How the CIA Avoided Negligent Homicide Charges in the Salt Pit Killing

By: Monday April 5, 2010 6:05 am

There’s a reason why Gul Rahman’s killer wasn’t charged with negligent homicide. The declination memo used to analyze the death worked under the claim that such laws didn’t apply.


Clarence Thomas’ Revenge

By: Sunday March 7, 2010 6:45 am

Rosalind linked to this LAT article describing Clarence Thomas’ pro-abuse views. “According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form — but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm — has no claim that his constitutional rights were violated.”

The Legal Principles Document and OLC’s Leaky SCIF

By: Friday March 5, 2010 11:50 am

I wanted to show why the missing USDOJ Office of Legal Counsel documents matter, using the example of the Legal Principles (AKA the Bullet Points) documents. As I’ll show, one of the most sensitive documents involved in the controversy between CIA and OLC on the Legal Principles is one of the documents over which there are discrepancies between the Vaughn Indices and the actual document.

Boxes and Burials in the CIA’s Torture Plans

By: Thursday March 4, 2010 1:30 pm

In this post, I’m going to test a hypothesis that OLC may not have included “cramped confinement” in its torture plans until it removed “mock burial.” If I’m right, it means after having been told OLC would not approve mock burial, OLC and CIA instead just renamed what they were doing as “cramped confinement” so as to get it past those in DOJ who were opposed to allowing the US to use mock burial in its torture program.

Ibn Sheikh al-Libi’s and Abu Zubaydah’s Coffins

By: Wednesday March 3, 2010 12:27 pm

Just past noon on July 31, 2002, Jennifer Koester sent Patrick Philbin an email alerting him that the White House wanted them to finish the memos authorizing Abu Zubaydah’s torture by close of business the next day. Those memos would either retroactively or prospectively authorize Abu Zubaydah to be exposed to the same kind of treatment Ibn Sheikh al-Libi had undergone five months earlier.

For CIA and OLC, a Momentous Day to Lose Your Documentation

By: Tuesday March 2, 2010 4:55 pm

My gut feel is that the disappearing documents–assuming their disappearance from a sensitive compartmented information facility was not just a remarkable accident–have more to do with the JPRA document than with the change in approach that day. But there’s the distinct possibility that those documents also would have explained more about the dropped mock burials and the written list of torture techniques.

Mohammed al-Qahtani and Yoo’s Attempt to Ignore Torture Statute

By: Friday February 26, 2010 5:20 pm

Something funky happened after DOD realized it had tortured al-Qahtani without adequate legal protection. But it’s not clear what happened.

The Emails the Bush Lawyers Were So Worried About

By: Sunday February 21, 2010 7:30 am

As I noted yesterday (though I got the details slightly wrong), the OPR report revealed that a number of John Yoo and Patrick Philbin’s emails had been deleted (and that Goldsmith’s had been deleted but were subsequently recovered).

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