torture

Torture used to try to link Saddam Hussein with 9/11

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/04/torture-used-to-try-to-link-saddam-with-911/

When I testified last year before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties about Bush interrogation policies, Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz) stated that former CIA Director Michael Hayden had confirmed that the Bush administration only waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zabaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashirit for one minute each. I told Franks that I didn’t believe that. Sure enough, one of the newly released torture memos reveals that Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times and Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times. One of Stephen Bradbury’s 2005 memos asserted that “enhanced techniques” on Zubaydah yielded the identification of Mohammed and an alleged radioactive bomb plot by Jose Padilla. But FBI supervisory special agent Ali Soufan, who interrogated Zubaydah from March to June 2002, wrote in the New York Times that Zubaydah produced that information under traditional interrogation methods, before the harsh techniques were ever used.

Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission, and Effectiveness

Many hyperlinks at original; firedoglake has been covering this issue consistently

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/04/25/zelikow-the-911-commission-and-effectiveness/

Zelikow, the 9/11 Commission, and Effectiveness
By: emptywheel Saturday April 25, 2009 4:00 am

If you've been paying attention, you know I've been poring through the 9/11 Report to figure out how useful the interrogation reports from the waterboarded detainees were, and when they made them.

That exercise shows that the 9/11 Report found just 10 pieces of intelligence from Abu Zubaydah's interrogation reports informative and credible; it found just 16 pieces of such intelligence in al-Nashiri's interrogation reports. And while the Commission did find KSM's interrogation reports to be incredibly useful, an incomplete index (I'm working on this, but it's on the back burner for the next week) of the references to KSM show that many of his most productive interrogation sessions came long after he was waterboarded. And, as Philip Zelikow made clear in a memo relating to the torture tape destruction, there were abundant other problems with the quality of the interrogation reports coming from CIA, too.

Turley: 'God help us' if torture only gets a '9/11 commission'

"God help us if the only thing we get out of this is a commission modeled on 9/11," Turley commented. "That was a commission that was really made for Washington -- a commission composed of political appointees of both parties that ran interference for those parties -- a commission that insisted at the beginning it would not impose blame on individuals. So it's the ideal Washington commission -- a commission that would investigate without any reprecussions."

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Turley_Torture_investigations_should_look_at_0422.html
Turley: 'God help us' if torture only gets a '9/11 commission'
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Wednesday April 22, 2009

The recent release of Bush administration torture memos has given rise to calls for prosecution of the Justice Department lawyers who wrote those memos. However, law professor Jonathan Turley believes that this may represent a deliberate attempt to draw attention away from George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the other high Bush administration officials who ordered the torture.

George Washington's Blog: "Torture, Iraq, and 9/11"

5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said "my interest is to hit Saddam".

He also said "Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement "judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time", is the statement "Hard to get a good case." In other words, top officials knew that there wasn't a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.

Moreover, "Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda".

And a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy.

And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed repeatedly for years that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.

Continued...
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/04/5-hours-after-911-attacks-rumsfeld-said.html

Torture Was The Only Crime? I Think Not

Jon Gold
4/22/2009

Has anyone else noticed that the media, and Congress is acting as though torture is the only crime committed by the Bush White House (with the possible exception of illegal wiretapping)?

Why has everyone forgotten the other crimes perpetrated by the Bush White House? Crimes like stealing the 2000, and 2004 elections. Proveable crimes concerning the 9/11 attacks like obstruction of justice, and criminal negligence. Crimes like lying this country into war. Crimes like violating the Constitution. The list of crimes committed by the Bush Administration just goes on and on.

'Same people defending torture' ignored 9/11 warnings

http://rawstory.com/blog/2009/04/same-people-defending-torture-ignored-911-warnings/
'Same people defending torture' ignored 9/11 warnings

Posted by Larisa Alexandrovna -

Marc A. Thiessen, President Bush’s former speechwriter, is defending torture in the Washington Post. Apparently, this is the level of clout Dick Cheney and George Bush have, when the only people out defending them are speechwriters and people who are implicated in torture.

