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Torture Tapes

UPDATED:

Looks like the cat is out of the bag and the “new family jewels” were destroyed. What am I talking about? Today’s revelation in the NY Times that, “the Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.”

During the Church Committee investigation of CIA misdeeds in 1975-76, “family jewels” was the euphemism for the list of unsavory secret activities–e.g., assassination, domestic spying, etc.–carried out by CIA officers that then CIA Director, William Colby, handed over to Congress. Those “jewels” tarnished the Agency’s reputation and its officers. Well, here we go again.

The news of the destroyed tapes is not on par with the “family jewels” of the seventies. But it does reinforce the “24″ image of CIA activities that the average layman (or woman) believes to be true. It’s not just Jack Bauer torturing folks to save America.

The truth on this will come out assuming that the Democrats press the investigation. At initial glance the CIA is hiding behind the lamest of excuses:

General Hayden’s statement said that the tapes posed a “serious security risk” and that if they had become public they would have exposed C.I.A. officials “and their families to retaliation from Al Qaeda and its sympathizers.”

I do not dispute the possibility of retaliation by Al Qaeda against an undercover officer. In fact, it happened to Valerie Plame Wilson, but her identity was exposed by the Bush Administration. Then there is the question of tradecraft. Did the CIA officers participating in the interrogation/torture sessions allow themselves to be filmed so that they could be easily identified? I am skeptical. When the truth comes out I think we are likely to discover the people doing the questioning were contractors, not undercover Agency officers.

But let’s assume for a moment that undercover CIA officers actually were filmed.  Are you telling me that CIA has not figured out how to edit videotapes and cover the faces and voices of their personnel?  I’m sure there is a 14 year old computer geek out there somewhere with a MacBook Pro who is ready and willing to help the CIA do the necessary editing to protect their personnel.  The Hayden excuse does not pass the bullshit test.

But anyway, according to the CIA, there wasn’t anything worth seeing. The tapes are no longer of any value.

Let’s be clear why these were destroyed–the chief of the Operations Division, Jose Rodriguez, understood that this was video evidence of torture. It was not the exposure of clandestine identities that had him fretting. It was the fear that CIA officers and contractors could be standing before a tribunal in the Hague trying to explain why the images of torture were not torture.

Then there is the potential embarrassment from showing that these extreme interrogation measures did not produce any intelligence of significance. If, for example, one of the tortured victims had spilled the beans about an impending attack on the White House or the financial towers of New York City you can be sure that evidence would be preserved and shared. At least those involved in this tawdry affair could justify violating international conventions by demonstrating that “lives were saved”. But that did not happen.

Jose Rodriguez will not be the only one walking the public plank on this issue.  In fact, he did not undertake this mission without the permission or direction from higher ups.  And when you are the Deputy Director of Operations, there are not a lot of people above you. Prominent names include George Tenet, John McLaughlin, Porter Goss, and John Rizzo.  Darrel Plant has an insightful piece giving some important background on Rizzo, the acting CIA General Counsel.

Other intelligence officers likely to be asked tough questions include Cofer Black (now a senior official with Blackwater) and Ambassador Henry “Hank” Crumpton, who was Cofer’s deputy and subsequently served as the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism at State Department.

Be assured that lawyers in Washington are celebrating this as a holiday gift.  I am sure many CIA officers will get a chance to use the insurance policies they bought, which helps defray legal expenses.  I doubt that Jose Rodriguez will be a willing scapegoat.  In fact, I would not be surprised if he kept some information back that would help exonerate him just in case this very contingency arose.

Happy Holidays.

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  • sheerahkahn

    Larry,

    I seriously think that what the Republicans have done to the United States in the past seven years is tantamount to treason against the Constitution…/sigh…we have failed, and this whole torture debacle is just an outward sign of our failure to retain the Republic.
    I shudder to think what else we’ll discover when this is over in a few years…G-d, truth commissions, or trials…which do we pick…makes me cry.

  • Waiting in Texas

    Surely someone kept a copy of these tapes as “insurance and a get-out-of-jail-free type of thing?

    The NIE may have shut down the US directly attacking Iran, but if Israel attacks Iran, then US is automatically involved?

    Bush going to Middle East in January.

    AIPAC

    We may be in enormous financial debt to China, but it looks as if Israel calls the shots, I think I finally see the light.

