Why Did Tenet Create a False Record on the Day After He “Quit”?

William Ockham made another really important discovery:

I’d like to point to a document that was released a year ago (5/27/2008) as part of the ACLU’s ongoing torture FOIA. It’s a heavily redacted memo dated June 4, 2004 from George Tenet to the National Security Advisor (Rice). By June 2004, Tenet is on his way out as CIA director, the Abu Ghraib scandal has hit with full force, the CIA IG’s report has just been finished (but not yet briefed to Congress) and the 2004 Presidential campaign is in full swing. The CIA prison system was mostly still secret, but they had just released Khaled el-Masri in May 2004. The story of the ghost detainees in Iraq was just about to break.

With that as the background, here’s the parts of the second page of the memo that aren’t redacted (all the rest except the date, sender, and addressee are redacted:

3. As you know, beginning in September 2002, the Justice Department authorized CIA in its discretion, to employ on selected HVDs [Redaction ~3 lines] waterboard, [Redaction ~2 lines] CIA has reserved use of these [Redaction] techniques to elicit ongoing threat information from the most hardcore, senior terrorist figures that have been captured– men such as Khalid Sheik Muhammad, Abu Zubaydeh, [Redaction ~ 7 lines] key members of Congress have been briefed from the beginning–CIA informed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Committees of the existence and nature of the Program when it commenced in late 2002, in early 2003 when members of the leadership changed, and again in September 2003.

Rice and Tenet both knew that most of that was not true. They knew the program commenced long before September 2002, that the DOJ memos (which were not authorizations) came in August, that the Congressional briefings were after the fact and completely inadequate from a statutory perspective. What is this memo other than an attempt to create an after-the-fact coverup?

I’d add two details to those WO offers. The document appears not just after Tenet was on his way out, but the day after Bush announced his resignation. And it happened around the time Tenet asked for written endorsement from Bush of the torture program.

The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects — documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public. 


The memos were the first — and, for years, the only — tangible expressions of the administration’s consent for the CIA’s use of harsh measures to extract information from captured al-Qaeda leaders, the sources said.


The second request from Tenet, in June 2004, reflected growing worries among agency officials who had just witnessed the public outcry over the Abu Ghraib scandal. Officials who held senior posts at the time also spoke of deteriorating relations between the CIA and the White House over the war in Iraq — a rift that prompted some to believe that the agency needed even more explicit proof of the administration’s support. 


By the spring of 2004, the concerns among agency officials had multiplied, in part because of shifting views among administration lawyers about what acts might constitute torture, leading Tenet to ask a second time for written confirmation from the White House. This time the reaction was far more reserved, recalled two former intelligence officials. 

Now, take a look at the document itself (PDF). See how long the redaction is after the number "3"? The redaction appears to be the paragraph’s classification mark, and the length suggests it has a pretty specific classification beyond the Top Secret.

If that’s right, then it may well be a CYA document (as WO suggests), but not one targeted toward anyone public, such as Congress.

So, in addition to the good question that WO asks, I’ve got two more. What do you bet the chances are that the document WO found is Tenet’s request for that second written endorsement of torture from Bush? And if so, were Condi and Tenet building in plausible deniability of the illegalities regarding timing for Bush?

52 replies
  1. maryo2 says:

    When Tenent said “slam dunk” he was refering to using WMDs as an excuse to invade Iraq. Of all the excuses that might work, Tenent felt that WMDs was the most likely to sway public opinion. He was not asked whether Iraq had WMDs, he was asked which propaganda tool he thought would be most effective. (insert curses here)

    • Watson says:

      I hadn’t realized that before. Tenet told 60 Minutes in April ‘07 that:

      “the Bush administration made him the scapegoat for the Iraq invasion by twisting his words to make it seem he was certain Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD)”;

      and that:

      “he believed Iraq had WMDs but never considered the intelligence to be a “slam dunk.” Tenet says he used that description to show how easy it would be to build a public case for war, given that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons and had performed nuclear-weapons research in the past.”

      The utterances of all these professional liars get pretty murky. Big thanks to EW and all for the superb investigative work.

  2. drational says:

    1. Is it possible that there exists an actual “authorization” for the interrogation program, much like the one they tried to get Ashcroft to sign for the surveillance program, and this official document was generated in September 2002 and signed by Ashcroft?

