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Open Thread: Bloggergate Documents

Juan Cole and ACLU Sue CIA, FBI 

Juan Cole writes about the lawsuit filed on Wednesday agains the FBI and CIA.  Documents requested in a FOIA were never received. (Sound familiar?). 

I had told the ACLU, “Americans don’t need permission from their government to write and publish their political opinions. If the Bush White House pettily attempted to use the CIA to destroy my reputation by seeking dirt on my private life in order to punish me for speaking out, that would be a profound violation of my Constitutional rights.”

Truthout has a story about it here.

Thoughts, comments, feedback are always welcome. Make the jump»

Wikileaks CIA Release - Say What?

Michael Collins

Wikileaks offered its first release since the controversial distribution of documents related to the United States effort in Afghanistan.

The current leak was posted to their web site on August 25. It is titled CIA Red Cell Memorandum on United States "exporting terrorism", 2 Feb 2010.

The leak describes Red Cell as a CIA unit created by the Director to develop "out-of-the-box" analysis offering "alternative viewpoints" on key intelligence issues.

This document doesn't disappoint in being out-of-the-box.

CIA Perception Management - How the World Sees the United States

CIA Red Cell starts out by stating, "This report examines the implications of what it would mean for the US to be seen increasingly as an incubator and exporter of terrorism." Don't hold your breath. There's nothing there about the School of the Americas, the shock and awe invasion of Iraq and the carnage that entailed, or 300 dead Panamanians and United States soldiers as a result of the 1981 manhunt for General Manuel Noriega, a former US asset. Make the jump»

Open Thread Torture

Valtin at dKos put this group of links together at the bottom of his diary which I am going to lift for an Open Thread. His diaries at dKos or Firedoglake are well worth reading to get a very thorough overview of just what we have found out concerning experimentation in torture on prisoners and authorized by the Bush administration:

Other coverage:

Emptywheel/Firedoglake - Allowing Human Experimentation under the War Crimes Act by Marcy Wheeler

Balkinization - Paging Dr. Mengele: Medical Experimentation and the CIA Detainees

New York Times - Study Cites Breaches of Medical Ethics Against Terror Suspects, story by James Risen

Harpers (Scott Horton) - Bush-era CIA Human Experimentation Program Revealed

Truthout - Human Experimentation at the Heart of Bush Administration’s Torture Program by Jason Leopold

BoingBoing - Experiments in Torture: Physicians group alleges US conducted illegal research on detainees (interview w/report medical expert, Dr. Scott Allen

Mother Jones - Did the Bush Administration Experiment on Detainees?

Nature - Medics performed 'interrogation research'
Counterpunch - CIA Experiments in Torture by PHR report co-author Stephen Soldz

Scientific American - Did CIA doctors perform torture research on detainees?

Washington Post - Without conscience: Medical experimentation and torture (op-ed)

Salon.com - PHR report: CIA personnel engaged in human experimentation

Empire Burlesque - Echoes of Mengele: Medical Experiments, Torture and Continuity in the American Gulag by Chris Floyd

American Prospect (Tapped) - Report: U.S. Experimented on Terror Detainees

UK Guardian - CIA doctors face human experimentation claims [Correction: This story apparently is from last year, referencing another story on an earlier PHR report, "Aiding Torture". I'm leaving it here for reference only, as the coverage is still germane.]

UK Daily Telegraph - Doctors Helped CIA Perfect "Torture" Technique

This is an Open Thread. Make the jump»

ACLU's Investigation Unveils BushCo Told 9/11 Commission "Not To Cross A Line"

Via a Facebook update by Naomi Wolf comes the news that the ACLU uncovered a memo from the Bush era that warned the 9/11 Commission not to "cross a line" in its investigation and not to probe too deeply.

Leaked confidential documents have revealed that senior officials from the former US administration had warned a 9/11 investigation panel against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks.

In a letter obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the 9/11 Commission was refused permission to question terror suspects, with the Bush administration arguing that by doing so the panel would "cross" a "line" and obstruct the administration's efforts to protect the nation.

Wolf's link includes a reference to an OpEd News article by Sahil Kapur that offers this additional insight:

The 9/11 Commission, officially called the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was formed by President Bush in November of 2002 "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks" and to offer recommendations for preventing future attacks.

"The Commission staff's proposed participation in questioning of detainees would cross that line," the letter continued. "As the officers of the United States responsible for the law enforcement, defense and intelligence functions of the Government, we urge your Commission not to further pursue the proposed request to participate in the questioning of detainees."

FireDogLake's Marcy Wheeler speculates that this was an attempt by the Bush administration to ensure that its torture of certain detainees, which has since been widely documented, remained secret.

"[W]hoever made these annotations appears to have been most worried that Commission staff members could make independent judgments about the detainees and the interrogations," Wheeler wrote on her blog. The official "didn't want anyone to independently evaluate the interrogations conducted in the torture program."

