Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One)

21.4.09

Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, analyzes ten particularly disturbing facts to emerge from the four memos, purporting to justify the use of torture by the CIA, which were issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in August 2002 and May 2005, and released by the Obama administration last week. The article is published in two parts.

The OLC, as the New York Times explained in September 2007, holds a uniquely influential position, as it “interprets all laws that bear on the powers of the executive branch. The opinions of the head of the office are binding, except on the rare occasions when they are reversed by the attorney general or the president.” The legal opinions were, therefore, regarded as a “golden shield” by the administration, although, as lawyer Peter Weiss noted after I last wrote about the Bush administration’s war crimes, “it cannot be binding if it violates the constitution, or a jus cogens prohibition of international law, e.g. torture, or, perhaps, if it was made to order for the executive, as you demonstrate it was.”

1: The “torture memos” (August 2002)

The first of the four memos (PDF), dated August 1, 2002, is a companion piece to the notorious “Torture Memo” of the same day (PDF), leaked in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal, which, notoriously, attempted to redefine torture as the infliction of physical pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death,” or the infliction of mental pain which “result[s] in significant psychological harm of significant duration e.g. lasting for months or even years.”

These definitions were justified as legitimate attempts to interpret what the memo’s authors — OLC lawyer John Yoo and Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee — regarded as imprecision in the wording of the prohibition against torture in the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as implemented by Sections 2340-2340A of title 18 of the United States Code, which defines torture as any act committed by an individual that is “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering … upon another person within his custody of physical control.”

In their attempts to justify the use of torture by US forces, Yoo and Bybee not only sought to redefine “severe pain or suffering” and “severe mental pain or suffering”; they also sought to nullify the concept of “specific intent” by providing a defense for anyone whose actions were undertaken “in good faith,” and, in addition, noted, “Even if an interrogation method arguably were to violate Section 2340A, the statute would be unconstitutional if it impermissibly encroached on the President’s constitutional power to conduct a military campaign.”

The “torture memo” was disturbing enough in and of itself, of course, and in particular because it provided so much of the justification for the horrendous mistreatment of prisoners that followed, in Guantánamo, Afghanistan and Iraq, but until last week the contents of the second memo — authorizing the use of specific torture techniques for the CIA to use on the supposed “high-value detainee” Abu Zubaydah — had never even been glimpsed, although we knew much of what it contained from the reports of Red Cross interviews with the 14 “high-value detainees” transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006 — including, of course, Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) — which were first reported by Jane Mayer, and featured prominently in her book The Dark Side, and were then analyzed in detail by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books, in an article published last month, and a follow-up article, accompanied by the Red Cross report itself (PDF), that was published two weeks ago.

In the 18-page memo, John Yoo and Jay Bybee approved the use of ten techniques prohibited in the Army Field Manual, which eschews physical violence, and, instead, lays out a series of psychological maneuvers to secure cooperation. When applied with patience by skilled interrogators, these techniques (which are, essentially, also followed by several intelligence agencies including the FBI) are demonstrably effective, and have, for years, served to demonstrate that the US is capable of operating without resorting to the use of torture, but the Bush administration ignored their effectiveness, introducing torture into the military and the CIA, and sidelining those, like the FBI, who had actually begun to achieve results with both Abu Zubaydah and some of the Guantánamo prisoners without resorting to the use of torture.

The ten techniques — whose use is minutely micro-managed with a chillingly cold attention to detail — include a handful of physical tactics which, to my mind, seem mild compared to the widespread physical violence that accompanied detention in the “War on Terror” (“attention grasp,” “facial hold,” and “facial slap (insult slap)”), and a more insidious form of violence (“walling”), which involves repeatedly hurling prisoners against a false wall. Much more disturbing are the use of stress positions, sleep deprivation, confinement in small boxes, waterboarding, and — straight out of George Orwell’s 1984 — a proposal to prey on Zubaydah’s fear of insects by placing an insect into his “confinement box.”

This latter technique was, apparently, never used, but the others all were, and the memo blithely attempted to dismiss long-standing proof that all can be regarded as torture by being satisfied with time limits imposed on imprisonment in the “confinement boxes,” by declaring that the use of painful stress positions (on which no time limit seems to have been imposed) was only undertaken “to induce muscle fatigue,” and by claiming that the well-chronicled mental collapse that can result from sleep deprivation would, instead, only involve mild discomfort that “will generally remit after one or two nights of uninterrupted sleep,” even though, as Yoo and Bybee also noted, “You have orally informed us that you would not deprive Zubaydah of sleep for more than eleven days at a time.”

Justifying the use of waterboarding — a form of controlled drowning that was known to the honest torturers of the Spanish Inquisition as “tortura del agua,” and that, in a previous incarnation of the United States (Vietnam), involved prosecuting US soldiers for its use — Yoo (photo, left) and Bybee calmly approved of 20-minute sessions in which, presumably, the 20- to 40-second procedure was repeatedly as frequently as required, and shrugged off waterboarding’s demonstrably well-documented use as a form of torture by noting that, in the US military schools, where it is taught in the counter-interrogation program known as SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape), from which it was reverse-engineered for the “War on Terror,” it has never, according to “experts” consulted by the administration, produced “any adverse mental health effects.”