    2. Is it possible the date printed on the memo, 4 June 2004 was added at a separate time? Looking at the spacing, the date does not fit an integer of line spacing with the next text “the national security advisor”. Since timing of the memo so key, just wanted to address this possibility.

    • wwiii says:

      Don’t know about an actual written authorization but remember, after the tour of Guantanamo by the Addington crew on September 25, 2002, there was a second meeting a week later (October 2) also at Guantanamo to discuss stepped-up interrogations. The latter involved DOD, FBI and CIA.


      It was the in the course of that meeting that the lawyer, John Fredman, from the CIA pointed out that “if the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” As Philippe Sands notes (Torture Team), “His attendance highlighted a more active interplay between the CIA and DoD on interrogation issues than the Administration cared to admit.” (p. 236) A week later the memo from Phifer spelling out the 18 techniques requested to be used for enhanced interrogation was written and submitted up the chain of command.

      It is still unbelievable that someone would actually record minutes of such a meeting.

      • maryo2 says:

        The Public Record article with minutes from the October 2, 2002, meeting mentions Maj. Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, Commander of Joint Task Force 170.

        History Commons says about Dunlavey:

        Dunlavey was Rumsfeld’s personal choice to head the interrogations at Guantanamo; he liked the fact that Dunlavey was a “tyrant,” in the words of a former Judge Advocate General official, and had no problem with the decision to ignore the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld had Dunlavey ignore the chain of command and report directly to him, though Dunlavey reported most often to Feith .

    • WilliamOckham says:

      2. Is it possible the date printed on the memo, 4 June 2004 was added at a separate time? Looking at the spacing, the date does not fit an integer of line spacing with the next text “the national security advisor”. Since timing of the memo so key, just wanted to address this possibility.

      I believe that’s just an artifact of the reproduction process. The page was copied or faxed at a slight angle. Compare the M in MEMORANDUM with the S in SUBJECT and you’ll notice the same thing.

  3. DeadLast says:


    I love it that you, almost single-handedly (along with dedicated readers), are building the case and evidence necessary to try and convict these criminals. One day, congress or some enterprising prosecutor is going to file charges and base everything on your blog. You are better than a grand jury (although some may argue that you are biased — being an American and all).

    Your sacrifices are appreciated. (and I will donate more money in a few weeks).

  4. bobschacht says:

    One of the marks of good journalism is not only asking good questions, but in drawing attention to the significance of information that is already available to the public, but not yet understood. Thanks again for connecting the dots for us, and asking good questions!

    Bob in HI

    • TheraP says:

      Exactly. This is one case where every new piece of info needs to be matched against every existing piece to see if new meaning emerges. For the whole is so much more nefarious than any of us could possibly imagine.

      What we don’t yet know seems often to be hiding in plain sight – but is not “evident” until a new magnet sweeps across the filings and another pattern emerges.

      • lllphd says:

        absolutely. but what makes this relatively simple is that it is appearing a lot of the work was done ad hoc for cya (or other, similar reasons, such as the plame outing), which creates something of a crazy quilt. it does blind the eye to try and take it all in as a whole, but when you start focusing on the details you realize the entire mess is just thrown together almost pell mell with virtually no rhyme or reason to it save fear of getting caught.

        because things have been thrown together so haphazardly, and in desperation, i think ultimately it will be possible — and almost ridiculously simple — to expose a conspiratorial effort to block exposure of their acts and agenda. they could not possibly manage to cover every detail necessary to make a “reality” in retrospect look real. sorta like the yellow cake letter, which raises another point on their approach to this, namely they are also not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

        put it all together and it’s starting to make more sense to me why we are getting so much damning info on all this so damn quickly. i would not have anticipated getting this far along with a “slam-dunk” case (erm, pardon the pun) so quickly, only four months out of office/control. pretty impressive if you step back and think about it.

        • eCAHNomics says:

          It’s falling apart “quickly” because they were so incompetent at executing anything.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The timing pretty clearly suggests CYA, since Tenet was about to lose his power and his operational and much of his relational network as director of Central Intelligence [sic]. I would regard it as strong evidence of his guilty knowledge that he was engaged in illegal, certainly highly questionable and politically explosive behavior, beyond what would be accepted by the public as “protecting our shores”.

    The specific references to briefing Congress are as interesting as the false timing for when torture began. He’s clear, not that that means accurate, that only the “leadership” of the intelligence committees was briefed. As you and WO make clear, that was well short of his statutory duty to brief “the committees”, not their leadership only.

