Obama, the ICRC Report and Ongoing Suppression by Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, April 7, 2009


Justice Extends to Bagram, Guantánamo’s Dark Mirror by Andy Worthington CommonDreams.org.April 7, 2009

and so it goes,

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