Did Logistics Guy John Brennan Set Up the Torture Taping System? Did He Buy the Torture Coffin?

[youtube]mRAHa_Po0Kg[/youtube]

This was one of the most interesting little-noticed exchanges at John Brennan’s confirmation hearing last week.

CHAMBLISS: In 2002 what was your knowledge of interrogation videotapes about Abu Zubaydah, and did you seek any information about an Office of General Counsel review of them in 2002?

BRENNAN: I have — I don’t have a recollection of that, Senator.

CHAMBLISS: Of the tapes, or that request?

BRENNAN: At the time, in 2002, I do not know what my involvement or knowledge was at the time of the tapes. I believe that they — I was aware of the Abu Zubaydah debriefings and interrogation sessions being taped.

John Brennan not only knew of the torture tapes but … well, he doesn’t remember whether he asked about the OGC review of torture tapes or not.

As a threshold matter, remember that Brennan was in a logistical role at the time the torture sessions were first taped. He had nothing to do with the development of the techniques, he says. But thus far, I think no one has asked him if he procured any of a number of items the torturers used.

For example, did John Brennan help set up the torture taping system? That would explain how he knew they were taping the sessions.

But that’s not all. Remember, the Office of General Counsel reviewed the torture tapes — originally as a preliminary to them being destroyed in 2002 — to make sure what the torturers did matched what DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel approved them to do.

We know they shouldn’t have. We know the tapes should have shown the torturers exceeding the guidelines of waterboarding. We know the tapes should have shown the torture preceding the date when OLC actually approved it.

And we know the tapes should have shown the torturers putting Abu Zubaydah in a box as part of a mock burial, the only torture technique John Yoo ever labeled illegal.

In short, we know that the tapes should have shown that the torturers exceeded even the limited restrictions OLC put on them.

Instead, by the time OGC reviewed the torture tapes, 15 of the tapes were already partially or entirely destroyed. Some were taped over, some were broken, some showed the taping system had been shut off. 21 hours of Abu Zubaydah’s torture somehow did not remain on the tapes at the time of the OGC review in November to December 2002. As it happened, when the Inspector General later reviewed the tapes and compared what John McPherson, the OGC lawyer who had reviewed the tapes, actually recorded, he discovered that McPherson had found it unremarkable that the torturers were deviating from the guidelines approved by OLC.

But it appears, given Saxby’s comment, that Brennan was not so much interested in what the IG found, but in what McPherson found. Brennan appears to have been interested in what remained on the tapes after they had been partially destroyed, the first time, after the presumably most incriminating aspects of Abu Zubaydah’s torture had been destroyed.

Here’s another question. Did logistics guy John Brennan procure the waterboard the use of which exceeded the guidelines laid out by OLC? More importantly, did logistics guy John Brennan procure the box used to conduct an even-John-Yoo-said-it-was-illegal mock burial? And if so, did John Brennan know that the torturers considered the box a coffin?

Did John Brennan know, because he had done the logistics for the torture program, that the torturers had violated the only law Yoo ever put into place?

It would sure explain why the Obama Administration worked so hard to cover up the torture program.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+1Email to someone

8 Responses to Did Logistics Guy John Brennan Set Up the Torture Taping System? Did He Buy the Torture Coffin?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @DanielLarison I thought it was just a comment on his age. Evergreen, bc the last two they've used for Hillary were probably obscene.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Mogul?!?! That's the best USSS could do for Trump's codename? It's not even in code. https://t.co/H8YvC3zs69
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @samueloakford: Saudi Arabia told the UN and aid agencies to leave areas where the Houthis are operating in #Yemen: https://t.co/Rf0LPDz
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Spkr2Managers Since someone fr PD's office already repping someone fr Malheur his will be a CJA. Portland's bar will be busy @maxoregonian
10mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @EricMartin24 But, while I respect and will vote for either in general, I am at this point, a Sanders fan, so take w/that grain of salt.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nolarobert FWIW, if he is unable to pay, support him getting one, but remember initial complaint w/govt also abt freeloading. @PoliticalBee
11mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @EricMartin24 Don't think he pushed it though. And think the Clinton attack on sanders civil rights record that precipitated this is stupid.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @EricMartin24 Yes. As in all things Senatorial, it is complicated, but yes. That is not positive for him, ultimately, either.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel As long as the Oregon Occupation went on, the Porter Ranch gas leak went on much longer (& no indictments expected) https://t.co/hpGRoGI8b4
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @TayNez81 Overall, that is, I hope, a good thing. But, caveat, we all have our angles; some w/better facts, some not. It is what it is.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Is Cliven putting the freeloading into "freedom" again? https://t.co/CdvUNvC4CG
18mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Rendition to Freedom! https://t.co/Vf3FxKm3vx
19mreplyretweetfavorite
February 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728