    Why is it that the more evidence surfaces that the high and mighty committed high crimes and misdemeanors that government prosecutors run for cover like prairie dogs in Colorado plinking season?

  6. JimWhite says:

    Hooray again for WO!

    I find it interesting how many times CIA has now been documented to have fudged the dates on important events in the whole torture story. The curiosity for me is whom they wish to be misleading by these lies. Marcy’s time lines will be instrumental in answering that question.

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    A couple of quick hits. The document is described on the ACLU FOIA page like this (Other Document 3):

    Memo from DCI to Nat’l Sec. Advisor (4pgs) and memo from GC to DCI (1pg) with routers.

    It’s dated 06/17/2004. GC = Scott Muller (who was also on his way out the door). Was the Muller memo added after the Tenet memo?

    I’ll be back in a bit with some speculation…

  8. Endymion says:

    This is one of those times I wish redactions were a bit more like Mad Libs.

    CIA has reserved use of these [number] techniques to elicit ongoing threat information from the most hardcore
    is substantially different from
    CIA has reserved use of these [descriptive noun] techniques to elicit ongoing threat information from the most hardcore
    I’d like to know which we’re dealing with…

  9. plunger says:

    Thank you for providing recent historical context to this unfolding crime story. Context is critical to revealing means, motive and opportunity.

    Tenent’s attorney clearly assisted him in crafting the ass-covering memo at the final moment when he still had maximum leverage. Who was that? One of the redacted lines says something like:

    “…and if you don’t admit to having authorized the use of torture AND present me with the Medal Of Freedom, I’m going to the press with the truth.”

    Considering how much leverage Tenent had over Bush at that time, do you really think that whole inappropriately timed Medal Of Freedom presentation just happened on its own? Tenent is sure to have retained plenty of documentation with which to cover his own ass and blackmail the other co-conspirators.

    See what a total clusterfuck of blackmail, extortion and bribery our public institutions have become?

    And Obama is in the coverup business. His choice.

  10. wavpeac says:

    juicy !! (probably shouldn’t use that word in regard to torture investigation)…but.

    Great work E.W and WO! Keep it coming…my only peace comes from imagining justice. Manifesting justice…

  11. maryo2 says:

    In his resignation remarks Tenent said that his only reason for quitting was “for the well-being of his family” while he was being pressured by some in the CIA to get the Administration torture policy written down. I wonder if the pressure included threats on his family.

    • lllphd says:

      interesting question, though i would also wonder where the threats might come from, the CIA or the WH.

      oh what tangled webs we weave…..

  12. fatster says:

    O/T or back to Congress & the CIA: A little corroboration.

    Pelosi briefing secret, says Taylor

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    GAUTIER “U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, asked Tuesday night during a town hall meeting if he would ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to resign if she lied about a CIA briefing, responded, “It is her word against their word.”
    . . .
    ‘”In fairness, when I go into a classified briefing they take my pager,” said Taylor. “They take my cell phone. They take all of the paper out of my pockets. I can write notes while in there and they take those notes back before I leave.”
    . . .
    ‘”She has no evidence because there is no evidence because everything that was said that day was destroyed that day.”‘

  13. Mary says:

    Let me kick in some added context on the “why” cya front

    January of 2004, Maher Arar filed his lawsuit and by then everyone involved knew he had been one of their “oops” guys. Worse, he had been exposed to all kinds of other detainees being held & tortured for the US by the Syrians. While the lawsuit involved Ashcroft, Mueller, etc. you have to figure at some point if there had been real discovery, to set up the deal with the Syrians at some point Tenet and/or Rice were going to be in the mix and obviously Tenet if not Rice was in the mix for other “shipments to Syria” from non-US locations (like possibly Noor al-Deen).

    April 20, 2004 Oral argument for Rasul v. Bush a very big issue and the one that the Bushies (now Obamies) probably thought they had in the bag. US courts asserting jurisdiction with respect to persons our gov was “detaining” in an overseas, non-US location. After oral argument and despite the Eisentrager footnote, it wasn’t looking good.

