Dougie Feith Visits HJC

Before Nadler’s Subcommittee. I’ll liveblog until Levin shows up at FDL–note, there’s an 11 ET vote scheduled in the Senate, so Levin’s likely to show up closer to 11:15.

Nadler speaking now: "Perhaps there’s something in the WH drinking water these days that causes amnesia."

Also note, the Republicans are in a really ornery mood. When Nadler moved to assert the ability to recess without objection, Franks objected. Should be interesting–looks like Darrell Issa’s ready to do his thing.

Franks: Speaker Pelosi never objected. Zubaydah caught building a bomb. Complains about Nadler’s statement that Republicans can’t respond to a request for ticking bomb scenario. "Tenth hearing dedicated to protecting the rights of terrorists."

Conyers: Can Franks tell us about the ten hearings?

Franks: I think this is one of the examples, this is a repetitive hearing.

Conyers: Can I have a list of the hearing? This is the Constitutional Committee of the Judiciary. This is to protect the rights of Americans. To prevent our own government from violating the laws and treaties that pertain to torture. I counted some hearings myself. This is the fourth hearing. The first hearing was when Sands came. Ordered from the top, not a few bad apples. Dan Levin, told us flaws in Professor Yoo’s memos. Forced out of OLC while attempt to impose constraints on torture. Wilkinson, Powell worried about torture and the President was complicit. Third hearing Yoo and Addington. Could not or would not remember the facts. Fourth hearing was necessitated bc we had trouble getting Feith to the hearing. Khadr kept up 50 days, ICRC, Administration committed war crimes. Taguba has also written that war crimes were committed. How high does responsibility go? Mukasey refuses to appoint special counsel. Said these people acted in good faith, so not fair to prosecute them. That starts out sounding fairly reasonable. But let’s look more closely.

Update on Levin chat: It is back to the original time: 11AM.

King: 9/11 9/11 9/11. Success success success. People on this committee despise the Administration. People here disagree with that legal analysis. Let’s think about what Dougie was thinking when the open hole was still smoking.

Nadler: Point out, regardless of the situation of the country, we do have laws, that’s what distinguishes us from other countries.

Darrell Issa, making a series of parliamentary inquiries, which are not parliamentary inquiries, to remind everyone that Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi were briefed on this. My understanding as a member of the Intell Committee. Let’s do it before Thursday.

Nadler: I’ll take suggestion–as a suggestion, bc motion would not be in order–under advisement.

King: Oh, by the way, I didn’t mean okay to torture.

Nadler: Dougie Feith. Phillipe Sands.

Hey! Dougie wasn’t too fucking stupid to turn on the microphone.

Dougie: Counter some falsehoods on Admin policies. The "torture narrative" unsubstantiated narrative that top members of Admin sanctioned torture. Hitting back at Sands hard.

Shorter Dougie: "I’m confident enough in getting pardoned before the end of the Administration that I’d rather say risk a lying to Congress charge than risk having people believe I’m as stupid as I am."

Shorter Dougie: "Fighting Soviet Russia was so much easier."

Shorter Dougie: "Torture is effective."

Shorter Dougie: "Blame the lawyers. I recognize, of course, I’m a lawyer. But that doesn’t mean I think like a lawyer."

[Missed some fireworks while I was at the mothership]

Issa: Been to Gitmo? At hearings in HPSCI? Were enhanced techniques discussed?

Dougie: I believe so.

Issa: Harman was aware of some of the techniques?

Dougie: I believe so.

Issa: What Iraqi govt allowed to be done to our troops? By Al Qaeda?

Issa: Anyone know of knowledge to counter the claim that Harman and Pelosi were briefed?

Davis: Issa had a clever set of questions that Speaker and former Ranking member had some knowledge of this. Members of Congress cannot share with their colleagues stuff they learned on the Committee.

Issa; Yield?

Davis: Nope. The issue is not whether certain members of leadership were given a briefing that they couldn’t share with their colleagues. I think it is in dispute that that did not happen (Bush consult with Congress). At no point did Bush come to Congress and ask Congress to help shape policy on interrogations.

