More on CIA’s Fictions about Executive Branch and Congressional Briefings
I’ve been promising to return to the way that the CIA IG Report discusses the Congressional and Executive Branch approvals for the torture program. Particularly given John McCain’s complaint that CIA misrepresented what he said in a torture briefing, I thought it time to do so.
A close look at the claims the IG Report made about approvals shows it:
- Repeats earlier CIA vagueness and outright lies about Congressional briefings and individual Members’ responses to those briefings
- Emphasizes the centrality of DOJ to approvals, at times misleadingly
- May obscure the timing of and the participants in White House approval of the program
Now, remember, it’s not clear whether these fictions are the IG’s fiction, or whether John Helgerson’s team was given crappy information. One other thing to keep in mind, though, is that the IG Report appears to have been drafted as early as February 24, 2004–over two months before it was ultimately released. While Cheney had a chance to review the document, DOJ did not. And Congress was only given the document the week of June 18, 2004, when Ashcroft started balking at its content.
What follows is a paragraph by paragraph assessment of the CIA IG’s claims about Congressional and Executive Branch approvals for torture.
45. At the same time that OLC was reviewing the legality of EITs in the summer of 2002, the Agency was consulting with NSC policy staff and senior Administration officials. The DCI briefed appropriate senior national security and legal officials on the proposed EITs. In the fall of 2002, the Agency briefed the leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of both standard techniques and EITs.
To some degree the first sentence of the paragraph matches what appears in the SSCI Narrative, which shows the following "consultations:"
April 2002: OGC "began discussions with [Bellinger] and OLC concerning the CIA’s proposed interrogation plan for Abu Zubaydah and legal restrictions on that interrogation. Bellinger briefed Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Michael Chertoff
Mid-May 2002: OGC meets with Ashcroft, Condi, Hadley, Bellinger, and Gonzales
July 13, 2002: OGC met with Bellinger, Yoo, Chertoff, Daniel Levin, Gonzales
July 17, 2002: George Tenet met with Condi, who okays torture program
Though of course, it uses a rather broad definition of "summer." I’m also curious about the "at the same time" description. The SSCI narrative notes that OGC didn’t talk to OLC until after the first consultations. And neither of these account for the alleged earlier approvals going back to at least May. Neither of these account for the meetings between the War Council (Addington, Yoo, Haynes, Rizzo, and Gonzales) going back much further. Furthermore, neither lists the July 13, 2002 letter from Yoo to Rizzo basically instructing him how to game the law. In other words, I wonder (as I have since the SSCI Narrative came out) whether the NSC-CIA discussions are really a distraction from the much earlier approvals involving other lawyers like Addington and Haynes?
Now onto the sentence describing the Congressional briefing. As I noted in this post, the IG Report’s use of "fall" in both this passage and the chronology in Appendix B of the report leaves open the possibility that there were some non-September briefings that don’t appear on the CIA’s briefing list.
And compare the language used here–"on the use of both standard techniques and EITs"–with the language used in the famously erroneous briefing list.
Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed.
Neither of them is accurate. Yet both fall short of asserting that CIA briefed Congress on which EITs were used with Abu Zubaydah. Both fall short of asserting that CIA briefed Congress that waterboarding had already been used with Abu Zubaydah. That may reflect the language in the underlying CIA documents rather than any attempt at obfuscation on the part of the IG. But for whatever reason, it uses slightly vague language to suggest Congress was fully briefed, without saying so directly.
46. In early 2003, CIA officials, at the urging of the General Counsel, continued to inform senior Administration officials and the leadership of the Congressional Oversight Committees of the then-current status of the CTC Program. The Agency specifically wanted to ensure that these officials and the Committees continued to be aware of and approve CIA’s actions. The General Counsel recalls that he spoke and met with White House Counsel and others at the NSC, as well as DoJ’s Criminal Division and Office of Legal Counsel beginning in December 2002 and briefed them on the scope and breadth of the CTC’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
47. Representatives of the DO, in the presence of the Director of Congressional Affairs and the General Counsel, continued to brief the leadership of the Intelligence Oversight Committees on the use of EITs and detentions in February and March 2003. The General Counsel says that none of the
participants expressed any concern about the techniques or the Program.
I included these paragraphs together because they may be making a distinction between the CTC program and the use of EITs with HVDs. In which case, paragraph 46 would refer to the events in Afghanistan (including the deaths of detainees in custody), while paragraph 47 would refer to the treatment of Abu Zubaydah, al-Nashiri, and others. Though I could be totally misreading that.