    April 28, 2004 Oral argument on Hamdi and also on Padilla. Paul Clement flat out asserts, as an attorney appearing before the S Ct under the court’s rules of admission, that the US does not torture and doesn’t do things like torture. Everyone who had anything to do with enhanced interrogation technique programs, threats to family members, threats of rape, conspiracies to hand over for torture, etc. – lawyers LITTERING the DOJ, Executive branch, Fed Bench, and members of Congres and some staff —- all sat silent through Clement’s outright lie to the highest court in the land and to a co-equal branch of government, and a branch to which every single lawyer invovled in the debacle owed independent duites.

    April 28, 2004 – 60 minutes program re: Abu Ghraib

    April 30, 2004 Hersh’s Abu Ghraib article available online

    April, 2004 (sometime in)Tenet *learns of* the el-Masri oops

    Early May, 2004 (sometime in)Rice *learns of* el-Masri oops

    May 11, 2004 release of video of murder of Nick Berg, allegedly in retaliation for US torture programs

    May 28, 2004 el Masri dumped in Albania and supposedly his release took not one, but two distinct orders from Rice, although why she would be the one handling the “ordering” wasn’t super clear – status as NSA seemingly not in a chain of command on any of it,

    Throughout May, 2004 prospects on Padilla and Hamdi were looking bad for Gov, and early confidence in Rasul was beginning to unexpectedly take a nose dive

    June 1, 2004Comey makes his sales pitch Padilla press conf, for all intents and purposes trying to extrajudicially influence the court and packing that in a flashy event with a lot of mis and dis information.

    June 4, 2004 – Tenet’s redacted cya memo

    June 28, 2004 Padilla gets tossed on procedural grounds, but Hamdi, issued at the same time, puts Scalia on record as taking a position 4 square against the Bushies and also saying that the President should pay the consequences for denying habeas to an American citizen (Hamdi) held without habeas in America. Say what you want, I think this is what lost Scalia his Chief Judge slot. Anyway, the other is the biggie vis a vis the torturers, Rasul. Rasul gives habeas rights (to GITMO, but under theories that could expand out) and even more arresting, indicates that US courts are going to have jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Claims act to look into claims of abuse.

    You know the Admin had a heads up all this was coming – too many ex-clerks not to have had. It’s why they put on the Comey, pack of dogs torture blind pony show. And with el-Masri just released in May and now the Sup Ct making noises that guys like him are going to have Alien Tort Claims Act recourse (although the court later bowed to state secrets on that – boo freakin yah)

    In any event, I’m thinking with Abu Ghraib getting a very “fresh” response at the time, and with el-Masri sitting on his doorstep as the pictures of “rogue” soldiers doing what the CIA and its contractors had been doing to el-Masri (and darn all that Macedonian involvement early on, or they could have just permanently disappeared him – an option they were probably trying to arrange in the balk period between Rice’s orders) Tenet had CYA very high on his list of things to do. Watching all the loyal Bushie legal opinions crumbling before the Sup Ct even while you have all kinds of torture victims sitting around at various foreign prisons, foreign detention centers and CIA black sites – – not a warm fuzzy thing.

    Add the distinct possibility in June of 04 that Bush might not be President in June of 05 – Tenet was scrambling.

    Poor guy – if only he’d known that the whole of the Republican party and a chunk of the Democrats would fight to suckle on torture and the bigtime “change agent” Obama would be feckless as worthless, he could have kicked back and relaxed more and he and Hayden and their entourage of lawyers and torturers murdered the nation’s values.

  14. esseff44 says:

    Boumediene is now in Paris with his family and enjoying picking up food with his own hands after years of forced feedings while on hunger strike. He says he going to sue the officials and demand accountability for all he’s put him and others through.


    Will he have any better chance that Arar or el-Masri? Obama hasn’t changed anything is the States Secrets defense against these claims that I have seen. So much for transparency. Eventually, we can expect a lot of stuff to get leaked or accidentally disclosed. There were too many “oops” cases and they really had problems figuring out how to dispose of these embarrassing cases. We have no idea how many did not emerge from black holes and renditions. How many al-Libi’s were there being held in places like Libya? How many cases are there that we just know nothing about even now? If they are not taking people to Guantanamo, where are they taking them or sending them now?

    Why aren’t more people asking these questions instead of focusing on the 3 or 4 waterboarded and covered by legal memos? What about all those that were obviously tortured and were not covered?

