Posts Tagged ‘Torture

19
May
09

The Torture Issue and 2010 Senate Elections

DS002449

icon_digg When reviewing which senators are coming up for re-election in 2010 (posted here) and comparing with this list of senators who were briefed on the CIA’s torture techniques (posted here (pdf document)) we discover the following senators should be given serious consideration of our vote in 2010:

Democrats:

  • Evan Bayh – Senator from Indiana (D)
  • Russ Feingold – Senator from Wisconsin (D)
  • Barbara A. Mikulski – Senator from Maryland (D)
  • Ron Wyden – Senator from Oregon (D)

Republicans:

  • Richard Burr – Senator from North Carolina (R)
  • John McCain – Senator from Arizona (R)
  • Richard Shelby – Senator from Alabama (R)
  • Christoper S. Bond – Senator from Missouri (R) (retiring)

Understandingly being briefed under the blanket of congressional confidentiality and condoning torture are entirely two different issues; it is still a voter’s responsibility to request the candidate’s feelings regarding their position on torture.

Additional Reference Sources and Newswire Updates:

Related Newswire Articles on 2010 Elections

Related postings on the torture issue:

Is There a Need for Abu Ghraib II Photos

What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special

Change Starts by Correcting the Past

Torturing Democracy – The Film

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Armitage: ‘Maybe I should have quit’

Richard Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of State, tells Avi Lewis on Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines why he should have resigned from the Bush administration over its lack of respect for the Geneva conventions.

From Fault Lines, a new show on Al Jazeera English hosted by Avi Lewis and Josh Rushing.

The first episode examines the Obama administration’s emerging policies on detention, rendition and torture.

18
May
09

The Torturous 13

DS002449

The following thirteen Bush Administration officials and advisors have been deemed those most responsible for advocating torture; according to Marcy Wheeler writing for Salon.com, in an article entitled: “The 13 people who made torture possible”  This article is excellently authored with respected references, clarity and thoroughness.

Personally, I believe we all are of the understanding that more culprits are involved, other than just those mentioned, but this is a very good “top – down” list of candidates that I feel should be made to answer for their involvement in front of our legislative branch of government.

The list of thirteen follows:

1. Dick Cheney, vice president (2001-2009)

Dick Cheney

On the morning of 9/11, after the evacuation of the White House, Dick Cheney summoned his legal counsel, David Addington, to return to work. The two had worked together for years. In the 1980s, when Cheney was a congressman from Wyoming and Addington a staff attorney to another congressman, Cheney and Addington argued that in Iran-Contra, the president could ignore congressional guidance on foreign policy matters. Between 1989 and 1992, when Dick Cheney was the elder George Bush’s secretary of defense, Addington served as his counsel. He and Cheney saved the only known copies of abusive interrogation technique manuals taught at the School of the Americas. Now, on the morning of 9/11, they worked together to plot an expansive grab of executive power that they claimed was the correct response to the terrorist threat. Within two weeks, they had gotten a memo asserting almost unlimited power for the president as “the sole organ of the Nation in its foreign relations,” to respond to the terrorist attacks. As part of that expansive view of executive power, Cheney and Addington would argue that domestic and international laws prohibiting torture and abuse could not prevent the president from authorizing harsh treatment of detainees in the war against terror.

But Cheney and Addington also fought bureaucratically to construct this torture program. Cheney led the way by controlling who got access to President Bush — and making sure his own views preempted others‘. Each time the torture program got into trouble as it spread around the globe, Cheney intervened to ward off legal threats and limits, by badgering the CIA’s inspector general when he reported many problems with the interrogation program, and by lobbying Congress to legally protect those who had tortured.

Most shockingly, Cheney is reported to have ordered torture himself, even after interrogators believed detainees were cooperative. Since the 2002 OLC memo known as “Bybee Two” that authorizes torture premises its authorization for torture on the assertion that “the interrogation team is certain that” the detainee “has additional information he refuses to divulge,” Cheney appears to have ordered torture that was illegal even under the spurious guidelines of the memo.

