Senate Armed Services Torture Hearing, Two

Here are the documents released by the committee.

Are here are some links to Spencer Ackerman’s work on this: here, here, here, and here.

McCaskill: We disrespect men and women who serve if we don’t have this hearing. Did you review Beaver opinion?


McCaskill: If you came across phrase, "immnuity in advance," would it cause you pause?

Shiffrin: yes.

McCaskill: Any lawyer would ask what planet are we on? That would be a crime!

McCaskill: In fact, as I just said, if someone visits with someone about committing a crime and I’ll give you immunity, wouldn’t they be guilty of a crime.

Shiffrin: they could be, Senator.

McCaskill: This legal memorandum, basis for SOD to sick dogs on them, contained a legal theory called immunity in advance, and no one, your boss got this, he is a trained prosecutor. Has he had experience as a prosecutor, experience in a court room. It is mindboggling to me that no one would hear the raging offense to rule of law.

McCaskill: what are the names of people who gave you impression we needed more aggressive techniques. WHo told you.

Shiffrin: Not what I said. Discussoin of progress, lack of progress, obtaining actionable intelligence out of detainees. Chaired by Haynes, 5-6 other lawyers.

McCaskill: Who was in the room?

Shiffrin: frustration, didn’t say we needed to change techniques. Whit Cobb, DGCIA Charles Allen, Marine worked in Counsel office, Bill Lietsow, there was a lawyer now my successor, Eleana Davidson, responsible for detainee matters. Those were the lawyers would have been present.

McCaskill: ever present after Haynes recommended approval of these techniques?

Shiffrin: Met with Haynes every day. I forget the date.

McCaskill: I can give the date. November 27, 2002, Approved December 2, 2002.

Shiffrin: Vague recollection that memorandum approved.

McCaskill: Aware memorandum existed. I think you’re a good lawyer care about your country. We’re trying to figure out who decided. Did this come from David Addington and Cheney, Gonzales’ shop? Chertoff. There are people still in responsibility in our govt. No one is willing to say where this came from. This move towards imploding the traditions of this country.

Shiffrin: The GC office often operated in compartmentalized fashion. Not unusual to get request about SERE and I’d find out that someone else was doing the same thing, or that it was going to be used at Gitmo, never be part of discussion about what they were going to do.

Martinez: Context. Mistakes have harmed our nation. No further questions.

Levin: Baumgartner said you requested physical pressures.

Shiffrin: Memo from GC.

Levin: Baumgartner. Do you stick to your testimony?

Shiffrin: Refers to meeting with OSD GC. I never met Baumgartner before. To extent these memos responsive to requests at meeting, I didn’t attend meeting.

Levin: Baumgartner, phone conversation. You deny that you used term physical pressures, he sticks by his testimony. Did he ever use the term carrots?

Shiffrin: I recall conversation with Dunleavy.

Levin: You testified you never discussed using these tactics offensively. You’re aware that export of those not way program designed.

Baumgartner: yes

Levin: Major General Solagan is? JPRA higher HQ, right? Memo I used, offensive purposes lies outside responsibilty of JPRA.

Baumgartner: Use of our guys in offensive manner not what we were about. We were about training.

Levin: when misused in that way, has anyone been held accountable for misuse of program?

Baumgartner: No

Levin: are you aware that SERE techniques went to Iraq. Instructors went to Iraq at request of special mission unit taskforce. JPRA provided assistance to interrogation operations.

Baumgartner: I was retired by then. I don’t have a comment. I was not part of decision-making process.

Levin: Do you disagree with Solagan on question on whether or not use of interrogation knowledge lies out side of JPRA.

Baumgartner: I didn’t say that.

Levin Dep Comm

Levin: Gates said the other day, when he fired two Air Force people, during his tenure, accountability much reach all the way up chain of commend. Accountability must reach beyond Colonels. And that hasn’t happened.

Warner: Was SERE info shared with anyone else, DIA, and another recipient, classified nature. I wish to push further. This question was the information you gathered, in what form did you convey that info.

Baumgartner: Briefing and document.

Warner: Do we have that document?

Levin: Testimony that is classified. We got 38,000 documents this week, they sure are about a year late.

Warner: did JPRA provide training?

Baumgartner: instructions, not training. Emails I’ve seen say instruction and exploitation training.

Warner: was that sharing an issue that your organization sought higher authority to approve.

Baumgartner: Went to flag level. JPRA into Chief of Staff’s office.

Warner: 26 July 02,3 memo for OSD GC. To answer follow-on questions July 25 meeting. Were you familiar with that meeting?

Baum: Phone conversations.

Warner: 2-3 telephone conversations.

Holy Joe: Ogrisseg: Training we’re giving personnel alters with enemy or purpose of interrogation?

Ogrisseg: Yes, changes with the enemy.

Holy Joe: Does it change with the aim of the torture. Senator McCain was to sign a confession for propaganda purposes. Not for eliciting information, which is the purpose here. Current enemy likely to put captive on TV and kill him.

Ogrisseg: Way that people processed before. One way that it can be exploited by enemy. Terrorist network may be to make a statement. Can’t determine which actions the students are going to make.

Holy Joe: Islamist extremists, theological extremists, since you were knew they were not for training, natural to assume to use against detainees. Any info that was based on unique cultural background of Islamist terrorists?

Ogrisseg: Are you asking me?

BAumgartner: NO.

Holy Joe; Use of dogs. Muslims have special phobia of dogs. Did you deal with that in submission to GC.

Baumgartner: no.

Holy Joe: Shiffrin? In trying to find additional info to assist in interrogations, did you ever reach out for tactics or info based on unique cultural characteristics or phobias or fears?