  15. 4jkb4ia says:

    I was about to take the bait and say that Scalia was too well known. He wasn’t going to fool anybody enough that they would be against filibustering him for a new spot. The only problem with this plan would be that the Gang of 14 might ask why he wasn’t too extreme for the Associate Justice spot which he was easily confirmed to. Also it took the least effort simply to stick Roberts, the nominee you already vetted, into the Chief Justice slot.

  16. Prichard says:

    Marcy: For more on Tenet’s dilemma, read the introduction to Patrick Tyler’s A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East–from the Cold War to the War on Terror

    When I read the book in galleys, I wondered if the leaks in it would be treated as news. But of course, the public has not been informed. To me, although the whole intro is revelatory, this is the key passage:

    “Tenet’s case had to be handled carefully. Bandar, too, knew that the president had very specifically and graphically instructed the CIA to do what was necessary to extract information about possible terrorist attacks. Bush had expressed himself brutally in meetings that Bandar had attended because Saudi Arabia was a full partner in the American coalition to destroy al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    “Why can’t we send them to be tortured?” Bush had asked in one such conversation about al-Qaeda suspects.

    “Stick something up their ass!” Bush had said. America was at war. Bush was willing to authorize tough tactics, even torture.

    “Look, I just can’t afford to see any more people in America die,” he rationalized.

    Some of the scenes involving Bush that Bandar and Tenet had witnessed in the wake of 9/11 had been Strangelovian, and there were going to be court cases, maybe even criminal charges over the treatment of detainees. Bandar felt that the White House would be making a big mistake if it assumed that allegations of torture and detention in secret CIA prisons were going to be “George’s problem.” Tenet had made it clear to Bandar that he was not going to be the fall guy—everything the CIA had done, it had done with the authorization of the president, with review by the attorney general and briefings to key members of Congress. They both knew who had authorized the CIA to do what.

    Now, Tenet was going down.”

  17. orionATL says:

    mary @20

    damn! i love how you wrote that parag.

    like a train beginning a run downhill.

  18. rjrnab says:

    George Tennant was such a good little spook, I,m sure Cheney told ‘W’ he had to keep him on from the Clinton Administration. Rumsfield and the NeoCons had been dreaming to use GTMO as a legal no mans land for years according to an officer I talked to one night down there on shore patrol babysitting the fleet squidly-didlys. An inside job like 9/11 needed a lot of continuity. You can tell from the pet goat video that ‘W’ still didn’t know what was coming down, but the brutal expressions at the meeting Prichard sights above sound like the dry drunk we all know, and want to have a beer with. What else does Fox Noise, or Joe ( I love dixie P-cola ) Scarborough need? We have Alexander laying it out, and the FBI saying basically the same thing. This issue never had anything to do with national security. It was like a mob family payback. ( Or see ‘accidental shooting down of Iranian Airliner over Persian Gulf’ for Beirut payback of 241 dead U S marines. {Daddy Bush must have been furious when Roni R.
    wouldn’t go to war then}

  19. zekes says:

    Tenet’s, “as you know” lead in is a dead give away. Lawyers (like me) use this and similar language language such as, “as we have repeatedly discussed”, for one purpose; to create a record where there is none.

  20. freepatriot says:

    Why Did Tenet Create a False Record on the Day After He “Quit”?

    cuz he dint figure out that he’d get caught until after he quit

    that was easy, now toss us a hard question

    does that hillman guy know that this is how you get your information ???


  21. klynn says:

    Just some more FYI’s to add to the calendar (EW and WO).

    This DOD Directive was published the day Tenet resigned. The content is directed from GAO and is regarding DoD audits and DoD IG Internal Audits and has specific comment irt “contracts”.

    Follow-up policies and procedures for contract audits are
    contained in DoD Directive 7640.2 (reference (i))


    4.4. An effective, credible decision process shall be maintained to resolve disputes on audit findings and recommendations; prevent preemptive actions, such as proceeding with activities questioned in undecided audit reports; and provide prompt and well-documented decisions consistent with statutes and regulations.

    And of course, we know the ACLU filed a FOIA on June 2, 2004 irt torture.

    Looks like something was hitting the fan irt contractors and torture around this time.

  22. klynn says:

    Also of interest…

    United States House Committee on International Relations activity:

    Thursday, June 3, 2004

    H. Con. Res. 443 (Paul) – Concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should formally withdraw its membership from the Untied Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    Under UNESCO Social and Human Services is this organization:

    3.12 World Organization Against Torture The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) is the world’s largest coalition of non-governmental organizations fighting against arbitrary detention, torture, summary and extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and other forms of violence. Its global network comprises nearly 300 local, national and regional organizations, which share the common goal of eradicating such practices and enabling the respect of human rights for all.

