The Weird Circumstances Surrounding Hassan Ghul’s Interrogation

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 5:23 pm

It would appear that it took at least six months (from late January to late July) before the CIA got around to torturing Ghul.

This, in spite of the fact that an earlier reference to the August 25 letter claims that CIA believed Ghul had information about pending attacks.


Justice Dept.’s Daniel Levin Told DOD General Counsel Haynes – Again – Not to Torture

By: Sunday April 11, 2010 5:00 pm

We’ve long known that in February 2005, then-acting head of OLC Daniel Levin contacted DOD General Counsel to remind him that the March 14, 2003 Yoo memo on torture had been withdrawn. But I, for one, had never seen a copy of that letter. It turns out the government included it with their Appeals brief in the David Passaro case (see pages 99-100).

CIA Lawyers Discussed “Issue that Arose” Three Days Before July 13 Fax

By: Sunday April 4, 2010 6:45 am

Something appears to have been done to detainee Abu Zubaydah which caused severe mental suffering–something amounting to a threat of imminent death, like waterboarding or mock burial. In response to that treatment AZ gives his torturers the first piece of intelligence that actually involves al Qaeda (because, of course, he wasn’t a member of al Qaeda). But the treatment is serious enough that CIA’s lawyers (probably including John Rizzo) start worrying whether it can get the torturers charged with torture. That probably weighed heavily on John Rizzo when, after he presented the “proposed” torture program on July 13, the country’s top prosecutors reacted badly. And so, panicked, he asked John Yoo for a fax laying out how to avoid being charged under the torture statute. And while CIA and OLC danced around for two more weeks preparing a document that made the torture program look palatable enough to sign off on, that wasn’t what CIA would rely on.

Bush DOJ Official Daniel Levin “Not Opposed” to Torture Investigations

By: Tuesday November 10, 2009 5:05 pm

Some days it appears that torture is a dead issue in America. But at other times, events occur that belie such pessimism. One such event was the admission by Daniel Levin, author of one of the Bush administration’s infamous torture memos, that criminal investigations of Bush officials for their role in the implementation of torture [...]

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