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The 9/11 commissioners violated the Convention Against Torture.

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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 08:40 AM
Original message
The 9/11 commissioners violated the Convention Against Torture.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Article 15


Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.

http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm




I find it very illuminating that not a single member has come forward to denounce their final work product for having used statements that were made as a result of torture.

They KNEW this was an important issue when they wrote their report, and they now must KNOW that folks were tortured by the interrogators in direct response to the questions that the commission submitted.

From the text box that they actually included on page 146 of the official 9/11 Commission Report:


Chapters 5 and 7 rely heavily on information obtained from captured al-Qaeda members. A number of these detainees have firsthand knowledge of the 9/11 plot. Assessing the truth of statements by these witnessessworn enemies of the United Statesis challenging. Our access to them has been limited to the review of intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place. We submitted questions for use in the interrogations, but had no control over whether, when, or how questions of particular interest would be asked. Nor were we allowed to talk to the interrogators so that we could better judge the credibility of the detainees and clarify ambiguities in the reporting. We were told that our requests might disrupt the sensitive interrogation process. We have nonetheless decided to include information from captured 9/11 conspirators and al-Qaeda members in our report. We have evaluated their statements carefully and have attempted to corroborate them with documents and statements of others. In this report, we indicate where such statements provide the foundation for our narrative. We have been authorized to identify by name only ten detainees whose custody has been confirmed officially by the US government.

http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf




The report extensively uses statements obtained from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who we now know was waterboarded hundreds of times during this time period.

Why haven't ANY of the commissioners denounced the criminal conduct of their own commission, or the work product that they produced?

These guys on the commission were all selected because they were supposed to be the most trustworthy people available, beyond reproach. Really?

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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. kick
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. Technically, isn't "State Party" the United States? But the commission
certainly violated the spirit of the convention. Corrupt bastards.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I agree that it doesn't matter much.
Although the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (aka 9/11 Commission) was an official government body, I do think it doesn't much matter.

The Convention Against Torture prohibits using ANY statement obtained by torture in ANY proceeding. I think that would also include any private proceeding.

Say, for instance, Dick Cheney shot you in the face and you wanted to sue him. That would be a private, civil case. Even in that case, Cheney could not torture you to obtain an admission from you that the whole thing was your fault and then get you to apologize to him.

Or could he...
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Dragonfli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. He would certainly try! He would also be defended in his actions that is the sick part.
Edited on Sat Apr-25-09 02:26 AM by Dragonfli
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Well, if we're speaking "technically"
It could be argued that the commission wasn't a qualifying "proceeding." It certainly didn't "proceed" to anything substantive.

Then again, I might just be kicking the thread.

---
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Thanks for the kick.
At this point in time, with all the current debate over torture, they should at least issue a statement of some sort, shouldn't they?
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
3. Interesting angle. n/t
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Of course they did. The entire Zelikow narrative falls apart in the absence of
these "confessions". And, of course, as stated above, all the had access to was "intelligence reports based on communications received from the locations where the actual interrogations take place". This is very important. And, who controlled that access if not the executive director, Zelikow himself?

Zelikow was unusually qualified for his behind the scenes role of the Kean Comission:


Expertise

Zelikow's area of academic expertise is the history and practice of public policy. In addition to the work on German unification, he has been significantly involved in contemporary scholarship on the Cuban missile crisis, including the relation between this crisis and the East-West confrontation over Berlin.

While at Harvard he worked with Ernest May and Richard Neustadt on the use, and misuse, of history in policymaking. They observed, as Zelikow noted in his own words, that "contemporary" history is "defined functionally by those critical people and events that go into forming the public's presumptions about its immediate past. The idea of 'public presumption'," he explained, "is akin to William McNeill's notion of 'public myth' but without the negative implication sometimes invoked by the word 'myth.' Such presumptions are beliefs (1) thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common within the relevant political community."9"

Zelikow and May have also authored and sponsored scholarship on the relationship between intelligence analysis and policy decisions. Zelikow later helped found a research project to prepare and publish annotated transcripts of presidential recordings made secretly during the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations (see WhiteHouseTapes.org) and another project to strengthen oral history work on more recent administrations, with both these projects based at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
In writing about the importance of beliefs about history, Zelikow has called attention to what he has called "'searing' or 'molding' events take on 'transcendent' importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene. In the United States, beliefs about the formation of the nation and the Constitution remain powerful today, as do beliefs about slavery and the Civil War. World War II, Vietnam, and the civil rights struggle are more recent examples." He has noted that "a historys narrative power is typically linked to how readers relate to the actions of individuals in the history; if readers cannot make a connection to their own lives, then a history may fail to engage them at all."9


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_D._Zelikow#Expertis...

Emphasis added.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The narrative. Yes. The narrative is what must be preserved.
Throughout this torture debate, no matter how it pans out, the official 9/11 narrative must remain intact.