In any case, note the urgency described in paragraph 46. It almost suggests that Scott Muller was pushing to make sure CIA informed the Administration of the problems with the program, particularly with respect to the deaths in Afghanistan. And note Muller’s list of people he informed: Gonzales "and others at the NSC," Chertoff, and OLC. Curiously, the SSCI Narrative says nothing about these briefings. The DOJ IG Report has no obvious reference to these briefings (there is one redacted discussion of a DOJ investigation of abuse in Afghanistan, though it doesn’t appear to relate to Dilawar or Habibullah). I also wonder whether some kind of OLC document came out of this.
Then there’s briefings pertaining clearly to the HVDs–and the first certifiable outright lie. As with the "fall" designation for the Congressional briefing, this uses a vague description of the timing of the briefing, which the CIA briefing list shows to have taken place on February 4 and 5, 2003. So I ask again: does the wider time frame suggest there were more briefings not reflected in the briefing list, briefings for the Republicans in March?
There is Jello Jay’s apparently uncontested refutation of the claim he was briefed–he did not attend the February 4 briefing.
Then there’s the Scott Muller claim that "none of the participants expessed any concern about techniques or the Program." Jane Harman would beg to differ. But for some reason, the IG reported Muller’s claim that no one had.
Finally, there’s no mention of what appears to have been a briefing between CIA and senior Administration officals recorded on April 10, 2003.
This is a 3-page document that describes a meeting on the CIA’s interrogation program, which provided an update on the CIA’s interrogations program and use of enhanced techniques. This document contains confidential communications between a CIA attorney and senior executive branch officials relating to a matter for which the officials sought legal advice.
The lack of any mention of this apparent meeting is all the more interesting given the timing–shortly following the end of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s most brutal treatment.
48. On 29 July 2003, the DCI and the General Counsel provided a detailed briefing to selected NSC Principals on CIA’s detention and interrogation efforts involving "high value detainees," to include the expanded use of EITs.28 According to a Memorandum for the Record prepared by the General Counsel following that meeting, the Attorney General confirmed that DoJ approved of the expanded use of various EITs, including multiple applications of the waterboard.29 The General Counsel said he believes everyone in attendance was aware of exactly what CIA was doing with respect to detention and interrogation, and approved of the effort. According to OGC, the senior officials were again briefed regarding the CTC Program on 16 September 2003, and the Intelligence Committee leadership was briefed again in September 2003. Again, according to OGC, none at those involved in these briefings expressed any reservations about the program.
The SSCI Narrative describes the July 29 meeting this way:
In the spring of 2003, the DCI asked for a reaffirmation of the policies and practices in the interrogation program. In July 2003, according to CIA records, the NSC Principals met to discuss the interrogation techniques employed in the CIA program. According to CIA records, the DCI and the CIA’s General Counsel attended a meeting with the Vice President, the National Security Adviser, the Attorney General, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, the Counsel to the President, and the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council to describe the CIA’s interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. According to CIA records, at the conclusion of that meeting, the Principals reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy.
Note the SSCI Narrative connects this meeting to something the IG Report doesn’t even mention: Tenet’s efforts for a reaffirmation that the torture program reflected Administration policy (which was reported to be a reaction to Bush’s June 26 statement calling for torturers to be prosecuted).
I’ve already discussed Ashcroft’s disagreement with this characterization here. Note that Ashcroft also objected to the insinuation that he had attended the September 16 briefing; the SSCI Narrative shows only Colin Powell and Rummy attending.
But those two details highlight something else: the focus on DOJ, rather than the White House, in this process. After all, if the meeting was initiated because Tenet wanted some kind of reaffirmation that torture represented the policy of the Bush Administration, then don’t you think the presence of Alberto Gonzales, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney ought to merit inclusion? Yet instead of a focus on White House involvement and policy sanction, the IG Report (as distinct from the SSCI Narrative) focuses solely on DOJ’s role at the briefing.
A couple of things on your thoughts here:
The fact that the substance of 47 (EITs) follows that of the substance of 46 (CTC’s Detention and Interrogation Program) leads me to guess that they may be one and the same.
Or that the briefings described in 47 (EITs) are but a subset of those described in (CTC’s Detention and Interrogation Program).
In any event Helgerson & Co. considered them sufficiently related or tied together to describe them one after the other. I sense linkage.
Also, it doesn’t seem likely that Helgerson & Co. would make the following statement in 46 for a run-of-the-mill (relatively speaking) detention and interrogation program if that was all the CIA was concerned about:
CIA concern about Congressional awareness and approval of the general CIA CTC Detention and Interrogation Program?