Davis: Here’s the Constitution. It’s really nifty. Congress shall provide for the common defense. Why the US Congress should not have had a role in shaping detainee policy.

Dougie: I believe Congress did have a role.

Davis: How can issues be addressed, how can Congress have a role of policy debate is confidential and intelligence committee members cannot share with their colleagues. Has to be transparency.

Dougie: President’s statement on Geneva Convention was public to the world. If you wanted to engage in that?

Davis: Professor Sands, is that true it was on the record?

Sands: News reports, but what had not come out was the decision to move to abandon Lincoln’s prohibition on cruelty.

Davis: This is the point I think you miss. The issue is what those words meant in practice. It was an impossible debate to have. It was only shared after 3 years of newspaper reporting.

Pence: Not always in agreement with your interpretation of events in recent years, but I’m grateful for your service. I have to be honest with you, went to law school. Try to not think like a lawyer.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Hammering on techniques.

D WS Did these discussions discuss whether these techniques accorded with Geneva Convention? Was your advice ignored?

Dougie: Bush follwoed GC.

D WS Role in working group? Role of OLC advice.

D WS Newsweek, urgent email not to discuss Taguba report.

Dougie: Doesn’t ring any bells. Maybe sent by someone in my office.

D WS You’re saying Newsweek report is inaccurate. Never seen any email like that?

Dougie: I don’t remember. I was completely surprised when I read that.

Nadler: When you saw Newsweek report that, you didn’t check into it?

Dougie: I only remember hearing about it when I read Pearlstein’s testimony.

Ellison: Do you concede that people designated as POWs are subject to questioning?

Dougie: No form of coercion to secure information of any kind.

Ellison: You agree they can be questioned. In an earlier hearing, we had Wilkerson. I heard you objected because of his presence?

Dougie: Laid out in letter…

Ellison: I want to know.

Dougie: Accused me of being card-carrying member of being Likud party, loyalty to Israel rather than US. He made other nasty statements too.

Ellison: I don’t care if you’re interested.

Dougie: I think that remark in and of itself explains why he was not an appropriate person. I believe he’s made reckless remarks describing top officials as war criminals. He said he had to violate the rules not to shoot a 12 year old girl.

Ellison: Is there anything he said about YOUR role?

Dougie: He’s lumped me in with others in Administration about war crimes?

Ellison: I’m trying to figure out

Franks: Regular order–he’s badgering a witness.

Nadler: We’re not in court.

Ellison: What is the factual basis for refusing to participate. I’m trying to get the facts about why he wouldn’t appear.

Dougie: Here’s what my lawyer said. What should neither be expected or tolerated are the kinds of personal attacks.

Ellison: You’ve made it clear, personal invective. In your book, you said AG Ashcroft said that prisoners could not be effectively interrogated under GC.

Dougie: I think he was referring to POW.

Ellison: But you’ve already said they could be interrogated. Did he say tell you prisoners could not be effectively interrogated. Do you know why he was under impression they could not be interrogated effectively?

Dougie: General view?

Ellison: Another minute?

Issa:  Object. [the he recalls objection]

Ellison: Why not effective interrogation.

Dougie: No inducement positive or negative. No cigarettes.  

  1. Leen says:

    HOpe they ask Feith if outside “enhanced techniques” contractors were brought in to conduct interrogation?

    How many trips did Feith take to Gitmo?

  2. Leen says:

    Mr. Franks objecting to how many hearings there have been on torture. What does this guy want hearings on bj’s?

  3. JTMinIA says:

    Not just how many trips … why did he take those trips. That’s the question that they failed (miserably) to ask Addington.

    (I wish Nadler hadn’t made that snide “water in the WH” comment in his opening; not helpful.)

    • Leen says:

      Yes. Do remember that Addington responded to that question in a way that stood out to me. He said something like that he was there making sure decisions were being implemented.

  4. Leen says:

    they all ready have them bogged down in how many hearings there have been. How many hearings were there on Clinton’s lies about an extra marital affair?

