Breaking: Torture Architect John Rizzo Still Working at CIA

The ACLU is reporting something that I’ve suspected.

According to the CIA public affairs office, Rizzo is still Acting General Counsel.

John Rizzo, the man who worked with both Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury to pre-authorize torture, is still being paid by you and me to make sure that the CIA follows the law.

As the SASC report notes, Rizzo is the man who provided the list of torture techniques to Jay Bybee for inclusion in the memo–the key link in turning SERE techniques into torture.

According to Acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo, the techniques that the OLC analyzed in the Second Bybee memo were provided by his office. In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Mr. Rizzo stated that his office was "the vehicle" for getting the interrogation practices analyzed in the Second Bybee memo to the Department of Justice.

This suggests it’s likely that Rizzo knew that CIA was intending to do one thing with waterboarding but tempering the description of that in the OLC memo. Also, I outlined ways in which it appears the information Rizzo provided to OLC was, at a minimum, under dispute when it was given. In other words, Rizzo may well be the key person who manipulated the OLC process to legalize torture.

I’ve got a half-written post explaining why Rizzo must be included among those whose role we investigate going forward.  That’s all the more crucial given that Rizzo is still in a position of power in our government. 

Update: basic grammar corrected per pm.

97 replies
  1. Gregg Levine says:

    Thanks, Marcy! More good stuff–and Rizzo’s culpability absolutely needs to be exposed–but I am beginning to worry that he is the perfect scapegoat. . . that everyone at DoJ and the WH can say, hey, we wouldn’t have been so evil, but we were mislead by this CIA guy.

  2. phred says:

    Wasn’t Rizzo the guy who destroyed the tapes as well?

    How hard would it be to fire him? If he’s a career civil servant, he could be put on administrative leave with pay immediately. It would likely take months to get him fired, but it could be done. Another avenue would be to get him disbarred. Who needs to request his bar association to investigate that? Also, does DC have its own bar? As I understand it, lawyers are licensed by state bars, and since DC isn’t technically a state, I’m not sure where his bar might be.

    • phred says:

      Oops, it was Jose Rodriguez that reportedly destroyed the tapes, not John Rizzo. Just thought I better correct that.

      • tjbs says:

        Somebody got a copy. I’ll bet my life against 10 cents and be 10 cents richer.
        Who said the tapes were destroyed ,the CIA? Ya right

        • Blub says:

          perhaps they’ll turn up in the shrub library and “think tank”.. which, fortunately, will likely never be built.

      • phred says:

        LOL : ) I don’t generally laugh at torture jokes, but you got me with “damp copies of his own memos” ; ) That was inspired.

  3. JimWhite says:

    I only made it through 47 seconds of listening to this ogre before my gag reflex kicked in. If this guy doesn’t end up in jail, something will have gone very terribly wrong…

      • cbl2 says:

        I’ve been waiting for protests outside Bybee’s courthouse – it is SF after all – although I suspect Patriot Act or something like it keeps any demonstrators far, far away

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Heh. When Tenet made his first post-govt speech at Georgetown, he was introduced by GT’s prez as a fabulous person who kept the U.S. safe, or some such blather. While the intro was still in progress (either live or replay on cspan, I can’t remember which), I sent the GT prez an email saying that they should be ashamed of such an alum, who would lie the U.S. into a hopeless war. Didn’t get a response.

    • LabDancer says:

      “Ratso Rizzo”. Fella has an unfortunate appearance, fitting that name and another cultural icon: Strother Martin’s prison super in Cool Hand Luke.

  4. ghostof911 says:

    From the horse’s mouth, first obligation of a CIA officer is the willingness to lie under oath.

      • Hugh says:

        Lying under oath is one of the easier of all CIA jobs

        I remember Richard Helms who ran the CIA from 1966 to 1973 admitted fairly flippantly that he had done as much on some 60 Minutes type show back in I believe the 70s. Helms was involved in the coups against and assassinations of both Diem in Vietnam and Allende in Chile.

  5. SDC1 says:

    I just heard an interesting question: How many American lives is it worth to be able to say…”we don’t waterboard”.

      • SDC1 says:

        Reading your link, I come away with the feeling that torture does work. If so, and the LA attack was stopped,and thousands of American lives were saved, it would be hard to say let’s never do it again. Of course, this will never go to court, since Polosi and many others would need to testify after being sworn in. They won’t allow this to happen.