While it would be likely for the CIA to describe and report on such a program, paragraph 46 intimates something more that requires Congressional awareness and approval.
Just my two cents…and likely not worth a penny more. *g*
I remain agnostic about that passage. But your take would be inconsistent with the pattern developed elsewhere where the report has usually one or greater than one topic per paragraph, not one topic spread over two paragraphs.
And a couple of thoughts here:
As Chris Mellon, listed on the CIA briefing list, was the “Democrat staff chief on the Senate intelligence panel”, it may be that Helgerson & Co., or the information they scraped up from the CIA’s OCA (Office of Congressional Affairs) who was responsible for organizing, and perhaps documenting Congressional briefings for the CIA, considered the briefing the CIA gave on 2/4/03 to “imply” Democratic Senator Rockefellor awareness of the briefing as Chris Mellon was his Intel committee staff chief and whatever the CIA told Chris eventually hit the ears of Jello Jay.
The CIA may have been making an assumption that was not correct.
And relatedly, perhaps that March 03 briefing was the belated one given to Jello Jay.
There was no belated one given to Jello Jay. ANd regardless there’s still the Muller lie.
I’m on a roll here. *g*
A couple of more thoughts:
It may be, and quite likely is, the fact that Helgerson and Co. relied almost exclusively on the CIA’s own staff and their documentation to produce the report.
And that would be a decidedly biased frame of reference. I’ve known only too many a power player (like the CIA’s Scott Muller) who only thinks and hears what they are predisposed to believe.
I can well imagine Scott Muller, or other high-ranking CIA folks at the briefings, never clocking the probably “sheepish-like” murmurings by clueless, but concerned Congresscritters.
Does the IG report even ever state that they interviewed either the Congresspersons or the staffers tht were in these meetings? One would think that they would have done so? Unless, of course, they were creating a one-sided justification “suggesting” that the programs were “approved”.
One could hardly call it an investigation unless there were independent and external lines of evidence. This is particularly telling when there are no contemporaneous records of the briefings, when the documentation of torture were destroyed, and when the victims (who are important witnesses)…are not provided some provision for telling their side without fear of coercion.
So why didn’t Helgerson even bother to do the fundamentals to make this a real investigation?
And finally…really *g*:
We now know that the DOJ was not among the organizations allowed to scrub Helgerson & Co.’s report prior to its formal delivery as per Jack Goldsmith’s OLC memos on the subject to Helgerson and the CIA (such as this one (1 page PDF) for example).
I’m directly suggesting that the White House, in particular the OVP (I’m talking about you David Addington!), was in fact the “Editor In Chief” of Helgerson & Co.’s report, and that is a key reason why there is next to nothing in the report about the White House’s deep, and likely leading role, in developing, encouraging, authorizing, approving, and then hiding their role in the Bush/Cheney regime’s Torture Program.
Uh, that was my point for pointing out that Cheney vetted, but not DOJ.
And other than that, I profess total ignorance on this and any other subject. LOL!
h/t ramoncreager in the comments section of GG’s blog for the link.
Fabulous article by Ray McGovern (ex-CIA). Several new pieces of information for me, one of which I’ll quote.
There’s maybe a few points there — the reference to the sleep deprivation thing I knew about but can’t recall why — but even those don’t go to “facts”, only to ‘perspective’ [or per McGovern: ’so-called “perspective”, as some might be so bold to call it’]. As someone, I think here [I shouldn’t accuse] observed months back, if McGovern maintains Agency contacts at all, it’s with a crew from his time there that given his vintage by now all have golden memberships in the Plate-o-Food Seniors’ Munch Bunch. [I’m so old, where I prosecuted out of, the people now in charge when I was there weren’t even out of school yet, and Ray’s got me by a decade; Ray’s so old, when he retired, I was still doing inventory on baby shower booty.]
But I’m glad you seem attracted to his stuff, because then I don’t have to wade through all the helium in his pieces [elongated IMO due to a serious jones on low grade 1950’s gossip column schtick, so reflexive it resembles how some [mostly younger] people reflect a lack-of-substance dependency with “like”].
I’ve heard the name before, I don’t recall reading anything by McGovern, so maybe I don’t have the context for his “low grade 1950’s gossip column schtick” diversions that you allude to.
I thought the article hit on a number of salient points, many of which are not new to me, but some that are and more specifically it nailed down pretty much everything that the MSM is not reporting about in fairly good order.
