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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 09:57 PM
Original message
WP: Memo Offered Justification for Use of Torture
Justice Dept. Gave Advice in 2002

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.

The memo seems to counter the pre-Sept. 11, 2001, assumption that U.S. government personnel would never be permitted to torture captives. It was offered after the CIA began detaining and interrogating suspected al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the wake of the attacks, according to government officials familiar with the document.

The legal reasoning in the 2002 memo, which covered treatment of al Qaeda detainees in CIA custody, was later used in a March 2003 report by Pentagon lawyers assessing interrogation rules governing the Defense Department's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At that time, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had asked the lawyers to examine the logistical, policy and legal issues associated with interrogation techniques.

more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23373-20...
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Personally, I'm flabbergasted that it's taken this long.
Why didn't people see this coming? Why didn't people understand that this is what resides within the Bush Administration? Why didn't people connect the bleeping dots?

I've known of this theorization for a long time. This is simply the first time there's some sort of hard evidence of it; certainly people have discussed the idea that the President can simply lay aside law for national security for quite some time. This is the whole point of "restoring" the power of the Executive.

Do people really have shock remaining?
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
48. Shock and awe no more. Numb, yes. ...........
And the WH equates Numbness to leagal justification for bloody
torture and murder.

The New Millenium = An Uncivilized/Barbarious America

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bacchant Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. "The actions of a few" Actions that just happen to be covered by
a White House legal brief. What a coincidence!
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. let's not forget that most of those "suspects..."
...have already disappeared into the American gulag. They've been worked over for months or years. Who knows how many have actually survived?
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. This means that bush signed a "Presidential Finding" or Executive
Order authorizing this. This quote says it all, imo:

"In a draft of the working group's report, for example, Pentagon lawyers approvingly cited the Justice Department's 2002 position that domestic and international laws prohibiting torture could be trumped by the president's wartime authority and any directives he issued."

and by the fact there was nothing in the article quoting anyone in authority stating the President didn't sign an Executive Order.

Here is a link on the Procedures on Presidential Findings and reporting to Congress in matters of Intelligence:

http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsdd286.htm

The interesting question is: If bush signed an Executive Order in response to the memos' recommended action, did he report to Congress as is dictated within the legal requirements?

Here is another link from FindLaw on Presidential Findings:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/50/chapt...


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maryallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. The President -- ALONE -- can OVERRIDE the law ...
Edited on Mon Jun-07-04 11:26 PM by maryallen
According to the following quote, the president can make "INAPPLICABLE" national and international laws ... with no oversight, no checks and balances, no interpretation from the Judicial Branch of government, and no consultation with Congress:

"A U.S. law enacted in 1994 bars torture by U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world. But the Pentagon group's report, prepared under supervision of General Counsel William J. Haynes II, said that "in order to respect the President's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign . . . must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority."

Comments:

We have crossed the Rubicon.

They've thrown out the Constitution and set up a dictatorship.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. But the law of the land IS the Geneva Conventions according to
US Code, Title 18, Section 2441 entitled War Crimes Act. If you take the Presidential Findings legal responsibilities, one of the key ones being:

(5) A finding may not authorize any action that would violate
the Constitution or any statute of the United States.

it seems to me that a Presidential Finding the contravenes the Geneva Conventions is a finding that violates US Code Title 18, Section 2441 and therefore violates a statute of the United States.

Here is the link to US Code, Title 18, Section 2441:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/50/chapt...

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maryallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. That's what I'm saying:
Edited on Mon Jun-07-04 11:28 PM by maryallen
Bushco scraped the barrel for an interpretation of the law (i.e., Geneva Conventions) that would permit them to circumvent those silly prohibitions (sarcasm) against torture.

P.S.:
Read my comments in the above posting.
I should have noted sarcasm in the heading.

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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. All treaties become the law of the land.
No matter what he may call his prisoners, it is still illegal to torture them.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #8
31. There really is a river called the Rubicon
and it's in Iraq and yes we have crossed it literally and figuratively.

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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
51. Could you give me an explanation of Rubicon?
The only Constitution these twerps follow is
the Skull n Bone motto....

"Our rules rule"....all others are unrecognized.
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Sophree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #51
60. The Rubicon is the river
that was part of the boarder of Roman territories. Julius Ceasar crossed it with his military after many months of waiting, when it was clear that the Senate would not let him come home or honor him with a second consulship or a victory parade.