2. David Addington, counsel to the vice president (2001-2005), chief of staff to the vice president (2005-2009)

David Addington

David Addington championed the fight to argue that the president — in his role as commander in chief — could not be bound by any law, including those prohibiting torture. He did so in two ways. He advised the lawyers drawing up the legal opinions that justified torture. In particular, he ran a “War Council” with Jim Haynes, John Yoo, John Rizzo and Alberto Gonzales (see all four below) and other trusted lawyers, which crafted and executed many of the legal approaches to the war on terror together.

In addition, Addington and Cheney wielded bureaucratic carrots and sticks — notably by giving or withholding promotions for lawyers who supported these illegal policies. When Jack Goldsmith withdrew a number of OLC memos because of the legal problems in them, Addington was the sole administration lawyer who defended them. Addington’s close bureaucratic control over the legal analysis process shows he was unwilling to let the lawyers give the administration a “good faith” assessment of the laws prohibiting torture.

3. Alberto Gonzales, White House counsel (2001-2005), and attorney general (2005-2008)

Alberto Gonzales

As White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales was nominally in charge of representing the president’s views on legal issues, including national security issues. In that role, Gonzales wrote and reviewed a number of the legal opinions that attempted to immunize torture. Most important, in a Jan. 25, 2002, opinion reportedly written with David Addington, Gonzales paved the way for exempting al-Qaida detainees from the Geneva Conventions. His memo claimed the “new kind of war” represented by the war against al-Qaida “renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners.” In a signal that Gonzales and Addington adopted that position to immunize torture, Gonzales argued that one advantage of not applying the Geneva Convention to al-Qaida would “substantially reduce the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act.” The memo even specifically foresaw the possibility of independent counsels’ prosecuting acts against detainees.

Continue reading ‘The Torturous 13’

14
May
09

Is There a Need for Abu Ghraib II Photos

Abu Ghraib

icon_digg Several weeks ago I was trapped in dense traffic on the highway heading home and after a thirty minute wait or so, discovered there had been an accident involving a car and motorcycle.  The motorcyclist had been killed and the car badly damaged, but what made the accident so horrific was the biker had been dismembered and body parts littered the highway.

There really was nothing to see and the bystanders couldn’t have aided in any way to the victim or driver of the car, in order to console the driver; so why were about fifty people standing around – gawking at the remains of the deceased victim?

I guess this same question comes to mind when I learn of additional, “new” photographs showing U.S. troops abusing Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.  Why?

Yes, America needs to know what took place there five years ago, under our control, and who was responsible, which to my understanding has already been established with the military torturers held accountable for there actions.

If there’s more to investigate, then let’s continue and reopen the case, and should some of these “new” photos oroduce additional details – OK perhaps release those images, but let’s put this behind us and move on to correcting our laws and policies to prevent something like this ever happening again.

In an article published on the web by TIME, entitle: “The Next Detainee Photo Scandal: Get Ready for Abu Ghraib, Act II”, authored by Mark Thompson; we find an organization, which I firmly support, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and a strong advocate for the aforementioned photos to be released.

Rarely I do not disagree with the ACLU; and even more rarely do I find myself in agreement with Democrat Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who also supports with me that these pictures should not be released.

Here’s what is backing my objection, as quoted from the article:

So the debate boils down to what’s worse: the outrageous behavior by some American troops, or the prospect of angering Muslims that could endanger U.S. troops in southwest Asia. The question is especially pointed just as U.S. troop reinforcements, ordered up by President Obama, are now beginning to arrive in Afghanistan to battle Islamic Taliban forces. At the same time, his Administration is trying to keep neighboring Pakistan, and its nuclear weapons, from falling under the control of Muslim militants.

So what’s my point:

Our military is stretched thin around the world and I feel most caring Americans know what happened inside the walls of Abu Ghraib, so lets not be blood thirsty enough to satisfy our own selfish desires while possibly placing members of our armed forces at risk or preventing a delay in peace by exposing these photographs.

For reference the following:

Torture at Abu Ghraib
The New Yorker | May 10, 2004

The Abu Ghraib Scandal You Don’t Know
TIME | Feb. 07, 2005

The Complete List of Congressional Leaders Briefed on Torture (pdf)

Related Blog Postings:

The Torturous 13

Related Newswire Articles on Abu Ghraib

Change Starts by Correcting the Past

The Toughest Decision a President has to make

Torturing Democracy – The Film

Former Abu Ghraib commander on torture report 22 Apr 09

Janis Karpinski, the former commander of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison who was demoted in the wake of the revelations of abuse there, tells Al Jazeera about her reaction to a report that says senior Bush administration officials were involved in approving torture.

