(Video) "He Was The Agency": Ex-CIA Analyst Questions Brennan Claim He Couldn’t Stop Waterboarding, Torture
"CIA nominee John Brennan was repeatedly questioned about torture at his CIA confirmation hearing, including the use of waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques. He refused to say waterboarding was a form of torture, but said he has come to oppose the technique. Under George W. Bush, Brennan served as deputy executive director of the CIA and director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. "Remember, he was the cheerleader for some of these onerous policies, particularly renditions and extraordinary renditions. So, for John Brennan today to say he read the Senate committee intelligence report on torture and he learned things he never knew before and that he was shocked with what he learned, this is a case of incredible willful ignorance," says Melvin Goodman, former CIA and State Department analyst. [includes rush transcript]"
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Someone else besides the judge and security officer sitting inside the maximum-security court here can impose censorship on what the public can see and hear at the Sept. 11 trial, it was disclosed Monday
The role of an outside censor became clear when the audio turned to white noise during a discussion of a motion about the CIA’s black sites.
Confusion ensued. A military escort advised reporters that the episode was a glitch, a technical error. A few minutes later, the public was once again allowed to listen into the proceedings and Army Col. James Pohl, the judge, made clear that neither he nor his security officer was responsible for the censorship episode.
“If some external body is turning the commission off based on their own views of what things ought to be, with no reasonable explanation,” the judge announced, “then we are going to have a little meeting about who turns that light on or off.”"
"FORT MEADE, Md. — The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.
The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues pertaining to repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.
Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria.
"President Obama promised to shut down the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility during his first presidential campaign. But five years later, the controversial prison remains open. The Obama administration finally shut down something today, but the move will only frustrate civil libertarians even more. Because with Guantánamo's closure still indefinitely delayed, the office responsible for closing the prison has itself been closed. The New York Times's Charlie Savage reports that Daniel Fried—the State Department's the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—has been reassigned and will not be replaced. The news comes on the same day that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other Guantánamo detainees began another round of pre-trial hearings for the attacks of September 11, 2001, a case that will surely reignite a fierce debate about the role of due process, torture, and oversees detention facilities. The Obama administration's latest seeming deferral adds yet another entry to the long timeline of failed attempts to shut down Gitmo".
"GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Some victims wept. So did at least one of the U.S. military officers assigned to defend the accused Sept. 11 conspirators at their murder trial.
For 90 exceptional minutes Sunday, lawyers for the accused terrorists and the parents of young men killed in the World Trade Center huddled in a ramshackle hangar at the war court ahead of this week’s hearing. And they exchanged stories through a veil of pain.
“In the beginning there was discomfort. There was some anger. There was some tears,” said Phyllis Rodriguez, whose 31-year-old son Greg was killed working at the finance firm Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
But by the end, said Loreen Sellitto, mother of 23-year-old Matthew who also was killed at Cantor Fitzgerald, “I saw them love our Constitution. Their goal is to present a case and defend someone. It’s what our country is built on.”"'
Relative of 9/11 victims want terror plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to spend life in prison instead of execution
"In the continuing controversy over the treatment of torture in Zero Dark Thirty, a crucial scene has been overlooked – one that makes the film’s point of view clear, even if it’s less attention-grabbing than images of waterboarding. The scene comes late in the movie, after the CIA has surmised that Osama bin Laden is possibly hiding in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One government official wonders aloud whether a Guantánamo detainee might be able to confirm that location, to which a CIA operative replies, “Who the hell am I supposed to ask, some guy in Gitmo who’s all lawyered up?” He explains that any lawyer will simply tip off al-Qaeda.
Defense lawyers are used to being portrayed in the media as morally questionable hired guns, while their police and prosecutorial counterparts play committed heroes who avenge victims and put the bad guys away. Even in the left-leaning HBO series The Wire, which broke the mold of the police procedural, the main defense attorney unscrupulously helps gangsters hide criminal activity, while the head prosecutor is accurately described on Wikipedia as one of the show’s “most morally upright figures.”
The President ordered Gitmo to be closed and then changed his mind. This is because he only thinks he is commander-in-chief.
One possible reason for this flip-flop is that somebody decided to tell him the truth about the prisoners there - that they are mostly innocent farmers and goatherders.
The following is from infowars.com
Obama Puts Off Gitmo Closure Until After 2011
December 23, 2009
Yes We Can… be exactly like the Bush administration. In another glaring example of the near seamless transition between the Bush and Obama administrations, The New York Times is reporting Obama may not close the Gitmo torture concentration camp until after 2011, maybe later...........
Edmonton January 7, 2012 YouTube featured: Peggy Morton, University of Alberta Student Taraff Haymour and Alberta Leader of the NDP Opposition Brian Mason. Edmontonians braved the cold weather on the Alberta Legislature steps to once again remind the Government of Canada that bringing Omar Khadr from his Guantanamo Bay back to Canada has yet to be resolved
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces Guantanamo trial for 9/11
The BBC reports....