Shiffirn: No, my request was just send me everything you have.

Holy Joe: Any material dealth with unique phobias?

Shiffirn: Everything I got was historical.

Levin: Shiffrin, reverse engineer SERE techniques. You said two minutes ago, you didn’t ask about techniques. Ten seconds ago I asked you this question.

Shiffrin: My primary purpose was to find all the info. I intuited we could reverse engineer a SERE technique.

Levin: I see, you believed that might be one of the purposes.

Levin: You said that torture increases resistence and is not reliable?

Ogrisseg: Yes

Levin: Sleep deprivation, disorientation, even one night affects language attention. memory function can degrade captives ability to cope with challenges

Ogrisseg: I don’t believe I wrote that section. I need more context on what sleep deprivation means. I would agree that prolonged periods of sleep deprivation would be bad. We don’t innoculate them to sleep deprivation. We don’t have enough time. We try to simulate that. We keep them up overnight.

Levin: how many hours

Ogrisseg: 4-10 hours.

Panel 2: Beaver, Dalton, and Mora

Thank you to Mr. Mora.

Levin: Beaver, in Sept 2002, behavioral scientists attended training at Fort Bragg, 9/25 Jim Haynes, Addington, Rizzo, and Chertoff traveled to Gitmo. A week later Jonathan Fredman came attended meeting with you and discussed SERE. Fredman says "anti-torture" basically subject to perception, "the detainee dies you’re doing it wrong." You said, "we’ll need documentation to protect us." Why would you need protection.

Beaver: I can’t account for accuracy of email. WRT Fredman, I had held a number of meetings once military intel wanted to do more techniques, I thought it important that everyone participate in meetings. CITF was invited. I don’t remember what Fredman said, nor what I said, in terms of requesting additional techniques, these techniques not in Field Manual, not in recognized manual, in terms of obtaining command approval, whatever was going to be recommended by MI need to be approved weren’t already trained at Fort Huachuca.

Levin: Reference to protection? Did you say we’ll need documentation to protect us?

Beaver; I can’t say with certainty. Fredman, another view, open discussion.

Levin: Do you remember talking about wet towel technique?

Beaver: DI personnel wanted to request, I had not seen it myself.

Levin: You referenced SERE employed wet towel technique.

Beaver: Interrogators raised technique as one they wanted to employ.

Levin: What about SERE?

Beaver: I thought Hill would approve. Need SOP, people trained, all kinds of things to ensure used properly. Because SERE already had SOPs on these techniques, if something got approved, something SERE used, it made sense as a starting point for SOP.

Levin: Why would you be talking about SERE since its purpose was not interrogation?

Beaver: Detainees showing signs of counter-resistence trained, GC did not apply, they were not to be treated as POWs, if you know there’s something out there that is in the military community, they would look to that. Things that were illegal, torture was illegal, of course they weren’t going to ask for something like that, you look to something you can cut and paste from. I assume that since most people knew SERE, it was a natural jump, and so they reached out to SERE, the only people who had psychologists were SERE.

Levin: You call a natural leap. Were you aware that it was a reverse purpose? Were you aware of all that and yet you say it’s a natural leap?

Beaver: At the time Dunleavy did not include me, the people he sent to SERE school I was not part of that conversation. I’m just imaging why my colleagues would go to SERE school.

Levin: were you surprised there was no written legal analysis.

Beaver: I can only speak to Jane Dalton. I tried to get help from Southcom supervisor, reached him at golf course at Southcom, I sent a draft, I said, I need your help. Dalton told me I needed to speak to Col Superville. I had no idea until 2004 when Haynes released my opinion of many of the other things that had happened. When I submitted by request to Southcom. Until it came from SecDef, I didn’t know what had happened, I thought that Hill made the decision.

Levin: were you surprised that your opinion was relied upon?

Beaver: Shocked. One of the reasons I needed help from Southcom to get it off the island get it to Hill, call military justice experts, to make an objective decision, I thought was the best thing possible, I fully expected Hill’s staff to approve a very narrow set of practices.

Levin: Hill was Southcom commander.

Graham: Dalton, did you see Beaver’s memo. Did you get request to give opinions?

Dalton: Don’t recall the telephone conversation that Beaver related. When I saw memo I believed serious deficiencies.

Graham: Who did you tell?

Dalton: I discussed with my staff, at that time I did not discuss with anyone else.

Graham; Mora, did yous ee memo?

Mora: Inadequate treatment of sensitive issue, took it to Haynes and pointed out to him.

Graham: no one made you write this memo.

Beaver: Based on Dunleavy’s request. No pressure. Generated by me and staff.

Graham: You felt you were hung out a bit.

Beaver: No animosity. I understood at the time that I was hung out by Soutchcom SJA.

Graham: All to get better info. Was waterboarding mentioned?

Beaver: Navy doctor deployed for six months. SERE 2 years assignment. Relayed to myself that he had observed 2000 or 3000 sailors who had been through that school, described to me, only 2 failed to give it up, 2 seals used to controlled drowning. Became aware of that for the first time. What Jerry Feifer discussed was not the board, but a wet towel.

Graham: Someone was contemplating this technique?

Beaver: If it could be done legally, yes. You don’t jump to one thing first. You build, you use what works. That could be just interviewing.

Graham: If I asked you if UCMJ prohibts waterboarding, what would you say?

Beaver: um um

Graham: What is your background?

Beaver: Jack of all trades.

Graham: When you called Dalton why did you call?

Beaver; Help

Graham: Why not help?

Dalton: I don’t recall that conversation.

Graham: When you saw it, why didn’t you do what Mora did?

Dalton: Conduct further legal and policy review.

Graham: Conclusions?