Eventually, the commission's co-chairs harshly criticized the administration for having purportedly "destroyed" tapes of its interrogations with terror suspects, as Raw Story reported last year.

Destruction of -- and loss of -- evidence seemed to be a hallmark of the Bush Administration's years in the White House. Story highlights from the CNN link about the missing emails from the US Attorney scandal:

Story Highlights

• NEW: White House spokeswoman says 5 million official e-mails may be missing

• White House admits it should have kept e-mails on private GOP system

• Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee doubts e-mails are deleted

• Committee investigating whether U.S. attorneys' firings were politically motivated

At some point, hopefully before the Obama Administration gets too far along on its own path, someone will have the fortitude and wherewithall to send a huge cleaning van up to the White House to help mop up the mess left by the previous Administration, ideally in time to help ensure that the current Administration is given a much clearer mandate to work with, and ideally to help it stay within the bounds of Constitutional law and proper common ethical standards.

Redone: YJCMTSU - O'Thief Story

[Note: I've removed the original as being a bit too far over the edge, even for me. Below is CMan1's rather more rational irrationality-of-the-day. -rba]

How about this one from Raw Story:

Landrieu phone plot: Men arrested have links to intelligence community

Two of the three men arrested on Monday along with "ACORN pimp" James O'Keefe
for "maliciously tampering" with Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) phones in
her New Orleans office have ties to the United States intelligence
community.

The three accused by the FBI of "aiding and abetting"
O'Keefe are Stan Dai, Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel. O'Keefe is 25,
and the other three are 24.

Dai's links to the intelligence community appear to be particularly strong. He was a speaker at Georgetown University's Central Intelligence Agency summer school program in June 2009, and is also listed as an Assistant Director at the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence at Trinity in D.C.

Make the jump»

WPost’s Ignatius Forgives the CIA Again and Again

By Melvin A. Goodman 
Aug 26th, 2009

The Washington Post’s David Ignatius simply cannot get off the wheel he spins for the Central Intelligence Agency. Only two days after the release of the 2004 CIA study of the detention and interrogation program, which provides sordid and sadistic details of an illegal and immoral program, Ignatius still opposes any criminal review of the conduct of CIA officers and echoes the CIA line that it is “glad to be out” of the interrogation business.

He even cites deputy director of the CIA, Stephen Kappes, one of the key ideological drivers for the policy of detention and interrogation, as someone who “doesn’t want to have anything to do with interrogation.”

Ignatius strongly believes that it is time for the CIA to “get on with it,” which was the signature line of former CIA director Richard Helms, who Ignatius considers the “savviest spymaster this country has produced.” Let’s forget that Helms lied to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1973 on the overthrow of the elected government in Chile and that a grand jury was called to see if he should be indicted for perjury.

Make the jump»

The WPost’s David Ignatius Pens Another Exculpatory Brief for CIA

[cross-post submitted Jul 23rd, 2009: The Public Record ]

By Melvin A. Goodman

David Ignatius, the mainstream media’s leading apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency, has written another exculpatory brief for the CIA. In today’s Washington Post, Ignatius defends the CIA’s assassination program and implies that no investigation is needed since “nobody had been killed.”

A week ago, Ignatius argued that it was “just plain nuts” to have an investigation and that CIA operatives would refuse assignments in counterterrorism in the wake of any investigation. What Ignatius doesn’t do is discuss the legal and moral implications of a secret assassination program or the CIA’s tortured history in this field.

The CIA is no stranger to the field of assassination where they have contributed to numerous disasters. Revelations of assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam in the early 1960–at the direction of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations–led to a ban on CIA political assassinations in the mid-1970s. None of these assassination attempts helped U.S. national security interests, and all of them led to increased violence, even terrorism.
Make the jump»

Truth, Justice and Hypocrisy in the GOP's Hyper-Partisanship Follies

Explain the logic of why the GOP wants Pelosi to resign again...? Why not just engage a commission to investigate torture to find out exactly what happened, who knew what and when did they know it? Why aren't the GOP pundits and Congress-critters -- both current and former -- naming any of their own and demanding an investigation of everyone and the entire program?

I've seen screeching by insane, unbalanced right-wingers and headlines claiming that the GOP is loudly proclaiming that Pelosi could have objected to the process. That, of course, begs a pertinent question: Which (R) individuals objected? What were they told, and when? Where are calls for their resignations? Why is the GOP so silent on their own involvement and complicity? Why are their pundits and their rabid base of supporters not interested in a full and complete investigation?

And what's so objectionable about criticizing the CIA -- weren't they involved? Haven't they been involved in conspiracies and cover-ups before? Make the jump»

Confessions of a Madman -- that Cheney wants public?

Originally posted 2009-04-29 22:38:30 -0500. Promoted by carol.

Those extra 2 docs that "justify the policies of the past", that Cheney is so interested in, looks like one of them was already released.