    Sy Hersch – saw him speak at Rice University last November. He said that IRAN was the holy grail for the Bush Administration. IRAQ was only practice.

    • Shirin

      I just wish that someone would teach Sy how to pronounce Iran and Iraq. Hint: Neither one has anything to do with eyes.

      I know this seems like a small matter in view of the on-the-ground situation, but it is like a nail running across one’s cornea to hear it, and it is particularly painful to hear from someone who actually has something worthwhile to say. Kind of destroys the moment.

      • mudkitty

        Ear rock. Etc.

    • Cee

      Israel considering strike on Iran despite US intelligence report

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,,2224052,00.html

      • Kathleen

        Have to get this strike in before this trial. If and when it happens. This is the 6th time it has been delayed

        AIPAC judge sets April 29 date
        mail E-mail News Brief
        mail Tell the Editors

        Published: 12/06/2007

        An April 29 trial date was set in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers.

        Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., told prosecutors and defense lawyers that the date he set Thursday was final, sources said.

        Ellis’ office confirmed the date, at least the fifth such date since Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, its Iran analyst, were indicted in August 2005. The pretrial phase has dragged on largely because of arguments over the government’s reluctance to share evidence with the defense.

        Rosen and Weissman are accused under a 1917 statute that criminalizes the receipt and dissemination of classified information.

        Ellis has allowed the defense to subpoena top Bush administration figures in the case, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

        The judge has anticipated a trial of four to six weeks, which raises the prospect that it could overlap with AIPAC’s annual policy conference scheduled for the beginning of June.

        Separately, the prosecution announced three expert witnesses it would call to show that the classified information allegedly handled by Rosen and Weissman damaged the national interest: Maj. Gen. Paul Dettmer, the Pentagon’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; William McNair, a CIA official; and Dale Watson, the FBI’s former executive assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence, who headed the agency’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

        The defense has not announced its experts.

    • TeakwoodKite

      Waiting in Texas:Surely someone kept a copy of these tapes as “insurance and a get-out-of-jail-free type of thing?”
      .
      While Hayden said there were only “two” tapes, it is very difficult to believe this is it. When one considers the possible distibution list and Cheney saying “everything leaks eventually”, (The Wilsons?)I can’t imagine anyone watching these would not want some “Potomac Two Step” chips to play with…considering the possible legal jeopardy of being involved. Alot of effort by this RICO crowd has been in providing immunity from prosecution…from gov’t to Blackwater to telco’s to the justice dept…same effort.

      So how many people might have seen these tapes?
      Someone at NQ made reference to Sy Hersh seeing them no? If true, there’s more where them came from…JerseyJeffersonian’s post is not to far of the track to not be at least a line of inquiry.
      Open source info in the US is echoed to death. Is there any correlation to be found in the international world of Open source as it relates to the Saudi’ and Pakistan?

      • Teaeopy

        I can’t be certain that the audio-video recordings were not destroyed. I can’t be certain that the original or a copy or copies was/were not kept in the personal custody of one or more persons, but that seems unlikely given the extremely sensitive nature of the interrogations and due to security protocols that must have applied.

        The recordings of the sessions could be in the possession of the CIA or a cooperating agency and yet be unrecognizable to even experts looking for them, given today’s digital tools and human creativity. It will be important for Congressional committees and other investigators (law enforcement?) to ask the right questions. There should be logs documenting what was done, whatever it was.

        It should be possible to investigate the reported destruction of the recordings without endangering national security. I hope we don’t hear the State Secrets defense invoked yet again.

  • Canuck Stuck in Muck

    Whoa, Larry. Either they are more concerned citizens voicing their concerns these days, or the word got out that you (as opposed to anyone on the evening news) actually know wtf is going on! I can’t remember ever being the 40th before (course, that could be old age…). Anyhoo. Someone before me mentioned Marcy’s Sheldon Whitehouse posts. I think that his research and declassification of the three opinions by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, which were classified by the Bush gang, demonstrates what’s really at stake here. In claiming that Article II of the Constitution gives the President the power to decide what his power is under Article II (yep, you read that right!), Bush has kept from the world his de facto SUSPENSION of the Constitution of the United States. No wonder he’s not bothered by Musharef’s analogous acts in recent weeks. Shrub is fully in favor of that kind of dictatorial power. What are we gonna do now?