Dalton: I did not conclude that process at that time.

Graham: How long did it take you to conclude this was wrong?

Mora: As soon as I heard, I did everything I could do, until this was rescinded. When I reviewed memo, when I saw it was unbounded, I knew instantaneously, based on inadequate legal analysis. Every JAG shares that view.

Graham: Are we in the right place.

Mora: Impression is military is in right case, doubts about intelligence community.

Pryor: You did not attention September conference at Fort Bragg. You don’t know if it was recommended there that we use SERE in offensive manner.

Beaver: The psychological team would gain benefit by talking to their counterparts at SERE and MI contigent went on fact-finding mission.

Pryor: Purpose was to take SERE techniques and use offensively.

Beaver To see if anything should be used.

Pryor: Part of the purpose was to see if you could apply the techniques at Gitmo.

Beaver; Based on what Dunleavy told us afterwards.

Pryor: You said In short, the techniques would not have been conducted in abusive manner if approval techniques followed. Waterboading is justified if there’s the proper controls.

Beaver: I wrote a legal opinion. Whatever approved, it would be approved so it would not be abusive. SecDef did not approve waterboarding. I was not approval authority.

Pryor: Tab7, notes from October 2002. Comments paraphrased. You referred to this, you don’t know how accurate it is. When did you first see this memo?

Beaver: This past March.

Pryor: You’ve reviewed this. Any questions about accuracy?

Beaver: No way for me to recollect what I said six years ago. No way for me to say if what they say is accurate.

Pryor; You come across as being eager to have these techniques used. You say, yes we can do sleep deprivation if it’s approved.

Beaver; My counterparts were unhappy with this line of discussion. They wrote policy piece. Never received legal objections.

Pryor: They didn’t want these techniques?

Beaver: No, they wanted the law enforcement techniques to be used.

Pryor: sleep deprivation. You’re paraphrased, officially it is not happening. The ICRC is a serious concern. You maybe were trying to cover it up.

Beaver: I was the liaison officer with ICRC, if you’ve got someone in active interrogation, you can’t stop the interrogation, so the ICRC would be down there and leave. If you’re going to do a more intense interrogation, you had to have time to do it,make sure it wasn’t disrupted. If you’re in the middle of an interrogation, you can’t interrupt it to be interviewed by ICRC.

Pryor: You weren’t that familiar with UCMJ,

Beaver: my hope was that when my opinion went to Hill, my concerns would be appropriately addressed by people who do it full time. I was very concerned about the military.

Pryor: did you look at UMCJ, Army field memo, Constitution. Do you have notes?

Beaver: Whatever was retrieved from Gitmo the committee can have. DOD had it, DOD would have provided it.

Pryor: Did you keep a file with all your legal research?

Beaver: It was on a shared supernet. I would have no idea if it was there. I provided the basis for it in the opinion.

Warner: Dalton, First flag rank in JAG career, right?

Dalton: For a woman, yes.

Warner: Vanity Fair, should have been reviewed by Dalton. That never happened. Haynes short-circuited the review process. There’s a certain amount of independence accorded the chiefs of each branch. At that time, to what degree did the Chiefs exercise their independence? Was any consideration given at that time, to exercise rights under Goldwater Nichols their concerns about this policy change?

Dalton: I’m not sure what policy change?

Warner: interrogation techniques.

Dalton: Uh, yes sir.

Warner: You stopped your analysis what you were doing for the Chairman and Richard Myers, is that correct. Chief had a duty to discuss.

Dalton: When memo came in asking for enhanced techniques. Memo distributed to services. Provided inputs. They (the services) sent in responses to joint staff tasker asking for inputs on Hill memo. All services expressed concerns about techniques. ALso expressed appreciation for need for good intelligence. Needed further legal and policy review. next step larger review. What I intended to do.

Warner You initiated.

Dalton: Yes. When I learned that Haynes did not want that broad-based policy review to take place. I stood down.

Warner: How were you told to stand down? Was it in writing?

Dalton: It was not in writing. Chariman indicated to me that Haynes did not want this broad-based review to take place. I continued to engage with Mr. Haynes’ office. This piece has not necessarily been clear. When I stopped review, nevertheless I worked with Haynes’ office and with Chairman in reviewing Hill’s request. At that time there was no perceived need to complain bc process still proceeding. I understood sensitive, Haynes wanted close hold, his prerogative, his office take lead, I would support Chair and work with Haynes.

Warner: Final product?

Dalton: Based on discussions, with Gitmo, Soutcom, I believed that techniques that secretary approved could be conducted humanely.

Warner: Consistent with US and intl law?

Dalton: If conducted with oversight. In context in which discussed. Removal of clothing not nudity, working dogs not dogs unmuzzled and snarling, stress limited to standing for four hours. When you put them together, those techniques could be consistent with domestic and intl law.

Warner Myers made a point, my initials not on doct. Reservations? Did he express them with you?

[Dalton looks behind her, perhaps for legal counsel. And an officer consults with Beaver too.]

Dalton: Days leading up to approval meetings involving Haynes, Myers, Sec Def, and myself. We discussed the techniques. My recollection was that Myers satisfied.

Reed; Dalton, when you received request, Joint Staff solicited opinion of JAGs, extraordinary concerns. "Crossing lines of humane treatment." "Several techniques arguably violate federal law and will expose our service members to prosecution." Did you make Myers aware of serious concerns raised by uniformed officers.

Dalton It is my recollection that he was aware and that I made him aware.

Reed; Did he make Haynes aware?

Dalton: Recollection that we were aware of concerns. Discussed in safeguards.

Reed; You continued discussions with Haynes. You were told to stop analysis.

Dalton I was told to stop broad-based analysis.

