New Document Details Arguments About Torture at a JSOC Prison

By: Tuesday January 29, 2013 2:40 pm

Journalist Michael Otterman, author of the excellent book, American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond, was kind enough to forward to me some months ago a document he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. The document consists of the after-action reports made by Colonel Steven Kleinman and Terrence Russell, two of the three team members sent by the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) to a top-secret special operations facility in Iraq in September 2003.

Why the US Wants Military Commission Show Trials for 9/11 Suspects

By: Tuesday April 5, 2011 6:07 am

The commissions’ main purpose is to produce government propaganda, not justice. These are meant to be show trials, part of an overarching plan of “exploitation” of prisoners, which includes, besides a misguided attempt by some to gain intelligence data, the inducement of false confessions and the recruitment of informants via torture. The aim behind all this is political: to mobilize the U.S. population for imperialist war adventures abroad, and political repression and economic austerity at home.

NRC on Research on “War on Terror” Detainees: “A Contemporary Problem”?

By: Sunday February 13, 2011 7:40 am

A National Research Council (NRC) 2008 report on a conference on Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies examined briefly what it characterized as a “contemporary problem,” the possibility of doing research on “war on terror” detainees, removed by the U.S. government from Geneva protections against experiments done on prisoners of war.

PTSD “Service Connected” to SERE Torture Techniques, Despite Yoo, Bybee Denials

By: 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.”

Internal Memo Exposes Yoo and Rove Lies on Safety of Waterboarding

By: Monday April 5, 2010 6:15 pm

Both Rove and Yoo claim that waterboarding U.S. military personnel was “regular” and caused no “physical harm,” “no after effects.”

Now-public JPRA memos show neither statement is true.

The Waterboarding Smoking Gun, Again

By: Wednesday March 10, 2010 8:46 am

Since Mark Benjamin has decided to claim–some 300-plus days after I did the first of many posts focusing on the details of waterboarding (to say nothing of posts drational did looking at these descriptions medically)–that, “the agency’s “enhanced interrogation program” haven’t been mined for waterboarding details until now,” I thought I’d make another point about the significance of those details.

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.

CIA Cable “Granting Permission” to Destroy Torture Videotapes Surfaces [Updated]

By: Friday January 15, 2010 5:01 pm

A January 8 release of documents in the ACLU FOIA lawsuit seeking materials related to the CIA’s destruction of videotapes of interrogators using “enhanced interrogation techniques” has revealed the first evidence of a precise instruction for the destruction of those tapes.

Expanding the Investigation into SERE Torture

By: Friday August 14, 2009 4:00 pm

The first installment of this three-part series on the origins of the Mitchell-Jessen torture program concentrated on the insufficiency of reducing our understanding of the spread of torture during the Bush administration to the interventions of just two men. This is essentially the way the story was presented in a 12 August New York Times article by Scott Shane, leaving the question unanswered:

NYT Misses Full Story on Mitchell-Jessen

By: Thursday August 13, 2009 3:05 pm

Scott Shane’s new article in the New York Times on the background to the Mitchell-Jessen story may work as a prosecutorial brief, but it presents a narrative about the origins of the SERE-inspired torture program that is misleading in its particulars. As a result, though the article has some interesting new bits of information, and appears to be the result of a great deal of work, it presents an overly simplistic

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