12
May
09

The Toughest Decision a President has to make

Statue_of_Liberty

icon_digg Our President has achieved a much needed start, over the past four short months, on rebuilding the functions of our government, as it was originally conceived by our forefathers, while returning our nation back to us, the common folks who comprise the mainstream of America.

Ahead, in my opinion, lies one of the most important aspects of the Presidency; deciding who sits on the Supreme Court.  As voters, we decide, at all levels, who represents us in our government, but only the President decides who is nominated as a Justice.  Since our country is governed by the “Rule of Law”, these nine Justices decisions affect our entire society and determine the way we live.

In an article, authored by Geoffrey Stone, entitled: “The Next Justice: What Obama Wants”, presented within the Huffington Post, Mr. Stone surmises these five factors will be especially important to President Obama:

  • High level of intellectual ability
  • Moderate liberal
  • A strong voice about the role of the Supreme Court
  • Build consensus within the Court
  • Diversity

All of which I concur with, especially the fifth item of the aforementioned, which I feel would be a woman, a Hispanic, or an African-American.

Everyone as their own opinions on the issues which need attending to, by the Supreme Court; myself I list the following, some of which are currently ongoing within the court while some, I’m sure, will come into focus within President Obama’s Administration:

  • I believe in an exacting separation between “church” and “state”.  During the Bush years there seemed to persist an interwoven connection between the two which divided Americans instead of bonding us.
  • I believe Guantanamo Bay (Camp Delta) must be closed and the incarcerated be confined in prison(s) located within the continental US.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special” authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe those within the Bush Administration, responsible for authorizing “torture” should be accounted for.  This dose not necessarily mean imprisoned; instead the truth must be made available via the FOIA (pdf) so history can be documented correctly during this troubled chapter in our War on Terrorism.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Change Starts by Correcting the Past” and “Torturing Democracy – The Film”, both authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe our current Patriot Act, especially the FISA amendment, will present itself before the court.  Surveillance of expats and retirees living abroad who are loyal Americans need not be included within unsupervised “data mining” operations.  Again consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Time for Another Review of the Patriot Act” and “Going Beyond the Limits Surveillance” authored by me, for additional details.

As you can easily ascertain, my views are liberal, which is contrary to the notion that “the older you become, the more conservative your beliefs are”.

As for my recommendations of who should to become our next Supreme Court Justice, I’ll have to punt and save that for an additional posting, once all the “chatter” on the net has subsided. However, I do believe President Obama’s choice will either come from the First or Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (map pdf).

Update 17 May09:

No Clamor for High Court Appointee to Be Woman, Minority
As in 2005, majority of Americans say gender, race, and ethnicity of appointee don’t matter
by Frank Newport | Gallup Polls

Despite the widely reported expectation that President Barack Obama will be looking for a qualified woman — perhaps from a minority racial or ethnic group — to fill the seat to be vacated by the retiring Justice David Souter, 64% of Americans say it doesn’t matter to them whether Obama appoints a woman, with slightly higher percentages saying the same about the appointment of a black or Hispanic.

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Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Court in 2005 and was replaced by a man (Samuel Alito), meaning that the Court today includes only one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who herself has been battling cancer. As a result, there has been much speculation that President Obama will almost certainly nominate a female justice to avoid the possibility that within the next several years, the Court would have nine male justices. Still, as was the case four years ago, when there were two vacancies on the court (after Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away and before O’Connor’s seat was filled), there is very little demand from the American public that Obama replace Souter with a woman.

For sake of reference, the following postings are provided:

Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices (courtesy of Cornell University)

Supreme Court Appointment Process – Roles of the President – Judiciary Committee and Senate (pdf)

A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court (pdf)

Possible Supreme Court Candidates for Justice David Souter (Salon.com)

Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Supreme Court Nomination Hearings (1971 – forward)

Past members of the Supreme Court of the United States (pfd)

Related Newswires Articles on the Supreme Court

As always a YouTube video (this time somewhat dated) regarding the Supreme Court decision for a candidate from the White House.