2: The Bradbury memos (May 2005)

This assertion is, of course, monstrously untrue, as psychologist Jeffrey Kaye demonstrated in an article last week, but the underlying premise of the August 2002 memo — that, although torture was needed to “break” the CIA’s prisoners, it was not actually torture because it did not inflict “severe physical or mental pain or suffering” — was spelled out much more clearly in May 2005, when the OLC’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Steven G. Bradbury, produced another three memos, also released last week (and available as PDFs here, here and here), which picked up where Yoo and Bybee had left off.

Over the course of 106 pages, as he attempted to interpret torture so that it did not contravene the Convention Against Torture and Sections 2340-2340A of title 18 of the United States Code, Bradbury revisited much of the ground covered by Yoo and Bybee (photo, left), but inadvertently made it even clearer than his predecessors had that there was a ludicrous gulf between, on the one hand, endorsing torture, and, on the other, attempting to claim that it would not cause either severe physical or mental harm.

As with the earlier memos, from my point of view the arguments about the techniques not causing severe physical pain were more plausible than those in which Bradbury attempted to argue that techniques derived from the SERE program — which are based on teaching soldiers to resist techniques designed to cause a complete mental collapse — do not cause severe mental pain or suffering. The very fact that SERE psychologists were so prominent in the CIA’s torture program makes it clear that “learned helplessness” — involving the brutal training of prisoners to become dependent on their interrogators for every crumb of comfort in their wretched, tortured lives — was designed not just to cause them severe mental pain or suffering, but to completely destroy them mentally. As Bradbury himself noted, when discussing the “conditioning techniques” that underpin the CIA prisoners’ conditions of confinement, “they are used to ‘demonstrate to the [detainee] that he has no control over basic human needs.’”

And yet, for page after page, Bradbury concluded that “nudity, dietary manipulation and sleep deprivation” — now revealed explicitly as not just keeping a prisoner awake, but hanging him, naked except for a diaper, by a chain attached to shackles around his wrists — are, essentially, techniques that produce insignificant and transient discomfort. We are, for example, breezily told that caloric intake “will always be set at or above 1,000 kcal/day,” and are encouraged to compare this enforced starvation with “several commercial weight-loss programs in the United States which involve similar or even greater reductions in calorific intake.”

In “water dousing,” a new technique introduced since 2002, in which naked prisoners are repeatedly doused with cold water, we are informed that “maximum exposure directions have been ‘set at two-thirds the time at which, based on extensive medical literature and experience, hypothermia could be expected to develop in healthy individuals who are submerged in water of the same temperature,’” and when it comes to waterboarding, Bradbury clinically confirms that it can be used 12 times a day over five days in a period of a month — a total of 60 times for a technique that is so horrible that one application is supposed to have even the most hardened terrorist literally gagging to tell all.

3: The ticking time-bomb scenario

The Bradbury memos are littered with fascinating snippets of information — “Careful records are kept of each interrogation,” for example — but one of the most revealing is the establishment that, although the array of techniques ”are not used unless the CIA reasonably believes that the detainee is a ‘senior member of al-Qaeda or [its affiliates], and the detainee has knowledge of imminent terrorist threats against the USA or has been directly involved in the planning of attacks,” use of the waterboard is “limited still further, requiring credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent … substantial and credible indicators that the subject has actionable intelligence that can prevent, disrupt or delay this attack; and [a determination that o]ther interrogation methods have failed to elicit the information [and that] other … methods are unlikely to elicit this information within the perceived time limit for preventing the attack”; in other words, the ticking time-bomb scenario, which, outside the world of Jack Bauer, has never actually occurred.

4: The relentless waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

I find this distortion of reality disturbing enough, but, having decided that this was indeed the case with Abu Zubaydah, KSM and one other prisoner, Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, the CIA and its masters then decided that, in the case of Zubaydah, it was, as Bradbury reveals in an extraordinarily telling passage, “necessary to use the waterboard ‘at least 83 times during August 2002,’” and “183 times during March 2003” in the interrogation of KSM.

These are mind-boggling figures, and, in addition, they seem to reveal not that each horrific round of near-drowning and panic, repeated over and over again, defused a single ticking time-bomb, but, instead, that it became a macabre compulsion on the part of the torturers, which led only to the countless false alarms reported by CIA and FBI officials who spoke to David Rose for Vanity Fair last December, or, as the author Ron Suskind reported in 2006, after Zubaydah “confessed” to all manner of supposed plots — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty — “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each target … The United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.”

One sign that this is indeed the case comes in a disturbing footnote, in which Bradbury (photo, left) noted, “This is not to say that the interrogation program has worked perfectly. According to the IG Report [a massive and unpublished internal report that was clearly critical of much of the program], the CIA, at least initially, could not always distinguish detainees who had information but were successfully resisting interrogation from those who did not actually have the information … on at least one occasion, this may have resulted in what might be deemed in retrospect to have been the unnecessary use of enhanced techniques. On that occasion, although the on-scene interrogation team judged Zubaydah to be compliant, elements within CIA Headquarters still believed he was withholding information [passage redacted]. At the direction of CIA headquarters, interrogators therefore used the waterboard one more time on Zubaydah [passage redacted].”