Here is what Mr. Thiessen writes:

In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am

(PLS READ THE COMMENTS AT HUFFINGTON POST- on the FRONTPAGE at this moment)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/18/cia-waterboarded-khalid-s_n_188644.html

I've put this detail in a series of posts, but it really deserves a full post. According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.

On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:

The CIA used the waterboard "at least 83 times during August 2002" in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.

Students send the CIA packing

Students send the CIA packing

http://socialistworker.org/2009/04/13/students-send-cia-packing

By Martin Smith | April 13, 2009

URBANA, Ill.--Students and activists won a victory April 9 when they forced the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) into a last-minute cancellation of its recruitment session at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For a third year, members of the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN), Iraq Veterans Against the War and the International Socialist Organization joined forces to protest the CIA, but this is the first year that the agency canceled, after activists exposed the agency's dark history of assassinations, political sabotage and torture.

Outside the recruitment session door, one activist donned a black Grim Reaper cloak and stood with arms extended on a milk crate to greet potential recruits and remind them of the atrocities conducted at Abu Ghraib with CIA complicity. Another used a simple pillowcase as a hood and kneeled with arms clasped behind his back to show how prisoners are commonly treated at Bagram Air Base and Guantánamo Bay.

Long Arm of Justice: Fujimori’s Lesson for Bush

Fujimori’s Lesson for Bush
by Jacob G. Hornberger

http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2009-04-09.asp

If President Bush and Vice-President Cheney think that time is on their side with respect to crimes committed by their administration, this week’s criminal conviction of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori should put those thoughts to rest. Returning to Peru in the hope of returning to power, Fujimori was instead put on trial and convicted of “crimes against humanity,” including the killing of 25 people by military death squad.

Meanwhile, a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon, has opened a criminal investigation of six former Bush officials — Alberto Gonzalez, Douglas Feith, David Addington, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and William Haynes — for torture allegations arising out of the Pentagon’s operations at Guantanamo.

Garzon was the judge who secured a criminal indictment of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet, which led to Spain’s extradition request for Pinochet when he visited London. While the request was ultimately unsuccessful, Pinochet was detained in London for a year awaiting the final disposition of the request.

Murder Trumps Torture Says Bugliosi

Murder Trumps Torture Says Bugliosi

2003 State of the Union, Jan. 29, 2003. WikiCommons

Bush Crimes

"If we prosecute those in America who only commit one murder, under what theory don't we prosecute a president who is criminally responsible for over four thousand murders?" Vincent Bugliosi

Michael Collins

9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey: It Might Take "A Permanent 9/11 Commission" to End the Remaining Mysteries of September 11

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/03/911-commissioner-bob-kerrey-it-might.html

Some of us have been writing for years (see this and this) that the 9/11 Commission Report was unreliable because most of the information was based on the statements of tortured detainees. As I wrote in March 2007:

Detainees Say They Planned Sept. 11

Now might be a good time brush up on Stalin's Show Trials...

By WILLIAM GLABERSON
Published: March 9, 2009

The five detainees at Guantánamo Bay charged with planning the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have filed a document with the military commission at the United States naval base there expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting full responsibility for the killing of nearly 3,000 people.

The document, which may be released publicly on Tuesday, uses the Arabic term for a consultative assembly in describing the five men as the “9/11 Shura Council,” and it says their actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document that were read to a reporter by a government official who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The document is titled “The Islamic Response to the Government’s Nine Accusations,” the military judge at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp said in a separate filing, obtained by The New York Times, that describes the detainees’ document.

The document was filed on behalf of the five men, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has described himself as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Congressman Holt Introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation - Modeled After 9/11 Commission

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/03/congressman-holt-introduces-anthrax.html

Congressman Holt wants an anthrax investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission.

Senators Leahy and White house want a torture investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission.

But - according to the 9/11 Commission itself - the whole thing was a joke:

The Senate Launches Truth Commission

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/02/senate-launches-truth-commission.html

According to Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Senate is launching a "truth commission" to investigate Bush-era torture.

Given that torture is ineffective and harms national security, and given that it is illegal and a war crime under international laws which the U.S. is a party to, many argue that there should be prosecutions, and not more investigations.

Indeed, government investigations are almost all whitewashes.