The Ninth Circuit decision on the Prop 8 matter underlines the importance of judicial nominations in our political system, and the stunning lack of emphasis that the current Administration has put on it. In a new report liberated by Steven Aftergood, the Congressional Research Service took a look at judicial vacancies, finding that, at the beginning of 2012, the federal judiciary had more open seats than they did when President Obama first came into office.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 5, 2012 1:35 pm|
|By: emptywheel Saturday May 14, 2011 6:00 pm|
If documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act do pertain to Hassan Ghul (and Reuters appears to suggest they do), then Ghul was likely not in CIA custody until July 2004. That is, it appears Ghul was not turned over to exclusive CIA custody until six months after he was captured. His initial torture approval came on August 2, and his second torture approval came on August 26.
|By: emptywheel Monday May 9, 2011 8:30 am|
The “painstaking analysis” Gonzales claims DOJ did to authorize torture relies on the argument that torture must be used because only torture will reveal information quickly enough. But here we are, nine years after that analysis was done, and the recipient of one of the memos summarizing that analysis now concedes that “every intelligence expert” he knows confirms that “it takes a great deal of time to develop human intelligence.”
|By: Peterr Saturday May 7, 2011 9:00 am|
Things were going along pretty well for the Bush Administration Apologists Alumni Association. Sure, they were out of their old offices, but things were good. Obama adopted their wars as his own, the economy has sputtered along long enough to have become (in the public’s mind) at least as much Obama’s fault as theirs (thus the cries of “deficits! deficits! deficits!” from those who launched us into two wars), and most of the BAAAA have landed in cushy lucrative new digs.
Then Obama had to ruin it by getting bin Laden. Suddenly, all the old discussions are back — at least as far as torture goes — and this has at least some of them very worried, like Michael Mukasey.
He should worry. A lot.
|By: emptywheel 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.
|By: bmaz Sunday December 26, 2010 8:30 am|
Through what can only be described as a Christmas miracle, our very own Mary has “discovered” a new version of the Christmas Carol, as updated by the Obama/Bush Office of Legal Counsel. As Mary noted, “Those jokers at OLC. At least they enjoy their work”. Indeed. With “wise men” like John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steve Bradbury, what could go wrong?
|By: emptywheel Wednesday September 29, 2010 7:34 am|
You see, from the start this war was designed to be our longest war. Because all those Commander-in-Chief powers both Republicans and Democrats have grown to love so much depend on it continuing.
|By: emptywheel Friday September 3, 2010 1:40 pm|
Our crack 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee played word games so as to consider bottles of water left for migrants traversing the Arizona desert “litter” even if they weren’t “garbage.”
Mind you, when the issue was whether waterboarding someone constituted prolonged mental harm, Bybee was not really a stickler for precise meanings.
|By: Jeff Kaye Monday August 23, 2010 2:15 pm|
In a series of recent articles, I’ve pointed out Yoo, Bybee, and later Office of Legal Counsel attorney Stephen Bradbury, disregarded internal SERE documents related to the safety of waterboarding. Now we can add the suppression of complaints by SERE trainees of having contracted PTSD from participation in SERE training. This directly contradicts the Yoo/Bybee contention in the Aug. 2, 2002 memo to Rizzo, where they wrote, “Through your [i.e., CIA] consultation with various individuals responsible for such training, you have learned that these techniques have been used as elements of a course of conduct without any reported incident of prolonged mental harm.”
|By: emptywheel Monday July 26, 2010 4:00 pm|
There is a great deal of evidence that Jose Rodriguez knew as early as September 6, 2002 that he needed to destroy evidence of the torturers exceeding the guidelines set in DC. According to anyone’s definition, that means Rodriguez knew years before he had the tapes destroyed he was destroying evidence of torture, even by Jay Bybee’s and possibly John Yoo’s measure.
Yet the AP — in their “most complete published account” — doesn’t even mention that torture?