        • MadDog says:

          Reading your link, I come away with the feeling that torture does work. If so, and the LA attack was stopped,and thousands of American lives were saved, it would be hard to say let’s never do it again…

          Torture stopped the LA attack? Tis nonsense:

          …What clinches the falsity of Thiessen’s claim, however (and that of the memo he cites, and that of an unnamed Central Intelligence Agency spokesman who today seconded Thessen’s argument), is chronology. In a White House press briefing, Bush’s counterterrorism chief, Frances Fragos Townsend, told reporters that the cell leader was arrested in February 2002, and “at that point, the other members of the cell” (later arrested) “believed that the West Coast plot has been canceled, was not going forward” [italics mine]. A subsequent fact sheet released by the Bush White House states, “In 2002, we broke up [italics mine] a plot by KSM to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest building on the West Coast.” These two statements make clear that however far the plot to attack the Library Tower ever got—an unnamed senior FBI official would later tell the Los Angeles Times that Bush’s characterization of it as a “disrupted plot” was “ludicrous”—that plot was foiled in 2002. But Sheikh Mohammed wasn’t captured until March 2003.

          How could Sheikh Mohammed’s water-boarded confession have prevented the Library Tower attack if the Bush administration “broke up” that attack during the previous year? It couldn’t, of course…

  6. CalGeorge says:

    I become more furious by the hour:

    “Zelikow says he was told to destroy copies of his own memo arguing against the torture techniques ultimately approved by the Bush Administration, and averred that his views against the torture techniques was shared by his Rice, his boss. But he believes some copies of the dissenting torture memos still exist.”….._0422.html

    • jayt says:

      from your link:

      “Am I right in thinking that they would want to erase any evidence of the existence of a dissenting view within the administration because it would undercut the legal authority of the advice in those memos, the advice that those techniques would be legal?” Maddow asked.

      “That is what I thought at the time,” Zelikow replied. “I had the same reaction you did. But I don’t know why they wanted to do it.”

      See, that’s why those top government jobs are so hard to get – most of us are simply not stupid enough.

  7. cbl2 says:

    by the by, one would never know there was a debate about torture going on or that a major Senate report was released last night . . . if you read CNN. zip, nada, zero. even FNC has it on their front page

  8. ghostof911 says:

    Lest it be forgotten during this focus on the CIA, one of the national leaders assassinated at its behest was one Jack Kennedy. Persons whose careers were launched by that seminal event include, among others, George H. W. Bush and Arlen Specter.

    • i4u2bi says:

      Can’t we let bygones be bygones? I bet Clinton is gettin’ another blowjob as we speak…Congress should stop messin’ with torture and get back to seriously keepin’ tabs on Clinton’s dick.

  9. SDC1 says:

    It will be interesting to see Polosi and other congresspeople sworn in and testify at any trials relating to waterboarding etc…They were all briefed and approved of it.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Excuse me, but what the hell is the heavily-compromised John Rizzo still doing as Acting General Counsel at CIA? Is it Mr. Obama’s doing or the Senate Blue Dogs?

    Mr. Obama has also retained the services of dozens of Bush holdovers at USA offices, among them, the twin Valkyries in Alabama responsible for Don Siegelman’s prosecution (and all that entails about them and their networks being moles for Karl Rove and other neocons). Another Valkyrie is Ms. Buchanan in Pittsburgh, whose political prosecutions include that of Cyril Wecht.

    It’s beginning to appear as if Mr. Obama is either in over his head. Or he’s been reading his Faust and is feeling really lucky. He may have only read Goethe’s iteration. In the original, Faust’s bargain doesn’t work out so well. Perhaps he should reread it and ask himself who his Mephistopheles is. Mr. Cheney, for one, knows the part by heart.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If these dozens of corrupt holdovers are because Obama’s triangulators had hoped Al Franken would already be in the Senate, making it easier to get 50 or 60 votes, then I’d say this falls into the category of horrid miscalculation.

      Instead of “picking his battles”, Mr. Obama has painted himself into a corner with no window or door. I suggest he resign himself to getting paint on his feet and getting moving.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Or this is the reason Obama hasn’t shut down the illegal spying yet? Cheney is looking a tad haggard these days too.

      • JohnJ says:

        I have suspected this since that info came out; he needs all the resources he can get to fight the DarthCo plants.

        The fact that Darth hasn’t fled to Dubai, yet alone DC, means he still thinks he can control things using the moles and suicide bombers he left in place.

        One other thing that bugs me because I can’t find the reference; I remember a quote from an Iraqi police officer when we first took over saying that they were amazed how the interrogation techniques the Americans were teaching them worked so effectively without laying a hand on the prisoners. What happened to that?