In doing so, he essentially negated the republican constitution, began his reign as Emperor.
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GarySeven Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #51
61. Rubicon explained
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 07:31 PM by GarySeven
Julius Caesar had been ordered by the Senate to give up control of his armies. Rather than give in to his enemies in Rome, Caesar decided he would use that army to invade Italy and seize control of the Capitol by force of arms. The barrier between Gaul (where he was -- i.e. France) and Italy was the Rubicon River. Caesar is said to have wrestled with himself before crossing the Rubicon, but when he made up his mind to cross the Rubicon, he set himself irretreiviably on the road to becoming dictator. Bushus Pontifex Maximus



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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
28. And it will come out, too
"A U.S. law enacted in 1994 bars torture by U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world. But the Pentagon group's report, prepared under the supervision of General Counsel William J. Haynes II, said that "in order to respect the President's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign . . . must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority."

The Pentagon group's report, divulged yesterday by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by The Post, said further that the 1994 law barring torture "does not apply to the conduct of U.S. personnel" at Guantanamo Bay.

It also said the anti-torture law did apply to U.S. military interrogations that occurred outside U.S. "maritime and territorial jurisdiction," such as in Iraq or Afghanistan. But it said both Congress and the Justice Department would have difficulty enforcing the law if U.S. military personnel could be shown to be acting as a result of presidential orders."

If you were a lawyer representing one of the "bad apples", wouldn't you be screaming for release of any and all directives issued by the President relating to the treatment and interrogation of prisoners in the "war on terror"?

The more information that comes out, the more horrifying this all is. If this stands, and if the government also wins the Jose Padilla case, then we officially live in a dictatorship. The Constitution is deader than a doornail.

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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
36. I agree, if this is allowed to stand...
no statute in the US can hold the President accountable, including your Constitution.

If this is allowed to stand and the international community does not hold the US accountable for breaching the Geneva Conventions, of which they are a signator, then the Conventions are dead. Quite the legacy bush is trying to leave the US.
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ElementaryPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
55. So...Bush signed a presidential directive authorizing the use of torture
And Ashcroft has been given 72 hours to produce it - or face contempt of Congress charges, seems to me that's it in a nutshell.

Jeez - these monstrous Repukes better take an entire month to exploit, er, mourn the incomparable Saint Raygun!!

:puke:
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neverforget Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
5. So when does Ashcroft get to torture liberals and anyone else
that doesn't agree with them? And how can international treaties be unconstitutional if they were ratified by the Senate?
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #5
52. And this is their master plan......
that has been delayed due to massive failures by them world wide.

They are missing the point here. Even though Hitler has been the
most horrific 20th century dictator known(which the WH praises).....
for some odd strange reason he was able to lead the masses.
These group of clowns have no, "zero" leadership skills.

There master plan will too fail miserably because they are all
total failures.
We just need to ensure they fail!
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. So, what is the legal definition of a federal employee?
"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."

Aren't all federal employees required to take a civil service exam?
Otherwise, people working for the federal government who aren't required to do so, are considered Independant Contractors.

They can't have it both ways.
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hedda_foil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. 50 leaked pages of government approved smoking guns!
And the WaPo has it all. How long before they have the presidential directive (which undoubtedly has NOT been seen by Congress)?

Another snip:



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.

<snip>

In the Justice Department's view -- contained in a 50-page document signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee and obtained by The Washington Post -- inflicting moderate or fleeting pain does not necessarily constitute torture. Torture, the memo says, "must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

By contrast, the Army's Field Manual 34-52, titled "Intelligence Interrogations," sets more restrictive rules. For example, the Army prohibits pain induced by chemicals or bondage; forcing an individual to stand, sit or kneel in abnormal positions for prolonged periods of time; and food deprivation. Under mental torture, the Army prohibits mock executions, sleep deprivation and chemically induced psychosis.

Human rights groups expressed dismay at the Justice Department's legal reasoning yesterday.