White House Talks Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement

After President Obama’s Announcement Of His Retirement – White House Talks About Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement – 05/01/09

05
May
09

Change Starts by Correcting the Past

rumsfeld

icon_digg In the recent past I’ve posted articles on the former Administration’s authorization of torture and its associated cover-up by invoking Executive Privilege (here) along with authoring numerous articles encouraging our newly elected President and his administration the need for “change” within our country (here).

The issue of torture must be resolved and the “Rule of Law” has to be enforced against those responsible, if we as a nation expect to once again have the respect of our fellow countrymen and that of the international community.  Knowing we can correct our past misdeeds provides trust in our government to plan for the heavy tax burdens of the future, such as, universal health care, a greener environment, an improved educational system at a lowered cost of tuition, a safe removal of our troops from Iraq, to name just a few pressing issues, which lay ahead of our country.

A host of articles has been written over the past two weeks regarding the release of what I refer to as the torture authorization memorandums, and after their release President Obama has somewhat backtracked on what should logically follow, which in my opinion, is a congressional inquiry as to the extent of law(s) that were possibly broken and who is primarily responsible. (for me this is a good starting point here).

In a supporting post to my feelings is an article entitled “Those Who Approved Torture “Must Be Held Accountable”, authored by Marlene H. Phillips, and published here on Huffington Post.  The posting is an interview with Retired Brigadier General John Adams who has something in common with his namesake and distant relative.

Like the second president of the United States, the retired brigadier general adheres to one basic principle in his professional actions and beliefs: defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. He stands convinced that those that have acted in a way that would, as he put it, “triage the Constitution” must be brought to justice, including those who approved of and authorized the use of torture on U.S. held detainees.

Said Adams:

“I have never known anyone in a leadership position in the military who would condone torture. They would never do it. It would go against all the training we had, and against what we were trained to do, which is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Regarding President Obama Adams had the following comment:

I trust President Obama’s judgment, I trust the people he has around him. I know some of them, and they are among the best people I’ve ever known in my life,” said Adams. Adams felt Obama’s actions show that he regards the issue as urgent and important, as evidenced by the speed with which he released classified information and by his meeting with generals to discuss the use of torture less than a week after assuming office. “Obama’s moving ahead and doing so with deliberate speed, which is exactly what’s warranted,” he said.

Related Newswires Stories on Torture

The Complete List of Congressional Leaders Briefed on Torture (pdf)

Complementing and driving this posting is the following YouTube video that I bumped into last night, which once again (has in the past several years) started my blood to boil.

Obama and The War Criminals

Five Things You Should Know About the Torture Memos

No. 1. I have read the 175 pages of legal memoranda (the memos) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) released last week. They consist of letters written by Bush DoJ officials to the Deputy General Counsel of the CIA concerning the techniques that may be used by American intelligence agents when interrogating high value detainees at facilities outside the U.S. The memos describe in vivid, gut-wrenching detail the procedures that the CIA apparently inquired about. The memos then proceed to authorize every procedure asked about, and to commend the CIA for taking the time to ask.

No. 2. In the process of explaining to the CIA Deputy General Counsel just what his folks could do in order to extract information from uncooperative detainees, it is immediately apparent that the writers of the memos are attempting to find snippets of language from other memoranda that they or their colleagues have prepared and from unrelated judicial opinions that justify everything that the CIA wants to do. “This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it.”

The bias in favor of permitting torture may easily be concluded from a footnote in one of the memos. In that footnote, the author, now-federal judge Jay Bybee, declines to characterize such notorious medieval torture techniques as the thumbscrew and the rack as torture. With that incredible mindset, he proceeds to do his Orwellian best to define away such terms as pain, suffering, and inhumane in such a way as to require that the interrogators produce near death experiences in order to have their behavior come under the proscriptions of the federal statute prohibiting torture, and the Convention (treaty) Against Torture, which was negotiated by and signed in behalf of the U.S. by President George H.W. Bush.