    • Blub says:

      The evidence that torture categorically does not work is overwhelming, but it won’t stop the rethugs from appealing (and possibly appealing effectively) to our nation’s collective (visceral) fear and revenge fantasies. Expect a LOT in this meme.

  11. tjbs says:

    I’ve got a half-written post explaining why Rizzo must be included among those whose role we investigate going forward.

    Let me keep it simple Everyone from top to bottom is on that list.
    If we can prosecute and lockup 800,000 dope smokers a year that’s how many we can expect to be able to bring to trial in a year. Those burners may just be cell warmers?

    Who’s on the list: Those who did , saw ,heard, justified and ordered TORTURE no exceptions or lame excuses.
    How much cancer would be ok not to excise?

  12. foothillsmike says:

    Earlofhuntington @ 24
    Replacing all 94 USAs is a long process. Appointments must be vetted, then get a security clearance, then get approved by the senate.

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Have they even started? I haven’t seen anything about the process in the press or online.

      • foothillsmike says:

        SOme have been reappointed as Fitzgerald others I am not sure of. He may be waiting to get his senior staff in place.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I appreciate that, but replacing them is going at a snail’s pace and Obama’s team had three months to prepare for it. It’s also not simply a matter of replacing all 94 at once. He should have asked for resignations, staggered and replaced them in waves. The most egregious holdovers should have been in the first wave.

      Obama’s insistence on straight and level flight seems good for him; it’s not so good when enemy planes remain circling about him.

  13. emptywheel says:


    You gotta get to around 3:40 to 4:100 where Jello Jay says, ”did you say torture doesn’t violate the 5th, 8th, and 14t amendment.”

    Rizzo says yes, and it really throws Jello Jay for a loop.

      • selise says:

        for anyone who can’t watch the youtube, from the transcript (pdf 2.5MB):

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. Let me just start. You made an inter-
        esting distinction as you spoke about 2000 and forwards and 2000
        and backwards. I’m not quite prepared to make that distinction, if
        we do it in the proper way, which does not in any way involve na-
        tional security secrets or anything of that sort. But there are some
        general questions I think that one can ask that are of interest to
        this Committee, and so I will.
        Without getting into any classified details of the CIA’s interroga-
        tion program, did you, as acting CIA General Counsel, issue legal
        guidance, prior to the program’s start, that the program’s interro-
        gation techniques did not violate the Fifth, Eighth or Fourteenth
        Amendments of the U.S. Constitution?

        Mr. RIZZO. Yes, sir.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. Now, the ‘‘yes, sir’’ means that you did,
        Did the Department of Justice issue a legal opinion prior to the
        program’s start that the interrogation techniques would not con-
        stitute conduct of the type that would be prohibited by the U.S.
        Constitution, and did you concur with this opinion?

        Mr. RIZZO. The Department of Justice, before the program began,
        did issue guidance relative to the issue of the program by laying
        the terms of the torture statute. That at that time was the extent
        of the legal guidance we received from the Department of Justice
        prior to the program’s initiation.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. OK.
        As acting CIA General Counsel in 2002, did you issue legal guid-
        ance that the interrogation techniques to be used by the CIA were
        lawful under the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Con-

        Mr. RIZZO. In 2002, yes, sir.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. Both.

        Mr. RIZZO. Yes, sir.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. Mr. Rizzo, during the operation of the
        CIA detention and interrogation program, were you made aware of
        any concerns expressed by CIA officers that they could be exposed
        to criminal prosecution for their involvement in the program?

        Mr. RIZZO. I’m sorry—at the outset of the program or in the
        course of the entire program?

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. In the course of.

        Mr. RIZZO. There have been some concerns so expressed, yes, sir.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. We could discuss that in closed session.
        Mr. RIZZO. Yes, sir.

        Chairman ROCKEFELLER. You can refuse to answer if you choose.
        What was the nature of these concerns, and what action did you
        take to address them?

        Mr. RIZZO. Well, it would be difficult to get into the nature of the
        concerns. I think I’d just—if you don’t mind, I think I’d best ad-
        dress that in closed session.

  14. Blub says:

    SDC1, but my point is that they will float a lot of balloons that ”appear” to suggest that torture does work. To do this, they will just make up stuff. And some of the stuff they make up will be very convincing. Who knows whether these stories are true or not. That’s why I call it the Jack Bauerd defense.. for all we know all the information is being choreographed by Fox screenwriters.