5: The crucial differences between SERE and CIA waterboarding

Furthermore, as another revealing footnote makes clear, the IG Report also noted that, “in some cases the waterboard was used with far greater frequency than initially indicated,” and also that it was “used in a different manner” than the technique described in the DoJ opinion and used in SERE training. As the report explained, “The difference was in the manner in which the detainees’ breathing was obstructed. At the SERE school and in the DoJ opinion, the subject’s airflow is disrupted by the firm application of a damp cloth over the air passages; the interrogator applies a small amount of water to the cloth in a controlled manner. By contrast, the Agency interrogator … applied large volumes of water to a cloth that covered the detainee’s mouth and nose. One of the psychiatrist/interrogators acknowledged that the Agency’s use of the technique is different from that used in SERE training because it is ‘for real’ and is more poignant and convincing.”

In addition, the IG Report noted that the OMS, the CIA’s Office of Medical Services, contended that “the experience of the SERE psychologist/interrogators on the waterboard was probably misrepresented at the time, as the SERE waterboard experience is so different from the subsequent Agency usage as to make it almost irrelevant.” Chillingly, the report continued, “Consequently, according to OMS, there was no a priori reason to believe that applying the waterboard with the frequency and intensity with which it was used by the psychologist/interrogators was either efficacious or medically safe.”

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

In the second part of this article, Andy looks at further revelations in the Bradbury memos about other “ghost prisoners” held in secret CIA custody, analyzes the important role played by former OLC head Jack Goldsmith in resisting the culture of torture, calls for the release of a damning internal report into the OLC’s legal advice, and also calls on Barack Obama to prosecute those responsible for turning the United States into a nation that, under the cover of unjustifiable legal advice, embraced the use of torture.

Both parts of this article were published exclusively on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation, in four parts (click on the following for Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four). Also cross-posted on Common Dreams and Dandelion Salad.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture? (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, July 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison, Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here) (all May 2009), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA), and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009). Also see the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive. And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), The Trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier” (November 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), and the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

90 Responses

  1. Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos, Part 1 by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] CIA Torture Memos, Part 1 by Andy Worthington Posted on April 20, 2009 by dandelionsalad by Andy Worthington Featured Writer Dandelion Salad http://www.andyworthington.co.uk Originally posted at the Future of [...]

  2. Frances Madeson says...

    What a tragic misuse of Bybee and Bradbury’s obvious skill and intelligence. Except for the insanely immoral conclusions in the service of an equally insane and horrific political agenda, these are excellent, even seductive, memoranda. I happen to love the form for its ability to authoritatively persuade and because it’s a writing that is serious in its potential consequences (and so much writing is frivolous, trivial, or both).

    By their own hands, poor Bybee and Bradbury have been inscribed in American jurisprudential history but probably not in the way they dreamed of when they were boys flying around their neighborhoods in Superman capes murmuring “truth, justice and the American way” under their breaths.

    The politesse with which they signed off evidences their delusional view of themselves as gentlemen of the bar, even public servants: “Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.” I’ll take a stab at answering that. Well, for one, please stop perverting justice and disgracing your own honor and your country’s. Also, please make hefty monetary contributions to CagePrisoner, Reprieve, CCR, the ACLU, and the Brennan Center for Justice, who have all had to devote significant resources to defending and protecting the recipients of your legal largess. Also, find some way of publicly recanting and thereby deflating any possibility that these memos can be viewed as legitimate legal instruments. Push the re-set button, gentlemen, for yourselves and for everyone else you have harmed. Be unequivocal. I promise you, it will feel good.

  3. David Yaseen says...

    The big differences between detainee interrogation and SERE:

    1) The subject slept in his/her own bed the previous night, and knows he will again that very night.

    2) The subject has not been held for a period of months or years, incommunicado and without legal process.

    3) The subject knows ahead of time how he will be treated, and why, and that the treatment will end.

    The very idea that the two are comparable is ludicrous; it’s the difference between being in a car wreck vs. riding a roller coaster.

  4. sa says...

    more importantly, how many people did they torture to death?
    we will never know how many, but we can be certain that
    many people died at the hands of american interrogaters.

    how many people in iraq were shot innocent, and in cold blood?
    we will never know, but we can be certain that many did.

    all of this in the name of america, in the name of you and me. an immortal soul whimsically assasinated at the hands of george w. bush.

    kind of makes you angry, no?

  5. Nell says...

    Frances M: Except for the insanely immoral conclusions in the service of an equally insane and horrific political agenda, these are excellent, even seductive, memoranda.

    Very few lawyers agree with this assessment. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse describes the Office of Legal Counsel as having traditionally been “a temple of legal scholarship” and says that the released memos “don’t even meet basic standards of legal scholarship, much less the exalted standards of the OLC”.

