The Air Force Must Have Some Really Good Cooks

By: Saturday March 15, 2014 9:02 am

We knew that the nuclear missile crews at Minot AFB were having problems passing their readiness checks, but now we learn that the missile launch folks had their bacon saved by having their poor test scores lumped together with the missile crew cooks and facilities managers. This raises a couple of questions . . .

 

Nomination Advice for President Obama

By: Friday December 14, 2012 6:35 am

Scene: the Oval Office

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA and CHIEF OF STAFF JACK LEW are seated on the sofas facing one another, with a single sheet of paper in front of LEW on the coffee table between them. Neither looks happy.

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.

Why the US Wants Military Commission Show Trials for 9/11 Suspects

By: Tuesday April 5, 2011 6:07 am

The commissions’ main purpose is to produce government propaganda, not justice. These are meant to be show trials, part of an overarching plan of “exploitation” of prisoners, which includes, besides a misguided attempt by some to gain intelligence data, the inducement of false confessions and the recruitment of informants via torture. The aim behind all this is political: to mobilize the U.S. population for imperialist war adventures abroad, and political repression and economic austerity at home.

Into the Weeds with FISA and the Goldsmith Memo

By: Monday March 28, 2011 7:15 pm

The unredacted sections of the Goldsmith Memo do not rely on In re Sealed Case to claim warrantless wiretapping qualifies as a special need, whereas the White Paper does.

In 2004, the White House Considered FISA’s Exclusivity Provision to Be Top Secret

By: Saturday March 26, 2011 7:24 am

As I have noted before, there are a number of paragraphs in the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith memo authorizing warrantless wiretapping that appear to be badly overclassified. Not only were many of the same paragraphs printed, almost verbatim, in unclassified fashion, in the White Paper released in January 2006. But many of those paragraphs contain nothing more than discussions of published statute.

John Yoo: Stupid Political Hack and Craven Addington Disciple

By: Monday May 3, 2010 3:26 pm

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo was always an embarrassing hack. But for some reason, the upcoming SCOTUS fight has made him reveal his hackery in full splendor.

Why Were the Torture Tapes Destroyed?

By: Friday April 23, 2010 3:45 pm

Bob Baer has a column out stating that he can’t figure out why the torture tapes were destroyed–and repeating CIA spin claiming the torture depicted in the tapes should not, itself, be a legal problem, since it was approved by DOJ. I thought I ought to sum up what we who have been following all along already know–but Baer’s CIA sources aren’t telling him.

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.

Did Addington Oppose 9/11 Commission Questions to Avoid Independent Evaluation of Torture Program?

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 4:30 pm

As former legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, David Addington apparently took the lead on refusing the 9/11 Commission’s request to review interrogation tapes or access to detainees. It appears Addington got the draft of the letter from 9/11 Commission–which was addressed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet. Tenet and Addington clearly had a conversation about how to respond. But it seems that Addington drafted the response, got Condoleeza Rice, Andy Card, and Alberto Gonzales to review it, and then sent it to Tenet (and, presumably, Rumsfeld) to okay and sign the letter.

Why would Addington have obstructed the 9/11 Commission’s review?

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