  • Cee

    Larry and all,

    I know you folks don’t agree with me often or at all. You know me well enough by now to I do not accept the offical versions of the stories that we’ve been told.

    dispute the possibility of retaliation by Al Qaeda against an undercover officer.

    I don’t either. Whoever al-Queda is. They seem to have the same agenda as the neocons.

    In fact, it happened to Valerie Plame Wilson, but her identity was exposed by the Bush Administration.

    See above about agendas.

    Then there is the question of tradecraft. Did the CIA officers participating in the interrogation/torture sessions allow themselves to be filmed so that they could be easily identified? I am skeptical.

    Me too. They can always run to slice and dice SITE to fix the tape to make their case.

    The Hayden excuse does not pass the bullshit test.

    This Hayden?

    NSA DIRECTOR, GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN CONTRADICTS HIS 2002 TESTIMONY TO THE JOINT INQUIRY OF CONGRESS:

    January 22, 2006 – General Michael Hayden, in defending the illegal NSA Surveillance Program, stated:

    “We’re not violating the law … Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States.”

    October 17, 2002 – Lieutenant Michael Hayden said the following:

    “In early 2000, at the time of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, we had the al-Hazmi brothers, Nawaf and Salim, as well as Khalid al-Mihdhar, in our sights.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-breitweiser/nsa-director-haydenone-_b_14361.html

    I’m thinking that the people being tortured where saying things off script and implicating people that we aren’t supposed to be looking at.

  • JerseyJeffersonian

    Although I don’t discount the idea that the destroyed tapes might have revealed some rough if not torturous interrogation techniques, I think it is not absurd to entertain another motivation than fear of exposure of unsavory interrogation practices to account for their destruction. Since the argument that the identities of the interrogators might be exposed proposed as justification for their destruction seems pretty flimsy (given that identities on such tapes can be easily disguised), perhaps it is arguable that sensitive revelations on the tapes were the true reason for their destruction. Somewhere up thread another poster supplied a link to a partial exposition of a theory proposed by Gerald Posner that one of these interrogations resulted in exposing top members of the Pakistani government and the Saudi royal family as being involved in the planning and execution of the 9/11 attacks. Please see this link for a fuller exposition from a recent posting by Posner on HuffingtonPost.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerald-posner/the-cias-destroyed-inter_b_75850.html

    It doesn’t sound at all foolish to me that tapes containing this sort of information would be too hot to handle. Saudis provided much of the muscle for the attack, quite likely much of the monetary support, and certainly ideological support for Al Quaida. Pakistan’s intelligence service had supplied them with a safe haven from which to operate under the protection of the Taliban regime, whose ascendancy they had facilitated. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and the U.A.E. were the only governments who had extended diplomatic recognition to the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. The reputed incriminating evidence on the interrogation tapes may have already been used to bring the Saudis and the Pakistanis to heel, and part of whatever deal that was made was that the evidence of their involvement would conveniently “disappear”. You couldn’t put the genie back in the bottle entirely; too many people would know of the existence of these revelations for that to happen. So this disposal of the evidence would have to be accounted for in some way, through a cover story from the powers that be, as hinky as it may seem. Too unflattering for all parties for this information to be left available. Anyway, an alternative explanation worth considering.

  • Mr.Murder

    apologies for the double post… first one wasn’t spellchecked

  • Mr.Murder

    The tapes were nearing their FOIA dates.

    Sy Hersh had seen some of them.

    That’s why they were destroyed.

    You could not have ‘John Israel’ (contract interrogator’s name, guess the country) on tape doing what he did to Iraq boys and girls. The families of whose parents were inadvertently snatched up in a wide sweep of false positives.

    Strangely, it seems that people desperate for money will say anything about someone else in order to get a cash reward. Especially in in ethnic regions like the capitol city and its surrounding towns.

    By the way, the turkee flight to Iraq, where Bush cut a plastic bird for photo ops, had a window of time he was there to match a drive by to Abu Gharib.

    You really think Rumsfailed would not let the boy king act the fool in meeting some captives face to face? Bush probably said enough in those moments to insure he’d forever want to erase any record of what was done there.

    It isn’t too far an assertion to make. There was a time window in which to do it.

  • Mr.Murder

    The tapes were enaring their FOIA dates.

    Sy Hersh had seen some of them.

    That’s why they were destroyed.

