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davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 06:03 AM
Original message
Edited on Sun Apr-19-09 06:30 AM by davidswanson

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

The New York Times finally wants somebody impeached and it's Jay Bybee.

A Spanish judge is seeking an indictment of Jay Bybee.

Jay Bybee's "legal" memos were thrown out by the Bush administration.

Jay Bybee signed memos authorizing torture.

Jay Bybee is a federal judge with a lifetime appointment.

Lawyers have been held accountable for the crime of pretending to legalize crimes before, see: US v. Joseph Altstoetter.

Any act complicit in torture is a felony under US law.

Every single crime is in the past. "Looking forward" means looking forward to a world in which abuse and criminality cannot be deterred.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

"I was following orders" is a Nazi excuse. CIA employees are civilians and don't get orders.

"I was following lawyers' advice" could permit absolutely anything because there is nothing a lawyer cannot be paid to say is legal.

The advice came after the torture began and the torture was never limited to the approved techniques.

The memo in which Bybee claims to legalize the torture of Abu Zubaydah itself claims only to be valid if certain facts and circumstances are true, which were not.

Secret laws produced as royal decrees are not laws at all, but their drafting can be a crime, and in the case of Bybee's memos violated the Convention Against Torture.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

We can restore power to Congress AND begin to deter future abuses through one absolutely necessary action.

Bruce Ackerman made the case very well in a Slate article called "Impeach Jay Bybee: Why should a suspected war criminal serve as a federal judge?" Ackerman wrote:

"Jay Bybee is currently sitting on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. As assistant attorney general in President George W. Bush's Justice Department, he was responsible for the notorious torture memos that enabled the excesses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other places. While John Yoo did most of the staff work for Bybee, Yoo was barely 35 years old -- and his memos showed it. They not only took extreme positions; they were legally incompetent, failing to consider many of the most obvious counterarguments. Bybee was 49. He was the grown-up, the seasoned jurist. He had been a law professor and had served as associate counsel to President Bush. When he was promoted to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, he became the final judge of legal matters within the executive branch. Yet his opinion on torture was so poorly reasoned that it was repudiated by his very conservative successor, Jack Goldsmith."

Ackerman points out that when Bybee was confirmed by the Senate, his role in promoting the use of torture and other criminal acts was not known (well, was still denied by some people), and he absurdly claimed the right to keep his work secret. When torture teammate William Haynes was later considered for a similar appointment, the widespread use of torture had become known, and the Senate rejected him. That's the same Senate, although slightly improved by recent elections, that would have to convict Bybee in an impeachment trial.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

A lot of Americans have probably never heard of Bybee, but that may help Congress members find the nerve to impeach him. Everyone in the world had heard of Bush and Cheney. And everyone SHOULD hear about Jay Bybee. PBS's Frontline echoed a common view when it reported (before the latest memo came out, which is even worse):

"The most notorious document among the memos drafted by President Bush's legal advisers as they analyzed how far the U.S. could go to extract intelligence from those captured in the war on terror is known as the 'Bybee memo.' (PDF File) Some call it the 'torture memo.' The Aug. 1, 2002, memo, sent from Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee to Alberto R. Gonzales, counsel to the president, parsed the language of a 1994 statute that ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and made the commitment of torture a crime. To be torture, the memo concluded, physical pain must be 'equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.' And inflicting that severe pain, according to the memo, must have been the 'specific intent' of the defendant to amount to a violation of the statute."

That's the part that some people have heard about. But Frontline goes on to explain:

"This very narrow definition of torture was only one part of the memo, which largely was written by Assistant Attorney General John Yoo. It also asserted that the U.S. ratification of the 1994 torture statute could be considered unconstitutional because it would interfere with the president's power as commander in chief."

