Philip Zelikow and Thomas Kean named co-chairs of Romney’s intelligence transition team

Posted By Josh Rogin
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has often endorsed the idea of using "enhanced interrogation techniques" if he is elected and doesn't believe that waterboarding is "torture," but he chose the GOP's most fervent critique of such methods to be the co-chair for intelligence personnel in his transition team.

Philip Zelikow, the long-time diplomat and former counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has been named one of two officials in charge of planning for the intelligence side of a potential Romney administration as part of the Romney campaign's "Project Readiness," multiple sources with direct knowledge of the project confirmed to The Cable. Zelikow, who was also the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, co-chairs the intelligence team with former New Jersey Governor and 9/11 Commission co-chairman Tom Kean.

Zelikow is another GOP senior foreign-policy hand from the realist camp in the top ranks of the Romney transition team. The head of the national security team is former Deputy Secretary of State and former World Bank President Bob Zoellick, a pick that roiled neoconservatives and hawks inside the Romney campaign when it was announced in August. But there are also hawks on the transition team, including former U.N. official Rich Williamson and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman.

Zelikow ran afoul of many of his colleagues inside the George W. Bush administration in 2005 when he wrote an internal memo expressing opposition to the Office of Legal Counsel's findings that allowed the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. He wrote about how his dissenting view was received in a 2009 post on Foreign Policy's Shadow Government blog.

"My colleagues were entitled to ignore my views. They did more than that: The White House attempted to collect and destroy all copies of my memo. I expect that one or two are still at least in the State Department's archives," Zelikow wrote.

He was right. In April 2012, the State Department released Zelikow's memo pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. Here's what he wrote at that time:

In looking to objective standards to inform a judgment about evolving standards of decency or interrogation techniques that shock the conscience, three sources stand out:

  • American government practice, by any agency, in holding or questioning enemy combatants -- including enemy combatants who do not have Geneva protection or who were regarded at the time as suspected terrorists, guerrillas, or saboteurs. We are unaware of any precedent in Wold War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or any subsequent conflict for authorized, systematic interrogation practices similar to those in question here, even where the prisoners were presumed to be unlawful combatants
  • Recent practice by police and prison authorities in confining or questioning their most dangerous suspects. This practice is especially helpful since these authorities are governed by substantively similar standards to those that would apply under the [Convention Against Torture], given the Senate's reservation. We have not conducted a review of American domestic practice. From the available cases, it appears likely that some of the techniques being used would likely pass muster; several almost certainly would not.
  • Recent practice by other advanced governments that face potentially catastrophic terrorist dangers. [REDACTED]...governments have abandoned several of the techniques in question here.

It therefore appears to us that several of these techniques, singly or in combination, should be considered "cruel inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" within the meaning of Article 16.

The techniques least likely to be sustained are the techniques described as "coercive,'" especially viewed cumulatively, such as the waterboard, walling, dousing, stress positions, and cramped confinement.

Zelikow's position on enhanced interrogation techniques and waterboarding stands in contrast to Romney, who has made it clear on several occasions that he is not opposed to enhanced interrogation techniques and he does not believe waterboarding constitutes torture.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order early in his presidency limiting interrogation techniques to those specifically allowed in the Army Field Manual, which effectively outlawed waterboarding.

The New York Times reported last month that Romney aides had prepared an internal memo for the candidate that advised him "rescind and replace President Obama's executive order" and permit secret "enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives."

Following that report, when asked by a reporter if he classifies waterboarding as torture, Romney said, "I don't."

Last November, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul also said that Romney does not classify waterboarding as torture and would not specify which "enhanced interrogation techniques" he would be open to using if elected.

Last December, Romney said he supported "enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now."

In a 2007 primary debate, Romney refused to classify waterboarding as torture when asked about it directly.

"I oppose torture. I would not be in favor of torture in any way shape or form. As a presidential candidate I don't think it's wise to describe specifically which techniques we would or would not use," he said.

His primary opponent at the time, former prisoner of war Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), shot back at Romney in that debate insisting that waterboarding is in fact torture.

"I'm astonished that you haven't found out what waterboarding is," McCain said. "Governor, let me tell you if we are going to get the high ground in this world and we're going to be the America that we've cherished and loved for more than 200 years, we're not going to torture people."

Multiple requests for comment were not returned by the Romney campaign. Zelikow did not respond to a query by deadline.

Mitt Romney taps other 9/11 ....

By Philip Rucker, Published: October 6, 2011

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday announced a team of dozens of foreign policy and national security advisers, tapping an array of Bush administration veterans and former lawmakers to help him shape his defense, intelligence and counter terrorism proposals:

Michael Chertoff, Chairman of the Chertoff Group; United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009); Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003-2005)

Dov Zaheim Zakheim also bears special mention because of his special place in 9/11 NeoCon fame, although his role in the events of that day are rarely discussed. He was Comptroller of the Pentagon in 2001.

As many may be aware of, on September 10, 2001, Pentagon Chief and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference where he announced that 2.3 trillion dollars had simply gone missing from the Pentagon. Such an announcement would have been a major scandal had it not been for the tragic events that unfolded the next day, which forever overshadowed the missing money – yet another fortunate coincidence for a group of individuals who experienced an unbelievable amount of fortunate circumstances on or around 9/11.