    Hearings on bj’s hearings on torture…The Repub’s sure have their priorities

  5. klynn says:

    I would like to know who he reported to on his trips? Any foreign agents or PACs? Or PACs which should actually be filed as foreign agents through FARA?

  6. skdadl says:

    Conyers’ mention of Wilkerson reminds me: wasn’t Feith one of the three Wilkerson warned by name never to travel outside the U.S. again unless to Israel or Saudi Arabia — Addington, Yoo, and Feith?

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Could you post a link to that? There’s a couple of GOPer friends I’d like to share it with.

      Boxturtle (I’m sure the list will get bigger after 1/20)

        • BoxTurtle says:

          Many thanks!

          Boxturtle (GOP friends may not be so grateful, hope you can get over that)

      • skdadl says:

        BoxTurtle, here is the quote from Wilkerson as he gave it to the Guardian in April:

        Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzalez and — at the apex — Addington, should never travel outside the US, except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court.

        What I was remembering was Wilkerson’s more recent testimony, which I know is around here somewhere, but he was mainly just restating that view anyway. I thought he listed only three names at that time, but I have a pretty leaky memory, and it’s hard to imagine that he would have left Haynes out of any list, so strike my earlier recollection.

        • BoxTurtle says:

          Ah, the Guardian. Odd that it never made print here in the USA. Many thanks!

          Boxturtle (and maybe not so odd)

          • skdadl says:

            I’m trying to find a transcript of the HJC hearing, which was 18 June, I believe, but I am hopeless at this. I’m just an amateur alien, and anyway I plead training in literature. Who could have ever predicted that I would be chasing down a transcript from the House Judiciary subcommittee on anything? (But why is it so hard to find the transcripts?)

  7. Leen says:

    Conyers “Mukasey refusing to appoint a special prosecutor”

    Let’s hope it is only a matter of time that Feith, Cheney, Addington are tried as war criminals.

    • Jesterfox says:

      He’s only a favorite of one Congressional District. Please don’t smear the whole state.

  8. Leen says:

    King “Important for us to frame this conference.” Going back to 9/11. Wonder if his kids joined the military? Doubt it

  9. emptywheel says:

    Hey folks–just an update on the Levin timing–we’ll start at 11, teh original timing (they’ve pushed the vote back to 11:15 at the earliest, so he may have to skip out to vote, but it’s looking like the vote may get pushed back further.

  10. Leen says:

    No way to move into the future without holding people accountable for crimes committed by the Bush administraion. No way not happening

  11. Leen says:

    Nadler “we are a nation of laws and those laws must be obeyed” The peasants are waiting…we are waiting. So is the rest of the world

  12. Leen says:

    Issa bring in “Pelosi and Harman” Yes.

    Remember when Addington said that he was not sure about the timing of when congress was informed about the scope of the program

  13. jayt says:

    weren’t Pelosi and Harman precluded (and maybe still are?) from speaking about what they were briefed on?

  14. skdadl says:

    To whomever asked earlier, the three witnesses have been sworn in. Feith must be going bananas having to sit next to Pearlstein and Sands.

  15. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Oh, dear.
    I just opened up CSPAN in another window and lo and behold — GWBu$h is having a press conference!

    Hmmmm…. he seems to hold them whenever Congress holds torture hearings. (I can just hear the WH press office: “Red Alert!! Distract!! Distract!! Even if it means holding a press conference!!!)

    Would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

  16. Leen says:

    so does the Geneva agreement have a section in it for “enhanced interrogation techniques”?

    • klynn says:

      Shorter Dougie: “Fighting Soviet Russia was so much easier.”

      Shorter Dougie: “Torture is effective.”

      Shorter Dougie: “Blame the lawyers. I recognize, of course, I’m a lawyer. But that doesn’t mean I think like a lawyer.”

      Interesting answers for a US citizen with a government job. Interesting answers for a foreign agent too.

      Prediction: Within a week, Wilkerson will have evidence contradicting Dougie’s claims here.