Just as that memo is called the Bybee memo (there were actually three such "Bybee memos" and one "Yoo memo" that same August day) and Yoo may have played a role, Bybee almost certainly had a hand in various "Yoo memos" as well. Bybee was on the job from November 2001 to March 2003. To get the full picture of how Bybee and Yoo and their colleagues twisted our system of government beyond all recognition requires reviewing a large stack of memos. Fortunately, ProPublica has posted them all in chronological order, including what is known of memos that have not yet been released (but which President Obama could release in accord with his professed policy of openness if he chooses).

Just take a look at the memos officially attributed to Bybee, and consider whether we can maintain any sort of legitimate government without impeaching him, and whether we want him overruling decent honest judges for the next 30 years. Bybee gave President Bush, upon request, "legal opinions" that a president can ignore international laws, that laws do not apply to various groups of people, that a president can kidnap, detain, and ship off to other lands human beings with no due process, and that Congress has no power to interfere with anything a president does.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

Congress has pretty well accepted that last point. But perhaps it is not too late for Congress to start down a path of rehabilitation by daring to interfere with the actions of a desk-chair war criminal like Jay Bybee.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has already released a report that discusses a number of Bybee's memos at length, including the two from August 1, 2002, that were known when the report came out. The committee pieces together the story well enough to make clear that these memos were requested as cover by those engaged in crimes, and that the memos were used to justify criminality. When the full Senate tries Bybee following his impeachment, these words from the committee's report may be of help:

"The other OLC opinion issued on August 1, 2002 is known commonly as the Second Bybee memo. That opinion, which responded to a request from the CIA, addressed the legality of specific interrogation tactics. While the full list of techniques remains classified, a publicly released CIA document indicates that waterboarding was among those analyzed and approved. CIA Director General Michael Hayden stated in public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 5, 2008 that waterboarding was used by the CIA. And Steven Bradbury, the current Assistant Attorney General of the OLC, testified before the House Judiciary Committee on February 14, 2008 that the CIA's use of waterboarding was 'adapted from the SERE training program.'

"Before drafting the opinions, Mr. Yoo, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the OLC, had met with Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the President, and David Addington, Counsel to the Vice President, to discuss the subjects he intended to address in the opinions. In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Yoo refused to say whether or not he ever discussed or received information about SERE techniques as the memos were being drafted. When asked whether he had discussed SERE techniques with Judge Gonzales, Mr. Addington, Mr. Yoo, Mr. Rizzo or other senior administration lawyers, DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes testified that he 'did discuss SERE techniques with other people in the administration.' NSC Legal Advisor John Bellinger said that 'some of the legal analyses of proposed interrogation techniques that were prepared by the Department of Justice did refer to the psychological effects of resistance training.'

"In fact, Jay Bybee the Assistant Attorney General who signed the two OLC legal opinions said that he saw an assessment of the psychological effects of military resistance training in July 2002 in meetings in his office with John Yoo and two other OLC attorneys. Judge Bybee said that he used that assessment to inform the August 1, 2002 OLC legal opinion that has yet to be publicly released. Judge Bybee also recalled discussing detainee interrogations in a meeting with Attorney General John Ashcroft and John Yoo in late July 2002, prior to signing the OLC opinions. Mr. Bellinger, the NSC Legal Advisor, said that 'the NSC's Principals reviewed CIA's proposed program on several occasions in 2002 and 2003' and that he 'expressed concern that the proposed CIA interrogation techniques comply with applicable U.S. law, including our international obligations.'"

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.


VFP72 and Individuals For Justice are going to begin shifting our Thurs Accountability and Prosecution demo from the federal building to the Pioneer Courthouse, home of the 9th Circuit Court and across the street from the busiest spot in Downtown, specifically calling for Bybee's Impeachment and appointment of a special prosecutor etc. We will of course send the online traffic we get as a result to your site via link on our web page.