  6. the talking dog says...

    Nell nails it: the amazing thing about the memos is not their legal scholarship, but the fact that they are so “legal-esque” in their appearance and yet so amateurish (and invariably dead wrong) in their substance. The memos cite case law, statutes, treaties and constitutional provisions which clearly and unequivocally state that the conduct that the memo authors are blessing is not only against the law, but likely to carry severe criminal penalties for all involved.

    There is a blithe rote-ness (or is it a rote blitheness?) that the conclusion– go ahead and torture– is foreordained, with the legal “analysis” just a necessary annoyance to convince casual on-lookers that someone important has given “serious consideration” to what shouldn’t be serious questions (e.g., can we LEGALLY engage in prohibited acts of torture?)

    The rumblings are starting for Jay Bybee’s impeachment from the federal bench; while by no means full and adequate accountability (even for Bybee himself), it would be a very nice start, and provide a very nice public airing of a great many grievances that need to be aired.

  7. Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two) « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] released by the Obama administration last week. The first part of this two-part article, available here, looked at the background to the August 2002 memo and its disturbing contents, provided an overview [...]

  8. Who Ordered the Torture of Abu Zubaydah?-By ANDY WORTHINGTON | thehitjob.com says...

    [...] by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books), the release, by the Justice Department, of four memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify the use of [...]

  9. Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah? « US and Their Allys War against muslims in the world, indicate of falling US and Zionist Empire,(Inshallah)!!! says...

    [...] by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books), the release, by the Justice Department, of four memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify the use of [...]

  10. Who Ordered the Torture of Abu Zubaydah? « Muslim in Suffer says...

    [...] by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books), the release, by the Justice Department, of four memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify the use of [...]

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    David,
    Thanks for the comments, which succinctly nail the OLC’s epic distortions of reality. I particularly liked the car wreck/roller coaster analogy.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    sa,
    We know that over a hundred men died in US custody in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I agree that we will never know how many Iraqis we shot in cold blood.
    It does make me angry, but more than that it makes me hunger for justice. In some ways it’s a more difficult and nuanced response, but I’d like these people to be beaten not by their own rules, but by the rules that they so disgracefully spurned in favor of brutal and homicidal stupidity.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks also to Frances, Nell and the Talking Dog.
    It is extraordinary, I think, that when you gaze unflinchingly on the memos, the “temple of legal scholarship” has so clearly been defiled by three particular men whose tortuous reasoning was implemented solely to subordinate objective legal scholarship to the whims of the Justice Department’s torture-loving bosses.

    For the sake of the OLC’s credibility, especially given the gravity of the subject matter, it is not enough that Goldsmith withdrew the Yoo and Bybee memos, while attempting to shield the perpetrators from prosecution (as though it was simply a difference of opinion, as Yoo has always so smugly maintained).

    Given the transparent attempts to subvert the OLC’s role, all three men really should be struck off, and, of course, their masters pursued for implementing the whole malign project in the first place.

  14. Idealthoughts says...

    Yoo’s memos were at best childish and poorly written,Bybee on the other hand attempted to frame his words in the style and manner of Thomas Payne. The one person’s memos we have yet to see or even had a hint of any in existance in David Addington. He is the first I’d vote to send to the gallows. If no memos from his office can be found, then that suggests that during the last week of Cheney’s reign they were burned with other materials they knew would show criminal intent. With criminal intent there does not exist a plausable legal arguement for justification of torture, no matter what the right wingnuts scream and holler.

  15. Kadah says...

    Holding prisoners on American soil without due process was a violation of the Constitution, of that there is no doubt; even though these were “enemy combatants” known to have been trained to kill Americans, once on American soil, they should have been tried and imprisoned or released. To not do so, affects the rights of every American. In that, Bush was wrong.

    The invasion of Iraq was illegal. It should never have happened without a declaration of war. That is what is required by the United States Constitution; and there must be justifiable cause presented to request a declarationo f war. The president requests, the Congress grants or denies.

    Now to the use of torture. It is all well and good to condemn the use of torture. But once American forces are committed to the arena, then whatever we have to do to protect them is what has to be done. The illegalities of the Bush Administration and protecting our young men and women, committed to the field of war, are two entirely separate issues. Torture is a fact of conflict. And if anyone thinks that our young men and women, captured on the field of battle, are not tortured for the information they might reveal, you delude yourselves. And in the case of Islamic fundamentalists, those young men and women, after being tortured, are killed, often suffering hienous physical torture unto death. And if you expect that Islamic fundamentalists are going to abide by your rules if you are Mr Nice Guy, you also delude yourself.

    If it comes to torturing people who have taken an oath to kill us, and saving our young men and women from torture unto death, which do you choose? What do you say, after being Mr Nice Guy, to the family of the young man or young woman, captured, tortured unto death, whose mangled, disfigured, beheaded, disemboweled body is left to be found?

    You people need to get your heads out of the sand.

  16. Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] by Mark Danner for the New York Review of Books), the release, by the Justice Department, of four memos issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify the use of [...]