    You could not have ‘John Israel’ (contract interrogator’s name, guess the country) on tape doing what he did to Iraq boys and girls. The families of whose parents were inadvertenly snatched up in a wide sweep of false positives.

    Strangely, it seems that people desperate for money will say anything about someone else in order to get a cash reward. Especially in in ethnic regions like the capitol city and its surrounding towns.

    By the way, the turkee flight to Iraq, where Bush cut a plastic bird for photo ops, had a window of time he was there to match a drive by to Abu Gharib.

    You really think Rumsfailed would not let the boy king act the fool in meeting some captives face to face? Bush probably said enough in those moments to insure he’d forever want to erase any record of what was done there.

    It isn’t too far an assertion to make. There was a time window in which to do it.

  • KXB

    “Payback how?”

    Well, the intelligence agencies did not give the Iran report Cheney and Co. wanted, so now they disclose this to embarrass them, and possibly launch a criminal investigation. Maybe next time those analysts standing up to the Neocons may be more cooperative.

    Again, this is just a guess.

    • http://NoQuarterUSA.net Larry Johnson

      This does not affect the analysts. This “scandal” involves the Director of Operations, not the Director of Intelligence. They are worlds apart. One other name I should have included in the rundown–Buzzy Krongard.
      LJ

      • TeakwoodKite

        What a pity his brother had to say Bye Bye over at the State Dept today. Don’t fall far from the tree do they?

      • Retired

        Actually, if Porter Goss was DCI when Jose torched the tapes, then Dusty was ExDir. Dusty, by the way, is still under indictment with the next court hearing scheduled for 18 December. There is still a possibility that his trial may be moved to DC, despite the first denial of a change of venue before Brent was convicted, because the San Diego judge supposedly said that a change of venue to DC now makes sense.

      • Jess Wonderin

        That is the problem – the Media paints it as a “CIA” Fuck Up when the actual motive was removed from Intell to an Operational action designed to sheild the Administrations involvement. Should we believe that Bush Bots weren’t reporting/responding to WH influence? Can we believe Bush “didn’t know” in the same manner that he “just found out about the new NIR”????
        Please wake up NANCY . . . investigate, interrogate, impeach.

  • KXB

    While these are serious charges, am I the only one intrigued by the timing of this release? Earlier this week, the intelligence community released the NIE which said that Iran has had no nuclear weapons program for four years. This annoyed Cheney and other neocons. Since we know they have no trouble turning on intelligence agencies when they are uncooperative, might this be a bit of payback by Cheney?

    • TeakwoodKite

      Twice on national TV I have heard Bush say (Paraphrasing) “if you don’t give me what I want then the next time we are attacked it is not my problem.” Timing leaks is an art form with these guys. Payback how?

    • Kathleen

      I have read a few others bring this up at another blog. Is this payback?

      But remember that Larry has shared that it is more likely those that tortured were “contractors”. Maybe CIA wants these contractors exposed? Just supposin

      • TeakwoodKite

        “Maybe CIA wants these contractors exposed? Just supposin”

        There is public testimony that “contractors” were used in the Abu Grab interegations. I would be intreseted in knowing what the CIA rank and file thinks of these “contractors”. Mr.Murder made the point that former CIA “green badgers” are being offered some big$ to “consult”, but I think there is a distinction to be made between these people and and use of private third parties by the CIA or DOD to get around certian legal requirements. Does a dog have fleas?

  • TeakwoodKite

    Henry “Hank” Crumpton at State Dept until February 2007.
    http://www.ewi.info/aboutewi/staff/index.cfm?title=Staff&l1=About%20EWI&l2=Staff&view=detail&eid=479

    Where is he now?

    • Cee

      Never heard of him until you asked.

      In From the Cold and Able to Take the Heat

      By Robin Wright
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Monday, September 12, 2005; Page A17

      Last month, Henry “Hank” Crumpton, a revered master of CIA covert operations, formally came in from the cold.

      Crumpton gained almost mythical fame after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — always anonymously. He is the mysterious “Henry” in the Sept. 11 commission report, which notes he persistently pressed the CIA to do more in Afghanistan before Osama bin Laden’s terrorist spectaculars. Two key proposals to track al Qaeda were turned down.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/11/AR2005091101062.html

      • TeakwoodKite

        I had seen reference to him in my reading and since Larry mentioned him…”Where are they now can” is a part of a “hobby” of mine.