Keep up that "extremism"


Our understanding of Bybee memos got dramatically worse when, on April 16, 2009, a new one was released:

On August 1, 2002, then-Assistant Attorney General of the United States Jay Bybee sent an 18-page official memorandum from the Office of Legal Counsel to the Acting General Counsel of the CIA John Rizzo. Such memos are treated as laws within our government, not opinions, not theories, not briefings, but laws. They are secret laws, but in many cases there's not much risk of us ordinary schmucks who don't know the laws violating them, at least not without also violating public laws that are tougher and more comprehensive. These secret laws tend to consist of permissions to violate the public laws in particular ways. They are crazy laws, because they advise violating the real laws and purport to serve as protection for the claim that the violator did so in "good faith." Nonetheless, they are as much laws as anything passed by Congress, if not more so, since they do not come with presidential signing statements but at most a snide remark scribbled by Donald Rumsfeld.

The secret law that Bybee sent to Rizzo was unusual in that it was a law for one particular person. It was even more specific than that. It claimed to apply to the treatment of one particular person under an elaborate set of circumstances. If the situation was altered, the law would not apply. The individual who received this personal legislative treatment may not have considered himself a lucky man, since it was 18 pages of descriptions of torture techniques that it would be "legal" to use on him. (Can't wait to get your own, right?) Curiously, the memo begins by citing the actual, real, normal, public law: "Section 2340A of title 18 of the United States Code." This is curious because for the following six years both the White House and Congress pretended there was no such law and engaged in an elaborate mating dance designed around the mythical need to create such a law anew. You'll recall Congress "banning" torture and Bush signing statementing himself the supposed right to torture anyway. All of that was theater. And during all of that theater, the people doing the torturing were concerned that they be protected, down the road, from prosecution for their violations of the actual law.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

Section 2340A of title 18 of the U.S. Code says this: "Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life."

And 2340C adds this for the benefit of the people writing the "legal" permissions to violate it: "A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy."

And what is torture? According to 2340 it is "an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control."

And then there is Section 2441, which prescribes a fine or prison or death to any American who commits or conspires to commit a war crime, including torture or cruel or inhuman treatment. This was the section of law that caused then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to warn Bush and others that they should deny prisoners in Afghanistan the Geneva Conventions as the best defense of their own necks, advice Obama seems to have taken to heart.

Then there's the Convention Against Torture which requires criminal prosecution of "an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture" or in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." And the Geneva Conventions which ban "violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture," as well as "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

Bybee had already written some personal laws for Jose Padilla, one of which included his indictment, trial, conviction, and punishment all personally performed by Bybee in the course of the memo. But this August 1, 2002, memo was a personal law for Abu Zubaydah. And part of the circumstances that made this law "legal" was a ticking time bomb:

"The interrogation team is certain he has additional information that he refuses to divulge. Zubaydah has become accustomed to a certain level of treatment and displays no signs of willingness to disclose further information. Moreover, your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of 'chatter' equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks."

So, under these circumstances, it turned out -- after Jay Bybee checked with the mountain top and declared his new commandments -- that you could legally slam Zubaydah against a wall. Or deprive him of sleep. Or waterboard him. You would need to soften the wall and be careful not to break his neck. You would need to have doctors on hand. You couldn't keep him from sleeping for any more than 11 days at a time. If you slapped him in the face you should be careful not to poke him in the eye. The precautions and limitations are extensive. But so are the torture techniques and the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatments, which would all seem to be just as degrading even if bruising and death are avoided and therefore the "law" complied with.

However, according to Bybee any torturer would be in the clear legally if they did not "expressly intend to inflict severe pain or suffering." And this could be done by "honestly believing" that there would not be severe pain or suffering, which you would have to if you believed this memo which asserted as much. An honest belief, Bybee assured the CIA, need not be reasonable. In fact "good faith may be established by, among other things, the reliance on the advice of experts." In case anyone missed the point, Bybee went on to simply state that people following his torture manual would not have the intent to inflict severe physical pain or suffering.