  17. Andy Worthington: Even For Cheney, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low | got the info? says...

    [...] addition, a second reason for revisiting al-Libi’s story emerged two weeks ago, when memos approving the use of torture by the CIA, written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, were [...]

  18. Dictatorial Powers Unchallenged As US “Enemy Combatant” Pleads Guilty by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] to the kind of “enhanced interrogation techniques” authorized by the Office of Legal Counsel in memos released by the Obama administration two weeks ago, which, as confirmed in a Senate Armed Services Committee [...]

  19. Andy Worthington: Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture | www.webhostservices.biz says...

    [...] it has been suggested that the Obama administration’s decision, three weeks ago, to release four previously classified memos issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005 (which purported [...]

  20. TRex says...

    What I find perplexing about all of this is during my Prisoner of War Training by UDT Seals…we were routinely “Water Boarded” and beaten (no joke… punched in the face etc) regularly for well over 3 days as an exercise as to what we should expect from the enemy at a minimun….no one cared about this treatment to American Soldiers at the hands of our own government…nor did we. The understanding was that the training would enable us to have some understanding or expectation during capture…again at a minimum. So why all the bleeding hearts for individuals that would slice your throat given half a chance…

    Answer is this…those who press the issue against our government in an attempt to bring discredit upon this nation are aiding the enemy and have therfore become the enemy….truth is in the lack of concern for our troops and our citizens safety while demonstrating a highly unusual concern for what I veiw as very comfortable living quarters and treatment from our military….better treatment than we soldiers get while serving in difficult environments in this nations defense….it only computes one way…they are the enemy and should be responded too in kind….end it the old fashion way…with a very good ass kicking.

  21. Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] it has been suggested that the Obama administration’s decision, three weeks ago, to release four previously classified memos issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005 (which purported to [...]

  22. Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] based on interviews with 14 “high-value detainees” held in secret CIA prisons (PDF), in the memos issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, which purported to justify [...]

  23. Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi « Israelis wars on muslims indicates the beginning of the fall of the American Empire! says...

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  24. Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide” by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] al-Libi’s death may have followed the pattern established above, but with a twist based on the recent disclosure of documents relating to the Bush administration’s policies of “extraordinary rendition” and torture, and [...]

  25. Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] of 2002 — well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion” — specifically, the memos purporting to redefine torture and authorize its use by the CIA, which were issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel on August 1, [...]

  26. Anti-torture Coalition Files Disciplinary Complaints Against 12 Bush Administration Lawyers « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] United States Criminal Code against torture and war crimes all prohibit torture of detainees. The memos written and supported by these attorneys advocating torture have now been repudiated by the Department of Justice, the White House, the [...]

  27. Forgotten: The Second Anniversary Of A Guantánamo Suicide by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] of war nor as criminal suspects to be put forward for trials in federal courts, and behind all the torture that was introduced when these nobodies were unable to come up with “actionable intelligence,” was a war that, [...]

  28. Obama Proposes Swift Execution of Alleged 9/11 Conspirators by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Abdul Aziz Ali and Walid bin Attash — and it indicates that, in order to avoid having to disclose distressing details of the torture to which these men were subjected, during their long years in secret CIA prisons, the Obama [...]

  29. Andy Worthington: Never Forget: The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture » A Couple Things » A couple things about politics, sports, travel, and other stuff. says...

    [...] own contribution, an analysis of how the Bush administration’s torture regime included not only the water-boarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on so-called “high-value detainees” and the reverse-engineered torture techniques taught in [...]

  30. Andy Worthington: Release Of The “Holy Grail” Of Torture Reports Delayed Again » A Couple Things » A couple things about politics, sports, travel, and other stuff. says...

    [...] 2005, written by the OLC’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Steven G. Bradbury, but as I explained in an article at the time, when analyzed in the context of the memos, the “excerpts” were even more [...]

  31. Get your News » Andy Worthington: Release Of The "Holy Grail" Of Torture Reports Delayed Again says...

    [...] written by the OLC’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Steven G. Bradbury, but as I explained in an article at the time, when analyzed in the context of the memos, the “excerpts” were even more [...]

  32. Will Eric Holder Be The Anti-Torture Hero? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] described the negotiations over the April release of the torture memos as follows: For weeks Holder had participated in a contentious internal debate over whether the [...]

  33. Tortured Logic: ACLU launches campaign to ask Eric Holder to investigate Bush and Cheney’s war crimes by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Oliver Stone, Philip Glass and a relative of one of the 9/11 victims) read out passages from the notorious torture memos, issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which were released by the [...]

  34. Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo With World Can’t Wait « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] decides to restrict his investigation to those who exceeded the rules laid down in the notorious “torture memos” issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the launch of any investigation [...]