      Wonder which evidence? There is plenty being investigated…Hopefully the kind that will “face” Feith and also have duel impact on negating war with Iran.

  17. MarieRoget says:

    Late to the show, but much thanks for this live blogging, ew.

    BTW, bitch slapping Issa will do no good, BT. Perhaps using a ball peen hammer instead of a gavel might make some kind of impression on Darryl, but I doubt that, too…

    Nadler describing Dougie Feith as a “Middle Easter expert” @ the Pentagon elicited loud guffaws around the breakfast table here. Feith lying through his teeth already in his statement; I’m betting his lies will be easily refuted by Larry Wilkerson, too, & soon.

  18. jayt says:

    Feith – “We had to do what we did to the detainees, ya see, because our satellites couldn’t tell us what those damned terrists were thinking.”

    “But, Mr. Chairman, I never, ever stopped, to the point that I nearly died from exhaustion, pushing for humane treatment of detainees. I tried, Mr. Chairman, goddammit, I TRIED!! And it was some other guy who is responsible for mistreatment of the detainees.”

    “And while I’m here, may I just say that Phillipe Sands is a goddamned liar?” Thank you.

  19. Leen says:

    Feith “sloppy research” This guy is the master of “sloppy” intelligence. What a revisionist

  20. MarieRoget says:

    @ 42, meant to type “Middle Eastern” w/an n, although “Middle Easter expert” might be more accurate regarding Feith. He sure as hell knows squat all about ME, & revels in his own ignorance.

    Bush presser is infuriating- GWB has an MBA from Harvard? Must have gotten it out of a gumball machine in the student union.

  21. skdadl says:

    Pearlstein is terrific. I’ll bet we’ve lost EW’s liveblogging by now, though.

    Sands is up. Will he bat back at Feith?

    • MarieRoget says:

      Oh my, yes, w/style & barely controlled disdain. Feith should have tried to take a pass in appearing next to Sands, as he did w/Wilkerson. Sands quite capable of shredding Dougie, & he’s going to it right now…

      • Leen says:

        Feith quote from audio ” the point is that the Al Queda people were not entitled to have the Geneva apply..period”

  22. Leen says:

    Hope someone ask Senator Levin why we have not heard any questions about “alleged” outside enhanced technique interrogators conducting the interrogations.

  23. klynn says:

    45 & 47 (ROT and Leen)


    Made my day…

    By the way, it is a typical ploy for certain foreign agents to reference the Cold War…

  24. jayt says:

    Sands – “Hey Dougie – guess what? I’ve got it all on tape. And I’ll be more than happy to make those tapes and transcripts available to the Committee if they want ‘em.” heh.

  25. JTMinIA says:

    Didn’t Feith fail to show up once because Sands was going to be there, too? Isn’t that why they had to issue a subpoena?

  26. skdadl says:

    Yup. Some good shredding going on here. The thing about the self-congratulatory snobby neo-cons is that they appear never to have met truly smart and competent people before. The puir wee man Feith is suddenly sitting right next to two of them.

  27. skdadl says:

    We’re on the Haynes memo. Feith can’t remember whether he had seen the OLC opinion of [???] before [???]. (Hey — how can you tell I’m not EW?)

  28. JTMinIA says:

    Feith is correct. My wife removed my clothes last night in a very humane fashion.

    The dogs I will not discuss here.

  29. MarieRoget says:

    Dougie is attempting to bullshit Nadler- good luck on that. Feith brought a peashooter to this OK Corral to go w/his pea brain. Nadler’s got him by the curlies already.

  30. Leen says:

    Feith “One could apply these techniques in a humane way and an inhumane way”

    You can either have the german shepherd 2 inches from your balls or 10 inches

    • Petrocelli says:

      He’s way past that … now he’s just trying to coverup, with the help of Issa & Co.

  31. Leen says:

    ” would like to go beyond the field manual”

    “whatever the legal limits were they had to be respected”

    “it depends how they are used” “there was guidance given”

  32. Leen says:

    Mr. Franks ..back to how many hearings there have been. What an ass. Will he ever ask any serious questions?