But here's where it gets sticky. First, the techniques authorized by this custom-made designer law, and others not authorized, were used BEFORE the law was written as well as after. So the reliance on experts wouldn't cover everybody, and therefore the group of people that Obama just promised amnesty does not include everybody. Second, according to the account that Zubaydah gave the Red Cross, the guidelines given by Bybee were followed only very loosely, with the alterations tending toward the more forceful and punishing. Third, Zubaydah apparently suffered serious injury, suggesting that he experienced severe physical pain and suffering.

CLICK HERE to ask Congress to impeach Jay Bybee.

(In fact he told the Red Cross -- and we have no other witnesses since the CIA destroyed the video tapes and isn't talking: I was put on what looked like a hospital bed, and strapped down very tightly with belts. A black cloth was then placed over my face and the interrogators used a mineral water bottle to pour water on the cloth so that I could not breathe. After a few minutes the cloth was removed and the bed was rotated into an upright position. The pressure of the straps on my wounds caused severe pain. I vomited. The bed was then again lowered to a horizontal position and the same torture carried out with the black cloth over my face and water poured on from a bottle. On this occasion my head was in a more backward, downwards position and the water was poured on for a longer time. I struggled without success to breathe. I thought I was going to die. I lost control of my urine. Since then I still lose control of
my urine when under stress.)

If that was indeed severe pain and not just a mild case of bodily collapse, was the expert relied upon not an expert and the advice therefore not a legal shield? Or is this just a case of violating the secret law, in which case is that just a case of violating the public law? Fourth, the ticking time bomb was a crock and we know now that our government obtained more useful information from its victim before torturing him than after. Does that alter the circumstances and therefore eliminate the specially designed law? Or is the bomb still magically ticking away very slowly, year after year, until we develop the patriotic courage to crush Mr. Zubaydah's testicles and finally learn the truth and save the television actress?

Sadly, Mr. Bybee may be too busy to rush to our rescue or to draft you your own personal torture law at the moment. That's because, even though his own crazy laws were discarded by Bush's Justice Department, even though Spain has been trying to indict him, even though he approved sticking Zubaydah in a small box with an insect, slamming him against a wall, and water-torturing him, Jay Bybee is serving as a federal appeals court judge in the Ninth Circuit. If we had a justice system he would be standing trial. If we had a Congress, he would be impeached.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. Done! Kicked, Recd and Tweeted. n/t
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. yes, yes and yes.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. I was wondering when impeachment would be bought up in his case,
This is the first time I have heard/seen this mentioned and believe if this gets enough publicity (Olberman, MSM etc) with the Dems controlling both houses it is possible. If NOTHING else is done on torture, at the very least this will be in the history books.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:27 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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Mist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
5. Done. Sent an e-mail (my own wording) to Rep. David Price. Thanks for posting this. nt
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. Help me out here
Do professional associations expel people who violate their ethics or are they all partisan hacks these days. Why hasn't the American Bar Association disbarred all these lawyers already? What about the doctors, etc.?

K & R
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Very good question
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. Yes Impeach then hire special prosecutor and prosecute him for war crimes!
Edited on Sun Apr-19-09 09:59 AM by flyarm
If the criminals that committed war crimes are not brought to tiral and held accountable..each and every American is implicated and will have a bullseye on their backs when they travel out of this country...and will be unsafe anywhere, even at home here..

People do not forget when their own have been tortured. Memories last forever.

There will be no moving anything forward, if those who have committed these crimes are NOT held accountable, and for all the world to see!

Children were tortured people's of any nation ..forget that.........ever.

Nor should they.

fly ...adds these comments:

I have been posting the following facts, for several days, since the memo's were released..highlighting it over and over, The number of times the waterboarding was done by our CIA to a couple of the prisoners we detained, and yet there are still people here making excuses for this..

For Obama to give immunity and let these criminals off scott free, of that, there can be no justification..none....there can be no justification for any CIA agent or anyone in our military doing justification whatsoever..