  35. Bagram Isn’t The New Guantánamo, It’s The Old Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] These records revealed that an overwhelming majority of the men had not been seized by US forces on the battlefield, but had been sold to them by their Afghan or Pakistani allies, at a time when bounty payments were widespread, and — perhaps most shockingly — the transcripts also revealed that a vast amount of the government’s supposed evidence consisted not of verifiable facts, but of “confessions” made by other prisoners — or by the prisoners themselves — under unknown circumstances. A great deal of demonstrably unreliable information was attributed to unidentified figures in al-Qaeda — in general, the “high-value detainees,” including Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who were being held in secret CIA prisons where the use of torture had been sanctioned by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, in its notorious “torture memos.” [...]

  36. Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense [...]

  37. An Interview With Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (Part Two) by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Justice Department investigation into the lawyers at the Office of Legal Counsel who wrote the torture memos, and from what I’ve heard about that investigation, it seemed to involve establishing concrete, [...]

  38. Spanish judge resumes torture case against six senior Bush lawyers « Did You Know says...

    [...] the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense [...]

  39. Obama wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize + Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize: OK, He’s A Nice Guy, But … by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] to turn America from a country that upheld the universal torture ban into a country that sought to redefine torture so that it could torture “high-value detainees” in a network of secret prisons around the [...]

  40. Call on A.G. Holder to Launch a Full-Scale Investigation of the “Torture Memos” « Did You Know says...

    [...] the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense [...]

  41. UK Judges Order Release Of Details About The Torture Of Binyam Mohamed By US Agents by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Office of Legal Counsel dealing with the treatment of al-Qaeda detainees” (generally known as the “torture memos”), clearly agreeing with Mohamed’s lawyers, who told the court on April 22 that, “in the light [...]

  42. john says...

    The CIA is a joke. The whole American army is a joke. Especially you free masons. We have caught up with your plan and we know that your so called antichrist is set to appear in the years 2012-2013 and e are ready. We will Give you a war you will never forget. You are our enemies and you will all pay.

  43. On Democracy Now! Andy Worthington Discusses the Forthcoming 9/11 Trials and “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] will be able to avoid having to dwell on the fact that Mohammed and his co-defendants were all tortured in secret CIA prisons if the Justice Department is able to produce any evidence whatsoever of their involvement in the [...]

  44. Guantánamo: Idealists Leave Obama’s Sinking Ship by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] result of a long-standing court case initiated by the ACLU, a court deadline was reached regarding the release of classified memos, issued in 2002 and 2005 by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which purported to [...]

  45. Appeals Court Extends President’s Wartime Powers, Limits Guantánamo Prisoners’ Rights by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] muddle has had grave repercussions — the whole malign project of “extraordinary rendition,” torture redefined so that it could be used by US personnel, and the prisons of which Guantánamo is the most baleful [...]

  46. Murders at Guantánamo: Scott Horton of Harper’s Exposes the Truth about the 2006 “Suicides” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] for the use of torture techniques, issuing a long series of memoranda [widely known as the ‘torture memos’] that CIA agents and others could use to defend themselves against any subsequent criminal [...]

  47. Happy 8th Birthday Gitmo: an interview with watchdog Andy Worthington « Pluto Press – Independent Progressive Publishing says...

    [...] from Guantánamo to live in the US, but the administration was taking flak for releasing the torture memos and planning to release the photos of the abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. He [...]

  48. Murders at Guantanamo: Exposing the Truth about the 2006 ‘Suicides’ | thehitjob.com says...

    [...] for the use of torture techniques, issuing a long series of memoranda [widely known as the ‘torture memos’] that CIA agents and others could use to defend themselves against any subsequent criminal [...]

  49. Bagram: Graveyard of the Geneva Conventions « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] at Abu Ghraib and in the secret prison network, was a torture regime, purportedly sanctioned by memos written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which claimed to [...]

  50. Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] report largely focuses on two memos dated August 1, 2002, and a third dated March 14, 2003. Widely known as the “torture memos,” these notorious [...]

  51. Torture Whitewash: How “Professional Misconduct” Became “Poor Judgment” in the OPR Report « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] report largely focuses on two memos dated August 1, 2002, and a third dated March 14, 2003. Widely known as the “torture memos,” these notorious [...]

  52. roger hollander says...

    [...] that an internal report into the conduct of John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, who wrote the notorious memos in August 2002, which attempted to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, was mistaken in [...]

  53. What Torture Is and Why It’s Illegal and Not “Poor Judgment” | themcglynn.com/theliberal.net says...

    [...] that an internal report into the conduct of John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, who wrote the notorious memos in August 2002, which attempted to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, was mistaken in [...]

  54. Crapaganda.com » Abu Zubaydah: Tortured For Nothing says...

    [...] torture program for “high-value detainees,” which was first publicly revealed when a memo that purported to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and issued in [...]

  55. The Progressive Mind » Abu Zubaydah: Tortured For Nothing | Eurasia Review says...

    [...] torture program for “high-value detainees,” which was first publicly revealed when a memo that purported to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and issued in [...]

  56. Fahad Hashmi And Terrorist Hysteria In US Courts | FlipTrends-Following the Hottest Google Trends says...

    [...] Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, and subjected to variations on the administration’s torture program that, in Padilla’s case, were so severe that he apparently lost his [...]

  57. Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo of Russian Caught in Abu Zubaydah’s Web | themcglynn.com/theliberal.net says...