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four of his alleged co-conspirators will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, reports say.
The Obama administration had planned to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, but abandoned that plan in the face of fierce opposition.
9/11 Suspects to be Tried at Guantanamo, Not NYC
NBC New York reports....
The Obama administration's announcement in 2009 that it would seek to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four suspects in civilian court was met with fierce opposition from many elected officials, families of victims and those who live and work in Lower Manhattan, who would have had to contend with several rings of heavy security for the months of the trial.
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.
The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.
Defense lawyer Scott Fenstermaker in an interview with The Populist describes how he was blocked by the government from representing 9/11 detainees and how the judges and lawyers in the New York trial may themselves be prosecuted in a future war crimes tribunal.
Scott Fenstermaker, the 9/11 Lawyer, Speaks Out The Populist, November 30th, 2009
Scott Fenstermaker has become the lightning rod for 9/11. He is the only defense lawyer mentioned in the upcoming trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-conspirators. Although he won’t be defending them in court, he’s been pilloried by the press for daring to suggest that these detainees have any legal rights.
I called him this weekend, and asked him why.
Scott Fenstermaker has represented Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali in various legal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Ali stands accused of conspiracy, murder, destruction of property, hijacking, and terrorism for his part in the September 11th attacks. I could not understand why Mr. Fenstermaker would not defend his client in court, so I began the interview by asking him to clarify this:
(Updated with further developments from Democracy Now. Essentially, the Obama administration is threatening the security of British citizens to prevent disclosure of torture crimes; a less roundabout way to describe it would be that the White House is "threatening with increased risk of mass murder by ending intelligence sharing" -- SnowCrash)
British Lawmaker David Davis Challenges US Threats to Suppress Evidence of CIA Torture
Democracy Now, August 5, 2009
A British court heard evidence last week that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to prevent the disclosure of details regarding the CIA’s role in the alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed. We hear from conservative British parliamentarian David Davis about the Obama administration’s attempts to suppress evidence in this case.
MI5 officer visited Morocco three times while Binyam Mohamed was 'tortured'
Terrorist Pianos of Doom!
May 29, 2009
Toward the end of last month, a noteworthy incident occurred in the classical music life of Los Angeles:
this would be his last American appearance -- in protest of the nation's military policies overseas.
In a low voice that could not be heard throughout the auditorium, Zimerman, universally considered among the world's finest pianists, made reference to Guantanamo Bay and U.S. military policies toward Poland.
"Get your hands off my country," he said.
From Rawstory: "House Minority Leader John Boehner has posted an alarming new video on his YouTube page that includes images of the Pentagon burning on Sept. 11, 2009, and implications that the Congressman, or those who created the video, support torture techniques used on terror war prisoners during the Bush administration."
Note that Sept. 11, 2009 should have read Sept. 11, 2001, but I've quoted Rawstory verbatim, errors included. They or may not correct it soon.
Neocon John Bolton claims that “in 100 years,” people won’t remember two of the biggest stains on Bush’s record, Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib:
“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he was strong and decisive and that was critical for both the country and for the Western world,” believes John Bolton. “In 100 years people aren’t going to remember Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib, they’re going to remember 9/11 and Bush’s reaction to it.”
Is he right?
60 years after Hitler, the exact thing which we most remember are his concentration camps.
Do we remember the false threats he drummed up to scare his people? The fake threat from Poland, for example, which is the exact parallel to the Neocon's fake "war on terror"?
MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2008 Alleged 9/11 Plotters Offer to Confess at Guantánamo by: William Glaberson, The New York Times
What convenient timing . . . but a later session requested by Judge Henley?
MONDAY 8 DECEMBER 2008
Alleged 9/11 Plotters Offer to Confess at Guantánamo
by: William Glaberson, The New York Times
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba - All five of the Guantánamo detainees charged with planning and coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks have asked a military judge to accept their confessions in full. The request appeared to be intended to cut short any effort to try them, and to challenge the United States government to put them to death.
At the start of what had been expected to be routine proceedings Monday, the military judge, Col. Steven Henley, disclosed that he had received a written statement from the five men. The statement said the five planned to stop filing written motions and instead "to announce our confessions to plea in full."
As he questioned one of the men, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has described himself as the mastermind of the 2001 attacks, Judge Henley of the United States Army asked whether Mr. Mohammmed was prepared to enter pleas to the charges against him today. "Yes," Mr. Mohammed answered brusquely.
mainstream mention of Cheney's
A Ticket to The Hague for Dick Cheney?
By Scott Horton
Gene Burns is one of the nation's most popular talk radio hosts. For years he has dismissed accounts of torture; America, he has said, does not torture. But last night, after watching Torturing Democracy and realizing that he had not understood how important and serious an issue torture had become, Burns abruptly changed his tune.