    • SDC1 says:

      Well, we’ll probably have a lot more to think about when Obama’s people capture Osama or another high ranking Terrorist. I think it’s a sure thing that they will test Obama with another attack, and let’s hope that we can get enough information to keep America safe. I’d hate to be in Obama’s shoes if we caught someone that had information that would stop an attack, but we failed to get it.

      • behindthefall says:

        Mmmmmm, especially if it turns out that we tried to get the information by torturing them, instead of using proven, time-tested interrogation techniques — see burqa’s comments from a few threads back. _That_ would really be embarassing. You wouldn’t want that to happen, would you?

        • SDC1 says:

          I would hope that we would use torture only after other procedures failed to get the information.

          • JimWhite says:

            I would hope that we would use torture only after other procedures failed to get the information.

            Your hope is in vain. Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed was captured March 1, 2003, the same month he was waterboarded 183 times. That doesn’t look to me like they made any attempt at all with standard rapport-building first.

            • drational says:

              Because they already found out that they could manufacture more reports and evidence in support of the impending Iraq invasion by waterboarding. As you have noted, KSM waterboarding was not about getting intelligence, it was about manufacturing “intelligence” reports.

          • Hugh says:

            I would hope that we would use torture only after other procedures failed to get the information

            You’ve been watching too much Jack Bauer. Torture A) is illegal and B) doesn’t work. Why would it ever be used?

            • Leen says:

              It has been amazing to hear how many former CIA analyst, up the ladder military folk have come out and said torture does not work. Besides being illegal and immoral unreliable information while you think you are drowning for the sixth time that day

      • GregB says:

        Bush was tested and failed miserably.

        Then he turned to the tactics used by Mao to torture people.

        Bigger fail.

        I wonder if the folks excusing this behavior will think that racial profiling, designations of enemy combatent status and torture will be appropriate measures for President Obama to use when another white, Christian male like Timothy McVeigh decides to use terrorism to kill a building full of federal employees and their children?


  15. maeme says:

    Obviously, Obama vetters did not clean out Bush-Cheney holdovers in many departments and branches.

    Two quick questions for anyone: My news folks here identify KSM as the mastermind of 9-11 who was waterboarded. Did I miss something; what was his involvment? I know he admitted to alot of every crime after the torture.

    What does Philip Zelikow’s sudden appearance really mean? Many 9-11 truthers believe that he is guilty of not including much evidence and testimony made available to the Commission out of the report? Is he trying to protect Condi all of a sudden?

    • Styve says:

      Did I miss something; what was his involvment? I know he admitted to alot of every crime after the torture.

      I recall that someone confessed to a slew of 9/11-related crimes a few years ago, and I would imagine being waterboarded 83 or 183 times could be the cause.

      What does Philip Zelikow’s sudden appearance really mean? Many 9-11 truthers believe that he is guilty of not including much evidence and testimony made available to the Commission out of the report? Is he trying to protect Condi all of a sudden?

      I do find Zelikow’s sudden surfacing very curious. I hope his story is being verified. Can’t figure out the purpose…

  16. CalGeorge says:

    It works, it’s torture.

    It doesn’t work, it’s torture.

    Efficacy is not a valid defense.

    Calling it something else does not make it legitimate.

    Demonstrating that it was done in a controlled manner does not make it any less egregious.

    Saying that it was only used on a limited basis on high-value suspects is not an excuse.

    It’s torture and we must punish those who were responsible.

  17. Hugh says:

    This is what I wrote almost two years ago about Rizzo for my Bush scandals list:

    198. On June 19, 2007, John Rizzo testified in confirmation hearings for the position of CIA General Counsel. Rizzo has been Acting Counsel for the last 3 years and is a 30 year veteran of the agency. He has also served as Senior Deputy General Counsel and as Deputy General Counsel for Operations. This means that he was part of or headed the CIA legal team that gave guidance to CIA personnel at the time that the CIA was engaged in running black prisons, conducting kidnappings and renditions to countries that practiced torture, and using interrogation methods that amounted to torture. In this last regard, there is the question of an unreleased August 2002 memo (not the Bybee one) from Justice to the CIA listing approved interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, hypothermia, refusal of pain medication for injuries, sleep deprivation, light and sound bombardment, and forced positions for prolonged periods of time. At his hearings, Rizzo described the CIA’s interrogation program based on the 2002 memo as humane. He also didn’t deny that the CIA could kidnap an American citizen overseas, saying only that it would be “extremely problematic”. In other words, Rizzo is a classic enabler of policy no matter how dubious or illegal that policy is. As of August 2007, a hold placed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on his confirmation remains in effect. In September 2007, the Senate intelligence committee requested that Rizzo’s nomination be withdrawn and the nomination was withdrawn September 25, 2007.

