Torture? Check. Covering Up Torture? Check. Rule of Law? Nope.

I think it was the timing of the end of the torture investigation that hurts most of all. Just days ago, Harold Koh was boasting of the Durham investigation to the UN. Then Bush started his dog and pony show, including his proud admission to have ordered up torture. All of which made today’s announcement, that no one will be charged for covering up evidence of torture, almost anti-climactic.

Of course no one will be charged for destroying the evidence of torture! Our country has spun so far beyond holding the criminals who run our country accountable that even the notion of accountability for torture was becoming quaint and musty while we waited and screamed for some kind of acknowledgment that Durham had let the statute of limitations on the torture tape destruction expire. I doubt they would have even marked the moment–yet another criminal investigation of the Bush Administration ending in nothing–it if weren’t for the big stink bmaz has been making. Well, maybe that’s not right–after all, Bob Bennett was bound to do a very public victory lap, because that’s what he’s paid for.

The investigation continues, DOJ tells us, into obstruction of the Durham investigation itself. Maybe they think they’ve caught someone like Porter Goss in a lie. But at this point, that almost seems like a nice story the prosecutors are telling themselves so they can believe they’re still prosecutors, so they can believe we still have rule of law in this country.

This inquiry started long before Obama started looking forward, not backward. It started before the White House allowed the Chief of Staff to override the Attorney General on Gitmo and torture. It started before we found out that someone had destroyed many of the torture documents at DOJ–only to find no one at DOJ cared. It started before the Obama DOJ made up silly reasons why Americans couldn’t see what the Vice President had to say about ordering the leak of a CIA officer’s identity. It started before the Obama White House kept invoking State Secrets to cover up Bush’s crimes, from illegal wiretapping, to kidnapping, to torture. It started at a time when we naively believed that Change might include putting the legal abuses of the past behind us.

This inquiry started before the Obama Administration assumed the right to kill American citizens with no due process–all the while invoking State Secrets to hide that, too.

This inquiry started before Bush and then Obama let BP get away with serial violations of the laws that protect our workers and environment, and then acted surprised when BP ruined our Gulf.

This inquiry started before Obama helped to cover up the massive fraud committed by our banks, even while it continued to find ways to print money for those same banks. It started, too, before the Obama Administration ignored mounting evidence that banks–the banks employed by taxpayer owned Fannie and Freddie–were foreclosing on homes they didn’t have the legal right to foreclose on, going so far as to counterfeit documents to justify it. This inquiry started when we still believed in the old-fashioned principle of property rights.

This inquiry started before banksters got excused when they mowed down cyclists and left the scene of the crime, because a felony would mean the bankster would lose his job.

The ACLU’s Anthony Romero reacted to this news saying, in part, “We cannot say that we live under the rule of law unless we are clear that no one is above the law.”

I think it’s clear. We cannot say we live under the rule of law.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. MadDog says:

    …The investigation continues, DOJ tells us, into obstruction of the Durham investigation itself. Maybe they think they’ve caught someone like Porter Goss in a lie…

    Per the AP piece, I wonder if these then CIA lawyers (and perhaps still so) are on the target list for obstruction:

    …On Nov. 4, 2005, as the CIA scrambled to quell a controversy from a Washington Post story revealing the existence of secret CIA prisons overseas, Rodriguez called two CIA lawyers. He asked Steven Hermes, his lawyer in the clandestine service, whether he had the authority to order the tapes destroyed. Hermes said Rodriguez did, according to documents and interviews.

    Then Rodriguez asked Robert Eatinger, the top lawyer in the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, whether there was any legal requirement that the tapes be kept. Eatinger said no.