Here's a transcript of his remarks:
"I now believe that some international human rights organization ought to open an investigation of the Bush Administration, I think focused on Vice President Dick Cheney, and attempt to bring charges against Cheney in the international court of justice at The Hague, for war crimes. Based on the manner in which we have treated prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, and the manner in which we have engaged in illegal rendition–that is, surreptitiously kidnapping prisoners and flying them to foreign countries where they could be tortured by foreign agents who do not follow the same civilized standards to which we subscribe.
We will not be silenced . . .
Refusing to be silenced
August 1, 2008
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
On July 24, about 100 people gathered in Baltimore for a forum to stand up against a long-term spying operation conducted by the Maryland State Police against anti-death penalty and antiwar activists.
The surveillance and infiltration of the groups took place while Republican Robert Ehrlich was governor, according to 43 pages of state police reports recently released to the ACLU. The spying continued month after month despite the fact that the state's agents never recorded a single illegal act among the groups' protest activities. This week, the current governor, Martin O'Malley, appointed a panel to review the state police surveillance operation against the anti-death penalty and antiwar movements.
Dave Zirin, a sportswriter and activist, was one of the activists named in the spying reports. At the July 24 meeting, he talked about his reactions to the spy scandal and activists' plans for "going on offense."
Posted on Wed, Jul. 30, 2008
Alleged 9/11 mastermind won't testify - live
BY CAROL ROSENBERG
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Reputed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed has balked at testifying in person at the trial of Osama bin Laden's driver, defense lawyers said Wednesday. Instead, the jury will get written statements from the al Qaeda kingpin and another alleged plotter in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Lawyers for Salim Hamdan, 37, plan to use the testimony of Mohammed and Walid Bin Attash to try to exonerate the driver, Hamdan, of being an al Qaeda co-conspirator.
One of those men has already written Hamdan's lawyers that the Yemeni with a fourth-grade education ''Was not fit to plan or execute,'' according to defense attorney Harry Schneider of Seattle. ``He is fit to change tires. And oil filters.''
The argument dovetails nicely with the driver's defense that he never joined al Qaeda, did not know in advance about the details of al Qaeda terror plots and merely drove for $200 a month -- and not for ideology.
9/11 families excluded from Guantanamo hearing
Thu Jun 5, 2008 4:03am BST
By Jane Sutton
GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - As the Guantanamo war crimes court prepared to arraign five prisoners on death penalty charges of orchestrating the September 11 attacks, a Pentagon official apologized on Wednesday for excluding victims' families from the hearing.
The U.S. military quietly invited one woman whose brother was an American Airlines pilot killed in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon in the 2001 attacks.
But the invitation to attend Thursday's arraignment at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba was rescinded when the New York Daily News revealed that lone invitee Debra Burlingame was an ardent defender of President George W. Bush who spoke in support of his administration at the Republican Party convention during his 2004 re-election campaign.
Relatives of other victims complained that the Guantanamo trials were being politicized and the Pentagon's legal adviser, Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, acknowledged the matter was mishandled.
Pentagon charges Sept. 11 suspects
By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer
The Pentagon has charged six detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, it was announced Monday. Officials said they'll seek the death penalty in what would be the first trials under the terrorism-era military tribunal system.
"These charges allege a long term, highly sophisticated, organized plan by al-Qaida to attack the United States of America," Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser to the tribunal system, told reporters. He added that the charges have been sworn "against six individuals alleged to be responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks" which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 and killed nearly 3,000 people.
Hartmann said the six include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the attacks in which hijacked planes were flown into buildings in New York and Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed in the fields of western Pennsylvania.
Here is the most recent news on this subject:
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2007
Al-Qaida No. 3 says he planned 9/11
By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confirmed his notoriety as al-Qaida's most ambitious operational planner when, according to military transcripts, he confessed to planning and supporting 31 terrorist attacks, topped by 9/11, that killed thousands of innocent victims since the early 1990s.
The gruesome attacks range from the suicide hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001 — which killed nearly 3,000 — to a 2002 shooting on an island off Kuwait that killed a U.S. Marine.
Many plots, including a previously undisclosed plan to kill several former U.S. presidents, were never carried out or were foiled by international counterterror authorities.
Published: Monday, March 12, 2007
September 11 suspect gets Guantanamo hearing
U.S. military officials have held initial hearings for three terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, including the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States, the Pentagon said on Monday.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said a three-member panel examined the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at a closed hearing on Saturday at the U.S. military prison camp on Cuba.
Mohammed is among 14 prisoners identified by U.S. authorities as "high-value" terrorism suspects and transferred to Guantanamo last September from secret CIA prisons abroad.
The hearings to determine whether the suspects meet U.S. authorities' definition of an enemy combatant began on Friday, the Pentagon said.
The cases of two suspects -- Ramzi bin al Shaibah, a Yemeni also accused of involvement in the September 11 attacks, and alleged senior al Qaeda figure Abu Faraj al Libi of Libya -- were examined on Friday, Whitman said.