Reed you were not dissuaded by Myers to continue to work with Haynes.

Dalton: Myers did not prevent me from continuing discussion.

Reed; You participated in several discussions, not all discussions. Did you raise these concerns? Violation of UCMJ?

Dalton: Hard time recalling particular concerns. I believe known and addressed, we recognized issues related to UCMJ.

Reed; Myers approved techniques?

Dalton: [balks slightly] Agreed that those techniques could be used.

Reed; Did you have concerns.

Dalton: There was one phrase that all techniques, including the three not authorized, I did not necessarily agree with that.

Reed: Did you tell Myers that there were elements that might be serious legal problems.

Dalton: Did not see it until after SecDef signed it.

Reed; Did you tell Myers.

Dalton; After the fact sir? Since SecDef did not approve those techniques,

Reed; Memo said all techniques were legal. But as policy matter would not use them.

Dalton SecDef was approving a set of techniques. It was not necessary to reach the question given that SecDef approved the ones he did.

Reed Those techniques were not approved as a matter of policy, not of law.

Reed: Beaver’s memo. Push, wet towel, would constitute violation of assault. One of the techniques you approved was push. Do you disagree?

Dalton: I disagree. I did not view light pushing and poking to be maltreatment.

Reed; You would also disagree that bc of violation of UCMJ there would have to be immunity.

Dalton: That’s correct.

Mora: Probelm was no bright line. All subject to abuse.

Reed; Part of your rationale for agreeing to conclusion, you objected, you keep citing to conditions, where are those conditions? I don’t think SecDef signed memo that approved of conditions.

Dalton: Pfeifer memo attached, use of techniques…

Reed; Where is the direction by SecDef that those conditions are mandatory?

Dalton: Meetings leading up to approval. In context of one HVD (Qahtani). In that context.

McCaskill: I’m proud as an American, Mr. Mora. Let me cut to the chase. Ms. Dalton and Beaver. Putting detainees together hooded, siccing dogs on them, is legal?

Dalton I don’t believe that’s legal. Not approved by SecDef

Beaver: No ma’am. It never occurred at Gitmo

McCaskill Reading memo. You understand words matter. Removal of clothing. It says Using detainee phobias such as fear of dogs. I’m trying to figure out as a lawyer, how that does not envision naked people having dogs sicced on them. How does that not occur?

Beaver When you develop a plan, if someone had said, lets sic the dogs on them. That did not happen.

McCaskill Dogs were used with naked people.

Beaver Not at Gitmo

mcCaskill Within our military. It happened/

Beaver I can’t comment..

McCaskill Ms Dalton

Dalton: Those approved for Gitmo and did not involve nudity.

McCaskill Removal of clothing. When you were discussing safeguards. Did any one talk putting in the word all. If I saw removal of clothing and I was trying to get info, how would anyone know?

Dalton General Miller said it did not involve nudity.

McCaskill there’s nothing here that would say removal of clothing. It’s not in there.

McCaskill Ms Dalton are you aware of any concept called advance immunity? Did it jump out at you.

Dalton It was one I thought was not correct.

McCaskill did it concern you that it included a concept that would itself be illegal.

Dalton That’s why I believed there needed to be additional review.

McCaskill And btw, I feel for you today, Beaver, this is hard. Proposed strategies do not violate law

Beaver I believed the law allowed a lot. With GC not applying. Even European Human Rights say hoods are allowed. I was at the bottom of the food chain. I didn’t think of many of the things that was written in the 50 page opinion written by DOJ. If it was looked at people not directly involved. I was trying to highlight my extreme concern that MPs could be prosecuted later. For me it was a red flag for people like Dalton to say, I’m concerned about this. Unfortunately Superville never responded.

McCaskill You felt you needed to move it off the island. You put your name on it as the lawyer who was asked to give an opinion, why should they take the heat. Here’s what I want. Let me finish this point. You have said you didn’t feel pressure from anyone. You said in your memo the proposed strategies do not violate applicable law. You said "Agree" that proposed strategies don’t violate law. Who were you agreeing with?

Beaver I don’t know.  Perhaps it’s just my opinion. I had built in safeguards. Legal opinion, medical safeguards, legitimate govt purpose. Interrogation is always a grey area. You can’t come up with all the conditions of an interrogation. If you had these reviews, these safeguards, I believed in my colleagues from the intelligence community. That’s why I believe there was no violation of the law at Gitmo. Detainees were beaten to death at Bagram.

McCaskill It’s a sad day in this hearing room when we say at least they weren’t beaten to death.

Beaver Detainees were not abused. 

153 replies
  1. PetePierce says:

    The pandemic of Acute Alzheimer’s in Senate and House hearings way out of proportion to the general population of Baby Boomers is a medical marvel that merits intense study.

  2. WilliamOckham says:


    Some of you links disappeared. There is no link to the committee documents and only two to Ackerman’s work.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      IMO they knew their careers were shattered when it all started, and it was just a matter of potponing the inevitable. That’s why they stuck their noses down, didn’t ask questions, and just did what they were asked.

  3. perris says:

    sort of on topic I guess, (since the nightmare almost being over is sort of on topic), this at think progress right now

    [P]erhaps Mr Bush’s most significant legacy, as far as Britain is concerned, will be the destruction of the instinctive trust of America and its leaders that once prevailed here. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr Bush has done more damage to relations between our two nations than any president in living memory. This rupture is not an accident of circumstance; there are no impersonal forces of history to blame. This sorry state of affairs is the consequence of the actions of a single leader and his small coterie of advisers

    howz that legacy comming for ya jr?