  • Kathleen

    AIPAC judge sets April 29 date
    mail E-mail News Brief
    mail Tell the Editors

    Published: 12/06/2007

    An April 29 trial date was set in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers.

    Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., told prosecutors and defense lawyers that the date he set Thursday was final, sources said.

    Ellis’ office confirmed the date, at least the fifth such date since Steve Rosen, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s foreign policy chief, and Keith Weissman, its Iran analyst, were indicted in August 2005. The pretrial phase has dragged on largely because of arguments over the government’s reluctance to share evidence with the defense.

    Rosen and Weissman are accused under a 1917 statute that criminalizes the receipt and dissemination of classified information.

    Ellis has allowed the defense to subpoena top Bush administration figures in the case, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

    The judge has anticipated a trial of four to six weeks, which raises the prospect that it could overlap with AIPAC’s annual policy conference scheduled for the beginning of June.

    Separately, the prosecution announced three expert witnesses it would call to show that the classified information allegedly handled by Rosen and Weissman damaged the national interest: Maj. Gen. Paul Dettmer, the Pentagon’s assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; William McNair, a CIA official; and Dale Watson, the FBI’s former executive assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence, who headed the agency’s investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

    The defense has not announced its experts.

    NOW MORE TIME FOR ISRAEL TO HAVE THEIR WAY WITH IRAN. If the American people are never given the information that Rosen and Weismann “allegedly” handed classified intelligence having to do with Iran to Israeli officials…they have plenty of time to make a case for pre-emptively striking Iran.

    • Cee

      They plan to do it too and drag us down

      Binyamin Netanyahu, the popular rightwing opposition leader, was asked whether Israel should launch its own military operation. “We always prefer international action, led by the United States, but we have to ensure that we can protect our country with all means,” he told the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz today.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,,2224052,00.html

  • G Hazeltine

    My question is what level of depravity did these tapes showed. There already is plenty for Al Qaeda to retaliate for, and plenty of CIA people whose identities are know, or whose cover is so thin (“political officer”) as to be worthless. Al Jamadi (the man who died while being hung from the ceilling from his hands tied behind his back) had a family. Frankly, if I were one of them my project would be to find some justice. So far though there is no evidence of that.

    One imagines that the most effective pressures are psychological. One imagines that torturing children in front of their parents would be about as hard as it could get. Wives in front of their husbands. That sort of thing.

    And there have been mentions of the torture of children since Abu Ghraib story broke.

    Seymour Hersh: “Some of the worse that happened that you don’t know about, ok. Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib which is 30 miles from Baghdad [...]

    The women were passing messages saying “Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened”. Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it’s going to come out.

    It’s impossible to say to yourself how do we get there? who are we? Who are these people that sent us there?”

    Now were the boys raped for information they were thought to have, or information a family member was thought to have? A family member present at the interrogation. They were looking for WMD. Children would not have had that information. Their parents might.

    Hard questions, but something extreme must have been on those tapes. Given the barbarity we know about, what could it be?

    • G Hazeltine

      Too little time. ‘did these tapes show’

      • G Hazeltine

        please forgive the typos

    • Shirin

      There already is plenty for Al Qaeda to retaliate for.

      Except that by all credible accounts very few of the torturees have had anything at all to do with Al Qa`eda. That is particularly the case in Iraq where by all credible accounts almost none of the arrestees have any real connection to the real Al Qa`eda, and very few are connected to the Al Qa`eda knock-offs that make up a very small percentage of the so-called “insurgency”. Even the U.S. military has admitted that some 80% of Iraqi detainees were picked up by “mistake”. It also seems clear that only a small percentage of the prisoners who have been held for years at Guantanamo, many if not all of whom have been tortured, have no connection to Al Qa`eda or terrorism of any kind.

      There are a few accounts of children being tortured or at least severely abused at Abu Ghraib in front of their fathers. Those accounts are likely not the whole story.

      And then there is the Americans’ habit of detaining – kidnapping, really – children, and wives, parents, other relatives of wanted individuals when they could not find the wanted person, and holding them hostage – a very serious violation of human rights law. As far as I know they are still holding as hostages the wife and children of `Izzat Ad Douri, and it has been at least four years or so since they kidnapped them. (This is, by the way, yet another example of “shared values” with Israel, which is still holding teenagers it kidnapped in Lebanon to use as “bargaining chips”.