As a now retired flight crew of one of the 9/11 airlines..I can tell you..this does not make any of us safe..anywhere..and we can never move forward in this nation, if we as a people allow that to stand, because we become the terrorists..the very people they want us to be afraid of!

There are no laws that allow anyone to torture because of an "ORDER", in fact all laws are contrary to that.No one gets a free ride in the laws of our nation ( our constitution ) or international laws. Period!..There are no excuses. And by allowing the people that committed these crimes to walk free ..from the top down..(there can be no exceptions, there are none in the law) .. each and everyone of the people who tortured, and committed these war crimes, Must by law, within our justice system, be held accountable..
By letting anyone walk free without being held accountable.. we become the barbarians...because it was done in all of our names!

For 33years, I worked as a flight crew for a Major US airline, and traveled the world..I transported Americans of every walk of life traveling for work, or pleasure, to all parts of the world ..By allowing immunity to war criminals, will assure each and every American that travels out of this country, for any reason, that they will have a huge Bullseye on each of their backs..if we sit silent and allow immunity to be given to any of the perpetrators of these war crimes . The ramifications of doing nothing or allowing immunity for war crimes, will live with each us and haunt Americans for a very long time into the future!

There can never be "moving forward" until we come to terms with what was done in all of our names, and until we hold these criminals accountable. All of them!! To think otherwise is subjecting innocent American citizens to retribution by nafarious people, anywhere in the world they should travel.



Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month
By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am 550
digg it

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

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

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

Note, the information comes from the CIA IG report which, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, is based on having viewed the torture tapes as well as other materials. So this is presumably a number that was once backed up by video evidence.

The same OLC memo passage explains how the CIA might manage to waterboard these men so many times in one month each (though even with these chilling numbers, the CIA's math doesn't add up).

...where authorized, it may be used for two "sessions" per day of up to two hours. During a session, water may be applied up to six times for ten seconds or longer (but never more than 40 seconds). In a 24-hour period, a detainee may be subjected to up to twelve minutes of water appliaction. See id. at 42. Additionally, the waterboard may be used on as many as five days during a 30-day approval period.

So: two two-hour sessions a day, with six applications of the waterboard each = 12 applications in a day. Though to get up to the permitted 12 minutes of waterboarding in a day (with each use of the waterboard limited to 40 seconds), you'd need 18 applications in a day. Assuming you use the larger 18 applications in one 24-hour period, and do 18 applications on five days within a month, you've waterboarded 90 times--still just half of what they did to KSM.


Scott Horton on Democracy Now! today:

Theres a very strange factual issue here. President Obama says that we shouldnt prosecute them because they relied on these memos. But a factual review is going to show that the CIA was using these techniques from April 2002, and these memos were commissioned and written, the first of them, in August of 2002. So its quite clear in fact that CIA agents were out in the field doing these things, not relying on these memos, with the memos not even being in contemplation.


Article 2 of Geneva is very clearthere is no excuse, none, for torturing anyone who falls under the jurisdiction of a signatoryunder any circumstance. There are no excuses under Geneva. But apparently, in Americas failing democracy, there are excuses aplenty for ignoring the laws

The Eichmann defense has long since been accepted as providing no excuse.

edit to add:
We know from the ICRC report this technique had been used, three years before Bradbury wrote his OLC memos, with Abu Zubaydah.

The CIA IG Report and the Bradbury Memos
By: emptywheel Friday April 17, 2009 12:08 pm

In May 2004, CIA's Inspector General, John Helgerson, completed a report that found that the CIA's interrogation program violated the Convention Against Torture. By understanding the role of that report in the May 2005 Bradbury memos, we see just how weak Bradbury's memos are.

As Jane Mayer described, the report strongly influenced Jack Goldsmith shortly before he withdrew the August 1, 2002 Bybee memo in June 2004.

