Gitmo “Team Leader” in Slahi Torture Sued for Framing Innocent Chicago Man for Murder

By: Monday November 3, 2014 10:20 am

For 13 years Boyd had proclaimed his innocence. He told the story of how Chicago police officers had hid witness testimony, fabricated evidence, lied in reports, and coerced witnesses. In 2002, his plight picked up some news interest after a Chicago television station’s investigation dug up new evidence (see video), but Boyd, a former fashion model, remained in jail awaiting another appeal. He told anyone who would listen, “I am dying in here man, can’t you see I am dying.”

 

Obama Admits He Banned Only “Some” of the CIA’s Torture Techniques

By: Sunday August 3, 2014 4:00 pm

There was a cascade of coverage of the President’s August 1 remarks concerning John Brennan and his defense of his embattled CIA chief, as Obama was also widely derided for his seeming defense of those who tortured “some folks” after 9/11. (Obama did not mention that the order to torture came from the Oval Office.)

“Well, at least he called the crimes out as ‘torture,” some observers noted. Others, including some in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), called for John Brennan’s resignation as CIA director after he admitted the CIA had spied on Congressional investigators who were writing a thousands-of-pages-long report on the CIA Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation program.

An Executive Summary of that report, in a censored version produced by the CIA itself, is now back in the hands of the SSCI, who may or may not release it soon. The Committee has already decided the full 6000 or so page report itself will not be released for years (if ever), a cover-up of immense proportions.

Psychologists’ Call for End to Abusive Interrogation Techniques in Army Field Manual

By: Saturday May 3, 2014 5:20 pm

A group of psychologists who have been outspoken in opposing the use of U.S. medical professionals in interrogations have released a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel condemning the ongoing use of interrogation techniques amounting to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners.

The use of such techniques are found in the current Army Field Manual (PDF), and in particular in its special Appendix M, which summarizes a set of techniques, under the label “separation,” that are only meant to be used on prisoners who the U.S. government claims don’t meet the additional Prisoner of War protections of the Geneva Conventions — prisoners like those held in indefinite detention at Guantanamo.

DoD Directive Used Duplicity to Hide Current Use of SERE Torture Techniques in Interrogations

By: Monday April 21, 2014 8:57 am

Currently, the use of SERE techniques is supposedly banned for use by both CIA and Defense Department interrogators.

But a key U.S. Defense Department directive rewritten only a month before Barack Obama was first elected President used a legalistically-carved definition for SERE techniques to hide the fact that important components of the SERE interrogation techniques that could amount to torture were still available to U.S. interrogators.

My Year at FDL: A Review

By: Thursday January 2, 2014 5:00 pm

I thought it might be interesting to summarize the work I’ve done at FDL this past year. My output shrank in relation to prior years, due to conflicts with work and the inevitable slowing of the aging process, but I’m proud of what I’ve been able to bring FDL readers.

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.

Benjamin Wittes Responds: “Happy to be a government proxy”

By: Sunday July 24, 2011 7:12 pm

In an an arrogant riposte to an earlier posting of mine, Lawfare blogger and member of the Hoover Institute Task Force on National Security and the Law, Benjamin Wittes, proclaimed he is “Happy to be a government proxy.”

Wittes’ tongue may seem somewhat in cheek, but he really means it. “Government proxy” how? In my earlier article criticizing both Wittes and Adweek columnist Alex Koppelman for their poorly resourced and vituperative articles attacking Scott Horton’s investigation of the 2006 deaths of three Guantanamo detainees, published by Harper’s Magazine in January 2010. Department of Defense investigations had labeled all three deaths suicides.

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.

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.

Newly Published Notes of Bruce Jessen Reveal Real Purpose of Bush’s Torture Program

By: Tuesday March 22, 2011 3:40 pm

As part of a new investigative story, Truthout has published two documents written by the former psychologist for SERE, and later CIA contract interrogator for the Bush torture program, Bruce Jessen. Jessen’s notes describe an “exploitation” survival course that was “reverse-engineered” to provide a blueprint for the interrogation and detention policies of the Bush administration, which emphasized not just the ways to coercively interrogate an individual for intelligence purposes, but to “exploit” the detainee for a number of uses, including production of false confessions, recruitment of prisoners as U.S. spies, putting on show trials, and medical experimentation.

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