Even though we know it's crap, any serious discussion about the official 9/11 Commission Report must be forcefully discouraged, even here at DU.

I studied torture in 3rd or 4th grade and I don't think it has EVER been used successfully for gathering actionable intelligence. It has always been used to control and intimidate people, and (more importantly in this case) to create an alternative reality by forcing people to say things and confess to actions that NEVER EVEN HAPPENED.

During the Inquisition, Satan actually walked around among the public and everyone knew it because people were forced to confess that they had first hand knowledge on the subject, including actual sightings and conversations. The 9/11 Commission Report is the exact same thing. People were forced to confess to stuff that never happened thereby creating a false reality.

Now that everyone knows the official story is a fabrication, is it really all that difficult to imagine what really happened on the days leading up to 9/11? We know that millions of dollars for fighting terrorism were cut from the DoJ budget on the day before 9/11. We know that PNAC was hoping and waiting for "another Pearl Harbor." What really happened? Don't ask...
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. You mean those women in Salem were really not witches?
And think about it, 9/11 was not really investigated, not in the same way the Oklahoma bombing was investigated and not in the same way the 1993 attack on the WTC was investigated.

Hell, the US actually sold some of the evidence, the steel, to other nations. I don't even know if any of the evidence still exists, not evidence obtained at the scene.

I never liked the 9/11 Commission because I equated them to the Warren Commission and we all know how well that went.

I don't know if a new commission should be formed or a special prosecutor with full investigative powers be appointed. I do know that the 9/11 Commission Report is tainted by tortured confession.

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. What were the names of the commissioners?
Was it just KSM's testimony they relied on or were there others that were tortured and their "confessed facts" relied upon?

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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. There were five Republicans and five Democrats.
It was a bi-partisan fiasco.

Commission Members

Thomas H. Kean
Chair

Lee H. Hamilton
Vice Chair

Richard Ben-Veniste

Fred F. Fielding

Jamie S. Gorelick

Slade Gorton

Bob Kerrey

John F. Lehman

Timothy J. Roemer

James R. Thompson




http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/about/bios.htm








The interrogation of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) is mentioned as a source 211 times... He was repeatedly waterboarded and tortured ... and it will later be reported that up to 90 percent of the information obtained from his interrogations may be unreliable ... Interestingly, the 9/11 Commission sometimes seems to prefer KSMs testimony over other sources. For instance, in 2003 the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry reported that the CIA learned in 1996 that KSM and bin Laden traveled together to a foreign country in 1995, suggesting close ties between them ... But the 9/11 Commission will ignore this and instead claim, based on KSMs interrogation, that KSM and bin Laden had no contact between 1989 and late 1996.

http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=com...

KSM underwent at least two sessions and other extreme measures before talking. "KSM required, shall we say, re-dipping," said another former senior intelligence official.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20752717/page/2



I have no idea where else they got their information from. I think I used to know more, but I just cannot remeber exactly. I do know that Democracy Now did a whole show on this subject over a year ago. There has been a whole lot written about KSM, however, so everyone knows about him it seems.

In any event, including KSM's statements in their work product is a separate and distinct violation of the Convention Against Torture.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I am surprised and saddened that Jamie S. Gorelick has remained
silent on this.

But then again, I guess she is just sitting with her millions hoping to stay out of the public eye. While at FNMA, she made $26,466,834
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Dragonfli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. My Opinion (and it is only that)
Is that the 911 Commission was a deliberately designed whitewash and I would not hold my breath waiting for them to denounce torture tainted filler in their report. I believe in fact they knew and counted on the "convenient" duress gained content.

That is why a truth commission on torture should only be considered after a real criminal investigation has taken place. If they are allowed another commission to "handle it" it will simply be another whitewash.

Just my opinion as I've stated.
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I agree with your opinion. n/t
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. I agree
But I also think that all "Truth Commissions" are bullshit. What truth commission has ever uncovered anything? 9/11 Commission was a joke. Warren Commission was a joke. Any truth commission on torture will just coverup anything they find.
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Dragonfli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. You'll find no argument here
I only mentioned it because there appears to be an obsession in this country with whitewash commissions. If after a real criminal investigation is completed and the guilty are charged and tried they want to play with a commission it will have to include the truth brought out in those trials. I have a feeling that no one will want the commission when it is too late to be used as a whitewash. It will conveniently be forgotten as a concept as soon as it becomes clear that it is too late to be used as a cover-up.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
15. kick
:kick:
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
18. but.........
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. wonder why this dweeb and his fellow commissioners don't call
for the commission to be reconstituted so they can hear more on this and determine if their report is flawed because of the lies and tortured confessions (lies of the admin).

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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
19. one more reason to not believe a word of it
and hope they don't do the same thing re torture investigations.

(sigh--as if)
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