I didn't believe the "A to Z" Confessions of the the "9/11 Mastermind" then. I'm not inclined to believe them now.

But you be the judge.

 

Obtained: Cheney’s Request Form Detailing The Two CIA Torture Docs He Wants
The Plum LineGreg Sargent's blog

Looks like Cheney may be after a doc that supposedly details what top Al Qaeda official Khalid Muhammad revealed under torture.

 http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/torture/obtained-cheneys-request-detailing-the-two-cia-docs-he-wants/

 

Klalid M. wasn't he the dude, with the frumpy sleepware, and the wild hairdo?

  Make the jump»

And the Prophetic Author Award Goes to...


Philippe Sands:

About a year ago, a book came out in England that made a fascinating prediction: at some point in the future, the author wrote, six top officials in the Bush Administration would get a tap on the shoulder announcing that they were being arrested on international charges of torture.

If the prediction seemed improbable, the background of the book’s author was even more so. Philippe Sands is neither a journalist nor an American but a law professor and a certified Queen’s Counsel (the kind of barrister who on occasion wears a powdered horsehair wig) who works at the same law practice as Cherie Blair. Sands’s book, “Torture Team,” offers a scathing critique of officials in the Bush Administration, accusing them of complicity in acts of torture. When the book appeared, some scoffed. Douglas Feith, a former Pentagon official, dismissed Sands as “a British lawyer” who “wrote an extremely dishonest book.”

Last week, Sands’s accusations suddenly did not seem so outlandish. A Spanish court took the first steps toward starting a criminal investigation of the same six former Bush Administration officials he had named, weighing charges that they had enabled and abetted torture by justifying the abuse of terrorism suspects. Among those whom the court singled out was Feith, the former Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, along with former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer; and David Addington, the chief of staff and the principal legal adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

Sands, previously, was involved in prosecuting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, as was the Spanish judge presiding over the Bush torture case.

Just some added info for your research purposes taken from a bunch of previous posts on this topic in my archives:

Make the jump»

Feds Drop Case Against Accused Iraqi Agent

Feds Drop Case Against Accused Iraqi Agent

"the Government has determined that continued prosecution of this case as to LINDAUER would not be in the interests of justice."

Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent News

(Jan. 16, Wash. DC) The Department of Justice entered a motion to drop all charges against Susan Lindauer yesterday morning, Jan. 15, 2009.  The filing at the federal district court in lower Manhattan ends the government's attempt to prosecute her for allegedly acting as an "unregistered agent" for Iraq.  Since her arrest in early 2004, she has repeatedly asked for a trial to present evidence that she had been a United States intelligence asset since the early 1990's.

By filing this order, the government surrendered forever its ability to prosecute Lindauer as an "Iraqi foreign agent" and for lesser charges contained in the indictment, including a one week trip to Baghdad in March, 2002. Make the jump»

VVA, et al vs CIA, et al - Edgewood Testvets

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-01-12 14:19:46 -0500. -- GH

Morrison & Foerster Files Suit Against CIA, DoD, and U.S. Army on Behalf of Troops Exposed to Testing of Chemical and Biological Weapons at Edgewood Arsenal and Other Top Secret Sites

Press Release: 01/07/2009

What: Complaint Filed—Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. CIA, et al.

Where: United States District Court, Northern District of California Make the jump»

Grains of Truth: Mind Control and the CIA in Vermont

Some of you might remember a piece from November 17 of 2006 which appeared on the ePluribus Media Journal entitled The Manchurian Veterans by Jeff Huber. If not, you might want to bookmark it to go back for a read.

Why?

Well, because of a diary that just appeared on DailyKos:

Vermont State Hospital Implicated in CIA Mind Control Experiments by Valtin

Sometimes, the truth really is stranger than fiction.  And for every tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, there may be at least one grain of truth that hides something far worse -- or equally crazy -- as proposed by the tinfoil hat conspiracy theory that further obscures and obfuscates any potential for meaningful investigation and discovery.

(That doesn't mean that there really might be "lizard people" running amok or that Elvis shot JFK from a UFO with a candlestick, tho.) Make the jump»

35 Years After Original 9/11

I'm going to steal a part of Peter Kornbluh's title, above, from his Huffington Post Report about this, also a cut from him: Make the jump»

Spy vs. Congress


I have known and served with many military intelligence officers. A handful of them were brilliant. The preponderance of them validated the adage that says military intelligence is to intelligence what military music is to music.

I have also known and worked with many Air Force officers, and every one of those bug lovers is dedicated to the Air Force's primary mission, which is to prevaricate its way into possession of the entire defense budget.

Since CIA director Michael V. Hayden is an Air Force intelligence officer and a Bush appointee to boot, anything he says tends to be standard issue effluvium, and what he's saying now about his agency's right to privacy stinks to high heaven. Make the jump»

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