Could Durham’s CIA “Investigation” Lead to Understanding Migration of Torture Techniques?

By: 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.

 

Torture by Any Other Name: UK Officials Let Fear, Politics Trump Morality

By: Thursday July 1, 2010 8:18 am

Yesterday, I posted on a Harvard study showing that the press, after an established tradition of referring to waterboarding as torture, stopped doing so once it became clear the US engaged in the practice. Our press, in other words, refused to tell what they had previously presented as “the truth” (that is, that waterboarding was unquestionably torture) when it became politically contentious to do so.

Chertoff Opposed Technique Threatening Imminent Death

By: Sunday April 11, 2010 7:45 am

I want to point to this 2005 article, apparently attempting to scuttle Michael Chertoff’s nomination to be Secretary of Homeland Security by raising his role in approving torture (there are a couple of versions of this article, so if you’re having problems seeing what I’m looking at try this post). The article clearly states that Chertoff opposed the approval of a technique that involved the threat of immediate death.

How the CIA Avoided Negligent Homicide Charges in the Salt Pit Killing

By: Monday April 5, 2010 6:05 am

There’s a reason why Gul Rahman’s killer wasn’t charged with negligent homicide. The declination memo used to analyze the death worked under the claim that such laws didn’t apply.

Yoo’s Supervisors Didn’t Know About the July 13, 2002 Fax

By: Monday March 29, 2010 6:30 pm

When Jonathan Fredman wrote the Abu Zubaydah torture team in Thailand to tell them they had gotten the green light to torture, he cited not the Bybee One memo which had just been signed, but a July 13, 2002 Yoo fax, for his discussion of intent.

Did Addington Oppose 9/11 Commission Questions to Avoid Independent Evaluation of Torture Program?

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 4:30 pm

As former legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, David Addington apparently took the lead on refusing the 9/11 Commission’s request to review interrogation tapes or access to detainees. It appears Addington got the draft of the letter from 9/11 Commission–which was addressed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet. Tenet and Addington clearly had a conversation about how to respond. But it seems that Addington drafted the response, got Condoleeza Rice, Andy Card, and Alberto Gonzales to review it, and then sent it to Tenet (and, presumably, Rumsfeld) to okay and sign the letter.

Why would Addington have obstructed the 9/11 Commission’s review?

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.

The Legal Principles Document and OLC’s Leaky SCIF

By: Friday March 5, 2010 11:50 am

I wanted to show why the missing USDOJ Office of Legal Counsel documents matter, using the example of the Legal Principles (AKA the Bullet Points) documents. As I’ll show, one of the most sensitive documents involved in the controversy between CIA and OLC on the Legal Principles is one of the documents over which there are discrepancies between the Vaughn Indices and the actual document.

CIA Met with White House about How to Respond to Jane Harman’s Torture Warnings

By: Tuesday November 24, 2009 5:20 pm

We’ve known for years that when Jane Harman asked Scott Muller in 2003 whether the President had authorized torture, he basically blew her off. But we now know that Muller consulted with the White House åbout how to respond to her.

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