    • Helen says:

      Someone should ask him what’s the maximum allowable number of hearings when discussing torture.

  33. skdadl says:

    Franks: “There were mistakes …” Ouch. Back to protecting Americans from terrists. Whole direction of our country … these hearings have the ultimate effect of making it appear that prezzie is bent on perpetrating torture rather than protectin’ citizens.

    Didn’t these fellows have mothers who read them the story of the little boy who cried wolf?

  34. skdadl says:

    Got ‘im. “It was not even a controversial issue” in the administration that al-Qaeda was entitled to protections of Geneva … until SCOTUS ruled.

    Proof that administration was filled with people who were very badly brought up. Sorry: guys like Feith make me start to channel my mother.

  35. Petrocelli says:

    Senator Levin is at the Mothership taking questions … Link … for those who’d care to pop over and ask him one …

    • Leen says:

      Has anyone asked whether they are aware of outside “enhanced interrogation technique” contractors being used at Gitmo or Abu Gharib?

      Remember Janet Karspinski stating this. And my friend Peggy Gish who was/is part of the Christian Peace Maker team in Iraq asked questions of released detainees at Abu Gharib during the summer of 2003 and they mentioned outside torture contractors at Abu Gharib.

      • Petrocelli says:

        He stated that he does not support impeachment hearings of Bush, which set off a deluge of questions … none of which he answered. He’s gone now for a vote.

  36. jayt says:

    Feith “May I just reiterate that Mr. Sands is a goddamned liar, and that I was damn near super-heroic in my efforts to uphold, maintain, and defend Geneva Article 3 from some truly evil motherf*ckers in the admin?”

  37. MarieRoget says:

    Franks gave Feith his time so he can slam Sands for his “distortions?” Sands did not bring a peashooter today, I’m betting. RPG might be more like it. Now Conyers up- do I detect a slight sarcastic tone to his addressing Feith as “Professor?”

  38. jayt says:

    Feith says “the lawyers told me that Article 3 only apply to non-international conflicts” wtf?

  39. MarieRoget says:

    Feith having a verbiage problem, Conyers stops him. Feith & Sands sparring, Feith’s getting the short end, more verbal garbage spew, Conyers intervenes.

  40. skdadl says:

    Feith can’t stop talking. Wow. The man just has no self-control.


    Conyers: “Have you ever been considered an uncontrollable witness?” !!! Wow! I was just thinking that!

  41. JTMinIA says:

    He had to focus on Harman, because Feith didn’t confirm that Pelosi was there.

    (This is actually kind of cool.)

  42. Leen says:

    What did Feith do when he visited Gitmo. During Addington’s testimony he said that he was there “to implement decisions”

  43. jayt says:

    briefings to Pelosi, Harman, Rockefeller et al were *classified*, and they could not speak about them.

    Remember Rockefeller hand-writing a note, and putting it in a safe, because he could not publicize it?

    ok – Rep. Davis hitting that now – about time…

  44. skdadl says:

    Artur Davis: picking up on Issa. Important to understand that that small group cannot share with their colleagues. At no point did admin come to Congress and ask it to shape its policy on — and then long important list.

    Sands: no knowledge of that. Pearlstein: no knowledge of that until passage of Detainee Treatment Act.

  45. skdadl says:

    Davis to Feith: Why should Congress not have had a role in shaping policy? How can issues be addressed if policy debate is confidential?

  46. Leen says:

    Mr. Sands “that happened under Mr. Feith’s watch”

    How could they debate what was going on or debate it if it was all classified.

  47. skdadl says:

    Feith keeps arguing that Congress could have done anything it liked at any time. He is refusing to grasp Davis’s point. The president “announced” … That is sharing with Congress?

    • MarieRoget says:

      Feith is certainly living up to Tommy Franks evaluation in every way today, isn’t he?

      Have to finally drive over to the office. Great live blogging, both ew earlier & all of you in the comments.