  4. greenbird4751 says:

    for every person you torture or don’t charge each of their family becomes your enemy, all of their friends

    you turn your friends into enemies, moderates into extremists and extremists into heroes.

    how, for this and for every incident america has caused or enabled-directly or indirectly-in order to obtain nothing more than dominance, how does america make amends? what concievable reparations are there?

    • perris says:

      how, for this and for every incident america has caused or enabled-directly or indirectly-in order to obtain nothing more than dominance, how does america make amends? what concievable reparations are there?

      the one greatest step we might take, we will not, we would submit those criminals to the international bar of justice to answer for their crimes

      we don’t have the balls

      • PetePierce says:

        No one has been punished for torturing or memos authorizing it. If anything, there careers have been enhanced inside the Armed Forces, inside the gov, or outside the gov.

        Yoo has not suffered a scintilla. Dave Nahmias continues to finish out his eight years as US Attorney to the Northern District of Georgia as Mukasey and Gonzales and Ashcroft before him told Levin to go screw himself and would not allow his testimony on his carfting torture members.

        Welcome to the US of So…..

        The Bush Administration has not been impacted at all by so-called Congressional oversight. Their subpoenas are mocked.

        They don’t even have the balls to invoke inherent contempt on Conyers’ committee or Leahy’s.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I love Holy Joe justifying torture because we’re fighting “religious extremists”. He hasn’t looked at the GOP base lately, has he? Have they evolved or are they an expression of God’s hand.

  6. Loo Hoo. says:


    Levin: Testimony that is classified. We got 38,000 documents this week, they sure are about a year late.

  7. LS says:

    Lieberman: The War on Islamist Terrorism.

    The man doesn’t recall the history of his own people.

    Hitler would have called his mission, and in fact probably did: The War on Jewish Terrorism.

    What is he thinking…

    He is so disgusting.

    • perris says:

      The man doesn’t recall the history of his own people.

      oh, he recalls, he is using the same techniques with full knowledge of the implications

      • JamesJoyce says:

        Just as Bush/Cheney/Neocons/AIPAC took lesson from the Nazi fabricated Gliewitz Incident!

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Shiffrin, who claimed never to have been part of discussions about harsh interrogation techniques (verschaerfte Vernehmungen), “postulated” that it might be possible to “reverse engineer” SERE techniques into effective interrogation techniques. I guess that’s not perjury, but it sure is inconsistent testimony.

        • emptywheel says:

          Nah, Wexler didn’t even know what “fair representation” was–he allowed Ickes to school him.

          Brewer and Levin, on the other hand, schooled Ickes.

          But then I’m biased. I honestly thought Brewer and Levin wouldn’t be able to pull off the compromise. But they did it, implausibly.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Ogrisseg’s testimony lacks credibility, especially his descriptions of his sleep deprivation trials. For them to have been credible as research into its possible use as an interrogation technique, one would need to keep subjects awake for rather longer than the average student’s all-nighter.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Exactly. So does every officer in the military, every student, and every other visitor to Vegas. That length of time is inadequate to assess sleep deprivation as an interrogation technique.

        Since this administration is addicted to movie analogies, ie, “24″ to justify its torture techniques, then with regard to sleep deprivation, they should view again the original Manchurian Candidate or the Bourne Identity. Or the X-Files. Forty-eight hours is probably a good starting number, moving on to several days and longer. I believe there is a whole body of psych studies into long periods non-sleep times, designed for other purposes than assessing its utility as an interrogation technique. It certainly breaks down inhibitions, cognitive functioning, coordination and the immune system. Coherent statements about people, plans and intent? Not in a coherent fashion usable by a third party who did not intimately know the subject.

        Ogrisseg must be desperate to avoid legal liability or challenges to his psychologist’s license.

  10. skdadl says:

    To be fair to Lieberman, some of his later questions about “unique cultural” phobias and such of “Islamists” seemed aimed at a concern over interrogation techniques that might have been particularly heinous in that context. He seemed just to be asking whether anyone actually knew what they were doing, the implications of what they were doing. Still. His rhetoric shocks me.

    • Petrocelli says:

      Muslims do not have a phobia/fear of Dogs, they are taught that if they come in contact with a Dog while on the way to pray, they should return to clean themselves before going to pray, because Dogs are unclean.

      At least that’s what my moderate Muslim relatives told me. HoJo’s habit of using “Islam” with “Terrorists” is turning more moderate Muslims against America.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I believe that the role of the dog in many rural villages is as guard dog, not pet or family friend. The connotation would be that dogs are fearsome to strangers, especially if unleashed before someone shackled to the floor.

        • Petrocelli says:

          Okay, I thought HoJo was inferring that the torturers were sensitive to Islamic phobias …

          • LS says:

            That’s what I got from it. He also seems to think that it was reasonable, since they are evil Islamist terrorists. In other words, since we are in this War on Islamists Terrorists specifically, it is reasonable to find out what they are afraid of….that the US wouldn’t do such a thing to “other” religious groups….

        • LS says:

          There are many cultures who are afraid of dogs, because they have been used as a weapon against them….there are also cultures who are afraid of dogs, because they believe they are unclean.

          • LS says:

            Walk around NYC with a German Shephard or a Rottweiller and watch people cross the street. It is cultural. Think…the South…think Germany.

            • eCAHNomics says:

              It’s a mystery to me why people think such dogs are appropriate to have in NYC (presuming you mean Manhattan. In some parts of the other boroughs there may be enough room.)