The 2004 Inspector General's report, known as a "special review," was tens of thousands of pages long and as thick as two Manhattan phone books. It contained information, according to one source, that was simply "sickening." The behavior it described, another knowledgeable source said, raised concerns not just about the detainees but also about the Americans who had inflicted the abuse, one of whom seemed to have become frighteningly dehumanized. The source said, "You couldn't read the documents without wondering, "Why didn't someone say, 'Stop!'"

Goldsmith was required to review the report in order to settle a sharp dispute that its findings had provoked between the Inspector General, Helgerson, who was not a lawyer, and the CIA's General Counsel, Scott Muller, who was. After spending months investigating the Agency's interrogation practices, the special review had concluded that the CIA's techniques constituted cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, in violation of the international Convention Against Torture. But Muller insisted that every single action taken by the CIA toward its detainees had been declared legal by John Yoo. With Yoo gone, it fell to Goldsmith to figure out exactly what the OLC had given the CIA a green light to do and what, in fact, the CIA had done.

As Goldsmith absorbed the details, the report transformed the antiseptic list of authorized interrogation techniques, which he had previously seen, into a Technicolor horror show. Goldsmith declined to be interviewed about the classified report for legal reasons, but according to those who dealt with him, the report caused him to question the whole program. The CIA interrogations seemed very different when described by participants than they had when approved on a simple menu of options. Goldsmith had been comfortable with the military's approach, but he wasn't at all sure whether the CIA's tactics were legal. Waterboarding, in particular, sounded quick and relatively harmless in theory. But according to someone familiar with the report, the way it had been actually used was "horrible."

Yet in arguing against the IG Report, Bradbury reveals much of what the IG Report finds so problematic. It reveals:

CIA interrogators were not performing waterboarding as it had been approved in the August 2002 Bybee Memo; in particular, they were repeating the process more frequently (83 times for AZ and 183 for KSM) and using much more water than described in the Bybee Memo
By CIA's own admission, they used waterboarding with Abu Zubaydah at a time when he was already completely compliant with interrogators
No "objective" doctors had been involved in the interrogation sessions (the CIA subsequently added them to its program)
It appears that after the CIA integrated doctors into the program, they lowered, by three and a half days, the length of time a detainee could be kept awake
In other words, the Bradbury memos basically prove that waterboarding, as practiced by the CIA (as distinct from how they were describing it), was out of control in several ways (and therefore probably illegal even according to Yoo's descriptions). They also suggest that the CIA recognized they were using sleep deprivation far more than was safe, even according to their own complicit doctors. Both of the most problematic aspect of the CIA program, the Bradbury memos suggest, had been deemed unsafe as practiced.


there was homicide..there is no statue of limitations to homicide! /

Reports detail Abu Ghraib prison death; was it torture?
By Seth Hettena

updated 4:57 p.m. ET, Thurs., Feb. 17, 2005
Iraqi had been suspended by his handcuffed wrists, guards tell investigators
SAN DIEGO - An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib died under CIA interrogation while in a position condemned by human rights groups as torture suspended by his wrists, with his hands cuffed behind his back, according to reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

The death of the prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, became known last year when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. The U.S. military said back then that it had been ruled a homicide. But the exact circumstances of the death were not disclosed at the time.

The prisoner died in a position known as Palestinian hanging, the documents reviewed by The AP show. It is unclear whether that position was approved by the Bush administration for use in CIA interrogations.

America admits suspects died in interrogations

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles

Friday, 7 March 2003

American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives.

American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives.

A spokesman for the air base confirmed that the official cause of death of the two men was "homicide", contradicting earlier accounts that one had died of a heart attack and the other from a pulmonary embolism.

The men's death certificates, made public earlier this week, showed that one captive, known only as Dilawar, 22, from the Khost region, died from "blunt force injuries to lower extremities complicating coronary artery disease" while another captive, Mullah Habibullah, 30, suffered from blood clot in the lung that was exacerbated by a "blunt force injury".

US officials previously admitted using "stress and duress" on prisoners including sleep deprivation, denial of medication for battle injuries, forcing them to stand or kneel for hours on end with hoods on, subjecting them to loud noises and sudden flashes of light and engaging in culturally humiliating practices such as having them kicked by female officers.