    [...] interpreting the law as it applies to the executive branch, cynically attempted to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA with some sort of legal [...]

  58. New Report Reveals How Bush Torture Program Involved Human Experimentation « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] the former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), who used it to write a legal opinion in 2005 advising CIA interrogators on how to administer the technique, referred to in the PHR report as [...]

  59. LT Saloon |  Abu Zubaydah and the Case Against Torture Architect James Mitchell says...

    [...] of a four-year internal investigation into the Justice Department lawyers who wrote the “torture memos” in 2002 and 2003 that purported to redefine torture so that it could be practiced by the [...]

  60. Attempts to call to accountability any of the architects of the Bush administration’s torture program have so far been depressingly unsuccessful « Coreys Views says...

    [...] report of a four-year internal investigation into the Justice Department lawyers who wrote the “torture memos” in 2002 and 2003 that purported to redefine torture so that it could be practiced by the CIA, [...]

  61. In Abu Zubaydah’s Case, Court Relies on Propaganda and Lies « The 2012 Scenario says...

    [...] detainee” of such significance that the Bush administration conceived its torture program specifically for use on him. But the case against him has steadily unraveled over the years, as officials — first in the [...]

  62. In Abu Zubaydah’s Case, Court Relies on Propaganda and Lies « Revolutionizing Awareness says...

    [...] detainee” of such significance that the Bush administration conceived its torture program specifically for use on him. But the case against him has steadily unraveled over the years, as officials — first in the Bush [...]

  63. Andy Worthington: Never Forget: The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture | BlackNewsTribune.com says...

    [...] an analysis of how the Bush administration’s torture regime included not only the water-boarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on so-called “high-value detainees” and the reverse-engineered torture techniques [...]

  64. Andy Worthington: Will Eric Holder Be The Anti-Torture Hero? | BlackNewsTribune.com says...

    [...] described the negotiations over the April release of the torture memos as follows: For weeks Holder had participated in a contentious internal debate over whether the [...]

  65. Andy Worthington: Judge Orders Release From Guantanamo Of Kuwaiti Who Met Bin Laden | BlackNewsTribune.com says...

    [...] to add to the burgeoning file of complaints against Dick Cheney and David Addington (the one that begins with torture and calls for prosecution, but also includes a whole section on arrogance and incompetence), but it [...]

  66. The Torture of Omar Khadr, a Child in Bagram and Guantánamo « roger hollander says...

    [...] executive branch, purported to redefine torture, in two memos that have become known as the “torture memos,” as the infliction of physical pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying [...]

  67. Obama’s National Security Policy: The Death of Hope and Change « roger hollander says...

    [...] May 2009, with Republicans seizing on the President’s court-ordered release of a notorious series of “torture memos,” issued by Justice Department lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, as a [...]

  68. In Upcoming Book Bush Admits to Waterboarding | Watts Cookin' says...

    [...] detainee” for whom the torture program was specifically developed, who, according to the “torture memos” released last year (written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005) was [...]

  69. Andy Worthington – On Guantanamo, Obama Hits Rock Bottom « Kickingcrow's Weblog says...

    [...] addition, in April 2009 he complied with a court order to release four “torture memos” issued in 2002 and 2005 by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which [...]

  70. WikiLeaks: Numerous Reasons to Dismiss US Claims that “Ghost Prisoner” Aafia Siddiqui Was Not Held in Bagram + Bring Aafia Home « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] is easy, therefore, to see that a confession extracted under torture from KSM — when he was being subjected to waterboarding on 183 separate occasions in a secret prison in Poland — could have led to Dr. Siddiqui’s [...]

  71. Former CIA “Ghost Prisoner” Abu Zubaydah Recognized as “Victim” in Polish Probe of Secret Prison « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] to be captured, detained and interrogated by the CIA. For the purpose of his interrogation, the CIA devised a set of “enhanced interrogation techniques” intended to create a state of learned helplessness through the application of severe physical and [...]

  72. Guantánamo: A Tale of Two Tunisians « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] held in secret CIA prisons where they were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” approved by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; in other words, where they were [...]

  73. Hiding Horrific Tales of Torture: Why The US Government Reached A Plea Deal with Guantánamo Prisoner Noor Uthman Muhammed « Eurasia Review says...

    [...] (which is supposed to provide impartial legal advice to the executive branch) wrote two memos — the “torture memos,” signed by OLC head Jay S. Bybee — in which he cynically attempted to redefine torture, and [...]

  74. WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Guantánamo Files, Exposes Detention Policy as a Construct of Lies « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] facilities in Thailand and Poland. Subjected to waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, on 83 occasions in CIA custody in August 2002, Abu Zubaydah was moved to Guantánamo with 13 other “high-value [...]

  75. CommonDreams.org | The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files | Anti-War Committee says...

    [...] figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, tortured in [...]

  76. The Hidden Horrors Of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files – OpEd « « Eurasia Review Eurasia Review says...

    [...] figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, tortured in [...]