      • Yogi-one

        Wow! “Family values” in action!

  • Kathleen

    Will Jane Harman be shown the door?

    “Rep. Jane Harman of California, then the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and one of only four members of Congress informed of the tapes’ existence, said she objected to the destruction when informed of it in 2003.”

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hyL3au-RZxEcch2P9ymXa
    J9mroogD8TCAIDO0

    Hayden Says CIA Videotapes Destroyed

    • wethornet

      kathleen, the link doesn’t work.

      i have no use for jane harman. but, in the account i read, she objected and put it in writing to the cia.

  • Kathleen

    Scott Hortons interview with Scott Ritter on the NIE report. Important listen
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/12/06/scott-ritter-4/

    Scott “the notion that Iran had a nuclear weapon program is an assertion, it is unfounded with hard evidence”

    Scott Ritter hits Hillary Clinton for voting yes on the Kyl Lieberman amendment.

    • Shirin

      Hey, isn’t that what I’VE been saying from the beginning of this – that it is a mere allegation that Iran actually had a nuclear weapons program to terminate. That Scott Ritter is a very smart guy!

      Yes, and Hillary ought to be pilloried for voting yes on Kyl-Lieberman. I see it as an expression of her true position.

      • Donovan Fraser

        I remember Ritter screaming at the top of his lungs on TV before this war that there was no WMD’s and it was all a lie. the media conveniently ignored him and proceeded to smear him as a kook and a pedophile .
        He has been vindicated over and over,yet no respect for him from MSM.

        • Kathleen

          Such a good point. I was following everything Scott Ritter was saying before the invasion. He was on the Diane Rehm show and Talk of the Nation. Along with Brezinski, General Zinni, retired CIA analyst, etc etc. Plenty of warning before the invasion.

          Although the evening T.V. news was filled to the brim with the Bush administrations “pack of Lies”

  • mudkitty

    Ole…I thought for a minute you were talking about Rudy…and his vast security problems…

    Well, I guess, it all applies.

    • http://www.petgazette-pets.com OleHippieChick

      It applies b/c they all use it.
      “Executive privilege,” “national security,” “classified,” security risk.” All prime asscover.

  • http://www.petgazette-pets.com OleHippieChick

    Bleats of “security risk” = asscovering for bu$hler the torturer’s security. Period.

  • Kathleen

    Scott Hortons interview with Scott Ritter on the NIE report
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/12/06/scott-ritter-4/

  • Kathleen
  • cruzdelsur

    There is only one way to end this bullshit: in the next administration, you should become DCI!!!

  • rugger9

    Not only that, but we have the German kid who the interrogators knew within days was not a terrorist, but was held for five years on a single suspect “I’ve got a secret” Army general’s say-so. When he was finally released back to Germany, the cops didn’t even cuff him as requested by our staff.

    So, not only were they doing bad things in our name, they weren’t even good enough to get anything for it.

    Then there’s this link to the story of Al-Zubaydah where the top-level Saudis are implicated pretty deeply.

    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2007/12/6/192315/477

    The Hague is too good for these guys, but it is where they will be headed, the entire cabal. Even if it takes fifty years they will get there. All one has to do is look at Pinochet.

  • oldtree

    no kidding Donovan. gone with the wind is bull compared to what I can make up as I am doing the mambo with a mambo wearing Carmen Miranda’s tutsi fruitsi hat.

  • Mr.Murder

    Contractors could also have filmed, thereby deciding to place questioners in view.

    Often we’ll use info we think may be pertaining to one region or country, in other ones with these nebulous groups. AQ Khan(or someone near) being outed as a mole, for instance…

    Most often it’s a case of smoke where there is fire. The simplest explanation works best when it comes to addressing if a law was broken.

  • Kathleen

    On April 8, 2005 Karpinski was formally relieved of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade, and on May 5, 2005, President Bush approved Karpinski’s demotion to colonel from the rank of brigadier general. Her demotion was not officially related to the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.

    In October 2005 she published an account of her experiences, One Woman’s Army, in which she claims that the abuses were perpetrated by contract employees trained in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay and sent under orders from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and that her demotion was political retribution.