While the US claims this still constitutes "humane" treatment, human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced it as torture as defined by international treaty. The US has also come under heavy criticism for its reported policy of handing suspects over to countries such as Jordan, Egypt or Morocco, where torture techniques are an established part of the security apparatus. Legally, Human Rights Watch says, there is no distinction between using torture directly and subcontracting it out.



see what Merh posted ..........

See Scott Horton's April 10 article at Harper's online He referenced the Army's investigation into the death and the finding that the death was a murder. They turned the investigation over to the DOJ for prosecution in 2004 and to this day, no one has been tried for the crime.

April 10, 8:43 AM
Licensed to Kill

Yesterday CIA Director Leon Panetta emailed thousands of subordinates his hearty greetings for Passover and Easter. Appropriate to the season, perhaps, his message was filled with talk of torture, foreign captivity, and doubtful acts of contrition. CIA officers do not tolerate, and will continue to promptly report, any inappropriate behavior or allegations of abuse, he wrote. And this rule was not to be evaded by proxies, either: That holds true whether a suspect is in the custody of an American partner or a foreign liaison service.

He also spoke about the decommissioning of the system of black sites constructed in the Bush era to hold prisoners outside of any form of accountability. I have directed our Agency personnel to take charge of the decommissioning process, he wrote. It is estimated that our taking over site security will result in savings of up to $4 million. Some of these black sites are now the subject of criminal investigations seeking to ascertain whether crimes were committed there. One wonders what sort of care Panettas agents will take to preserve evidence of what transpired there, and what the criminal investigators think about the CIA taking charge of the process.

Panetta also provided assurances that No CIA contractors will conduct interrogations. Many of the most serious cases of abuse of prisoners involve CIA contractors. I am aware of a single case in which a CIA contractor was actually prosecuted. Remember Abu Ghraib? The Defense Departments investigation concluded that the most serious offenses against detainees there were committed by contractors. As Major General Antonio Taguba noted, several of these individuals had clear-cut and continuing high-level connections to the intelligence community. Some purported to be contractors for the Interior Department, but the facts strongly suggested a relationship to the shop Panetta now heads. This group of contractors were investigated by the military, which turned over a full portfolio of evidence to federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, recommending prosecution. What happened? Nothing. In the meantime, however, a group of young NCOs and enlisted personnel who acted under the influence of the contractors were court-martialed. Another demonstration of the Bush Administrations total perversion of our justice system.

Or consider what Congressional Quarterlys Jeff Stein calls The Mysterious Case of Mark Swanner. The Armys Criminal Investigation Detachment studied the death of Manadel al-Jamadi (photo left), who died in Swanners custody, and concluded that he had been murdered. Swanner, a long-time CIA officer, was fingered as the perpetrator, and the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia for prosecution. That was 2004. So five years later, what has happened? Nothing happened.


Bush memos parallel claim 9/11 masterminds children were tortured with insects


Published: April 17, 2009
Updated 6 hours ago

Bush Administration memos released by the White House on Thursday provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture the young children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the memos, released Thursday, the Bush Administration White House Office of Legal Counsel offered its endorsement of CIA torture methods that involved placing an insect in a cramped, confined box with detainees. Jay S. Bybee, then-director of the OLC, wrote that insects could be used to capitalize on detainees fears.

The memo was dated Aug. 1, 2002. Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds children were captured and held in Pakistan the following month, according to a report by Human Rights Watch. While an additional memo released Thursday claims that the torture with insects technique was never utilized by the CIA, the allegations regarding the children would have transpired when the method was authorized by the Bush Administration.

At a military tribunal in 2007, the father of a Guantanamo detainee alleged that Pakistani guards had confessed that American interrogators used ants to coerce the children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed into revealing their fathers whereabouts.

Read more: ...