  18. BoxTurtle says:

    Efficacy is not a valid defense.

    The problem is that in the court of public opinion, it IS a valid defense. And public opinion is the only thing that might protect these folks from prosecution here and prevent their extradition if they are charged abroad.

    Face it, most of America simply doesn’t care if a terrorist is tortured with a flame thrower as long as it’s a real terrorist of different skin color. Getting valid information is a nice bonus, but as long as it’s a real terrorist most will assume they simply refused to talk.

    I’ve heard more than once basically “Dude bombed the Wold Trade Center. He got off easy” from otherwise intelligent people.

    Boxturtle (beware of this “defense”)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It’s certainly an issue as a hurdle in developing sufficient political backing for investigations, prosecutions, conviction and imprisonment, both in Congress and among juries.

      Most of the players likely to be prosecuted are Republican. They are the Party’s leaders and paragons. Scorched earth, no holds barred, will be the character of their defense. Losing several key players to criminal sanctions (in their view), one player if it’s Bush or Cheney or one of their personal aides, would keep the GOP in the wilderness for years.

  19. alank says:

    Well, if you can brave a visit to the CIA web site, there’s this bit to be found about the subject of interest here:

    John A. Rizzo
    Acting General Counsel

    OGC’s current Acting General Counsel, John Rizzo, has over 30 years of service to the CIA, making numerous contributions to the Agency mission throughout his career, especially while in his posts as Acting General Counsel and Senior Deputy General Counsel of the CIA. Previously, Mr. Rizzo served in other CIA leadership positions, including Deputy General Counsel for Operations and Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs.

    Mr. Rizzo earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Brown University and graduated cum laude from George Washington Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. Prior to joining the CIA, he practiced law for the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of General Counsel specializing in enforcement, customs and narcotics issues. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

    Posted: May 11, 2007 12:24 AM
    Last Updated: Nov 02, 2007 11:07 AM
    Last Reviewed: May 11, 2007 12:24 AM

    • phred says:

      30 years + narcotics, hmmm, can you say South America? I knew you could… I bet he’s been up to his eyeballs in “extra-legal” activities for most of his career.

  20. klynn says:

    This Rizzo revelation has me thinking about your Dusty Foggo post regarding the torture tapes and JohnLopresti’s link to this McClatchy article:

    “If the detainee dies you’re doing it wrong,” Jonathan Fredman, chief counsel to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, told a meeting of officials on Oct. 2, 2002, according to minutes from the meeting.

    That meeting came a week after a delegation of senior Bush administration officials visited the Guantanamo Naval base, where the Bush administration has set up a prison camp for suspected terrorists. In addition to Fredman, attendees at the meeting included Lt. Col. Jerald Phifer, who was in charge of Guantanamo’s Joint Task Force 170, and Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, who was Task Force 170’s legal officer.

    The officials who had visited Guantanamo the week before were David Addington, counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s top lawyer; acting CIA counsel John Rizzo; and Michael Chertoff, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and now President Bush’s Homeland Security secretary.

    The CIA involvement clearly bothered some at Guantanamo. “This looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are made of,” Mark Fallon, deputy commander of the Criminal Investigation Task Force at Guantanamo, wrote in an Oct. 28, 2002 e-mail to his headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va. “Someone needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”

    That third paragraph is a keeper.

      • klynn says:

        “This looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are made of,” Mark Fallon, deputy commander of the Criminal Investigation Task Force at Guantanamo, wrote in an Oct. 28, 2002 e-mail to his headquarters at Fort Belvoir, Va. “Someone needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”

        Yep. That email quote will make it in the history books along with EW’s 183 post.

        Thinking of putting that quote on a t-shirt.

  21. eyesonthestreet says:

    Yikes, can the profession that is to blame for this tragedy please step forward, as in “terror LAWYER,” and leave us lowly, barely able to eek out a living architects out of it? Until there is evidence that an architect designed one of those prefab cells at Guantanamo, it would be nice if we architects were left alone. Heck, the other definition of architect in Websters doesn’t even apply, no way was Rizzo, ‘one who plans and achieves a difficult objective.” What was so difficult about what he and the Bush Administration did? Not following the laws was pretty easy, just write what it is you want to do and get the president to sign it? or did the president not even have to sign? just write a memo on White House stationary? Not nearly difficult.