      If anyone finds out about a replay of this hearing anywhere later, please post it. Thanks.
      Read you all later.

  48. klynn says:

    Feith can remember Harman being briefed but then no one claims/remembers the enhanced techniques “ok” came from the top?

    We know from Rockefeller’s note it was top down…

    Feith, you just lied your arse off…

    • Leen says:

      Feith responded to the whether Harman had been briefed question by saying “I believe so” twice

  49. Leen says:

    Mr. Pence “very few people back in my district are concerned about Article 3 etc”

    Most are too busy driving to the malls with their pedals to the metal and watching American Idol

    • jayt says:

      Mr. Pence “very few people back in my district are concerned about Article 3 etc”

      Being very familiar with Mr. Pence’s district, on this one he’s telling the truth.

  50. jayt says:

    Idle thoughts: I’m wondering whether, when “Professor” Feith gives an exam, whether he fails any student who actually answers a question.

    Idle thought #2: Who in his or her right mind would sign up for a class “taught” by Doug Feith?

    Idle thought #3: Mike Pence was a dick at Hanover College, a dick in law school, and a dick at bar. I’m thinking he’s probably still pretty much a dick.

      • jayt says:

        You knew this guy (Pence)?

        Some – but no more than necessary. He was a couple of years ahead of me. Same undergrad school, same law school, and went up against him once. (while I was still in law school – but don’t tell anybody that, ok?)

          • jayt says:

            You realize that no FISA warrant is required for this exchange between us, however?

            that was obviously another case of the evil twin commandeering the keyboard…

            Evil twin advises that the SOL has expired.

            Occasionally the evil twin has his useful side.

  51. JTMinIA says:

    “I believe so” is what he automatically says when an R asks a leading question that he’s “supposed to” agree with. He just did it again to Pence.

  52. Leen says:

    I really do not understand why no one has asked if outside contractors were used to do the “enhanced” interrogations?

    Or what Feith did during his one visit to Gitmo?

  53. skdadl says:

    Go, Pearlstein! A sane reading of the Geneva distinctions. Boiled down, she is saying that all human beings are at least human beings.

    Pence is missing the significance of what she just said.

    Pence: “You mean you can’t coerce POWs?”

    Pearlstein: “You can’t coerce anyone.” (I’m paraphrasing.) That doesn’t eliminate all interrogation, which is what Pence is implying.

  54. skdadl says:

    The memo re Taguba, instructing DoD staff not to read (Newsweek): Feith: “I don’t know; I’m not aware of that email. I was completely surprised by that.”

  55. Petrocelli says:

    Question to Feith: Can you at least try to rebut Tommy Franks’ accurate assessment of you ?

    • Timewatcher says:

      Your not alone, I have been watching the hearing on Feith all morning or trying too..I keep loosing my feed…

  56. Leen says:

    Can you imagine if one of us did not show up when subpoenaed by congress because someone said something “personal” about us?

  57. jayt says:

    I’m growing very weary of the pissing contest between Feith and Sands (upon Repub questioning).

    I’m also thinking that it might be profitable to move past the Article 3 argument. Professor Pearlestein testified that, according to the govt’s own statistics, detainees have been murdered while undergoing “interrogation”.

    How about some questioning as to why the admin, at common law, is not responsible for the assaulting, maiming, and murder of other human beings?

  58. skdadl says:

    All of Pearlstein’s answers are immensely useful and to the point. She just clarified another of Feith’s obfuscations wonderfully.

  59. jayt says:

    Reserving judgment here on w/n Feith is indeed the “stupiest fucking guy on the face of the earth” until such time as I am able to understand a single thing that he seems to be trying to say….

  60. skdadl says:

    Watt: has established that there is no dispute that the U.S. or at least someone working for the U.S. (Feith’s distinction) has/have engaged in torture.

    And now Watt is asking all three whether that torture was a result of policy.

  61. skdadl says:

    Whazzizname keeps pleading for a pee break for the witnesses. Nadler has said that the hearing must end by 1.15, so no break, but witnesses can make a run for it if they really need to.