              • LS says:

                Well, I lived in NYC for 22 years…after a friend of mine was attacked and dragged to the basement of my building, and two other friends of mine were apartment invaded, and the wife raped…

                I got a Rott, because my husband was out of the country. My Rott was a fabulous companion and protector, and well socialized and loved everybody in Riverside I am guilty of having one in NYC. She was a great dog, slept all day, and played in the park with everybody too. She saved me from being attacked once in White Plains when a man with a mask on stepped out of the shadows and approached me. She was on a leash and jumped out at him at my shoulder level, and he took off. That’s my story.

                • eCAHNomics says:

                  Objectively speaking, I suppose there’s little reason for my to object large dogs in Manhattan, as the number of incidents is not large. Dogs in Manhattan are a pet peeve of mine because I jog and scooter, so I’m always coming up behind, the dog’s at the curb, the walker’s on the other side of the sidewalk & the leash is streched all the way across. Requires hypervigalence on my part, and many shouts of “rein in your dog.” I haven’t seen a dog yet that heels. So for every responsible owner like you, I’d say there are orders of magnitude more who aren’t. But mainly I look at it from the dog’s POV. I think those large dog’s are meant to run free a lot, and that’s not the Manhattan life.

                  • LS says:

                    My dog lived out the majority of her 14 years on my 25 acre ranch in TX, so she had a good life…(she also slept all day here too *g*)..I agree that there are plenty of irresponsible dog owners in Manhattan and everywhere else, as well as many very wonderful dog “companions”….

                    • eCAHNomics says:

                      Re: Irresponsbile dog owners in Manhattan, they are the majority, and thus that’s how I formed my opinion.

                      25 acres sounds like the life for a big dog!

                    • freepatriot says:

                      uhm, read the part AFTER the words “25 acres”

                      it says the 25 acres are in texas

                      how could that be good for humans ???


        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Not sure about Iraq and Afghanistan, but yes there are places where the idea of bringing a dog inside the home/living area — let alone buying food for a dog and feeding it! — are viewed as exceedingly strange. Dogs serve two purposes: protection, hunting assistants.

          So dog as ‘pet’ is a foreign concept to some cultures.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s right. Cultural expectations and phobias were routinely manipulated. In a harsher and more violent manner than, say, forcing Hasidic Jews to violate dietary laws by eating pork or cheeseburgers. More like forcing them to have virtual sex with a menstruating female, polluting their baths, prayer shawls, prayer books, etc.

      It breaks down certainties, rhythms, modes of relating with God and other people. It produces disorientation and vulnerability. Combined with bad or disorienting food (imagine fried scorpions, broiled sea snail or camel’s knuckles – all of which I’ve eaten), no sleep, and no legal or political appeal process, it confuses, isolates and breaks down the mind. Whether that produces “actionable intelligence” rather than a broken mind is highly questionable. It’s a claim this administration has often made, but never proven. Even if it did, that would support only a claim of necessity, which is rarely an adequate legal defense.

  11. LS says:

    I think Beaver is Karl Rove’s baby…looks like a female version of him…my bad…sorry….LOL

  12. Quebecois says:

    Mora is talking with hindsight. Did he ever, while being in post during this administration, stand up against “harsh techniques”?

        • PetePierce says:

          About 1/1000 the fraction of incompetents they have included in it.

          Condi is the queen.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That deserves its own special investigation. I would say thousands.

          Some were fired. Many more were demoted, shunted aside, cut out, deprived of routine management or skill-based authority, given menial work or had their slightest decisions reviewed, arbitrarily countermanded or ignored. Many had their essential security clearances put “under investigation”, effectively suspending their ability to work, driving them outside their informal networks as well as their chain of command and influence. Reviews could take many months or longer.

          I know several who were given the treatment Japanese corporations reserve for the old, the incompetent, the disloyal: they’re given a room, a telephone and phone book, a window and a clock. Like Chinese water torture, the silent drip, drip of time usually drives them to leave quickly. Others, more aware of the game, hold on. But many lost hope when Bush was re-elected. There is much rebuilding to do across the federal bureaucracy. A lot of talent and expertise was lost that should be rehired as part of that rebuilding.

          • pajarito says:

            Happened to me, a GS-12 with excellent performance ratings. Then they came after me. My crime: information transmitted to a conservation group and alerting a regulator agency of fraud….I was ordered to go home and not return to the office (almost 2 years now). Still on payroll, but non-person.

            They then fired my wife (a temp. hire) who worked for the same agency. Agency head sent a memo threatening action against anyone in the agency who contacted me.

            Conscientious federal employees who believe in rule of law for agencies are weeded out, it is systematic and very widespread in this administration.

    • skdadl says:

      No, that’s not hindsight. Mora has been speaking up since 2002. He spoke against the Yoo memos, and he was dealing directly with Haynes, who seems to have misled him, knowing of his opposition. I so hope there are some senators here who can weave that history together through the afternoon.

  13. skdadl says:

    Wow. This guy went to school, and he has a spine. He’s hitting all the bases. He knows about Nuremberg. He knows what it means to be a responsible grown-up. Yay.

  14. LS says:

    They haven’t, as yet, gone into the involvement of contractors…but I wonder if the classified “agency” addresses that.

  15. PetePierce says:

    Ya gotta admire the oversight speed of Levin’s committee. The torturing and memos occur about 6 years ago and whiz bang smack swoosh them are holdin’ da hearings 6 years later. They got ‘em in before ole Warner went out to pasture but just barely and they got ‘em in while Lieberman moves into the apex of his sinility.

    • PJEvans says:

      Uncalled for and inaccurate.
      Until January last year, Congress was run by the GOP.
      You ought to know that.

  16. LS says:

    See, Beaver is basically saying that she was trying to find the legal way to enable them to use the torture techniques and protect against war crime complicity at the same time. Same as Yoo.

    She clearly believes that it was all done to protect America from further attacks. Same as Yoo.

