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.


Newt’s Singeing Statement

By: Saturday February 26, 2011 10:30 am

Once again, torture and domestic surveillance are acceptable abuses of executive authority for Republicans. But a blowjob or a loving marriage requires impeachment.

John Bellinger: If the War Is Illegal, Just Change the Law

By: Saturday November 27, 2010 12:45 pm

John Bellinger has been publicly suggesting the Obama Administration had exceeded the terms of the AUMF for some time. So it is unsurprising that he took the opportunity of a Republican House, the incoming Armed Services Chair’s explicit support for a new AUMF, and the Ghailani verdict to more fully develop his argument in an op-ed. It’s a well-crafted op-ed, such as in the way it avoids explicitly saying the government has been breaking the law in its pursuit of terrorism, when he pretends the only people we’ve been targeting in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia are al Qaeda leaders.

What Happened to That Other OPR Report?

By: Tuesday April 13, 2010 7:59 am

Remember the OPR Report? No, not the OPR Report on John Yoo’s laughably bad torture memos. I’m talking about the OPR Report on John Yoo’s even worse memo(s) authorizing domestic surveillance. The Torture OPR Report notes that it was the domestic surveillance memo, and not the torture memos, that first clued Jack Goldsmith into how dangerous John Yoo was. So where is it?

Were The Torturers Bypassing OLC in July 2004?

By: Saturday March 13, 2010 6:00 pm

It appears that early in July 2004, the White House dictated to DOJ what torture methods would be approved. And only after Congress got involved did the White House agree to niceties like OLC opinions.

Days after Taguba Reported Sadistic Criminal Abuse at Abu Ghraib, DOD Asked to Use More Torture Methods

By: Monday March 8, 2010 6:07 am

On March 13, 2004, Jack Goldsmith and Patrick Philbin went to Jim Comey’s house on a Saturday to alert him of something. The military had contacted Goldsmith, wanting to use a more extreme form of torture against a detainee–something like isolation, waterboarding, water dousing, or death threats.* But, as Goldsmith had told DOD General Counsel Jim Haynes the previous December, the March 2003 opinion Yoo wrote that authorized DOD’s use of such techniques was hopelessly flawed. Goldsmith wanted to explain the flaws of the memo to Comey to get his support for withdrawing the memo. Comey, who was then acting Attorney General (since John Ashcroft was in the ICU with pancreatitis), agreed with Goldsmith’s judgment and–the OPR Report explains–later got John Ashcroft to agree that “any problems with the analysis should be corrected.”

“We All Benefited” from Margolis’ “Wise Counsel and Good Judgment”

By: Saturday March 6, 2010 4:00 pm

A bunch of former DOJ bigwigs just wrote a seemingly pointless letter to Pat Leahy to assure him that David Margolis does not have a partisan–and they mean Left-Right partisan–bias. (h/t Main Justice)

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).

When and To What Degree Was John Ashcroft Read Into the Illegal Surveillance Program?

By: Sunday July 12, 2009 4:00 pm

We have long known that John Ashcroft was not properly read into the illegal domestic surveillance program Senator Whitehouse suggested as much when Attorney General Gonzales testified in July 2007. And both Gonzales and Robert Mueller revealed that John Ashcroft–from his ICU bed–complained that his advisors had not been able to get read into the program and as a result he was ill-informed about the program.

All the News NYT Does Not See Fit to Print

By: Sunday June 7, 2009 9:00 am

The NYT got a handful of emails that made it clear that Jim Comey had attempted to dissuade the Bush Administration from torture. But instead, it reported that he had approved of torture. Here’s the other stuff the NYT doesn’t seem fit to tell you about Comey’s emails.

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