A State Department internal memo opposing the Justice Department’s arguments for CIA “enhanced interrogation techniques”—torture—has been released. The memo from February 2006 was written by Philip Zelikow, then counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was believed that all copies of the memo had been destroyed, but on April 3, the National Security Archive, obtained a copy through a FOIA request and posted it online.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday April 4, 2012 9:20 am|
|By: Jeff Kaye Friday July 1, 2011 11:30 am|
The announcement of John Durham’s decision to investigate two CIA detainee murders prompts a reexamination at how the different torture techniques were developed, and how they were propagated across governmental institutional boundaries between the Department of Defense and the CIA. If the press did their job, perhaps we could get a better picture of how torture was implemented, who was responsible, leading the public to demand the accountability that otherwise, without significant public outcry, is not going to happen.
|By: Jon Walker Thursday May 19, 2011 11:40 am|
Going through literally tens of thousand of government documents to find these few nuggets of information is sadly something very few organizations do well (well, besides large, private lobbying operations), but this is something at which Firedoglake really excels.
|By: Peterr Saturday May 7, 2011 9:00 am|
Things were going along pretty well for the Bush Administration Apologists Alumni Association. Sure, they were out of their old offices, but things were good. Obama adopted their wars as his own, the economy has sputtered along long enough to have become (in the public’s mind) at least as much Obama’s fault as theirs (thus the cries of “deficits! deficits! deficits!” from those who launched us into two wars), and most of the BAAAA have landed in cushy lucrative new digs.
Then Obama had to ruin it by getting bin Laden. Suddenly, all the old discussions are back — at least as far as torture goes — and this has at least some of them very worried, like Michael Mukasey.
He should worry. A lot.
|By: emptywheel Monday April 11, 2011 7:15 pm|
Apparently, our “national interest” in the credibility of the UN extends only so far as it allows us to bomb other countries, but not so far as it might expose our own treatment of detainees to independent evaluation.
|By: emptywheel Saturday April 9, 2011 12:52 pm|
Is this all the advice OLC gave the President? Did OLC authorize further activities? Did Obama’s description of why bombing Libya was in the national interest before March 19 match what appears in this memo, written after the fact?
|By: bmaz Sunday December 26, 2010 8:30 am|
Through what can only be described as a Christmas miracle, our very own Mary has “discovered” a new version of the Christmas Carol, as updated by the Obama/Bush Office of Legal Counsel. As Mary noted, “Those jokers at OLC. At least they enjoy their work”. Indeed. With “wise men” like John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Steve Bradbury, what could go wrong?
|By: emptywheel Tuesday September 21, 2010 5:20 pm|
There’s an interesting detail in the IG Report on FBI’s investigations of peace groups that suggests FBI was asking OLC for an interpretation of the approval required before conducting a riot-related investigation.
|By: Jeff Kaye 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.”
|By: emptywheel Sunday August 8, 2010 11:30 am|
Steven Aftergood has an important update on the continuing saga of whether or not GAO can conduct investigations of intelligence activities. He explores the source of current restrictions on GAO review: a 1988 OLC opnion written by Douglas Kmiec. Aftergood goes on to explore the troubling current use of this 1988 opinion protecting raw intelligence to protect more function-oriented reviews of Executive Branch counter-terrorism activities. It’s troubling that this 1988 OLC opinion used to protect details inconvenient to Poppy Bush’s aspirations are now being used to hide details of Obama’s counterterrorism programs.