Dear Judge Hellerstein: Ask About the OLC Torture Documents, Too

By: Monday January 17, 2011 6:15 am

Our Justice Department is not even being held to the very low standard that our nation’s spooks are.


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.

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.

Abu Zubaydah May Have Been Waterboarded MORE than 83 Times

By: Saturday April 17, 2010 7:46 am

Remember the context of this. CIA’s Office of General Counsel had, in November-December 2002, reviewed the tapes, purportedly to make sure they matched the guidance the interrogators had gotten from Langley and the cables they sent reporting on the interrogation. Yet, as the IG team had discovered during their investigation, the lawyer who conducted that review (according to the WaPo, John McPherson) hadn’t actually compared the guidance to what appeared in the videos.

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.

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