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Old 06-08-2004, 06:28 AM   #121
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Then there will be a shitstorm from a lot of people who disagree with such a policy, don't you love democracy.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:50 PM   #122
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Ashcroft was just testifying to the Judiciary Commitee about his memo to the President that he could authorize torture for nat'l security and prevent the person carrying it out from being prosecuted.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2004Jun7.html

Memo Offered Justification for Use of Torture
Justice Dept. Gave Advice in 2002
By Dana Priest and R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 8, 2004; Page A01


In August 2002, the Justice Department advised the White House that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad "may be justified," and that international laws against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations" conducted in President Bush's war on terrorism, according to a newly obtained memo.

If a government employee were to torture a suspect in captivity, "he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the Al Qaeda terrorist network," said the memo, from the Justice Department's office of legal counsel, written in response to a CIA request for legal guidance. It added that arguments centering on "necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability" later.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:14 AM   #123
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http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/09/op...09WED1.html?th

Quote:
This week, The Wall Street Journal broke the story of a classified legal brief prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in March 2003 after Guantánamo Bay interrogators complained that they were not getting enough information from terror suspects. The brief cynically suggested that because the president is protecting national security, any ban on torture, even an American law, could not be applied to "interrogation undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority." Neil A. Lewis and Eric Schmitt reported yesterday in The Times that the document had grown out of a January 2002 Justice Department memo explaining why the Geneva Conventions and American laws against torture did not apply to suspected terrorists.
So it's not the few sadistic guards it was even more than a pattern..
..looks like technically it wasn't a order to torture them but they sent green light to people who were willing to torturte these inmates.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:53 AM   #124
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Context is critical here, I heard that the brief was in relation to a ticking time bomb type situation, I will respond furthur when I have more info.
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:13 AM   #125
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No, there is also a memo from the Justice department directly to the President advising him that he can order it, not only in a ticking bomb instance.
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Old 06-11-2004, 07:32 AM   #126
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From the New York Times op-ed:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/05/opinion/05KRIS.html

Quote:
Beating Specialist Baker
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF


Published: June 5, 2004
he prison abuse scandal refuses to die because soothing White House explanations keep colliding with revelations about dead prisoners and further connivance by senior military officers — and newly discovered victims, like Sean Baker.

If Sean Baker doesn't sound like an Iraqi name, it isn't. Specialist Baker, 37, is an American, and he was a proud U.S. soldier. An Air Force veteran and member of the Kentucky National Guard, he served in the first gulf war and more recently was a military policeman in Guantánamo Bay.

...

But Mr. Baker began suffering seizures, so the military sent him to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury. He stayed at the hospital for 48 days, was transferred to light duty in an honor burial detail at Fort Dix, N.J., and was finally given a medical discharge two months ago.

Meanwhile, a military investigation concluded that there had been no misconduct involved in Mr. Baker's injury. Hmm. The military also says it can't find a videotape that is believed to have been made of the incident.

Most appalling, when Mr. Baker told his story to a Kentucky reporter, the military lied in a disgraceful effort to undermine his credibility. Maj. Laurie Arellano, a spokeswoman for the Southern Command, questioned the extent of Mr. Baker's injuries and told reporters that his medical discharge was unrelated to the injuries he had suffered in the training drill.

In fact, however, the Physical Evaluation Board of the Army stated in a document dated Sept. 29, 2003: "The TBI [traumatic brain injury] was due to soldier playing role of detainee who was non-cooperative and was being extracted from detention cell in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during a training exercise."
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Old 06-11-2004, 12:58 PM   #127
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Remember everybody, the abuse was not systemic.
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Old 06-11-2004, 01:09 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally posted by ThatGuy
Remember everybody, the abuse was not systemic.
I forgot to remember to forget

From the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3797021.stm

Quote:
Iraq jail dog scare 'was policy'

US military dog handlers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison say they were ordered to use their animals to intimidate detainees, according to media reports.

They made the allegation in statements provided to military investigators, the Washington Post newspaper says.

The handlers also said the jail's top military intelligence officer had approved the tactic, the paper reports.

[. . .]

"When I asked what was going on in the cell, the handler stated that he was just scaring them, and that he and another of the handlers was having a contest to see how many detainees they could get to urinate on themselves," he is quoted as saying.

Elisa Massimino, a director of New York-based Human Rights First, said using dogs to frighten and intimidate prisoners violated the Geneva Convention, and was also a violation of US policy as stated in the army field manual.
As you see, well... I think you know the answer.
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:25 AM   #129
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Abuse for Profit?

Documentarian kept quiet after filming U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqis

Quote:
Filmmaker Michael Moore said Friday he wasn't sure he did the right thing by saving footage of U.S. American soldiers' cruelty toward Iraqis for his controversial documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11,'' instead of releasing the evidence earlier when it might have helped halt such abuse.
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Old 06-14-2004, 09:07 PM   #130
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I knew we would find the "guilty" party.