    Eatinger and Hermes have told colleagues that they believed Rodriguez was merely teeing up a new round of discussions about the tapes and, because of previous orders not to destroy the tapes without White House approval, they were unaware that Rodriguez planned to move immediately, officials told The Associated Press…

    • MadDog says:

      Again via the AP’s piece:

      …Relying on the advice from Hermes and Eatinger, Rodriguez told Winograd to write an official request to destroy the videos. On Nov. 5, 2005, the request came in. Its justification: The inspector general had completed its investigation and CIA lawyer John L. McPherson had verified that the cables accurately summarized the tapes…

      Maybe it’s McPherson on the obstruction target list, but if memory serves me right, didn’t he get immunity before Durham’s grand jury:

      • MadDog says:

        McPherson? Maybe not. I’m thinking more and more that my memory doesn’t serve me right. *g*

        Somebody got that immunity, but the more I think about it, I don’t believe it was McPherson.

        I believe that you EW were pretty efficient during review of the CIA IG report in demolishing CIA lawyer John L. McPherson’s story that the “cables accurately summarized the tapes” and was total hogwash, so maybe McPherson is on another hook other than obstruction.

  2. scribe says:

    All of which is why I’m a lawyer not practicing law now: I’m not going to slaughter my integrity to work in and thereby give camouflage – of respectability, whatever – to a corrupt system of non-law.

  3. MadDog says:

    Via MSNBC:

    Key witness in CIA tapes case not questioned:

    The Justice Department special counsel who declined to bring criminal charges in the destruction of CIA videotapes of harsh interrogation never questioned the key witness in the case, according to two sources close to the case.

    Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA director of counterterrorism operations, gave the order to destroy the tapes. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NBC News’ Michael Isikoff that special counsel John Durham never issued a grand jury subpoena for Rodriguez’s testimony during his more than a 2 1/2-year investigation.

    Rodriguez’s attorney, Bob Bennett, had made clear early on that his client would not testify without a grant of immunity. But Durham’s failure to call Rodriguez, or even question him as a witness, surprised one lawyer close to the case, indicating it could raise questions about the special counsel’s claim that he had conducted a “thorough” investigation.

    • Jason Leopold says:

      I was told the same thing by the way. This is what Brent Mickum, Zubaydah’s attorney, said to me in response:

      Brent Mickum, an attorney who represents Abu Zubaydah, the first high-value detainees subjected to waterboarding whose torture was captured on the videotapes, said the fact that Durham did not call Rodriguez to testify suggests that Rodriguez intended to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

      “There really isn’t any other explanation” as to why Durham did not call Rodriguez to testify, Mickum said. Durham “can’t force Rodriguez to testify if he intended to plead the Fifth. If [Durham] didn’t call him and could have and was not advised that Rodriguez would plead the Fifth than that would be unacceptable. I feel very confident, however, that didn’t happen.”

      Mickum said he had several conversations with Durham during the course of his investigation and he said Durham “conceded that he could see possible motive for destruction of the evidence without ever identifying what those motives were.”

      • MadDog says:

        As a supporter of the “no one is above the law” view, I don’t get the reason Durham didn’t put Rodriguez in a GJ box.

        At the very least, it would send messages to both the CIA, and to the American public, that here’s “this American hero, a true patriot” as his attorney Bennett spins it, and he hasn’t got the balls to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” in our judicial system.

      • bmaz says:

        Durham “conceded that he could see possible motive for destruction of the evidence

        That is pretty interesting. But of course he did; you would have to be blind not to see motive. Fuck, they admitted the tapes were horrendous and would make them look bad. So, yeah, glad Mr. Durham “could see possible motive”.

      • klynn says:

        Mickum said he had several conversations with Durham during the course of his investigation and he said Durham “conceded that he could see possible motive for destruction of the evidence without ever identifying what those motives were.”

        (my bold)

        Jason,

        I mean no disrepect but Durham’s comment sounds like he thought he was talking to a kindergartner. How patronizing of Durham.

        Good grief. He could see possible motives? Just possible?

        Enough has come out on public record to show means, motive and opportunity. The three aspects of a crime.

        Possible motives. Not enough evidence.

        The Hollow Men…Oh TS we could use your prose about now.

        • Jason Leopold says:

          I totally agree. That was how Zubaydah’s attorney characterized their conversations. In my conspiratorial view, I think Durham knew months ago (when Holder kept saying the investigation was wrapping up any day now) that he wasn’t going to file charges and waited until after the election. That they announced it on the day Bush published his book just makes it that much more memorable.