– WaPo story internally contradicts itself re the effectiveness of learned helplessness
– WaPo loves the CIA and is oh so concerned about their morale
– WaPo can’t seem to do full disclosure on its contacts
– WaPo columnists apparently can’t read critically and if they can they are dishonest enough to report that the documents (IG Report, etc.,.) support Cheney’s position that the EITs were teh Bomb (pun intended) as far as getting intelligence that prevented any “mass causualty attacks in the US”
– KSM lied under torture
– Knocks down the reliability and legality of sleep deprivation (although I wish he had provided a link to the Supreme Court decision)
– Why KSM hates the US, which WaPo apparently can’t report accurately
– The element of racism in this whole nasty business
– Investigate and prosecute all the way to the top
Is it going to tell people that follow this topic closely a whole lot of new stuff? No, but taken as a whole, for those less informed, it illustrates why not to trust the trad-media on the topic. There be axes to grind.
Amy Goodman has a blip on her program yesterday in the Headlines
CIA Report Details Role Medical Professionals Played in Torture Program
A new report by Physicians for Human Rights has found that physicians and psychologists played a greater role than previously understood in designing, implementing and legitimizing the Bush administration’s torture program. The recently declassified CIA Inspector General’s Report detailed how medical professionals collected data on the reaction of prisoners to interrogation methods in order to help the CIA assess and refine the use of waterboarding and other techniques. Dr. Scott Allen of Physicians for Human Rights said, “Medical doctors and psychologists colluded with the CIA to keep observational records about waterboarding, which approaches unethical and unlawful human experimentation.” Physicians for Human Rights is calling for health professionals who have violated ethical standards or the law to be held accountable through criminal prosecution, loss of license and loss of professional society membership, where appropriate
ot..Amy’s interview with Nir Rosen about the situation in Afghanistan
“NIR ROSEN: All reports we’re getting from around the country show that, indeed, there was massive ballot stuffing, massive fraud. And yet, the international community immediately praised these elections, which—and Afghans, at this point, are very skeptical of the elections. The perception is that the elections were a failure, were fraudulent.”
All we heard in the MSM was how well the elections in Afghanistan were going.
A new acronymn… USG rather than USA?
Have they given up on the ideals of America?
Wow. The last time I saw a similar reference it was for the “Soviet Government.” Way back in the mid 80’s.
That’s actually very common in legal documents and documents in which the role of other countries is regularly discussed.
Most reasonable people would agree there are “secrets” worth protection. The legitimate classification of intelligence and methodology to protect national security is necessary. But what we have here is “Aristocrats,” violating well settled law under the color of law and then using law to hide the illegalities committed. A legal catch 22 by design.
The motive behind the misapplication of state secrets doctrine is to to prevent the public/governed from seeing the “treason” committed against America in the name of America. This is not good government! This is dysfunctional government, manipulated by narrow interests to protected vested economic interests. The protection of “rights” is the first object of good government. This government / CIA is concerned with protecting corporate power and profit while eviscerating the rights of Americans and usurping law under the color of law, in the “lust” for profit. Energy and health care are necessities of life. We pay a hefty premium for both. Premiums which extract vast quantities of liberty from the governed, decimating lives and families, while the modern day slave owners i.e. “corporations” and politicians render / reduce the governed into corpo-government servitude!
“…..to enhance protection from unauthorized disclosure.” Or maybe to keep truth of violations of law from becoming public?
BayStateLibrul it kind of reminds me of when U.S.Steel went to USX.
Good morning America and eternal EW, the rat terrier of truth, what ever else this story is out there and growing.
Even on a good day when these clowns start on the same page there seems to be more denlals and distancing from the blowback straight to hell that’s coming.
Senator Whitehouse wrote quite the article in the National Law review and the train has left the station to conviction central.
Marcy, is it possible to extrapolate exactly when the Iraqi people began to suspect (or know) that we were torturing captives?
I think it’s going to correlate with the time whatever welcome there might have been grew thin
we know that as a whole hey really didn’t want Saddam running their country and there was a window of anticipation after we deposed Saddam to which we might have actually been considered liberators had things gone well from there
and then the tide turned, we weren’t leaving, the insurgency escalated and the quagmire took shape
I think that time where the tide turned will correlate to the time they realized we were still torturing captives just like Saddam
if that connection can be made it will put the failure of the invasion squarely in front of dick
Some of the Iraqi people knew that the U.S. was torturing prisoners within days of it taking place. Within a month, word was fully out.
But it’s myth-making to think that the invasion and U.S. occupation could ever have been acceptable to them. The torture of prisoners was part of a long line of outrages that began with the war of aggression itself (which in purely military terms began in June 2002 with the Southern Focus bombing campaign that destroyed communications and air-defense facilities, killing many Iraqis, mostly but not all military, in hundreds of bombing runs stepped up under cover of “enforcing the no-fly zones”).
