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BUSH Gave Himself The Power To "OVERRULE SUPREME COURT" -Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:06 PM
Original message
BUSH Gave Himself The Power To "OVERRULE SUPREME COURT" -Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 03:43 PM by kpete
Volume 56, Number 15 October 8, 2009
The Torture Memos: The Case Against the Lawyers
By David Cole
1.

On Monday, August 24, as President Obama began his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, his administration released a previously classified 2004 report by the CIA's inspector general that strongly criticized the techniques employed to interrogate "high-value" al-Qaeda suspects at the CIA's secret prisons.(1) The report revealed that CIA agents and contractors, in addition to using such "authorized" and previously reported tactics as waterboarding, wall-slamming, forced nudity, stress positions, and extended sleep deprivation, also employed a variety of "unauthorized, improvised, inhumane and undocumented" methods. These included threatening suspects with a revolver and a power drill; repeatedly applying pressure to a detainee's carotid artery until he began to pass out; staging a mock execution; threatening to sexually abuse a suspect's mother; and warning a detainee that if another attack occurred in the United States, "We're going to kill your children."

The inspector general also reported, contrary to former Vice President Dick Cheney's claims, that "it is not possible to say" that any of these abusive tactics authorized or unauthorizedelicited valuable information that could not have been obtained through lawful, nonviolent means. While some of the CIA's detainees provided useful information, the inspector general concluded that the effectiveness of the coercive methods in particularas opposed to more traditional and lawful tactics that were also used"cannot be so easily measured." CIA officials, he wrote, often lacked any objective basis for concluding that detainees were withholding information and therefore should be subjected to the "enhanced" techniques. The inspector general further found no evidence that any imminent terrorist attacks had been averted by virtue of information obtained from the CIA's detainees. In other words, there were no "ticking time bombs."

.................

Most astoundingly, the memo argued in a footnotethat the president could avoid all of Common Article 3's requirements simply by declaring that they do not applyeven though the Supreme Court had ruled exactly the opposite one year earlier. In the OLC's view, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave the president the power to overrule the Supreme Court on this matter. Congress never said anything of the kind. The memo concluded with the advice that the president act somewhat less dramatically, and simply issue a regulation that "defined" Common Article 3 in a way that would allow the CIA to do what it wanted. President Bush subsequently did just that.

..............

Moreover, this is not just a matter of what's right from the standpoint of morality, history, or foreign relations. The United States is legally bound by the Convention Against Torture to submit any case alleging torture by a person within its jurisdiction "to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution." President Obama and Attorney General Holder have both stated that waterboarding is torture. Accordingly, the United States is legally obligated to investigate not merely those CIA interrogators who went beyond waterboarding, but the lawyers and Cabinet officers who authorized waterboarding and other torture tactics in the first place.
more:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23114



....................

also of interest from emptywheel:
The CIA has released some new Vaughn Declaration documents in the ACLU's torture FOIA. These documents relate to its communication with the OLC;

* David Barron declaration
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/41089lgl20090921.h...
* Wendy Hilton declaration
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/41091lgl20090921.h...
* Vaughn Index
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/09/22/cias-lates... /

http://static1.firedoglake.com/28/files//2009/09/200703...


Update: Here's the Vaughn Index from 2007 that Barron discusses in his declaration.
Barron declaration page 17 of 18, paragraphs 40 and 41:

Presidential Communicatipons Privilege
40. Document 174 was released on August 24, 2009 with certain redactions, including the redaction of a sentence (on page 2 and repeated on page 3 of the document) that summarizes a pre-decisional deliberative communication between presidential advisers relating to a possible presidential decision. OLC continues to assert Exemption Five with respect to that redacted sentence, which is protected by the deliberative process and presidential communications privilege.

41. The presidential communications privilege protects confidential communications that relate to possible presidential decisionmaking ad that involve the President or his senior advisers. It is not limited to exchanges directly involving the President ; it protects communications between presidential advisers made in the course of formulating advice or recommendations for the President. The privilege protects such communications in order to ensure that the presidents advisers may fully explore options and provide appropriate advice to the President without concerns about compelled disclosure.

First bold, what does that twice-redacted sentence say?
Second bold, is this cover for the OVP?
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/09/22/cias-lates...

.........................

Is it possible that someone actually got access to a particular man-sized safe? Wouldnt Cheney spend 3X as much paper on CIA than DoD since he had many more of his minions inside DoD?


popcorn? kpete
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cdsilv Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Boosh & Cheeeneee must be Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp) fans....n/t
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ThePantaloon.com Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Disturbing
The more evidence they uncover from the Bush administration, the more frightening it is to see just how much of a "regime" we had. W had an unrivaled combination of ignorance and arrogance.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Just wait till our president starts a real investigation and holds them accountable!
Just...

wait...
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
Gee Dubya, December 18, 2000, Washington D.C.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. Prosecute, prosecute, prosecute
Who gives a damn if the Repukes compare this to Clinton's impeachment? The Justice Department must prosecute, and if Obama won't take the lead or lend his moral support, he needs to step out of the way and let our judicial system do its job.
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Torn_Scorned_Ignored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. In this administration this ain't goin nowhere
The United States is legally bound by the Convention Against Torture to submit any case alleging torture by a person within its jurisdiction "to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution."

That includes citizens alleging Torture?


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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Spain may get results.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
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Selena Harris Donating Member (273 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. Helgerson admits torture preceded CIA documents
News results for former cia inspector confirms bbc torture
Terror suspects and torture: former CIA inspector general confirms ...‎ - 1 day ago
The former CIA inspector general, John Helgerson, has confirmed that the Bush administration authorised the CIA to use a harsh interrogation method on ...BBC News - 375 related articles



Former CIA Inspector General Confirms BBC Torture Report ...Former CIA Inspector General Confirms BBC Torture Report By Hilary Andersson September 22, 2009 "BBC" Sept 21, 2009 --- The former CIA inspector general, ...
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article23556.htm - 21 hours ago - Similar
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. Kicking this for the prosecution file. //nt
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
12. Bookmarking. Thanks kpete.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
13. Seems like the only 'valid information' torture elicited was to tie Iraq to 9-11.
That was the point.
And that is the point
that needs real investigation.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
14. Where's Orly Taitz?
I have a real transgression of the law that could use some judicial scrutiny.
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