          • bmaz says:

            The election covering the statute running was just too much synergy for the pricks to pass up. From what I can tell, they have not done squat since April or early May, and the decision was made by then, if not before. But, if nobody is going to call you on it, why not be safe and run the statute? It is what competent cretins do.

          • MadDog says:

            Just my personal SWAG here, but I’ve got to believe that Durham’s Torture Tape destruction no prosecution decision wasn’t made in the past week, but had taken place some time ago.

            And I want to thank brother bmaz for his DOJ letter because I believe that was one of the primary instigations for the DOJ to even bother responding today at all.

            While I’m not saying that the DOJ would have necessarily deep-sixed any public pronouncement forever, I’m of the opinion that today’s response was at least in part a decision by the Obama Administration politicos to throw the DFH bloggers a “open government” bone.

            • Jason Leopold says:

              That’s my suspicion too. However, in terms of “open government” I don’t believe their was really anything the DOJ revealed other than “case closed.” And I do believe they would not have made the statement if they were not pressured to do so. Perhaps it’s a coincidence. But I really don’t think anyone was aware of the SOL expiring prior to reading about it here.

              • MadDog says:

                …However, in terms of “open government” I don’t believe their was really anything the DOJ revealed other than “case closed.”

                Their idea of “open government” is far different than us not-government-employees folks. *g*

                …But I really don’t think anyone was aware of the SOL expiring prior to reading about it here.

                If true, my already low opinion of DOJ busybodies has just about hit rock bottom.

                • Jason Leopold says:

                  By “nobody” I meant the media. Sorry about that. I think the fact that the SOL expiring was reported here got people to make queries to DOJ and Durham. But again, just my conspiracy theory.

                  • MadDog says:

                    Excellent point! That the MSM would’ve missed the SOL expiring does not surprise me one bit, and I agree that without the alarm sounding here, it wouldn’t have sounded at all.

              • bmaz says:

                I been whining about various statutes expiring, including this one, forever. Nobody paid attention when the statute ran on the al-Haramain crimes (that a Federal judge had already ruled to be illegal acts); nobody cared. It is kind of sad. Where was Carrie Johnson before the fucking statute had run?? If she knew a murder was going to happen, would she just wait until it did to report on it?

  4. zapkitty says:

    MadDog, no torturer nor any enabler of torture will be placed on your fanciful list.

    Once started such a prosecution would not stop at any place convenient for the lords and masters… therefore such a prosecution simply will not be allowed to start.

    Torture is what the United States of America did.

    Torture is what the United States of America does.

    Torture is what the United States of America tacitly condones and enables.

  5. MadDog says:

    Via the AFP:

    …US officials said they would not rule out possible criminal charges into a parallel probe ordered last year by Attorney General Eric Holder into methods used by interrogators while questioning the detainees

    “That investigation continues,” Durham’s spokesman Tom Carson told AFP.

    Isn’t this the very first time Durham’s spokesman Tom Carson has ever said anything but “no comment”?

  6. bmaz says:

    Listen, the DOJ gave McPherson immunity and then blithely let the statute run without charging Rodriquez in order to leverage him. How are you going to get to Hermes and Eatinger without these links in the chain? McPherson has shown he is rather slippery and non-helpful once he was immunized. My understanding is DOJ has literally given letters of no-charge clearance to the agents actually doing the physical destruction overseas. There is no case against Rodriquez or McPherson at this point. Can’t even get to any of the others with those holes. I just do not see where there is any other action left in play here. The only possibility is that they are after McPherson for going wobbly and slippery, and I don’t buy that either. that was six months ago, why wouldn’t you charge it up before your base crime statute of limitations ran? There is just nuthin going on here.

    • MadDog says:

      Answer me a question please, oh legal eagle. Regarding Isikoff’s report, how does somebody like Rodriguez not get pulled into the Durham grand jury?