No. 3. The logic in the memos is simple: The government may utilize the ten procedures inquired about (all of which were publicly known except confinement on a coffin, bound and gagged, and in the presence of insects), so long as no one dies or comes close to death. This conclusion is startling in the case of walling (banging a detainees head against a solid but moveable wall) and waterboarding (near drowning) since the federal governments own physicians, cited in the memos themselves, have concluded that both techniques are always a near occasion of death. The conclusion is also startling since it fails to account for numerous federal and state prosecutions, and prosecutions in Thailand — where these torture sessions apparently occurred — that have defined torture according to its generally accepted meaning:

Any intentionally inflicted cruel or inhumane or degrading treatment, unauthorized by a court of law, perpetrated for the punishment of the victim, to extract statements from the victim, or to gratify the perpetrator.

This universally-accepted definition makes no reference and has no condition that anything goes short of a near occasion of death.

No. 4. The memos also fail to account for the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled govern American treatment of all foreign detainees, lawful or unlawful. The third of those conventions PROHIBITS TOUCHING the detainee in any way, other than for the purpose of moving him from place to place, if he refuses to go voluntarily and when told to do so.

No. 5. The memos place Attorney General Holder, who argued for their release, in an untenable situation. He has stated under oath, at his confirmation hearings, that waterboarding is torture and torture is prohibited by numerous federal laws. He has also taken an oath to uphold all federal laws, not just those that are politically expedient from time to time. He is correct and he must do his moral and legal duty to reject any Nuremberg defense. This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it; and no amount of twisted logic can detract from its illegal horror, its moral antipathy, and its attack at core American values.
By Judge Andrew Napolitano

Visit: http://www.puppetgov.com

The following video, released from the White House on May 21, 2009, President Obama speaks to the American people regarding his intentions on Guantanamo Bay and national Security:

President Obama: Our Security, Our Values

The President speaks at length on how American values and security are intertwined, touching on issues form closing Guantanamo to State Secrets. May 21, 2009.

24
Apr
09

Like Father – Like Daughter

Cheney

icon_digg13 I to would like to see Donald Rumsfelt, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet face charges, but first I want to see how our current administration handles this black mark on our country’s history, without outside interference. Basically, whose going to align themselves on whose side.

Think about it for a moment – Here’s Dick Cheney with every opportunity he can get a hold of, to voice his displeasure with any and all of Obama’s policies with the media; what other former Vice Presidents has done that? Not a one!

Now his daughter is getting into the act:

Liz Cheney Defends Father ‘Dick Cheney’ Torture Legacy/Policies

So Why, easy, to confuse along with attempting to defuse the issue at hand, his own personal involvement with authorizing torture.

Unapologetic and Unrestrained: Cheney Unbound
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG | NY Times

In the three months since leaving office, Mr. Cheney has upended the old Washington script for former presidents and vice presidents, using a series of interviews — the first just two weeks after leaving office — to kick off one last campaign, not for elective office, but on behalf of his own legacy. In the process, he has become a vocal leader of the opposition to President Obama, rallying conservatives as they search for leadership and heartening Democrats who see him as the ideal political foil.

Rice, Cheney Approved Waterboarding
Associated Press

The Director of Central Intelligence in the spring of 2003 sought a reaffirmation of the legality of the interrogation methods. Cheney, Rice, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales were among those at a meeting where it was decided that the policies would continue. Rumsfeld and Powell weren’t.

Update 25 Apr 09:

Cheney Starts Pro-Torture Facebook Page
Andy Borowitz | BorowitzReport.com

In his most aggressive public relations move since leaving office, former Vice President Dick Cheney today established a Facebook page for fans of torture.

23
Apr
09

Europe Back Off and Stay Out

Nuremberg Trials

Nuremberg Trials

icon_digg12 America, as all countries today, is undergoing a vast amount of change; however there exists a hopefully small number of individuals within our country who in essence mistakenly subscribe to the notion “the Bush doctrine on terror” was correct and righteous, which includes the use of torture to obtain supposed Intel information.

I believe our President is taking the right steps, as he promised during his campaign to “right the wrongs” of our country’s past eight years of injustice regarding our treatment of combative detainees.  First by releasing the Bush Administration’s memos condoning torture (listed here and here also here), which he followed up by insuring his release would not produce a witch hunt (as some want) by traveling to CIA’s Headquarters and assuring employees individual prosecution would not be presumed and finally, most importantly turned the entire matter over to our Justice Department and directly to Eric Holder, the Attorney General.