"It is by leaps and bounds the worst thing I've seen since this whole Abu Ghraib scandal broke," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It appears that what they were contemplating was the commission of war crimes and looking for ways to avoid legal accountability. The effect is to throw out years of military doctrine and standards on interrogations."
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
20. wonder who the "deep throat" is this time???
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
65. As there have been mutiple deaths under interrogations at different sites
in this travesty of a war, it appears that the Bushco Justice Department's own nefarious standards for "torture" have been met, in spades.
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cosmokramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. No surprise...
...they are all crooks, and horrible, mean bastards.

:mad:
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. You don't suppose . . .
You don't suppose this has anything to do with the missing pages from the Pentagon report sent over to the Senate a couple of weeks ago? The Pentagon claimed that the missing pages were simply an oversight, and they'd get those pages up to Capitol Hill lickety-split.

But at least as of this weekend, public reports said that the pages hadn't arrived yet. Makes you wonder, considering what this crooked administration thinks it's legally entitled to get away with.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. If they believed what they were doing was legal and ...
above board, they would NOT be desperately trying to hide the "evidence" and sidestep the issue. I suspect that a Presidential Finding was signed and Congress was NOT informed as per the legal requirements. This could get VERY interesting!
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Timefortruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
24. No, of coarse not,
Losing 2000 pages could happen to anyone.
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-07-04 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
13. It's too bad that this is coming out this week,
because it's "all-Reagan, all the time" for the foreseeable future. Well, Dub got what he wanted-a dictatorship.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #13
34. Reagan will fade soon, but the Abu Ghraib can never die, it will out live
Raygun. Well....at least I hope I'm right and your wrong Kool Kitty, LOL! Who knows?
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. Actually, I think you are right.
This is too big.
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keithyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
47. Abu Gharib is not going away. If you heard the Ashscroft hearings today
you know that he did nothing to make it go away. In fact, his performance and arrogance will make Abu Gharib go beyond the election. The tone was set at the top, with the "legal cover" given by Justice. It's impeachment time...or at least war crime trial time.
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elf Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #47
67. I just finished watching the Ashcroft hearings
I was stunned and hopeful again. This time they should have no chance to get away with it, or do they????
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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
16. Well, if Kerry is smart, he will be pointing out that we are screwing
our own soldiers in the long run.....

If Clark is VP, I"m sure he can speak eloquently to this as well.
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Either this was in the
missing 2000 pages, or the CIA is still doing payback for Valerie Plame and now Tenet.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 02:43 AM
Response to Original message
18. Time for a cherubic little quote from alleged human Alberto Gonzalez
This tasty little musing is from a memo to Junior, dated 1-25-02:

"In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."

Cute little fella, isn't he? Wonder why the Dems were so reluctant to let him have a seat on the appeals bench...

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
19. He said something totally different
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 04:26 AM by JudiLyn
quoted in a blog I found on the internet:
(snip)
In the post below about torture, I mention the memo produced by White House counsel, Alberto Gonzalez, and what a vile document it is. Judd Legum from the excellent Center for American Progress emails with this interesting comparison between Gonzalez's memo and an op-ed he (Gonzalez) recently wrote for The New York Times:
Last week, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales forcefully denied that the Bush administration failed to support the Geneva treaties. But Gonzales recent statements are belied by his January 2002 memo to the President.
GONZALES SAYS ADMINISTRATION IS A 'STRONG SUPPORTER OF GENEVA CONVENTIONS: "At the same time, President Bush recognized that our nation will continue to be a strong supporter of the Geneva treaties. The president also reaffirmed our policy in the United States armed forces to treat Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at Guantnamo Bay humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in keeping with the principles of the Third Geneva Convention."

- Alberto Gonzales, 5/15/04 (NYT Op-Ed)
(snip)
http://www.roadtosurfdom.com/surfdomarchives/002358.php
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
21. Torture: Another blow for Rumsfeld?
Jun 9, 2004

Torture: Another blow for Rumsfeld?

By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON - A classified Pentagon report, providing a series of legal arguments apparently intended to justify abuses and torture against detainees, appears to undermine public assurances by senior US officials, including President George W Bush, that the military would never resort to such practices in the "war on terrorism".

Short excerpts of the report, which was drafted by Defense Department lawyers, were published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. The text asserts, among other things, that the president, in his position as commander-in-chief, has virtually unlimited power to wage war, even in violation of US law and international treaties.