Nuremberg Defense

The Nuremberg Defense is a legal defense that essentially states that the defendant was "only following orders" ("Befehl ist Befehl", literally "order is order") and is therefore not responsible for his crimes. The defense was most famously employed during the Nuremberg Trials, after which it is named.

Before the end of World War II, the Allies suspected such a defense might be employed, and issued the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which specifically stated that this was not a valid defense against charges of war crimes.

Thus, under Nuremberg Principle IV, "defense of superior orders" is not a defense for war crimes, although it might influence a sentencing authority to lessen the penalty. Nuremberg Principle IV states:

"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

The United States military adjusted the Uniform Code of Military Justice after World War II. They included a rule nullifying this defense, essentially stating that American military personnel are allowed to refuse unlawful orders. This defense is still used often, however, reasoning that an unlawful order presents a dilemma from which there is no legal escape. One who refuses an unlawful order will still probably be jailed for refusing orders (and in some countries probably killed and then his superior officer will simply carry out the order for him or order another soldier to do it), and one who accepts one will probably be jailed for committing unlawful acts, in a Catch-22 dilemma.

All US military personnel are supposed to receive annual training in the Law of Armed Conflict, which delineates lawful and unlawful behaviors during armed conflicts, and is derived from the Geneva Conventions, a subset of international law. This training is designed to ensure that US military personnel are familiar with their military, ethical and legal obligations during wartime but proof of military personnel receiving this training is difficult to substantiate and is often not received.

THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. He got his job by a quid pro quo...
if the truth be known. Dubya liked to pay off his friends who helped him.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. K & R
Thank you, David.
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xiamiam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
11. should have about 90K signatures just from here at du...thanks..k and r..nt
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Bette Noir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
12. Done. Thanks for the link.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. I want to know who knew about these memos, as well.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
Folks need to stop making the OPs so damned long. Too long an OP makes folks lose interest in the topic.

Marketing 101 - short & sweet & to the point - don't bore the audience.

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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. Agreed.
Dumping a ton of info in one post won't open minds. It will only clog them up further.
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R Done.
Thanks you.
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Dystopian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. KandR. Done.

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irish.lambchop Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. Done and link passed on to friends and family. n/t
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
18. Done! n/t
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
19. Done. This man is a disgrace. He needs to be jailed. n/t
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santamargarita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
20. Impeach him first then prosecute this asshole
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
21. K&R...
Edited on Sun Apr-19-09 04:37 PM by Hubert Flottz
Congress needs to ask for a review of every case he has passed judgment on, to see how he has done that job. Maybe people are in jail right now because of this monster.

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
22. knr!~
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Babel_17 Donating Member (948 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
23. Done! K&R
I copied the text of the letter from the link and went to to get my congresscritter's e-mail. He has a nice system that lets you just fill in the blanks and add whatever text you want.

I have his e-mail in my address book but this way is very easy.

Next step is to e-mail my Senators.

Back in a few.
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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
24. Done! and K&R. n/t
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
25. Kicked, recommended and done! n/t
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Iwillnevergiveup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Yup
Done - K&R

And what about John Yoo teaching at Berkeley? Huh?
And what about Ashcroft and Gonzalez appearing at some kind of forum here in Los Angeles and the event being advertised on a progressive talk station? :thumbsdown:
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
27. waterboard first and then impeach
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Kaleko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
29. Done. K & R.
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Baby Snooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
30. Impeach him for what?
According to the comments by Rahm Emanuel this morning, he has done nothing wrong. None of them did. They will not be prosecuted.

So if you cannot prosecute him, how do you impeach him?

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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-19-09 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Rahm is a tool
Rahm is a spoiled rich kid with a complete absence of a moral compass. He doesn't give a shit about anything except the accumulation of personal political power.
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-20-09 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
32. I just called Bill Nelson's office demanding Bybee's impeachment.
But, DINO Bill would impeach himself first.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-20-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
33. Seems prudent.
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