      Even if Rodriguez’s attorney, Bob Bennett insists “his client would not testify without a grant of immunity”, why would Durham not force the issue with Rodriguez and make him do the 5th Amendment tapdance?

      In other words, what does Durham think he’s going to lose by not running Rodriguez through his grand jury hoops?

      I’m seeming to miss the downside here, particularly since not calling Rodriguez didn’t produce anything either.

      • bmaz says:

        I think Bennett just convinced him his client really would plead the fifth on anything other than his name and that it was a waste of time to bring him in for that; may even have certified that in writing. Certainly not unheard of for prosecutors to accept that and not bring the witness in, although many do.

        • MadDog says:

          Yeah, and the “politics” of “looking forward, not backward” means that in the Obama Administration, there’s no sense in hoisting Agency folks on their own pétard.

          • MadDog says:

            Via Carrie Johnson over at NPR:

            …CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said the agency was “pleased” no officer would be charged…

            Shorter Panetta: “Happy Meals for everybody! My treat!”

              • MadDog says:

                My take as well.

                Or at the most, some former CIA folks and/or contractors might still get it in the neck, but not any current folks.

                • bobschacht says:

                  Or at the most, some former CIA folks and/or contractors might still get it in the neck, but not any current folks.

                  So, as long as you belong to The Company, you’re OK, but if you leave The Company, you’re on your own?

                  Bob in aZ

  7. Mary says:

    As long as they are still “investigating” they can drag out all kinds of things and use their “investigation” status as a sword to kill off access to information and claims in other cases.

    And let’s face it, there never was an actual investigation into any of the underlying criminality and depravity. Zero. NEVER was even an ATTEMPT TO PRETEND that there would be an investigation into the underlying crimes. It was, like Fitzgerald’s whittled down mandate, already so restricted from the get go that it couldn’t really go anywhere, despite the chaff they tried to throw early on about how golly – Bullboy was going back to Holder for more authorization.

    This is why a Palin isn’t really that much different from an Obama. For a decade now, the institutions themselves have been run by people who go to bed and wake up ok with torture and depravity as long as it comes for their bosses and the guys & gals who can keep their careers on track. Anyone not in that mold would have been making noisey withdrawals and leaving by 2004 at the latest. Those who actually joined up after it was on the table that they were working going to be working for torturers and sex abusers and assassains – well, they are what they are.

    The DOJ today is an institution where the phrase Saturday Night Massacre is now just a description of the night of the week when their clients were working.

    • greenharper says:

      “The DOJ today is an institution where the phrase Saturday Night Massacre is now just a description of the night of the week when their clients were working.”

      I once heard former AG Elliot Richardson asked if it had taken courage to resign rather than obey Nixon’s command to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson replied at once that it had not, in a tone of voice and with body language indicating, I thought, that the question was absurd. Cox had a contract with DOJ. Cox had not breached the terms of his contract. There were no grounds to fire him. Therefore, refusing to fire him took no courage.

      In the audience, close to the front and listening, was Douglas Feith. I’ve sometimes wondered what Doug Feith thought of Richardson’s so taking for granted that the right thing was the only thing to do that it took no courage to do it.

  8. tjbs says:

    This goes back to letting the JFK killer skate. The first commission I remember that superseded a criminal investigation, though not the last .

    George bush sr was CIA Dallas when JFK was offed after the MIC runaway bay of pigs(what an appropriate name for those CIA creeps).

    Hiding heads under the sand hasn’t worked so far.

  9. MadDog says:

    On a related topic, via the AP:

    DOJ: Lawyer’s recovered e-mails show no misconduct

    The Justice Department reviewed newly found e-mails sent by a Bush administration lawyer and stands by a conclusion that the attorney did not commit professional misconduct in authorizing CIA interrogators to use waterboarding and other harsh tactics, a department letter shows.

    The review of the additional e-mails did not alter the earlier assessment that the lawyer, John Yoo, merely had exhibited poor judgment, according to the letter to the House and Senate judiciary committees. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday…

  10. Jason Leopold says:

    I just laugh at statements like this now:

    New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rush Holt decried an overall lack of accountability. In a statement, Holt said he tried to insert language in an intelligence bill that would require the CIA to preserve interrogation tapes. But the language was blocked.