    Just an added note…This resolution had been brought up twice, in the two previous congressional sessions, taking us back to 2002.

    • TheraP says:

      Excellent catch! Thanks for drawing my attention to this. We have to make sure this does not happen. Very sneaky strategy. And UNESCO does so much good.

      I’ll do some looking into this. I commend you for staying on top of this!


      Encourages international peace and universal respect by promoting collaboration among nations.

      No way can we pull out of that!

      • klynn says:

        Well, not that I like this resource, but it gives a GOP perspective as to why we dropped out back in 1984. We evidently rejoined in 2003 due to Bush’s commitment to human rights and tolerance:

        After an almost twenty-year absence from the organization, the United States rejoined the organization in October 2003 at the initiative of President Bush in an effort to express America’s firm commitment to uphold and promote human rights, tolerance and learning worldwide.

        President George W. Bush greets a member of the Uganda Watoto Childrens Choir after a performance in Entebbe, Uganda on July 11, 2003. [photo: Charles Dharapak, AP/WWP]”As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning,” President Bush stated in September 2002 as he announced the United States’ intentions to rejoin the organization. The U.S. believes that peace depends upon building strong foundations of knowledge that bridge nations, enlarge freedoms, and promote democracy. It is in that spirit that the United States rejoined UNESCO and seeks to expand and improve education, promote scientific progress and press freedom, enhance understanding, and protect cultural heritage worldwide.

        • TheraP says:

          Utter depths of hypocrisy! Like that speech bush gave on the Constitution!

          The lies and the propaganda and the upside down images, the Orwellian language and actions! Grrrrr! I’m all steamed now!

    • TheraP says:

      Very interesting footnote at the bottom of this OMCT “SOS-Torture” Network page:

      The notion of “torture” also includes summary executions, arbitrary detentions, psychiatric internment for political reasons and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment as per Article 1 of the United Nations’ Convention against Torture.

      No wonder some may want us to pull out of this, if torture includes:

      * summary executions

      * arbitrary detentions

      * psychiatric internment for political reasons

      * inhuman or degrading punishment

      Requirements for belonging to this anti-torture network:

      To belong to the SOS-Torture Network, an organisation must meet the following strict conditions:

      * The NGO must be independent. It is inadmissible that it be working for the policy and politics of a State or interest group, whichever it may be. Similarly, OMCT refuses NGOs that support an opposition group seeking to take political power or to overthrow a discredited regime. Each organisation is submitted to a careful examination in order to verify its ability to help all victims, regardless of their political affiliation, their sexual orientation or their religious convictions.
      * Each NGO must have as either principal or secondary activity the defence of human rights. It must be able to collect and transmit reliable and verified information.

      And they’ll kick you out if:

      The following NGOs are excluded from the Network:

      * Those who have deliberately transmitted false information.
      * Those who have manipulated information transmitted by the SOS-Torture Network.

      That effectively would refer to bushco, which often tried to plant fake organizations and manipulate info!

      I like this group! We must do everything to stay in UNESCO! And foster OMCT.

      • klynn says:

        There is this from EdWeek noting this speech (the UN speech made by Bush) from Sept. 12 2002:

        President Bush announced his decision that the United States would rejoin UNESCO in a Sept. 12 speech before the United Nations General Assembly that drew attention worldwide for its call for a strong international stand against Iraq. Mr. Bush’s UNESCO news, coming early in the speech, was seen as a conciliatory move toward the listening countries, many of whose representatives had entered the chamber unhappy about what they see as Mr. Bush’s tendency to go it alone on international issues.

        “As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO,” Mr. Bush said. “The organization has been reformed, and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.”

        Then from the whole speech to the UN:

        In 1991, the U.N. Security Council through Resolution 687 demanded that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism and permit no terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq.

        Iraq’s regime agreed that broke this promise.

        Last year, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights and that the regime’s repression is all-pervasive.

        Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation and rape.

        Wives are tortured in front of their husbands; children in the presence of their parents; and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state.


        In violation of Security Council Resolution 1373, Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel and Western governments. Iraqi dissidents abroad are targeted for murder.


        Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year.