I am so glad it is Michael Moore.

Thank goodness it is not Rumsfeld, Cheney or Bush.
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Old 06-14-2004, 09:29 PM   #131
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...13/wguan13.xml

It looks ready to blow.

Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'
By Julian Coman in Washington
(Filed: 13/06/2004)


New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House.

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.

According to lawyers familiar with the Red Cross reports, they will contradict previous testimony by senior Pentagon officials who have claimed that the abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison was an isolated incident.

"There are some extremely damaging documents around, which link senior figures to the abuses," said Scott Horton, the former chairman of the New York Bar Association, who has been advising Pentagon lawyers unhappy at the administration's approach. "The biggest bombs in this case have yet to be dropped."

Can anybody explain to me why Ashcroft wasn't charged with Contempt of Congress the other day? He flat out refused a Congressional request and wouldn't site Exec. privilidge.
Somebody in Congress needs to grow some cojones or we have lost our Separation of Powers and oversight.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:03 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I knew we would find the "guilty" party.

I am so glad it is Michael Moore.

Thank goodness it is not Rumsfeld, Cheney or Bush.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:05 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...13/wguan13.xml

It looks ready to blow.
Yep.
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Old 06-18-2004, 04:13 PM   #134
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http://blog.newstandardnews.net/iraq...0609.html#more

Pressure at Iraqi Prison Detailed
Rice Aide Visited Abu Ghraib Last Fall

The officer who oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad testified that he was under intense "pressure" from the White House, Pentagon and CIA last fall to get better information from detainees, pressure that he said included a visit to the prison by an aide to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

...
Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, in a sworn statement to Army investigators obtained by USA TODAY, said he was told last September that White House staffers wanted to "pull the intelligence out" of the interrogations being conducted at Abu Ghraib. The pressure stemmed from growing concern about the increasingly violent Iraqi insurgency that was claiming American lives daily. It came before and during a string of abuses of Iraqi prisoners in October, November and December of 2003.

Jordan, the top military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib, described "instances where I feel that there was additional pressure" to get information from detainees, including a visit to the prison last fall by an aide to Rice that was "purely on detainee operations and reporting." And he said he was reminded of the need to improve the intelligence output of the prison "many, many, many times."

How high will it go?
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Old 08-25-2004, 05:25 AM   #135
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Sorry for massive quoting but people have to pay for older NYTimes links

Quote:
ABU GHRAIB REPORT
Abuse Panel Says Rules on Inmates Need Overhaul
By ERIC SCHMITT

Published: August 25, 2004

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 - Attributing abuses of prisoners in Iraq to a string of failures that led all the way up the chain of command to the Pentagon, an independent panel called Tuesday for a sweeping overhaul of how the American military handles and interrogates prisoners in the global campaign against terrorism.

In its recommendations, the panel called for more and better trained military police and intelligence specialists. It urged that all prisoners be treated in "a way consistent with U.S. jurisprudence and military doctrine and with U.S. interpretation of the Geneva Conventions."

While the panel said the nation's approach to international humanitarian law "must be adapted to the realities of the nature of conflict in the 21st century," it also said all military personnel engaged in detainee operations must be trained to equip them with a "sharp moral compass."

The panel's report, released at a news conference at the Pentagon, was the first official finding in several military reviews conducted so far that assigns any responsibility, even indirectly, for the misconduct at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad to Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top commanders in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.

"The abuses were not just the failure of some individuals to follow known standards, and they are more than the failure of a few leaders to enforce proper discipline," the panel concluded in its 93-page report. "There is both institutional and personal responsibility at higher levels."

James R. Schlesinger, the panel's chairman, warned that the "chilling effect" of the Abu Ghraib abuses might undermine attempts to obtain better intelligence through interrogations.

"One consequence of the publicity that has been associated with the activities at Abu Ghraib and the punishments that prospectively will be handed out is that it has had a chilling effect on interrogation operations," Mr. Schlesinger said. "It is essential in the war on terror that we have adequate intelligence and that we have effective interrogation."

The report may satisfy, at least partly, critics who have complained that only those of relatively low rank have been blamed for what happened at the prison in Iraq.

It found that top commanders and staff officers in Iraq had not adequately supervised commanders at the prison. Up the chain of command to Washington, other officers and officials did not recognize that guards at the prison were overwhelmed by their task as an insurgency took hold and the prison population swelled, it said. By last October, 90 guards were assigned to oversee more than 7,000 prisoners

Problems at the prison "were well known," said Mr. Schlesinger, a former defense secretary, and he said corrective actions "could have been taken and should have been taken."

Interrogation techniques that Mr. Rumsfeld approved for limited use at the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, "migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq, where they were neither limited nor safeguarded," the report said. As early as 2003, interrogation techniques employed by Special Operations forces in Afghanistan went beyond standard military doctrine, it disclosed.