    Janis Karpinski
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janis_Karpinski

    • wethornet

      i spent a few hours with janis this summer. she is not the problem. the problem is bush and cheney and rummy and cambone, (of whom some general in the pentagon said, “if the enemy was overrunning our position and i had only one bullet left, i’d use it on cambone), and sanchez, (he of the recent dimocratic radio rebuttal to w’s weekly address. f*cking disgusting nancy and harry).

      there was better staffing at guantanamo than at abu g. not a war zone vs. a war zone. unflippingbelievable.

      what never gets mentioned is the other brigadier general who was relieved of command, rick baccus, of the rhode island national guard. made the front page of the n.y. times. he was at gitmo. amnesty int’l. has a report out, and i’ve spoken with one of their staffers, that says baccus was strict about following the geneva convention, etc.

      baccus is a hero in this thing. and of course the dims don’t call him as a witness. disgusting.

      cont’d.

  • Donovan Fraser

    they ( CIA) said they destroyed them to hide the identity of these officers. as if Don’t we have the ability to pixel over the faces and change the voices. After all we are the most technologically advanced in movie production in the world. If hollywood can hide an identity so could the CIA. just doesn’t pass the believability test.
    Larry is right, there is probably no “there” there. These detainees probably admitted killing kennedy , Hitler, or even fixing the world series etc etc…..

    I can tell you now, if you tortured me, I’d sing like a frickin canary and sing any tune you wanted ( maybe out of tune ) but at the top of my lungs dancing the can can.
    :)

  • Kathleen

    Contractors in Iraq torturing?
    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/elmer.php?articleid=2959

    In an interview last week with The Signal, a newspaper in Santa Clarita, Cal., Karpinski said she was “shocked” by the Israeli interrogator’s presence, and that the development struck her as “unusual.”

    But a mounting body of evidence indicates that the presence of Israeli operatives working in Iraq is not at all unusual.

    New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh told the BBC that his sources – which include high ranking Lebanese and Turkish officials – confirm the presence of Israeli agents in Iraq. Hersh said it is his understanding that one of the Israeli aims was to gain access to detained members of the secret Iraqi intelligence unit who specialized in Israeli affairs, the BBC reports on its website.

    In an article last month, Hersh quoted a senior CIA official and Israeli intelligence officer describing how agents of Israeli’s Mossad intelligence service were active in Iraq, while Israeli commandos were training militants in the Kurdish areas of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Hersh found this information to be “widely known” in the U.S. intelligence community.

    • Delia

      That’ll go over well in the Arab world.

      • Jess Wonderin

        “will go over”???
        Are we so stupid as to believe that it is NOT common knowledge in “the Arab World”? The unfortunate truth is that “We” are looked at as Israel’s enforcer/enabler. Hersh surely has no better resources than any foreign government, and don’t most Arab Intel Agencies have translators able to read US Newspapers . . . our own homophobic hypocritic Administration might have some left here . . .

        • Delia

          Well, obviously. But to have it openly confirmed by a respectable American journalist just puts the icing on the cake.

    • Shirin

      Israel has been very involved in a number of aspects of the Iraq thing from the beginning. Remember, one of the things good ole Chalabi promised was to turn Iraq into an ally of Israel.

  • Kathleen

    Larry Marcy Wheeler’s latest.

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2007/12/07/whitehouse-rip
    s-the-white-house/#comments

  • mudkitty

    The mind would boggle, but all the boggle has been used up.

    Naomi Klien writes and talks about Disaster Capitalism and The Shock Doctrine on the macro level, but republicans also practice on the micro level.

  • Kathleen

    “contractors not undercover Agency officers”

    And who are the contenders for the contractor position?

    Seymour saying that Bush met and discussed the NIE release with Olmert before the release of the NIE

    Bush had two meetings with Olmert — one on Monday, Nov. 26, and one on Wednesday, Nov. 28. But as Hersh makes clear, Bush discussed the NIE with Olmert at the first meeting before the conference, on Nov. 26 — two days before Hadley alleged that Bush first was briefed on the report. This revelation provides evidence that the Bush administration is misleading about when it first learned that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program.

    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/04/hersh-bush-iran-2/

    • wethornet

      ahhh. the question does come to mind: what did the president know? and when did he know it?
      also, iirc olberman commentary, (you can see it on crooks and liars), notes something important. bush had a big shift of his rhetorical tone in iirc mid august. (olberman may have cited fromkin of the wapo.)

      but the big question is the watergate one above.