    Beaver Yoo, Beaver.

  17. skdadl says:

    Yes, I thought Graham’s questions were excellent.

    It’s interesting: three such different witnesses. Beaver is actually humanly sympathetic, and she’s not trying to protect herself — she’s blunt, and I think she’s honest. Dalton is just frozen in place, and she’s the one “I don’t recall” present. Mora is splendid, and obviously was at the time.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      It’s precisely those characteristics of her personality that made it so easy for them to take advantage of her.

  18. Kinmo says:

    The kids are jumping up and down, begging me to take them to the pool. AARGH! I’m going to miss the rest of the testimony. You guys are the best, keep watching and commenting. I’ll read all of it later. Claire is my Senator, I hope she continues to ask the right questions and demand answers.

    • Leen says:

      “using detainee phobias”

      “it did not happen mam,not at Gitmo”

      Why is McCaskill asking about what happenned in IRaq?

  19. eCAHNomics says:

    Dalton seems to be a jerk. She seems to think that interrogators could behave in a narrow range when of prescribed actions when grilling a “terorist” enemy.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Yep, and accomplishing neither.

      “I don’t recall anything, but I am sure all the concerns were addressed.”

      • PetePierce says:

        Since we’ve approved Waterboarding in Bannana Republic USA (not the clothes store) all enemy combatants and it’s Aokay with Torture Mukasey, I don’t understand why Levin doesn’t set up waterboarding to refresh the memory of all these lying turkeys.

        • freepatriot says:

          oh shit …

          I’m agreeing with PetePierce

          whodathunkit ???

          I got a sure fire way to get the supreme court to rule that all of george’s pixie dust is illegal

          you get a plane on a runway in DC, and if this shit is constitutional, some supreme court justices are goin for a ride

          see if scalia believes in habeas corpus when it’s his ass in a cage

          I like the simple solutions best

          do un to others and all that

          hey george, if this legal, STEP UP PAL, YOU’RE NEXT

          • PetePierce says:

            I seriously hate every nano second of Iraq and mismanagement of Afghanistan (1200 prisoners out by explosion last week and who knows how many were bad guys and how many were innocents swept up) and the bad investment in Pakistan where OBL probably is and the fact that in reality there are probably vibrant cells here waiting to set up a Jerico paradigm if you ever saw the show on CBS (I like it–they cancelled it–always happens except with LOST that does thrive).

            I seriously believe though in the empathy arena, that we aren’t getting out of Iraq unless and until a Draft throws a cold shower. I want a Draft not to sweep up college kids, but to wake Congress up so that they immediately rush to get out of Iraq.

            And it goes without saying all these tough guys like Scalia wouldn’t begin to be able to survive in the milieu the prescribe from the safety of their luxurious surroundings.

            • freepatriot says:

              I don’t know about any “Jerico” program, but last week I heard that the guy from Pakistan who was selling nuclear secrets had a complete set of plans for a small nuclear bomb on a laptop

              if it will fit on a laptop, you can burn it on to a disk

              I saw some other stuff about three guys in Switzerland (???WTF), who were being held because they had copies of the plans

              there’s another genie outta the bottle

              and we’re just finding out about this now

              • PetePierce says:

                The Good Doctor Kahn–a nuke a day keeps the Dr. Away–Abdul Qadeer Khan and the Bushies chest pounding tough asses all, and all the tough ass Neocons have done so much to catch real terrorists haven’t they–and when terrorists send missles up their ass they rush to read Little Goat and fly around like a chicken with their head cut off in Air Force Chickenshit don’t they?

                Bush and McCain make it possible along with Condi Blahnik to have a Jericho in the US Soon at the Hands of Terrorist Nukesa>

                Big ass SUVs in wealthy suburban neighborhoods in the banana Republc US brimming full of high income morons. We’ll keep ya safe. Condi has a handle on all the places on the Upper East Side to get them Blahniks but she doesn’t have shit for an idea of where the loose nukes are or how to control their sale to terrrrriiiiisssstssssttttsss.

                Have a Nuke with that Neo-Con Old Fashioned Toast Dr. Kahn

                Let’s do some frigin’ offshore drillin’.

                Officials Fear Bomb Design Went to Others

                Libya’s A-Bomb Blueprints Reveal New Tie to Pakistani

                Pakistan Loosens Reins on A.Q. Khan

              • PetePierce says:

                I have a story for you that’s true as opposed to false. This story was relayed from Mark Minnasi who writes a lot of the server books and consults to all the known and unknown alphabet agencies on computer security.

                A grandfather who is high up in a nuclear plant in Ohio wanted to take some games he had procured on his workplace laptop home to play with his grandson. Without thinking, or following protocol he whisked the laptop outside the security perimeter. It had the controls to considerable nuclear reactors. He was hacked within 30 minutes. Fortunately the reactors had been taken off line at the time.

                • MarkH says:

                  he whisked the laptop outside the security perimeter. It had the controls to considerable nuclear reactors. He was hacked within 30 minutes. Fortunately the reactors had been taken off line at the time.

                  So, you’re saying he hooked up to the Internet with a laptop which was authorized for use in a nuclear plant?

                  That sounds soooo unlikely.

                  • freepatriot says:

                    not really

                    where you think the innernets came from ???

                    you think Al Gore just had a shitload of tubes in his basement, or somethin ???

                    the innertubes was developed to share information amongst America’s nuclear facilities, starting with the Universities, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge etc.

                    Including the nuclear power plants is a way to monitor and control the pile remotely. I’d wager that this is an important feature since chernoble

                    most nuclear plants have been “on line” since they first started operations

    • LS says:

      Yup. A little torture is okay; especially, if everybody is protected who does it….and in addition, if they are “humanely” tortured…then it’s all okay.