On this past Wednesday (22 Apr 09) an article in the Washington Post, authored by Craig Whitlock, of Washington Post’s Foreign Service Department and entitled: “European Nations May Investigate Bush Officials Over Prisoner Treatment” confirms my beliefs by the following excerpt:

On Tuesday, Obama for the first time raised the possibility of creating a bipartisan commission to examine the Bush administration’s handling of terrorism suspects. He also said he would leave it up to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to determine whether to prosecute senior officials who approved waterboarding and other tactics.

This was further confirmed in a statement published by the American Civil Liberties Union, entitled: “Attorney General Holder Says He Will “Follow The Law” And Investigate Torture” where the following excerpt stated:

Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the Justice Department will “follow the law wherever it takes us” in investigating the U.S. officials behind the CIA torture policies under the Bush administration.

Europe, you have every obligation and right to legally pursue whatever action you feel is appropriate, but please let our present administration do what they can to correct these past “wrongs”; in our way of first and let America reestablish itself under the “Rule of Law”.

A.G. Holder: Investigate Torture

The people who authorized Bush’s torture program shouldn’t get off scot-free. It’s time for Attorney General Holder to appoint an independent special prosecutor.

Update 23 Apr 09:

Clinton Questions Cheney’s Credibility: “I Don’t Consider Him A Particularly Reliable Source Of Information”
Huffington Post    |  Nicholas Graham

The sensitive topic of the release of the torture memos came to the forefront when Republican Rep. Dana Rohrbacker asked Clinton if she agreed with Dick Cheney’s request that documents ostensibly showing the efficacy of the torture programs should be declassified. Clinton ultimately replied that she believes “we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter” and that it “is in the best interest of our country” to do so, but not before she took a shot at Cheney’s credibility, saying “I don’t consider him to be a particularly reliable source of information.”

Update 24 Apr 09:

Torture and the Problem of Constitutional Evil: The Way Forward
Howard Schweber: Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

A year ago, in a blog post at Balkinization.com, Mark Graber discussed John Yoo’s role as an example of what he has called “the problem of Constitutional Evil.” Graber’s point is that the assumption that anything that is “evil” is therefore contrary to the dominant understanding of the Constitutional is simply wrong. This is not an argument he makes lightly; Graber is the author of Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil, a magisterial work that makes the case in historical context; orthodox, authoritative, widely accepted understandings of the Constitution may nonetheless permit actions that deserve to be described as “evil.”

A Quarter Million Americans Demand Torture Prosecutions
from ACLU Newsroom

WASHINGTON — A broad coalition of advocacy groups today will deliver petitions containing a quarter million signatures to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that he appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s use of torture on terrorism suspects. The petitions were gathered by the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn.org Political Action, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Firedoglake.com, Democrats.com and other advocacy groups. The petitions will be delivered during Holder’s testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee.

Holder: No Torture Memo “Hide And Seek”
from CBSNews.com

Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Thursday he won’t play “hide and seek” with secret memos about harsh interrogations of terror suspects and their effectiveness.

What if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Had Died?
Cenk Uygur | Host of The Young Turks

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. We practiced sleep deprivation on him for 11 straight days. I don’t know how many times we smashed his head against a wall, slapped him in the face, put him in a stress position in a freezing room and/or put him in a coffin sized box in extreme heat. But the right-wing argues that it doesn’t matter because none of this is torture. They are adamant in saying that it is not even open to interpretation.

Update 25 Apr 09:

Judge Rejects CIA Attempt To Withhold Records On Destroyed Interrogation Tapes
from ACLU Newsroom

NEW YORK – A federal judge today rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records relating to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners. The ACLU is seeking disclosure of these records as part of its pending motion to hold the CIA in contempt for destroying the tapes which violated a court order requiring it to produce or identify records responsive to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records relating to the treatment of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

Update 27 Apr 09:

Torture Debate Follows Holder To Europe
from CBSNews.com

The Obama administration says it won’t look backward in the debate over harsh interrogations. On Attorney General Eric Holder’s first stop in Europe this week, he looked back centuries, visiting a historic torture site.




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