Zelikow trying to look all pensive and whatever.....

Zelikow trying to look all pensive and whatever as if he would know a real dialectic if it bit him on the ass. Here is another "pensive intellectual" with a doctorate, Goebbels:

Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy Team

"Start with Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team. Fifteen of the 22 members were policy advisers under the George W. Bush administration, and six of them are former members of PNAC. Romney's foreign policy white paper, ironically (or purposefully) titled “An American Century,” uses the same rhetoric used by PNAC and Bush-era ground pounders: It promotes American exceptionalism, force projection, and retaking control of the global landscape with seemingly little zest for earnest diplomacy. This makes sense since the report is authored by Romney's foreign policy team, complete with a foreword by Eliot Cohen himself. It is no wonder that Romney is overly hawkish on the Iranian “threat,” since the neocons owe Israel — big time."

Stacking Such Heavy Hitters A S-election Outcome Preview?

Presidential elections are surely rigged. Control over power like that is not left in the hands of voters

With that said, Romney's presence alone as an opponent should suggest that he may be the next s-elected president. For example, in 1996 and 2008, the seemingly "chosen ones" Clinton and Obama were opposed by virtual "tomato cans" Dole and McCain and to a lesser extent, Bush was opposed by the very uninspiring fellow frat boy Kerry in 2004.

Romney and Co's. arrival on Pennsylvania Avenue may be an indicator of an anticipated war with Iran. The last two Republican presidents have been war presidents. Troops are generally more supportive of Republicans. And Obama is not a favorite of the troops.

Not so sure

Newsweek magazine, a reliable mouthpiece for the elites, had a cover story on Obama back in September calling him 'The Democrats' Reagan,' and referring to what he 'will achieve in his second term.' As if the outcome were already known.

I also think of things like the tape where Romney is heard talking about the '47%'--that story was broken by Mother Jones magazine, not a typical source for the corporate media, but they picked it up and gave it quite a bit of play. I think that's just the kind of thing they would NOT have done in the case of the Bush campaign in 2000.

Personally, I don't see that Romney is any less of a 'tomato can' than Dole or Kerry or McCain. I think the main reason the polls tightened up at all (to the point were it becomes possible to successfully 'sell' a stolen election result as authentic) is Obama's performance in the first debate. Much has been written on that, but here's one take that stuck with me:

Who's Philip Zelikow & what does he have to do with 911?

Who's Philip Zelikow & what does he have to do with 911? pt1

Who's Philip Zelikow & what does he have to do with 911? pt2

Shine a light on this creature

If Philip Zelikow insists on crawling out from the rock he's been hiding under to re-engage in public life, then all who know what he did to America (and the whole civilised world) owe it to him big time to make sure these videos and the blatant evidence of his Cover-up Masterpiece gets posted in every forum where his name gets mentioned, to track him down in every public space he dares set foot, to challenge him and ask him the hard damning questions he never had to answer. The emergence of these criminals in the Romney camp does not bode well for our country and speaks volumes about who are the real puppet masters. It does make one wonder if the Season Finale of the Presidential Reality Show just got scripted. God help us.

Question Number 3:

"Why was Norman Mineta's testimony omitted from your report?" Mineta was the Sec. of Transportation and gave sworn testimony that directly contradicts Dick Cheney's account of his own actions and whereabouts on 9/11.

Has anyone ever asked Zelikow this question on camera? I haven't seen it if so. This should be question number 1 in my opinion. (Zelikow is going to defer to NIST about demolition questions)

*Well stated chriskin. Shine the spotlight on this cretin!


Let's not forget Dov Zakheim.

Not to suggest anyone should vote for Obama but it would appear that the choice is between the Communist and the Zionist both of which fall under the umbrella of Freemasonry.


Communism? Who are you Joe McCarthy? Look, if you want to sing opera you have to know the libretto. If you want to talk politics you have to know what a dialectic is. There is no threat of Communism in the U.S. Hell, at its height The Daily Worker had 35,000 subscribers only. If you are alluding to what many on the right refer to as Obamacare, that is not socialism it is just a transfer payment to big pharma. (With communism and socialism you actually get the health care). Trust me, you are safe from communism. What we have to fear in the U.S. is fascism. Let's do the math: Communism=state controlled corporations and Fascism=corporations controlling the state. Have you ever heard of outsourcing? When a government function is outsourced it is not the same as going to a "job shop" and getting a limited run production (like going to Kinko's with a government contract for wanted posters or something) no, along with outsourcing government authority is transferred. Repeat: government authority is being transferred to corporations, that is fascism. A good example of power transfer is InfraGard wherein private companies are deputized by the FBI. Telecoms are pro-actively spying on U.S. citizens, something that is illegal for even the U.S. government. Have you been asleep or didn't you notice that Academi née Xe née Blackwater was in Iraq making tactical decisions? That is the Army's job! Now, if you are arrested you can be remanded outside of the control of the government into a corporate prison like CCA . You are in a corporate jail an order of magnitude away from being in state custody and a court has upheld this. This is fascism. Learn the terms and quit singing off key.

tedious indeed.

thnx for jumping in and keep things straight

Playing All Sides

Lets also not for get that Zelikow already worked for Obama's National Intelligence Advisory Board.