    “This episode is another reminder of why we need a bipartisan commitment to effective and meaningful congressional oversight of the intelligence community,” Holt said in a statement.

    • substanti8 says:

      Excuse me, Mr. President, but I was told there would be accountability.

      “I hope by now most of you have seen through the facade of Barack Obama, who functioned for the corporate state as a brand.  He, I think, in many ways was similar to what we saw done by Benetton or Calvin Klein, where they used people of color and HIV positive models as a way to associate their products with risqué style and progressive politics.  But the result was the same.  It was to confuse a passive consumer that a brand was an experience – which is why, just before Obama assumed office, Advertising Age awarded Obama their top annual award.  He beat Nike, Zappos and Apple for Marketer of the Year.”

      – Chris Hedges, 3 weeks ago, speaking about his new book, Death of the Liberal Class

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      OT warning! —

      rosalind, I’ve not yet had a chance to see ‘Fair Game’, but am I the only one who finds it bizarre and Bush-like that his dog-and-pony show for his book is happening the week that Fair Game is out?

      Typical Bushista bullshit, if you ask me.
      Got torture statutes running out that you don’t want anyone to have time to discuss? Schedule your book interviews for right about that date. Got a “Fair Game” movie coming out that you want to divert attention from so that you can suck up all the oxygen and the movie will have less attention? Schedule your book tour for the dates that the movie hits its release dates — and then make sure that you give your interview to ‘lefty’ NBC so that no one will notice they aren’t mentioning the movie.

      Sean Penn and Naomi Watt ought to be all over the news right now talking about the movie. But nooooooo…. everyone’s niggling about Bush’s b.s.

      BTW: Am I the only one who thought part of that Bush interview with Lauer was almost creepy the way it was set up to ‘mimic’ an interrogation room? No background pictures, just a plain simple table and bright lighting? As if to say, “See, these settings are just convivial conversation…”

      Now, back to the thread topic…

  11. bluewombat says:

    Let’s see if I have this right…

    There was destruction of evidence to cover up criminal culpability in torture. The special counsel chooses not to prosecute because of insufficient evidence.

    But if the evidence was destroyed…

    Oh, never mind.

  12. Mary says:

    You know, there never was all that great an accounting for all the people at all the blacksites that never ended up going to GITMO. I mean, we know the CIA froze one guy who wasn’t with al-Qaeda at the time and who may have saved Karzai’s life at some point to death, but what about the others? Never even a minimal effort to account for them. I mean, there actually was a smidge, once upon a time, when McCain was actually asking some ghost prisoner questions, but in general, nothing.

    Part of the story here is how much wasted effort there was in setting up people like Cheney and Rove as the laser focus points. They were only the kinds of villains that history and the people who founded this country expected to have come along. The real villains always were sitting in Committees in Congress and collecting DOJ checks. The guys who were supposed to be the good guys, but who were happily in the pocket of and “legalizing” the Cheney’s and Rove’s. Jay Bybee will always be, in the end, a much worse man then the men who tortured on his approvals. Because he was given a different role by grace and by design and by history, and he betrayed it at every point.

    Rove is what can be expected of a political operative. But what individual after individual after individual in the DOJ have done, that was a betrayal of the nation at its lowest point – the knife in the back when the country turned to face its challenges from without. And I know a lot here won’t feel this way, bc they don’t necessarily believe in God, but the difference between being a vindictive political weasel and being a man or woman who is willing to send a nation’s soul to hell for career enhancement – well, there’s no comparison. God will never bless an unrepentant torture nation and they’ve guaranteed that reality, all for their personal comfort and careers. That’s so wicked I flinch to think it has been the institutional norm for a decade now. To torture is bad. To work from within a nation’s justice system to knowingly and willingly train a nation to be accepting and even supportive of torture is just so wicked I can’t think of a word for it.