    • Fractal says:

      eyes, I think this particular torture lawyer is not long for the legal profession. His bio posted by alank @53 includes this credential:

      He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

      Watch what happens to the bar licenses of the OLC lawyers covered by the report due from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Then extrapolate to Rizzo. OPR can only deal with DOJ attorneys, but the same standards of ethical behavior apply to Rizzo because of his D.C. Bar membership. If nobody else makes a professional misconduct referral to the D.C. Bar Counsel on Rizzo, I will. Time to eject these weasels.

      • JimWhite says:

        Is there an expected date for the OPR report to be released? Next week would certainly keep up the momentum from last week’s memos and this week’s SASC report.

        • Fractal says:

          there was a flurry of posts yesterday in Marcy’s thread on OLC+CIA=CYA about predictions from Sen. Sheldon (Dead-Eye Shelly) Whitehouse on Monday night on Rachel Maddow that the OPR report would be coming out in a few “weeks” and would be “devastating.” A good link was put up yesterday at TPM or TPMMuckraker, but it’s not on either of their front pages today.

          So, a few “weeks.” Maybe in time for Mother’s Day?

      • eyesonthestreet says:

        Great, can’t be soon enough.

        But what about changing the title of this post? There are real architects losing their jobs by the thousands, please stop maligning our professional title and what seems like kicking us when we are down. I was quiet when it was used for Rove, that was bad enough, but now for “torture.” Enough is enough, that is going too far. Words matter.

  22. klynn says:

    Here’s some more interesting linkage:

    September 25, 2002: Administration Lawyers Give ‘Green Light’ for Harsh Interrogations at Guantanamo

    Several high-level Bush administration lawyers arrive in Guantanamo. The group includes White House counsel Alberto Gonzales; Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, who had helped the Justice Department craft its “torture memo” (see August 1, 2002); CIA legal counsel John Rizzo, who had asked the Justice Department for details about how interrogation methods could be implemented (see June 22, 2004); and the Pentagon’s general counsel, William J. Haynes. They are at Guantanamo to discuss the case of suspected “20th hijacker” Mohamed al-Khatani (see August 8, 2002-January 15, 2003).

    The whole link is quite the read.

  23. JClausen says:

    Torture as described elicits false confessions and does not work.So WE NEVER TORTURE.

    Unless we are sure there is a link between Iraq and 9-11/s

  24. Hugh says:

    I was referring to his efficacy not his popularity. This is a point I have been meaning to make for a while. Remember all that political capital that Bush said he had after the 2004 election? Remember how quickly that all went away? Remember how once gone it never came back?

    This is a situation I think Obama is working his way into. I don’t know the exact timing or the issue but I would guess it would be this winter and the economy, and Obama could see his popularity evaporate away. Right now he is running completely off his popularity. It certainly isn’t his policies which betray at every turn his campaign slogan of “Change we can believe in.” But once that feeling percolates out there, that nothing really has changed, that he isn’t solving the nation’s problems, that he hasn’t been effective, I think he will be toast. And that is a condition that no amount of 11 dimensional chess can cure.

  25. MrWhy says:

    Has anyone asked Zelikow if he knows of anyone who has a copy of his memo arguing that the SERE techniques might well be deemed torture in a court of law? Does Zelikow have a copy? Does Condi have a copy?

  26. maeme says:

    In response to Styve at 82. Zelikow has been on tv again this afternoon proclaiming his background with prisoners and his memo disappearing. I can see his carrying the water for Condi Rice on this one totally. She wants to smell like a rose in this thing but is in up to her eyeballs. Something is up that he would come out now. He was such a good soldier during the 9-11 commission keeping so much testimony and evidence out of that report.

    No way can we have another bi-partisan commission. We need a special prosecutor. Those bi-partisan commissions are washington speak for don-t blame anyone.

  27. HardheadedLiberal says:

    Apparently no one has mentioned that John Brennan, the former CIA official that Obama tried to nominate for Director but who ended up inside the White House as Obama’s probable main adviser on intelligence matters, is the likely protector of Rizzo.

    Both of them need to go. Obama needs to learn that just because he has made serious errors in judgment in choosing advisers does not mean that he has to continue making those errors for the rest of his first term.

    In fact, since these advisers include Larry Summers, John Brennan, and the head of the Auto Rescue task force, Obama may not get more than one term unless he learns this lesson – and fast!

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