    • Elliott says:

      dunno about that one, but didn’t Nadler (or someone) say the 15 year old was kept awake for 50 DAYS?!!?!
      That will ruin a mind, I mean destroy it.

  62. Leen says:

    So Feith does not consider these techniques abuse (hood over head, naked, a woman straddling, mother and sister being called horrors, dogs, etc but can not show up when sent a subpoena by congress because he had his feelings hurt by Wilkerson. Ouch

    • CCinNC says:

      Pearlstein handled that well (”Army Field Manual,” “I’m not a trained interrogator”)

  63. skdadl says:

    That exchange about al-Qaeda winking and nudging over the virtuous conduct of U.S. interrogators was egregious. (Apologies to egregious for taking her name in vain.)

  64. Leen says:

    Issa confirming what Sands said earlier that the administration made it look like the orders came from the bottom up

  65. PraedorAtrebates says:

    The “guidance” given to “interrogators” by the Feithers was, “If they die then you are doing it wrong”.

    • klynn says:

      There is a difference between a “few bad apples” (at the bottom) did it versus a “few bad apples” at the top approved the policy of “it”.

  66. PraedorAtrebates says:

    PLEASE bring Harmon (and Pelosi) in for grilling on this. ONE of them could very well be one of “them” that said “ramp up the pressure!” after getting a sex tour of the torture chambers.

    • bobschacht says:

      In fact, if Pelosi and Harman were complicit, I think they deserve to be stripped of all positions of leadership in the Democratic Party. We should hold our leaders to a high standard!

      Bob in HI

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Issa is distracting from the purpose of the hearing by harping on rules applicable to POW’s, unless he then wanted to argue that some of these prisoners were entitled to POW status, which is isn’t. He’s essentially arguing that if we had followed silly rules, we would have been so hamstrung in our intelligence gathering we would have suffered more 9/11-style attacks. In essence, necessity justifies breaking the law and any fool knows that. Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges….

      Issa is also avoiding the topic of what rules do apply to persons accused of being combatants without the rights of a POW. Essentially, he’s arguing that there aren’t any – or at least any a real man would follow.

      And he’s distracting from the lack of an objective, competent process to determine the status of these prisoners, POW or other. It’s that status that would determine the sovereign’s right to hold them. Here, Issa is implying that the only process we need is the sovereign will. Fighting that dubious claim is what the several hundred year history of habeas corpus is all about.

      • skdadl says:

        Oh, yes. It seemed to me that part of Issa’s argument boiled down to “With some of these people, we have to presume guilt.” And that would be happening even before we knew who these people were.

      • Hugh says:

        Issa is also avoiding the topic of what rules do apply to persons accused of being combatants without the rights of a POW. Essentially, he’s arguing that there aren’t any – or at least any a real man would follow.

        That’s pretty much straight out of the Yoo memo, the one that was withdrawn.

      • PraedorAtrebates says:

        I would point the evil Issa to the Conventions Against Torture, Abuse, and Inhumane Treatment. POW status is totally irrelevant. You don’t NEED to ascertain their status for the treaty to hold true. The POW distinction then only comes into play in determining if the prisoners are prosecutable in criminal court.

  67. PraedorAtrebates says:

    Does no one realize that there is ALSO a Conventions Against Torture, Abuse, and Inhumane Treatment? No matter how you parse Geneva, the aforementioned treaty allows NO wiggle room, no higgy “re-interpretation”, nothing, simply NO torture, NO abuse, NO inhumane treatment for ANY prisoner under ANY circumstance, war or peace.

    We are signatories. Why does everyone forget that little treaty?

    • OleHippieChick says:

      I thought that even if we weaseled or appeared to weasel out of any and all treaties and conventions, that that didn’t matter when it came to being prosecuted for violating same.

      • PraedorAtrebates says:

        But prosecuted by whom? CONGRESS is complicit so they cannot do anything (and wont). Obama is compromised on this so he wont push any prosecutions. The ONLY people who could are foreign governments (except Britain which is also complicit and guilty of similar offenses of their own…and perhaps, at least, Merkel in Germany?).