    • klynn says:

      And I know a lot here won’t feel this way, bc they don’t necessarily believe in God, but the difference between being a vindictive political weasel and being a man or woman who is willing to send a nation’s soul to hell for career enhancement – well, there’s no comparison. God will never bless an unrepentant torture nation and they’ve guaranteed that reality, all for their personal comfort and careers. That’s so wicked I flinch to think it has been the institutional norm for a decade now. To torture is bad. To work from within a nation’s justice system to knowingly and willingly train a nation to be accepting and even supportive of torture is just so wicked I can’t think of a word for it.

      Thank you Mary. Thank you.

      (my bold)

    • Mason says:

      The DOJ today is an institution where the phrase Saturday Night Massacre is now just a description of the night of the week when their clients were working.

      To work from within a nation’s justice system to knowingly and willingly train a nation to be accepting and even supportive of torture is just so wicked I can’t think of a word for it.

      Mary,

      Don’t ever stop writing. Your passion for the truth electrifies. Thank you for all that you do.

    • jdmckay0 says:

      God will never bless an unrepentant torture nation and they’ve guaranteed that reality,

      EG. guaranteed that unreality: part of what’s worked into the culture w/this is the “torture is meme, left to linger in the minds of a public derprived of the specifics.

      Morally, the guarantee is cascading re-assertion of lies… a lack of accounting for what was/is true.

      That’s so wicked I flinch to think it has been the institutional norm for a decade now. To torture is bad. To work from within a nation’s justice system to knowingly and willingly train a nation to be accepting and even supportive of torture is just so wicked I can’t think of a word for it.

      Well said. And… most of US public doesn’t know.

      Or for those who architected, obstructed, justified all this: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

      And it’s the same charactar that’s similarly been implemented in finance, economy, and all the rest.

      • jdmckay0 says:

        “torture is meme”

        server edited out my tags… meant to say:

        torture is (good/patriotic/christian/necessary/they-deserved-it/etc.)

  13. bobschacht says:

    EW, it’s late and I haven’t had time to read through the comments yet, but THANK YOU for writing this up, and I agree with everything you wrote. I am sick of what our country is becoming. I am sick of what our DOJ has become. I am sick of the mess that we are leaving to the next generation.

    And I am sick of a VP who tells us to stop whining. You haven’t seen anything yet, buster. If you want to be re-elected, you better start living your oath of office.

    Bob in AZ

  14. klynn says:

    And I am sick of a VP who tells us to stop whining. You haven’t seen anything yet, buster. If you want to be re-elected, you better start living your oath of office.

    I’ve come up with a response when I get the “stop whining” comment.

    I say in a calm voice, “My goodness, what a tragic misunderstanding of how I am being heard. I am not whining. This is righteous anger due to the lack of rule of law and a broken democracy. The fact that no one modeled an understanding of the difference between whining and righteous anger for you during your formative years, makes me concerned for you. I also conclude that you must be unaware of the difference between the two which would point to living in a state of moral corruption and unable to recognize the import of the difference between whining and righteous anger. Making positive and negative choices for the greater good of society is based on an understanding of the difference.”

    Then I tell them I have a list with evidence and facts which demonstrate how the rule of law and democracy are broken and I would love to schedule a meeting with them to go over each concern on my list. I remind them, ” A whiner would not take the time to research concerns. Whining is an emotional response, not a cognitive one. A cognitive response has research behind it.”

    I close with:

    “Calling someone a whiner when the someone has genuine concerns, is an emotional response, not a cognitive response. It is rude and shows an unwilling attitude to work together.”

      • klynn says:

        Well, I must tell you, my response drives fear into them and makes them regret every utterance of “whiner.”

        When, I ask for a meeting and they decline. I ask, “What are you trying to avoid?”

        I get crickets from them.

        I respond with, “I see, there is nothing you are trying to avoid. That’s a good starting place for rational dialogue.”

        This is usually followed by speechlessness and sputtering.

        It. Is. So. Fun.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Ah, makes me break into a shit-eating grin and a warm chuckle just thinking about it.

