The CIA IG Report on Renditions

By: Monday February 14, 2011 8:15 am

It appears that the CIA has labeled its disappearances simply a matter of flawed bureaucracy rather than a clear example of the problems that result when you eliminate due process.


Jay Rockefeller Asked for Torture Tape Report Prior to Destruction

By: Tuesday July 27, 2010 12:40 pm

In May 2005, Rockefeller asked John Helgerson for McPherson’s report. Then in September 2005, Rockefeller asked Porter Goss for the report directly. And Porter Goss–the guy who was actively considering destroying the torture tapes in July 2005 and who ultimately applauded Rodriguez’ success in destroying them–completely blew off Rockefeller’s request.

The AP’s “Most Complete Published Account” that Leaves Out Torture

By: 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?

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.

Mudd Wrestling and Torture: Veteran CIA Counterterrorism Specialist Linked to Torture Quietly Retired Weeks Ago

By: Wednesday April 21, 2010 7:05 pm

Spencer’s got one of the big scoops of the day: that Philip Mudd left the FBI about six weeks ago (so early March). The timing of his departure is notable, given Mudd’s role in the CIA and the Counterterrorism Center in 2002-2003.

Interview Questions May Reveal Focus of Special Prosecutor Durham’s Torture Tape Investigation

By: Wednesday April 21, 2010 7:19 am

Given how little we have to go on, this is just a wildarsed guess: the interview questions included in last week’s FOIA document dump may have been used in CIA Inspector General’s review of the torture program while interviewing someone who, while at CTC, had had a supervisory role over the program. And I’m guessing John Durham withheld this document under the law enforcement privilege because he was using these questions to make better sense of the interview report, which presumably is one of the interview reports identified to have ties to the torture tapes, but which remains classified.

The Abu Zubaydah Document: CIA Claim of Torture Approval Now in Black and White?

By: Tuesday April 20, 2010 2:09 pm

One of the most curious documents turned over in last week’s FOIA dump is the last one, titled “The CIA Interrogation of Abu Zubaydah” (PDF 110-122). While these are just wildarsed guesses, I suspect it may either have been a summary developed for the CIA Inspector General’s office for use in its review of the torture program or a summary to prepare Stan Moskowitz, then head of CIA’s Office of Congressional Affairs, to brief the Gang of Four in early February 2003.

CIA’s Lawyer Did Not Find Alteration of Torture Tapes “Noteworthy”

By: Friday April 16, 2010 2:30 pm

After the initial December 2002 review, CIA gave clear instructions to the interrogators not to destroy or edit the tapes. However, it appears that the review–inasmuch as it didn’t reveal glaring concerns with the tapes and didn’t actually review whether the interrogators were following instructions–was largely a whitewash of the original tapes in an effort to green light their destruction.

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.

The Salt Pit and the Bybee Memos: How CIA Managers Protected Themselves From Murder/Torture Charges

By: Sunday March 28, 2010 12:29 pm

The guys who probably approved an unauthorized technique, the guys who probably had read both Bybee Memos, relied on the intent language of the Bybee One memo to excuse an unauthorized technique, and declare the deliberate exposure of someone to near-freezing temperatures not to be murder or torture.

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