  77. The Hidden Horrors of WikiLeaks’ Guantánamo Files « roger hollander says...

    [...] figures appearing over and over again. They include “high-value detainees” like Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, tortured in [...]

  78. The Unjustifiable Defense of Torture and Gitmo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] was a protégé of KSM’s, then the CIA might have wrapped this up back in 2003, while they were waterboarding the 9/11 mastermind a hundred and eighty-three [...]

  79. New York Times Attempts To Stifle Torture Debate - OpEd says...

    [...] [...]

  80. “High-Value Detainee” Abu Zubaydah Blinded By Bush Administration - OpEd says...

    [...] John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee wrote and approved the notorious torture memos of August 1, 2002, was waterboarded 83 times, Zubaydah is pivotal to any assessment of the CIA’s torture program, and what makes his story [...]

  81. Time Is Right For Americans To Pay Attention To Human Rights Watch’s New Torture Report - OpEd says...

    [...] after, through the leaked memo seeking to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, the first of two now notorious “torture memos” written by Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, signed by Jay S. Bybee, his boss in the Office of [...]

  82. Robert Hauser says...

    Some of you might be interested in attending this event to ask the “good professor” John Yoo a few pointed questions…

    This event is Thursday!
    A rare opportunity!

    Hear Professor John Yoo speak
    and
    Help support NBP, BAP, and MCF
    Proceeds above the speaker’s fee and space rental
    will go to these 3 patriot groups

    North Bay Patriots,
    Marin Forum
    & Bay Area Patriots

    Professor John Yoo
    Renowned Constitutional Scholar (oh, really?….)

    “ObamaCare and the Supremes:

    The Ins and Outs of the Pending Decision”

    ***
    Thursday, March 8th
    7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Sheraton Four Points
    1010 Northgate Drive
    San Rafael
    ***
    Price of Admission: $25
    You must RSVP and purchase a ticket to attend!
    Make sure to print out your ticket(s) when you register!

    REGISTER NOW. SPACE IS LIMITED.
    TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE. THEY WILL NOT BE FOR SALE AT THE DOOR.

    Register at
    https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?llr=au7f5vdab&oeidk=a07e5ikf5k0203e71ff&oseq=

    We might be able to offer some scholarships.
    Contact sally@bayareapatriots.comcastbiz.net to inquire.

    Professor Yoo’s new book will be available for $25:
    “Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution and the New World Order”.
    __________________________________________________________

    PLEASE NOTE: This event will take the place of our first regularly scheduled NBP meeting in March.
    Our next meeting in Cotati will be Wednesday, March 21st.

  83. The 4th Media » Torture: Bush Administration on Trial says...

    [...] All claim to be protected by the “golden shield” offered by their inside man, John Yoo, part of a group of lawyers who aggressively pushed the lawlessness of the “war on terror.” Abusing his position as a lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, whose mandate is to provide impartial legal advice to the executive branch, Yoo instead attempted to redefine torture and approved its use — including the use of waterboarding, an ancient torture technique and a form of controlled drowning — on an alleged “high-value detainee,”Abu Zubaydah, in two memos, dated August 1, 2002, that will forever be known as the “torture memos.” [...]

  84. US Pentagon Releases Training Manual Used As Basis For Bush’s Torture Program says...

    [...] on August 1, 2002, which purported to redefine torture so that it could be used by the CIA, and approved the use of ten torture techniques on Abu Zubaydah, including waterboarding, an ancient torture technique and a form of controlled [...]

  85. For false confessions, U.S. learned torture from places like North Korea | Korea and the World says...

    [...] obtained the information and confirmed that seven of the ten  techniques in the U.S. “torture memo“, which essentially was a document drawn up by American lawyers in an attempt to legally [...]

  86. 2009-10-08 Request to RCMP to arrest George Bush when he is in Canada. COMPREHENSIVE argument. » The Battles says...

    [...] the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who played a major role in the preparation of the OLC’s notorious “torture memos”; Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy; William J. Haynes II, the Defense [...]

  87. Revolution and Rebellion: Winners even get to define words says...

    [...] was President, there was a major controversy over the US torturing prisoners. The administration redefined torture to justify the acts they committed on their prisoners during the war on terror. (You can read over the approved “interrogation [...]

  88. Interview With Guantánamo Expert Andy Worthington | PopularResistance.Org says...

    […] of Legal Counsel, which is supposed to provide impartial legal advice to the executive branch, wrote memos in 2002 that said that the torture wasn’t torture — so that US operatives could engage in torture with […]

  89. Arrogance And Torture: A History of Guantánamo by Andy Worthington | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] The authorization for the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” beyond those approved in the Army Field Manual (in which physical violence is prohibited and the emphasis is on psychological maneuvers with a proven track record), was signaled in August 2002. In an extraordinary document, known as the “torture memo” after it was leaked in 2004, a number of government lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which interprets the law as it applies to the Executive, attempted to redefine torture. […]

  90. Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low by Andy Worthington | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] addition, a second reason for revisiting al-Libi’s story emerged two weeks ago, when memos approving the use of torture by the CIA, written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, were […]

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