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.

 

Levin: Let’s Not Let the Constitution Get in the Way of Indefinite Detention

By: Thursday May 24, 2012 6:45 am

Not every politician is great on every issue, granted. But with Carl Levin of late, there’s been quite a swing. On the one hand, his Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations delivered Goldman Sachs on a silver platter to the Justice Department (it’s currently sitting in a conference room, untouched). He has jumped on JPMorgan Chase’s massive trading loss to argue for a tightening of the Volcker rule he co-authored. On the other hand, he sees no need to change an indefinite detention law that has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court judge.

Hiding Our Cyberwar from Congress

By: Friday January 14, 2011 7:50 am

The AP noticed something troubling in Michael Vickers’ response to the Senate Armed Services Committee questions on his nomination to be Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence: the government did not include descriptions of its cyberwar activities in the quarterly report on clandestine activities.

Pentagon Survey on DADT to Be Released a Day Early

By: Monday November 22, 2010 7:10 am

I’m guessing that the Senate Armed Services Committee wants to hold hearings on the survey on November 30 rather than December 1, as part of their timeline for getting the defense authorization bill to the floor. I think it’s positive that Gates is accommodating them. The Senate won’t be back in session until Monday, December 29, so the Pentagon could have technically released the survey two days early, though the timing of the hearing was probably the major factor here.

Senate Report Shows Contracting for Security Guards in Afghanistan Run Amok

By: Saturday October 9, 2010 7:52 am

A new investigation from the Senate Armed Services Committee shows that private security contractors in Afghanistan “rely on warlords and strongmen” to provide security guards that watch US bases. These guards often have ties to the Taliban.

DADT Repeal Looking Very Bleak

By: Saturday September 11, 2010 7:00 pm

I’m not trying to be too alarming but we don’t have much time to get repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell passed in the defense authorization bill. Things are looking very bleak for passage of the defense authorization bill, at least for this year. And who knows how many seats we’ll have next year? People have been sold a whole bunch of lies on this repeal bill, starting from the fact that it’s not repeal itself – it just allows repeal to happen if certain conditions are met and then three people sign off on it. Yet, we’ve heard the loud pronouncements that “DADT is dead” on certain leftist political blogs.

Top U.S. Behavioral Scientists Studied Survival Schools to Create Torture Program Over 50 Years Ago

By: Saturday June 26, 2010 5:00 pm

On the International Day of Support of Victims of Torture, I offer an analysis of where the fight against U.S. torture currently stands, as well as a retrospective of the history of the development of U.S. torture policy. In particular, the role of U.S. behavioral scientists in the construction of torture techniques is explored.

Senate Armed Services Passes Legislative Repeal of DADT; House Vote Imminent UPDATE: House Passes

By: Friday May 28, 2010 6:00 am

The Murphy amendment passes the House, 234-194, with 5 Republicans voting in favor. This means that the amendment is in the House and Senate versions of the bill, as of tonight. The five Republican votes in favor were Djou (HI), Cao (LA), Ron Paul (TX), Ros-Lehtinen (FL) and Biggert (IL).

SASC Approves DADT “Repeal” 16-12; House Full Vote Tonight or Friday

By: Thursday May 27, 2010 5:41 pm

The Senate Armed Services Committee, after a closed door session this evening, voted 16-12 for the Lieberman/Levin DADT ‘repeal’ that the full House will vote on tonight or Friday morning.

DADT Deal: Votes Still Needed in Senate as Scott Brown Opposes (Update: Bill Nelson Supports)

By: Tuesday May 25, 2010 12:10 pm

Congressional leaders and the White House may have a deal in principle to initiate a process to repeal the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, but Congress still needs to find the votes for that repeal. And those hopes took a hit today with Scott Brown’s opposition.

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