        Colin Powell’s speech did not happen until Feb 5th, 2003.

        It would be interesting to confirm who wrote this speech Bush delivered to the UN. This person knows everything.

        • Nell says:

          Michael Gerson was the speechwriter. He was a crucial member of the White House Iraq Group. He was the one who came up with the preposterous “smoking gun = mushroom cloud” propaganda image. He knew about “new intel” that he wanted to insert into the UN speech, or if not, to leak to the NY Times. All this is covered in Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

          • klynn says:


            You are so correct! After I wrote that, I realized Gerson was G Bush’s chief speech writer at that time. I knew he wrote the 2003 speech and worked on Powell’s smoking gun speech and the SOTU speech. What I understood was “that” 2002 UN speech was written by a team which included Gerson, the Iraq group.

            The Sept. 12 speech, a half hour or less in length, was written by a team that included Mr. Bush’s chief speechwriter, Michael Gerson; Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser; Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld; and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

            What I should have written is “who” Gerson consulted with outside the group as he helped write the UN speech — that consult individual(s) is key. It appears to me there could have been such a contact.

            I also wonder who suggested the UNESCO rejoining issue? It is an interesting turn at the beginning of the speech and one that has not been fully addressed. That turn becomes even more interesting when you match that to the torture timeline.

        • TheraP says:

          Well done! It shows the hypocrisy. But if the reason to return to UNESCO was related to torture in Iraq (before the invasion), then your thesis gets even stronger for why they would now want to avoid that kind of scrutiny.

          Good sleuthing, folks!

    • Civlibertarian says:

      Info on 108th Congress H. Con. Res. 443 from govtrack.us and text from thomas.loc.gov.

      I think you’re way out in the weeds trying to link this bill introduced by Ron Paul to any kind of conspiracy to cover up torture. Ron Paul has consistently opposed torture and the Iraq war.

      From Congressman Ron Paul, House of Representatives, November 29, 2001:

      The drumbeat for attacking Baghdad grows louder every day, with Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, and Bill Bennett leading the charge. In a recent interview, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, made it clear: “We are going to continue pursuing the entire al Qaeda network which is in 60 countries, not just Afghanistan.” Fortunately, President Bush and Colin Powell so far have resisted the pressure to expand the war into other countries. Let us hope and pray that they do not yield to the clamor of the special interests that want us to take on Iraq.

      And later in the same speech:

      It is estimated that approximately 1,200 men have been arrested as a consequence of 9-11, yet their names and the charges are not available, and according to Ashcroft, will not be made available. Once again, he uses the argument that he’s protecting the privacy of those charged. Unbelievable! Due process for the detainees has been denied. Secret government is winning out over open government. This is the largest number of people to be locked up under these conditions since FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Information regarding these arrests is a must, in a constitutional republic. If they’re terrorists or accomplices, just let the public know and pursue their prosecution. But secret arrests and silence are not acceptable in a society that professes to be free.

      • klynn says:

        I don not attach it to Ron Paul overall, even though he is the sponsor (this round) regarding remaining outside of UNESCO membership. But the history, dating back to 1984, is one worth reexamining. In 2002, Bush used UNESCO as a “cover” and to win favor before his famous Iraq speech (see #44). I do not tag “that” to Ron Paul.

        If anything, Ron Paul was probably being more honest about why we should not be members in UNESCO.

        Weeds or not, this is probably an area which should be tied into the torture timeline, which is what this thread is addressing to a degree.

  23. Mary says:

    Glad you could follow it with all the typos and glitches.

    Someday I’ll have a nice, leisurely comment that I proof. *g*

  24. Nell says:

    I’m assuming Colin Powell suggested the UNESCO rejoining; it would be his department. Or maybe Negroponte? He was UN ambassador.

    One person Gerson suggested consulting was Robert Joseph, a neocon plant (at State? I can’t remember) who shepherded the uraniumaluminum tubes “intelligence”.

  25. milly says:

    Richard Clarke in his book stated George Tenet was going up and down halls beating on doors trying to warn bushco of impending attack prior to 9/11.He and George were treated with disdain by the administration.

    My guess ..they would both be good sources of information. ..before a grand jury. I think they were both complicit with some unlawful acts…but there are degrees of evil.

    Richard Clarke apoplogized for 9/11. George Tenet sitting behing Colin Powell at the UN did not look like a happy camper..listening to the drum beat for war.

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