  20. PetePierce says:

    Most people can remember obscure trivial events that occurred during their childhood at any age, and these people can’t remember shaping up torture a few years ago. Torture for Dalton is when her bottled water runs out.

  21. eCAHNomics says:

    Dalton: If the SecDef approved the technique, it must be legal and therefore required no further analysis.

  22. rkilowatt says:

    Alfred Jodl, order issued to the German Army (23rd July, 1941)[translated]

    In view of the vast size of the occupied areas in the East the forces available for establishing security in these areas
    will be sufficient only if all resistance is punished not by legal prosecution of the guilty but by the spreading of such terror
    by the occupying power as is appropriate to eradicate every inclination to resist among the population.
    The competent commanders must find the means of keeping order not by demanding more
    security forces but by applying suitable Draconian methods.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Apologize for the OT, but this lede from Bobo Brooks in today’s Times, ostensibly about Tiger Woods and the U.S. Open, seems to be much more about negatively framing Obama and other “over performing” African Americans:

    The coverage of Tiger Woods often centers upon this question: How did this creature come about?…..ref=slogin

    Luckily for him, Bobo doesn’t wonder how under-performing pundits come about. A discussion that might lead to the Peter Principle, the Times’ woeful record at hiring for its OpEd page, and attempts to disguise radical politics and racism as cultural comment.

  24. oldtree says:

    If anything, the new world will lack accountability. I wonder if China is watching? Their business leaders that mess up seem to commit suicide for their actions harming people. We have numerous admissions to war crimes against children, and no one is even thinking about holding the perps accountable. It’s “off the table”
    This is not America, any longer.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’m afraid China, the Arab world and every African or Latin American and East European dictator are watching. The Bush administration has validated some of their worst behavior. Mao and Stalin are congratulating Osama bin Laden, who was able to tear aside American hypocrisy more readily than they.

  25. Petrocelli says:

    Uh- oh … I grew up with a great deal of female influence and Sen. McCaskill’s demeanor …

  26. oldtree says:

    and did holy joe really use torture as though it were a matter of fact and common practice? The transcript seems to indicate he has intimate knowledge of it.

  27. Loo Hoo. says:

    I think I see what Graham is doing. He wants to nail the bottom of the food chain, and try to stop it there.

  28. JThomason says:

    Its all about an attempt to consolidate an absolute ruling aristocracy with not only economic privilege but coercive privilege. The irony is, to the extent that the argument is made that the WOT necessitates an a-historical point of view, what comes around, goes around.

  29. LS says:

    Lindsay is nailing her…she said torture did not happen at Gitmo…then he cites a situation….and she just squirmed…I know nothing, I know nothing…she reminds me of Schultz.

  30. Mary says:

    Chertoff was on the torture field trip?

    “Levin …9/25 Jim Haynes, Addington, Rizzo, and Chertoff traveled to Gitmo.”

    Umm, so far the documented travelers included Wray and Fisher, but Chertoff had managed to fly under radar. Did Levin really list him?

    • LS says:

      That won’t fly. They are implicating Rummy…and eventually W and Cheney…working their way up the food chain…gobbling up the lowlings along the way.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      And did anyone think about the symbolism of putting prisoners in Abu Ghraib? And what were the other facilities and resources available to Karpinski? As I recall, they rounded up tens of thousands in a short period of time, and Karpinski’s description of her job said she had time to visit various prisons only briefly. Not saying she was right, but haven’t heard any substantive response to her charges.

      • Petrocelli says:

        Karpinski also said there were parts of her prison which were controlled by other agencies … the parts where these abuses allegedly occurred …

    • phred says:

      Sorry should have been more clear, Beaver was saying she was shocked shocked (!) by Karpinski’s facility. Didn’t mean to imply the committee was going there.

      • Petrocelli says:

        I should have also been clear … I meant that Beaver and Co. were trying to hang this around Karpinski’s neck, not the Committee doing so …

  31. skdadl says:

    Yes, Beaver is deteriorating steadily. She’s still being forthright, but her understanding of things is so limited. She can’t believe what she can’t believe, and she is loyal to … some people and something.

    How is it possible that I know more about what went on at GTMO (from reading FBI memos, mainly) than she does, when she was there?

  32. Mary says:

    Is anyone going to ask:

    1. What was staged for the lawyers who visited Sept 25 (after the reverse SERE training trips for the interrogators) and which lawyers observed what.

    2. they need to call all the people who went on that trip as witnesses – probably in closed sessions to keep them from collaborating – as FACT WITNESSES to what they saw. Anything they saw that violated the UCMJ or Common Article III, Hamdan has made clear were illegal acts and any lawyer who was a fact witness to illegal acts can’t stand behind any claims of privilege on that front. What they can do, is if they were a participant in the conspiracy to violate laws that were evidenced by those acts, is to take the fifth. Which won’t get you information, but will establish a clear record for Boalt, Harvard, Pepsico and Chevron that their professors or general counsels are men who, in an investigation of participation in massive covert torture programs, have taken the 5th.

    Yoo’s Dean and Goldsmith’s publishers can then deal with that one.

    Almost makes you wonder if Goldsmith’s designated charity for his book proceeds got any input on whether or not victims of the torture programs Goldsmith helped cover up,and the victims of the Article 49 violations he helped solicit, might have a claim on those monies under any of the laws preventing perpetrators from reaping the financial benefits of telling the stories of their predatory acts.

  33. freepatriot says:

    Anybody else get the idea that America might be looking for a “Robespierre” right about now ???

    thank jebus I’m habitually hard core unemployable*

    *It’s a medical condition. I made it up

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