"The breadth of authority in the report is wholly unprecedented," says Avi Cover, a senior attorney with the US Law and Security program of Human Rights First, formerly known as Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. "Until now, we've used the rhetoric of a president who is 'above the law', but this document makes that explicit; it's not a metaphor anymore," he added.

While it is unknown whether Bush himself ever saw or approved the report, it was classified "secret" by Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld on March 6, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, according to the Journal. A full copy of the report is expected to be published on the Internet soon, according to sources who declined to say on which website it would appear.
(snip/...)

(Inter Press Service)
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FF09Ak01.html
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
22. see the Times reporting
Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn't Bind Bush

Another memorandum obtained by The Times indicates that most of the administration's top lawyers, with the exception of those at the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved of the Justice Department's position that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the war in Afghanistan. In addition, that memorandum, dated Feb. 2, 2002, noted that lawyers for the Central Intelligence Agency had asked for an explicit understanding that the administration's public pledge to abide by the spirit of the conventions did not apply to its operatives.


(Emphasis added)
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. That Times article is on the front page
And here's another from the Times today:

SEXUAL HUMILIATION
Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents
By KATE ZERNIKE and DAVID ROHDE

Published: June 8, 2004

In the weeks since photographs of naked detainees set off the abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, military officials have portrayed the sexual humiliation captured in the images as the isolated acts of a rogue night shift.

But forced nudity of prisoners was pervasive in the military intelligence unit of Abu Ghraib, so much so that soldiers later said they had not seen "the whole nudity thing," as one captain called it, as abusive or out of the ordinary.

While there have been reports of forced nakedness at detention facilities in Afghanistan and at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, the practice was apparently far more aggressive at Abu Ghraib, according to interviews, reports from human rights groups and sworn statements from detainees and soldiers. The detainees said leaving prisoners naked started as far back as last July, three months before the seven soldiers now charged and their military police company arrived at the prison. It bred a culture, some soldiers say, where the abuse captured on film could happen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/08/international/middlee...
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. clearly a war crime
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 07:55 AM by gottaB

as Ramcharan noted in his report on human rights in Iraq (doc format) which was said by some news sources to be primarily about lauding and praising the United States


Notably, under international law, inhuman treatment includes not only acts such as torture and intentionally causing great suffering or inflicting serious injury to body, mind or health but also extends to other acts contravening the fundamental principle of humane treatment, in particular those which constitute an attack on human dignity. Similarly, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health includes injury to mental health and includes those acts which do not fulfill the conditions set for the characterization of torture, even though acts of torture may also fit the definition given

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #23
33. Oh, wow, look at the NYT go
snip>
Nudity is considered particularly shameful in Muslim culture, a violation of religious principles. While nudity as a disciplinary or coercive tool may be especially objectionable to Muslims, they are hardly the only victims of the practice. Soldiers in Nazi Germany paraded naked prisoners in daylight, and human rights groups have documented the use of nudity during conflicts in Egypt, Chile and Turkey, and in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Central Intelligence Agency training manuals from the 1960's and 1980's taught the stripping of prisoners as an interrogation tool. Nudity and sexual humiliation have also been reported in American prisons where a number of guards at Abu Ghraib worked in their civilian lives.

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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
25. Lots of folks carrying this story today
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 07:58 AM by gristy
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&ie=UTF-8&q...

Don't know how many of them got the story into their print edition today (NYT/WAPO scoop?). But lots of people are running with it on-line.

SJ Mercury News:
"Memo: Torture `may be justified' in some cases": http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/8...

Boston Globe:
"Memo: torture 'may be justified'": http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2...

Seattle Post:
"Lawyers' memo: Bush not bound by bans on torture": http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/176803_iraqabuse...

Miami Herald:
"Memo: Bush trumps torture law": http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/886574...

Houston Chronicle:
"Memo said Bush could OK torture of prisoners": http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/2614944

San Francisco Chronicle:
"Bush lawyers' '03 memo gave nod to torture": http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/200...