When Mr. Schlesinger was asked if Mr. Rumsfeld or other high-ranking officials should resign, he said the secretary's "resignation would be a boon for all of America's enemies."

Mr. Rumsfeld, who is on vacation this week and was briefed by video-teleconference on the report before the news conference, issued a statement that praised the panel's work but did not address the inquiry's criticisms.

"The Defense Department has an obligation to evaluate what happened and to make appropriate changes," he said.

The prisoner abuses photographed at the Abu Ghraib facility were unauthorized "acts of brutality and purposeless sadism" that served no intelligence-gathering purpose, the report found. "They were freelance activities on the part of the night shift at Abu Ghraib," Mr. Schlesinger said.

But there were other abuses, as well, including some that took place during interrogations. The panel said that there were about 300 reported incidents of mistreatment, and 66 confirmed abuses so far. Of those, 8 occurred at Guantánamo, 3 in Afghanistan and 55 in Iraq, it found. About one-third were related to the interrogations of prisoners.

In a preview of conclusions from yet another report that is due to be issued at the Pentagon, that one examining the role of military intelligence personnel at the prison, the Schlesinger panel concurred in its finding that the interrogators shared a "major part of the culpability" for the abuses.

The panel found that military commanders and staff officers in the field and in Washington bore more responsibility than the Pentagon's civilian leaders for not preventing the abuses, which prompted outrage at home and abroad when the photographs were disclosed in April.

The panel, for instance, faulted Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top military commander in the Middle East, for failing to order new plans to deal with the increasingly effective Iraqi insurgency that caught American commanders off guard last summer.

The report also said that although General Myers was aware of the existence of photographs of abuses as early as January, when the misconduct was first reported and the military immediately began an investigation, "the impact of the photos was not appreciated" and the images were not sent promptly to top officials in Washington.

Among those the panel criticized by name for the problems at Abu Ghraib was the commanding general in Iraq at the time, Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez.

"We believe Lt. Gen. Sanchez should have taken stronger action in November when he realized the extent of the leadership problems at Abu Ghraib," the report said, criticizing him for not exerting stronger control immediately over the military police commander there, Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, whose leadership was faulted.

The report added that General Sanchez's deputy, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, and the headquarters staff in Baghdad "should have seen that urgent demands were placed to higher headquarters" for more troops at the understaffed prison.

The Schlesinger panel also said it agreed with new findings by an Army investigation, opened by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay, that "military intelligence personnel share responsibility for the abuses at Abu Ghraib with the military police soldiers" who were cited in an earlier investigation, headed by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba. The Army report is expected to be released as early as Wednesday.

Some of the 44 abuse allegations investigated by General Fay, the Schlesinger panel said, involved military intelligence personnel directing the actions of military police guards. The panel said it did not have access to enough information to assess whether officers of the Central Intelligence Agency played any role in the abuses at Abu Ghraib or elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan. It called for further investigation of that question.

The report concludes that "augmented" interrogation techniques for Guantánamo Bay - which included the use of dogs, stripping detainees naked, and subjecting them to painful stress positions - migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq, and it finds that those techniques went beyond what was permitted by the Army's traditional interrogation guidelines.

It also confirms that after a visit to Iraq by Gen. Geoffrey Miller, General Sanchez approved such techniques, including specifically the use of dogs, to aid interrogations. Yet the panel does not state that any of those techniques were inherently abusive or unlawful and does not hold the officials and general officers who approved them responsible for abuses.

Asked about the panel's contention that it did not have "full access to information involving the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in detention operations," the chief C.I.A. spokesman, Mark Mansfield, said, "We fully support thorough investigations into allegations of abuse in Iraq."

Mr. Mansfield said that the C.I.A.'s inspector general "has ongoing investigations into the agency's involvement in detention and interrogation activities in Iraq," but that to date it had found no indication that C.I.A. personnel had been involved in abuses photographed at Abu Ghraib.

Human rights advocates were quick to criticize the report.

"The report talks about management failures when it should be talking about policy failures," said Reed Brody, special counsel with Human Rights Watch. "The report seems to go out of its way not to find any relationship between Secretary Rumsfeld's approval of interrogation techniques designed to inflict pain and humiliation and the widespread mistreatment and torture of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo."

The report was prepared by a four-member panel led by Mr. Schlesinger, who was defense secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and that included Harold Brown, President Carter's defense secretary; Tillie K. Fowler, a former Republican congresswoman from Florida and the chairwoman of an investigation last year into sexual misconduct at the United States Air Force Academy; and Gen. Charles A. Horner, a retired Air Force officer, who led the air campaign in the Persian Gulf war in 1991. All of the panel members sit on the Defense Policy Board, an advisory panel to Mr. Rumsfeld.

"The warning signs were there, but went unnoticed or were ignored," said Ms. Fowler. "Time and again we found examples of leaders failing to exercise the judgment, awareness and resourcefulness necessary to realize the magnitude of the problem."
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