  68. PraedorAtrebates says:

    A bushel of bad apples at the top ordered the torture/abuse and a bunch of bad apples at the bottom carried out the orders. A SLEW of bad apples in the middle passed the orders along without objection.

    The entire orchard is infested with worms and fungus. It is easier to look for a few good apples in this mess than to identify all the bad apples.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Whoever gave them access to prisoners was responsible for monitoring their behavior and keeping it within limits that applied to the prisoners’ jailers. Otherwise the jailers are complicit in the conduct of those interrogators.

      If they were contractors for the US government, then from the prisoners’ perspective, that government is responsible for their conduct regardless of the contractual terms between government and contractor.

  69. jayt says:

    boy, Rep. King wanted to get that hearing over with post-haste.

    No closing statements or anything….

  70. Kinmo says:

    I didn’t realize how much freedom of speech and expression have been supressed during and after these hearings. No dissent allowed!

  71. Leen says:

    Omar Khadr: The Interrogation

    Tuesday 15 July 2008


    by: Colin Freeze and Omar El Akkad, The Globe and Mail

    New video footage has just been released of the interrogation of the young Omar Khadr (seen here in a family photo).
    (Photo: Reuters / Mike Cassese)
    Video captures righteous indignation.

    Before the rage, the resignation and the tears, came the trust. Teenaged prisoner Omar Khadr seemed sure that his countrymen from Canada had come to Cuba to help him and spoke freely when they asked questions.


    • skdadl says:

      Leen, some of us were shaking and weeping over that video earlier this a.m., although we knew it was coming.

      We’ve got a real problem with our current PM, who is a Cheney wannabe, but this may nudge him a little further in the direction of demanding that we get Khadr out.

      Khadr’s U.S. military lawyer, Lt-Cmdr Kuebler, is great. He just does not quit.

  72. earlofhuntingdon says:

    ”Presuming guilt” seems to be a favorite neocon attribute, except when it comes to friendly corporations and obstructers of justice. I think it was Ed Meese, one of Reagan’s Attorney Generals, who said that the police wouldn’t arrest anyone who wasn’t guilty.

    Neocons aren’t much interested in recognizing human frailty, except where exploiting it makes money, or in requiring the government to prove its suspicions before it deprives someone of their freedom.

    • selise says:

      it only works for hearings that are covered by c-span, but there is now a way to get a transcript from them.

      1. load the c-span archive webpage for the hearing:…..d=206039-1

      2. under the “watch flash video” button enter something in the search box and click on the “search” button.

      3. in the popup window click on the “show transcript button”

      4. the transcript will show up in an embedded scroll box. i can’t copy the text from this page, but it is available to me when i use “view source”

      ymmv – this is all on a mac using safari.

      • skdadl says:

        That worked for me, PC/firefox, and thanks very much for the lesson, selise.

        The transcript experience is odd, though — I couldn’t figure out how to keep it from scrolling itself back to the beginning over and over again, which made searching a li’l difficult. I tried but I could not find the passage, and yet I know I watched and heard it. Argh.

        • selise says:

          if you could give me some hints on what you are looking for (who said, when was it said, and any exact words you can recall), i’ll give it a try too.

          i haven’t used this new transcript function much and it would be a useful test.

  73. pmorlan says:

    Can anyone get the Feith testimony that’s on the cspan website to play? I’ve tried twice and it won’t play. I’m starting to wonder about this testimony because cspan said it was going to broadcast this hearing on cspan this morning at 4 a.m. I set my alarm to watch the hearing but I didn’t get up until 5 a.m. At 5 a.m. the banking hearing was on cspan, not the Feith hearing. According to the cspan video on their website the hearing should have been 3 hours long so they evidently did not rerun the Feith hearing at 4 a.m. or it would have still been on at 5 a.m. when I tuned in. I’m starting to wonder if there was something in this hearing that someone doesn’t want us to see again.