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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Anything about it on tv news yet?
I've got the tv off this week.
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
27. At the very least the author(s) of the memo should be fired.
Resignation shouldn't be allowed they should be fired and fired immediately.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. That's not going to happen
And it shouldn't. Lawyers don't set policy. Someone decided that they needed a policy that allowed torture, and they sent the lawyers off to figure out a way to make it "legal". Unless they are fired for doing their job, they can't be fired.
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #32
37. If they gave him bad advice they should be fired.
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 09:26 AM by Sentinel Chicken
If it's illegal and they advised him otherwise then they weren't doing their jobs and they deserve to be fired. Lawyers should interpret the law correctly. Anyway this is really just a fig leaf to try and cover for Bush.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
30. Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn't Bind Bush (NYT)
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/08/politics/08ABUS.html?...

June 8, 2004
Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn't Bind Bush
By NEIL A. LEWIS and ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON, June 7 A team of administration lawyers concluded in a March 2003 legal memorandum that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal antitorture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation's security.

The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons.

One reason, the lawyers said, would be if military personnel believed that they were acting on orders from superiors "except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful."

(snip)

The March memorandum also contains a curious section in which the lawyers argued that any torture committed at Guantnamo would not be a violation of the anti-torture statute because the base was under American legal jurisdiction and the statute concerns only torture committed overseas. That view is in direct conflict with the position the administration has taken in the Supreme Court, where it has argued that prisoners at Guantnamo Bay are not entitled to constitutional protections because the base is outside American jurisdiction.


Kate Zernike contributed reporting for this article.



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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
35. By saying that Bu$hCo is above the law
is basically an admission of guilt. They are saying, yes the pResident knew and he even approved of it.

Now it is up to the rest of us, to let them know this will not stand. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. Not even OURLORDJESUSBUSH.

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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
38. Holy shit! Leahy asked Ashcroft directly whether the President...
signed any order relating to the torture of the prisoners and Ashcroft would not say no! By doing that, he is admitting there is an order out there!

The hearing is on CSPAN, Ashcroft is being hammered!
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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
44. Are these the docs he won't turn over to congress?
I saw the hearings before I went to work...Biden told him he was in contempt of congress, and Kennedy asked him if he was invoking executive privilege and if not he had 72 hours to do it or turn over the documents. It was a great hearing, amazing, but I really didn't know what documents they were referring to.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. I think we should stop troubling ourselves over all this torture and watch
more coverage on Reagan's carcass. Didn't you get the memo? "The've changed the subject."
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elf Donating Member (805 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #38
68. That moment
made me feeling better, they won't let it go. right????

He couldn't and wouldn't answer. By that moment the answer was clear!!!
Did I understand right?? (I'm German and still learning the way, they do politics here!)

Does it have any consequences, and when yes what will happen????
Can somebody help me to understand?
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
39. Kick
*
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GarySeven Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
40. Key item is buried in the story
Talkingpointsmemo.com points out a key excerpt from the memo that is buried in the story and is THE most disturbing thing yet:

"To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a "presidential directive or other writing" that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is "inherent in the president." "

-- Authority to set aside laws is "inherent in the president" WTF????

"If the President does it, that means it is not illegal" -- Richard M. Nixon
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Good catch.
Yikes.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
42. These THUGS are WAR CRIMINALS
And worse than the so called enemy--- because they should know better.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
46. US has interrogation 'specials'
United States defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld last year approved 24 interrogation techniques for use on suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including seven that were not in the army's field manual for interrogation, said a Pentagon spokesperson on Tuesday.

Commanders were required to give Rumsfeld seven days' notice before using four of the additional techniques, but three other additional ones required no special notification, said Bryan Whitman.
<snip>

Whitman said the defence department was weighing whether to make public the interrogation techniques authorised by Rumsfeld.

This would be "to further demonstrate that the policy of the United States has always been the humane treatment of those people in our custody".
<snip>

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_15...

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The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. We need to keep this thread
kicked up
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goforit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
49. Who's gonna appoint an Independent Investigator for Justice Dept?
No One........

Or will the PEOPLE?
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
53. False Testimony under oath?
Is that no longer a felony?

The poster that stated that if this all goes by the way side then the USA is indeed no longer a Representative Republic but a Dictatorship.

As a signator of the Geneva Conventions the USA Govt. is bound by the rules of this body of law.

It is abundantly clear that the US Govt. has commited War Crimes and the Govt. from the Pres. on down has approved of War Crime activity. The proof has been provided and now what is needed is the document that has been signed regarding this by GW Bush.

