Category Archives: torture tapes

All Gitmo interrogations were filmed..


According to Jurist, the proof can be found in a new report released by the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research. A few of the individuals within the report actually represented detainees and FOIA requests bear out their stories. Here is a section from the beginning of the report, which is a PDF:

More than 24,000 interrogations have been conducted at Guantánamo since 2002.

Every interrogation conducted at Guantánamo was videotaped. The Central Intelligence Agency is just one of many entities that interrogated detainees at Guantánamo.

The agencies or bureaus that interrogated at Guantánamo include: the Central Intelligence Agency and its Counterterrorism Center; the Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) of the FBI; Defense Intelligence Analysis (DIA); Defense Human Intelligence (HUMINT); Army Criminal Investigative Division (ACID); the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI); and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Private contractors also interrogated detainees.

Each of these entities has identical motives to destroy taped investigations as has the Central Intelligence Agency. As one former senior Central Intelligence Agency official put it: “It’s a qualitatively different thing—seeing it versus reading about it.”
One Government document, for instance, reports detainee treatment so violent as to “shake the camera in the interrogation room” and “cause severe internal injury.” Another describes an interrogator positioning herself between a detainee and the camera, in order to block her actions from view.

The Government kept meticulous logs of information related to interrogations. Thus, it is ascertainable which videotapes documenting interrogations still exist, and which videotapes have been destroyed.

The report is 40 pages long and I have not slogged through it in it’s entirety yet, the ball and chain is on my last nerve today..but I will do it later…after I hide the body ;p

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Is John Durham the man for the job?


His appointment is central to the question of whether or not there can be a decent Justice Dept investigation into the destruction of the Torture Tapes. The fact that Bush tried to talk Mukasey out of the investigation shows there won’t be any cooperation by the White House into the destruction of the tapes. Several pundits, both legal and otherwise, weigh in on this subject below.

Dahlia Lithwick for Slate gives us her pov:

And Durham appears to be more than merely apolitical. He appears to be zealous in his ability to smoke out wrongdoing, even when it’s the alleged good guys who have been doing the wrong. Durham’s career-making prosecution was, after all, an appointment by Janet Reno to go after criminal conduct by the FBI and other government agents who had apparently been in bed with mobsters in Boston for decades. In this fascinating 2001 profile in the Hartford Courant, Durham is described as nonpartisan, incorruptible, and totally devoted to the integrity of the justice system. He was able to go after corrupt federal agents precisely because his belief in the system transcended his devotion to the government.

To be sure, Durham faces challenges in his CIA investigations that will make the Boston prosecution look like a day at the ballpark. Both the CIA and the White House will throw as much sand in his eyes as they possibly can, and if Harriet Miers can be prevented from testifying about fired U.S. attorneys, you can bet the White House won’t make it easy for Durham to investigate allegations of lies and obstruction. The fact that Durham ultimately answers to Mukasey is hardly comforting, either.

*snip*

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About those torture tapes…


Mukasey had this to say about the ‘investigation’:

“Following a preliminary inquiry into the destruction by CIA personnel of videotapes of detainee interrogations, the Department’s National Security Division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation as outlined below.

“This preliminary inquiry was conducted jointly by the Department’s National Security Division and the CIA’s Office of Inspector General. It was opened on December 8, 2007, following disclosure by CIA Director Michael Hayden on December 6, 2007, that the tapes had been destroyed. A preliminary inquiry is a procedure the Department of Justice uses regularly to gather the initial facts needed to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a criminal investigation of a potential felony or misdemeanor violation. The opening of an investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.

“An investigation of this kind, relating to the CIA, would ordinarily be conducted under the supervision of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the District in which the CIA headquarters are located. However, in an abundance of caution and on the request of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in accordance with Department of Justice policy, his office has been recused from the investigation of this matter, in order to avoid any possible appearance of a conflict with other matters handled by that office.

“As a result, I have asked John Durham, the First Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, to serve as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for purposes of this matter. Mr. Durham is a widely respected and experienced career prosecutor who has supervised a wide range of complex investigations in the past, and I am grateful to him for his willingness to serve in this capacity. As the Acting United States Attorney for purposes of this investigation, Mr. Durham will report to the Deputy Attorney General, as do all United States Attorneys in the ordinary course. I have also directed the FBI to conduct the investigation under Mr. Durham’s supervision.

“Earlier today, the Department provided notice of these developments to Director Hayden and the leadership of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees of the Congress.”

Thats a mouth-ful from Da Judge wouldn’t you say? TPM has an analysis of Mr. Durham;s abilities here. I haven’t read it yet, but will shortly..

Update: Durham is a career prosecutor. Those are the guys that got the most disgusted with and hosed the worst by Gonzo and the ‘Bushies’ brigade. One can hope this means he will take delight in making life miserable for anyone involved in destroying those tapes.

But..I could be wrong ;p

Image is everything..even to the CIA


Check out this article at the NYT today. Its all about how important image has become to the boyz and girlz at the CIA. Seems the CIA was paranoid that Abu Zubaydah would die whilst in their custody, so the following is what they did to protect their ‘image’:

So in the spring of 2002, even as the intelligence officers flew in a surgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat Abu Zubaydah, who had been shot three times during his capture in Pakistan, they set up video cameras to record his every moment: asleep in his cell, having his bandages changed, being interrogated.

In fact, current and former intelligence officials say, the agency’s every action in the prolonged drama of the interrogation videotapes was prompted in part by worry about how its conduct might be perceived — by Congress, by prosecutors, by the American public and by Muslims worldwide.

That worry drove the decision to begin taping interrogations — and to stop taping just months later, after the treatment of prisoners began to include waterboarding. And it fueled the nearly three-year campaign by the agency’s clandestine service for permission to destroy the tapes, culminating in a November 2005 destruction order from the service’s director, Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.

Ah yes, the destruction of the Torture Tapes. One can only hope that move was illegal enough to strike fear into the hearts of every asshole that took part in the decision. Its a good read, and I highly recommend you check it out my dear reader.

Crossposted at SirensChronicles

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Judge Kennedy gets cold feet.


He’s doing the moonwalk my dear reader. Is he really jerking us out or what? From Findlaw, the results or lack of them..of todays Torture Tapes hearing:

US judge seems wary of opening inquiry into destruction of CIA interrogation videos


(AP) – WASHINGTON-A federal judge appeared reluctant Friday to investigate the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes while the U.S. Justice Department is conducting its own inquiry.

U.S. District Judge Henry H. Kennedy is considering whether to delve into the matter and, if so, how deeply. The Bush administration is urging him not to act while it investigates.

“Why should the court not permit the Department of Justice to do just that?” Kennedy asked at a court hearing Friday.

Because Judge, the Justice Dept is one bunch of corrupt bags of batshit dude..seriously.

Edit: The NYT has this money quote from one of the Gitmo Lawyers, David H. Remes:

“Plainly, the government wants only foxes guarding the henhouse,” he asserted in his motion. Considering the government’s behavior so far, Mr. Remes argued, the Justice Department is not entitled to a presumption that it will do the right thing.