          It’s funny; I think the MSM and the Rovians assume we’re all pajama-wearing losers. Which just makes it all the more fun ;-)

  15. arctor says:

    It becomes crystal clear why Bush did not feel the need to pardon anyone in his administration; Obama was their handpicked flunky, he could have carried Bush’s bags to the waiting helicopter on Inauguartion Day, he was just that obseqiuous.

  16. Jeff Kaye says:

    They cannot stop the truth from coming out.

    For all the reasons enumerated here and elsewhere, they had to destroy the videotapes… or they want you to think they were all destroyed.

    But they cannot destroy all the evidence of their massive torture and experimentation program. I suppose some of them realize that, and the game will be to play for time, hence stringing everyone along.

    But I emphasize, they cannot destroy all the evidence, and some of that evidence will expose yet more dire crimes, ones that have not even been discussed thus far. The work Jason and I have done in documenting the setup for “legally” allowing experiments on the detainees has only been published in part. There is more. And let me add that such an apparatus was not set up for the fun of it. My work on the Army Field Manual and the drug issue, and exposure of current U.S. Navy documents admitting to research on “consciousness-altering drugs or mind-control techniques” (quoting from the Navy) point the way. I wish the rest of you all would follow that trail.

    I’m going down that way, and I can tell you the view gets clearer and clearer. It will yield far greater results than waiting on Durham did. It will bring us to the ugly truth of Guantanamo and the torture program, a truth that is still only barely realized — that at its core was a huge experimental program along the lines of MKULTRA, Project Artichoke, etc.

    • bmaz says:

      To each their own; but, quite frankly, I have no idea in the world what you mean by the little phrase “waiting on Durham”. Who here was waiting on Durham?

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Not you, or (most) people here. Sorry if you took offense. But in the psych and human rights circles and listservs I frequent, that is/was the case.

        I’m very well aware that you have been in the forefront of calling bullshit on the Durham business. And I’ve said that, so I didn’t suddenly change my mind. I just didn’t give the context to my comment.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Jeff, have you by any chance come across a nexxus between Guantanamo,and the biowarfare research of David Kelly,before his demise?

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        No. I have not seen or heard of a connection like that. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one, and I do suspect (and on this have only a surmise, based on a paucity of evidence) that “bioterrorism” research may have been conducted at Guantanamo. But thus far, besides the “deception” research, what I’ve found has to do with “scientific” ways to break down a person’s personality or mind, for torture, etc.

        Soon, we’ll have out an article regarding the uses of such breaking down, i.e., what’s meant by “etc.” above.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          Thank you so much for the feedback, Jeff.

          The October Truthout article that you linked @#68 brought that to mind,for me.

          Specifically this excerpt:Treating Soldiers

          The original impetus for the changes seems to have related more to the use of experimental therapies on US soldiers facing potential biological and other dangers in war zones.The House Armed Services Committee proposed amending 10 USC 980 prior to the 9/11 attacks. But the Bush administration pressed for the changes after 9/11 as the United States was preparing to invade Afghanistan and new medical products might be needed for soldiers on the battlefield without their consent, said two former officials from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

          Yet, there were concerns about the changes even among Bush administration officials. In a September 24, 2001, memo to lawmakers, Bush’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the “administration is concerned with the provision allowing research to be conducted on human subjects without their informed consent in order to advance the development of a medical product necessary to the armed forces.”

  17. b2020 says:

    “The investigation continues, DOJ tells us, into obstruction of the Durham investigation itself.”

    How… *meta*. Truly a post-modern, bipolartisan presidency.

    • harpie says:

      I haven’t been able to keep up with this, and so I just noticed that Jeff linked to this article in yesterday’s thread.

    • klynn says:

      One witness in the case who worked with Rodriguez said, “I can’t believe Rodriguez got away with it” upon learning that Durham would not prosecute his former colleague. This person said Rodriguez destroyed evidence to cover-up the fact that the two detainees whose interrogations were videotaped were tortured.

      Jason gets better testimony than Durham.

