Category Archives: BushCo tortured
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Wednesday affirmed [opinion, PDF] a district court’s dismissal of a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against a Boeing subsidiary in connection with its alleged role in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] extraordinary rendition program. The plaintiffs, Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza, Mohamed Farag Ahmaad Bashmilah and Bisher al-Rawi, alleged that San Diego-based Jeppesen Dataplan knowingly aided in the rendition and subsequent torture of terror suspects by the CIA. Before Jeppesen could file an answer to the original complaint, the Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened and asserted the state secrets privilege , arguing that fact-finding in the case could jeopardize national security. The district court dismissed the case and a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit overturned the ruling on appeal. The DOJ then asked the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case with a full panel, and was granted an en banc rehearing. The original Ninth Circuit panel ruled that the state secrets privilege can only be invoked in relation to established evidence in the case, not just at the possibility that such evidence may be uncovered should the case proceed, but Wednesday’s 6-5 opinion reverses that position, holding that in some “rare” circumstances, it may be impossible for a suit to proceed at all without inevitably compromising national security:
[T]here are times when exceptional circumstances create an irreconcilable conflict between [liberty, justice, transparency, accountability and national secuirty]. On those rare occasions, we are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s admonition that ‘even the most compelling necessity cannot overcome the claim of privilege if the court is ultimately satisfied that [state] secrets are at stake.’ … Here, further litigation presents an unacceptable risk of disclosure of state secrets no matter what legal or factual theories Jeppesen would choose to advance during a defense. Whether or not Jeppesen provided logistical support in connection with the extraordinary rendition and interrogation programs, there is precious little Jeppesen could say about its relevant conduct and knowledge without revealing information about how the United States does or does not conduct covert operations. … We … acknowledge that this case presents a painful conflict between human rights and national security.
The majority said that other avenues may be available for the plaintiffs to address their claims, including Congressional investigation of alleged wrongdoing, monetary reparations and the possibility that the executive may “determine whether the plaintiffs’ claims have merit” and voluntarily choose to “honor the fundamental principles of justice.” The five-judge minority chastised the proposal, saying that “[n]ot only are these remedies insufficient, but their suggestion understates the severity of the consequences to plaintiffs from the denial of judicial relief” and “elevate the impractical to the point of absurdity.” ACLU staff attorney Ben Wizner also decried the ruling. “This is a sad day not only for the torture victims … but for all Americans who care about the rule of law,” he said. “To date, not a single victim of the Bush administration’s torture program has had his day in court.”
That last line – To date, not a single victim of the Bush Administration’s torture program has had his day in court really chaps my friggin ass. Seriously…wtf Holder? Where is the accountability dude? Where the fuck IS it? All this shit is…is an extension of the Bush43 policies…and you fuckers want MY vote in November? Kiss my brown ass boys…both cheeks…cuz it ain’t gonna happen..nope…it just friggin ain’t. There are more negatives to this administration then there are positives…and that makes me sick to my stomach as I voted for you fuckers last time around. Again from the Jurist article:
The state secrets privilege, which allows the exclusion of evidence based on a government affidavit that such evidence may endanger national security, has been highly criticized by rights groups and others. Julian Sanchez [Cato profile] of the Cato Institute [advocacy website] argued [JURIST comment] last October that Congress should implement state secrets reforms, rather than relying on the DOJ to increase oversight. Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] announced [JURIST report] a number of new state secrets policies seeking to increase government accountability and oversight. Also last year, OpenTheGovernment.org [advocacy website] released a report [text, PDF] examining the privilege and other transparency issues, concluding that the current administration has improved transparency [JURIST report], but more should be done.
As the song says: I won’t be fooled again.
Medical personnel present as part of the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogations [JURIST news archive] were collecting and analyzing data in order to develop more effective interrogation procedures, according to a report [materials] released Monday by the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) [advocacy website]. The techniques used by the interrogators, including waterboarding [JURIST news archive], sleep deprivation, and prolonged isolation, were recognized as legal if medical personnel were present and responsible for ensuring the legal threshold for “severe physical and mental pain” was not crossed in violation of the US War Crimes Act [text]. The report contends the collection of data was used not to protect the health of the person being interrogated, but rather in an experimental fashion to justify and shape future interrogation procedures. If proven, the use of humans as research subjects would be in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremburg Code [materials], as well as other national and international laws. PHR also contends that while the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memos [text, PDF] may provide a legal defense against claims of torture, that protection would not extend to claims of human experimentation, stating:
[T]he Bush administration’s legal framework to protect CIA interrogators from violating US statutory and treaty obligations prohibiting torture effectively contravened well-established legal and ethical codes, that, had they been enforced, should have protected prisoners against human experimentation, and should have prevented the “enhanced” interrogation program from being initiated in the first place. There is no evidence that the Office of Legal Counsel ever assessed the lawfulness of the medical monitoring of torture, as it did with the use of the “enhanced” techniques themselves.
The report lists a series of recommendations, including investigations by the US Attorney General, the US Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP), and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official websites]. PHR also calls on the US Congress to amend the War Crimes act to ensure its compliance with the Geneva Convention.
This report is the latest incident in a long string of medical condemnations of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] and the medical professionals working in it. Last April, the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] released a report [text, PDF] alleging that medical professionals violated codes of medical ethics [JURIST report] by participating in and assisting in ill-treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees. In September 2007, doctors from 16 countries wrote a letter [JURIST report] condemning the US military for its treatment of detainees, particularly the policy of force-feeding to counteract hunger strikes. A month earlier, a commentary [text] published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [journal website] asserted that force-feeding was a violation of medical ethics [JURIST report].
So much for that medical oath…
I really don’t want to say how I feel about Obama’s DOJ propping up BushCo’s torturous bastards. I am afraid I couldn’t stop screaming at the top of my lungs.
A national disgrace doesn’t even come close as Prof Turley states.its an international disgrace what the DOJ is doing.
The wonderful folks over at the Washington Independent have posted the heavily redacted Torture Report we have all been waiting years for. Below is the report itself:
2004 CIA Inspector General Report on Torture –
The report, CIA Inspector General John Helgerson’s 2004 report, will be fine reading for me after Weeds and Nurse Jackie this evening.
I plan to wade through it in it’s entirety. Wish me luck. Dick Cheney, as you may recall, states this report vindicates torture. It is 159 pages long.
Um, yeah right Dick..what-fucking-evah!
But wait! Before you get all giddy, its not what you think. According to the Chicago Tribune, it’s going to be “narrow” in scope, focusing on “whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized” in Bush administration memos known for their extreme interpretations of anti-torture laws.
US Attorney General Eric Holder profile; is expected to name a special prosecutor who will be tasked with investigating the alleged abuse of detainees and other terrorism suspects by CIA interrogators, according to a Sunday Los Angeles Times report. The report cites a senior Department of Justice official who says that Holder will limit the probe to determining whether individuals went beyond authorized techniques when interrogating suspects. The official said that no final decision has been made, but last month it was reported that Holder had requested a list of 10 possible candidates.
This probe is merely window dressing folks. According to the LAT, it will be almost impossible to get a conviction. So why is he doing this?
Bullshit and bravado? He will be wasting money on an investigation that will do nothing to the assholes that allowed detainee’s to be tortured in the first place. This quote says it all:
“I don’t blame them for wanting to look into it,” said a former high-ranking Justice Department official familiar with the details of the program. “But if they appoint a special prosecutor, it would ultimately be unsuccessful, and it would go on forever and cause enormous collateral damage on the way to getting that unsuccessful result.”
Such a waste of resources wouldn’t you say?