Once again in clear unabiguous language:


What is a war crime?
By Tarik Kafala
BBC News Online


Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as: "Willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including... willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power, or willfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial, ...taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly."


This, international lawyers say, is the basic definition of war crimes.

The statutes of The Hague tribunal say the court has the right to try suspects alleged to have violated the laws or customs of war in the former Yugoslavia since 1992. Examples of such violations are given in article 3:

* Wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity
* Attack, or bombardment, by whatever means, of undefended towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings
* Seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science
* Plunder of public or private property.

The tribunal defines crime against humanity as crimes committed in armed conflict but directed against a civilian population. Again a list of examples is given in article 5:

* Murder
* Extermination
* Enslavement
* Deportation
* Imprisonment
* Torture
* Rape
* Persecutions on political, racial and religious grounds.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1420133.stm
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
54. Ashcroft Says Bush Rejects Use of Torture
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040608/D83332DO0.html

<snip>
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., his voice booming, suggested that American military personnel could be in greater danger of torture because of the U.S. mistreatment.

"That's why we have these treaties. So when Americans are captured, they are not tortured. That's the reason, in case anybody forgets it," said Biden, noting that his son, Beau, is in training for the Delaware National Guard's judge advocate general office.

Glaring back at the committee, Ashcroft responded that his son, Andy, recently returned from duty in the Persian Gulf aboard a Navy destroyer, the USS McFaul, and is scheduled to return there soon.

"Well, as a person whose son is in the military now on active duty and has been in the Gulf within the last several months, I'm aware of those considerations," he said.

The Justice Department has several cases of prisoner abuse under investigation that were referred for prosecution by the Defense Department and the CIA, he said.

Ashcroft also told the committee that the Bush administration had determined that al-Qaida operatives were not covered by the Geneva Conventions because they did not belong to governments that had signed the agreements and did not meet other requirements, such as wearing of recognizable military uniforms.

"The Geneva Convention does not apply everywhere, by its own terms," he said.
<snip>

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ElementaryPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
56. A major KICK!!
:kick:
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Miss Authoritiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
57. Very, very confusing.
Depending upon how one looks at these reports, the "torture memo" and other findings either (1) get everybody off the hook, from the few bad apples to Bush himself; (2) put everybody on the hook, from the few bad apples to Bush himself; or (3) get only Executive Branch members (including military personnel) off the hook but allow the few bad apples to be prosecuted.

Also: Is it possible that the "inherent in the President" finding would protect the few bad apples from war criminal prosecution but still leave them open to US court-martial? And if it's determined that the few bad apples were following legal orders, does that mean those soldiers who refused to abuse prisoners could face court-martial proceedings for disobeying legal orders?

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ElementaryPenguin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. It certainly won't get Bushler off the hook!
Edited on Tue Jun-08-04 07:05 PM by ElementaryPenguin
Now we know why BushCo spent so much time trying to get immunity from war crime charges!

:puke:
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GarySeven Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. Not so confusing
There simply is NO such power "inherent in the president" to set aside international treaty (Geneva Conventions), which is the sole province of the U.S. Senate. See Article III

This was a deliberate but fatally flawed attempt to create a presumptive legal defense in order to prevent Bush from being hauled before the Hague. One wonders whether NATO commandos will now parachute into Crawford to take him into custody, like they swooped in on Pinochet.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. Drip, drip, drip
How much longer this bucket of crap known as the * misAdministration can survive this is getting to the point of running a 'Dead pool' to see when the next minion from hell resigns.
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Miss Authoritiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. Would the NATO commandos have to hold off until the
US Supreme Court hears arguments about powers being "inherent in the president"? Or would a Supreme Court decision have no bearing on any actions that the Hague would take?

(Please bear with me. I have trouble understanding even alternate side of the street parking rules.)
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GarySeven Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #63
66. Commandos in zodiacs
I don't know how it works either, but surely Bush is subject to indictment for war crimes under the Geneva Convention and subject to arrest by the World Court. I hope the indictment is being drawn up right now and that an operation is being mounted to serve it to him by a team of commandos in Zodiacs who will suddenly sweep down on Sea Island, Ga. I suggest he be incarcerated at Gitmo under U.N. supervision.
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-08-04 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
64. Kick It Up.
:kick:
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