  18. Jeff Kaye says:

    By the way, I don’t think Koh was necessarily buying the Durham line, but instead is part of the cover-up. I would remind everyone that Koh was the one who very rapidly refused to follow up the PHR request for an investigation into CIA experimentation on torture, and threw the request over to the CIA for them to handle. (Uh, yeah.)

    If you hang around torturers for too long, evil rubs off on even the best of people. Dawn Johnsen doesn’t know how lucky she was.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, quite right, Koh was duplicitously using Durham as cover against the whims of the international prosecutorial set, who get more hamstrung if there is a legitimate American investigation. They don’t have much jurisdiction anyway, but certainly existence of a legitimate US case cuts into what they may have.

  19. klynn says:

    bmaz, question.

    Should it be found out that a death (murder) or near death (attempted murder) was depicted on the destroyed videos, could Rodriguez be charged as an accessory to murder?

    IANAL

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      I don’t recall this being discussed before-perhaps it was and I mised it, but in January’09 Vietnam Vets filed suit for biological experiments . Pretty interesting stuff:

      VCS Lawsuit Attorney Fighting for MKULTRA Veterans – Veterans For ...Oct 18, 2009 … VA Encourages Affected Vietnam Veterans to File Disability Claims; Get Healthcare … and that many of the biological experiments were modeled after … 2009). More information regarding this lawsuit can be found at …

      http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/…/veterans…/1436-gordon-erspamer – Cached

      Vietnam Vets of America Slams CIA stonewalling in lawsuit on …Aug 28, 2010 ... The Vietnam Veterans of America filed a lawsuit on behalf of six Vietnam War veterans in January, 2009, claiming that … as many as 400 chemical and biological agents,” according to Courthouse News. … Their bringing to light the horrors of experimentation on Vietnam Veterans by the CIA will curb …

      http://www.veteranstoday.com/…/viet-vets-of-america-slams-cia-stonewalling-in- lawsuit-on-experiments-on-troops/ – Cached

  20. phlipnpage says:

    The USG’s practice and advocation of torture as a means of extension of it’s foreign policy runs from the War on Vietnam to the War on Afghanistan. The School of Americas now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation continues to export it’s legacy of torture and death with today’s blow back from it’s trained agents who work for the Zetas Cartel in Mexico. Ten of thousands of Central Americans have been recently disappeared and are disappearing every day due to the “fruits” of these US training efforts and participation those who hide in the shadows of the USG doing the same evil deeds they did under Air America in Vietnam and Iran-Contra in Central America. GITMO and US illegal prisons still in operation are the grand fruits and havens of these labors of evil. Obama has yet to relent because he choose status-quo over change that was his mandate.

    The US legacy of torture includes glorious achievement such as the SAVVAK Secret Police in Iran, the Contras in Nicaragua and beyond. The sustaining force behind all of this is the CIA who time and again maintain themselves beyond the reach of the law. This is how the US government works.
    If this were not such a tragic situation it would seem comical the venting of incensed liberals and left leaning folks who hold the pretense that the US Justice system will ever produce anything that will vaguely resemble justice. Especially when it comes to expanding or preserving the US global hegemony. It is far better to take to the street and burn something until the they relent, rather than shed crocodile tears and wax cathartic with our words of indignation.

    If this business of torture and injustice is news to anyone here, your either very young, naive or you very old and you’ve been in hiding… …these are good words and discussion but they beg the question “when will we move beyond our dribble of indignant words that are mocked by the foundation of US Foreign Policy and get rid of the CIA and the horrible disease it perpetuates!”

    Phlipn Page

  21. bobschacht says:

    OK, here’s the deal. This may be an odious path to some, but it may be the only way to get traction on the torture issue.

    The Republicans aren’t going to be too eager to investigate Bush’s open confession of a war crime, even if Nadler is all hot and bothered about it. They won’t get interested unless they can hang some of it on Obama.
    (Here, imagine a light bulb flashing over my head.)

    Ah! but what if someone fed info about goings-on at Bagram under Obama to Daryl Issa?

    Bob in AZ