U.S. attacks killed many civilians during the invasion itself, some in full sight of troops and many Iraqi witnesses such as at checkpoints and when tanks and artillery targeted cars and houses. The occupation began with the looting that was allowed to continue everywhere but at the Oil Ministry. Marines fired on and killed peaceful demonstrators in Fallujah less than two weeks in. The whole freaking Iraqi army was laid off in late May.
So torture, while it certainly recruited further support for resistance, didn’t create it or necessarily even create a turning point. It also probably began as soon as prisoners were taken, since it occurred at bases over Iraq, not just at Abu Ghraib. Members of the Christian Peacemakers Teams in Iraq were passing on reports of U.S. torture of Iraqi prisoners at least by July 2003.
The revelation of the torture documented as taking place at Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2003 that made it undeniable to the U.S. public and the world in the spring of 2004 was more of a turning point — for us.
That appears to be a bit of a slight of hand attempt on the citizens of our country through two reports/investigations. It reads as though the “fallguys” have been determined. A kind of “give them a guilty party and be done with it.”
Am I wrong to conclude from the points you make that perhaps the same set of eyes edited both reports?
Sole focus on DOJ? Disappointing. Wonder what will erupt from here?
So the CIA is lying to congress again. That’s another sternly worded letter for them!
Boxturtle (Feingold for President!)
@11 That’s National law Journal
Thanks for the link. I like these quotes:
(snip) (my bold)
And the kicker for the apologists:
rayne has an incredible diary whence she points out, these captives were “rendered”, they were “disapeared” and then they were tortured
this shows point blank a “must have information now” scenario could not exist
Here it is.
and klynn, and tjbs…
“…it may prove that all the conduct surrounding American’s descent into torture was proper…”
How about lets forget about justified or proper torture, since it is always a war crime, or shall we say, inhuman. Just a reminder that there is NO defense available to the perps.
Remember, Sheldon writes that, essentially, to use the arguments being made against an investigation, the ‘in good faith defenses” being made. This allows him to counter his opponents with “lets prove it”.
It’s Tai Chi.
LOL. An advance over eleven-dimensional chess? In Whitehouse’s case, I can believe it — he does the whole senatorial-courtesy number very cleverly.
that we can agree rapt, however it would be eminently effective when we point out the policy put is in direct harms way
that’s what torture does, having the proof is an incredible tool
this is why if the window of anticipation closed into insurgency right after the Iraqi’s found out we tortured their populace, for instance when they discovered we were not closing abu graeb and torture continued there
that is an incredible took for our point and if the timeline coincieds we need to make that known as part of the very discussion
I remember when the torture stories first broke, there were people on my private board that went on to defend the policiy
to which I responded;
:are you out of your mind?…we are SUPPOSED to be trying to “win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi’s”, how the HELL do you think that can happen if they know we are torturing their populace?”
this actually won the day on that discussion and the right wingnut ceded the point
so I am pretty sure the discovery by the IRaqi’s of our torture program coincides directly with the time they stopped thinking we might actually be benefactors
in the beginning the american military were indeed respected somewhat in Iraq, that sentiement changed and I believe it was a direct change from their discovery of cheney’s room of torture
if so, that needs to be documented and pronto
Whole world is watching, reading and listening. At least those who have access to communication systems
EW I hope Sheldon sent you a nice thank you note.
I just viewed the ACLU video. Worth viewing.
I’m going to vote for ew totally misreading that. Nowhere in the IG report is there a distinction made between the CTC program and the use of torture on so-called HVDs. There were other CIA detention and interrogation activities, but the particular brand of torture called EIT is part of the CTC program. In fact, the CIA IG did another, later, report that specifically covers CIA activities in Iraq and Afghanistan which were not all part of the CTC program. This IG report says:
Once you realize that EIT = CTC program, the meaning of paragraphs 46 and 47 and much clearer. Muller panicked in late 2002 and early 2003 when the proverbial sh*t hit the fan. “The General Counsel recalls” means Muller claims, but has no contemporaneous records.
Translation: Muller claims, but the IG has no reason to believe him. Remember, Helgerson couldn’t go ask the relevant committee members what they really thought.
Remember, Helgerson couldn’t go ask the relevant committee members what they really thought
That’s right and that’s what’s wrong with all these piecemeal investigations. Between limits on mandates and limits on agency parameters and limitations on topics etc. you can’t get a picture. It was intended to be that way, but this is a)why there needs to be an independent prosecutor and b) an example of the frustrating loose ends, coverups and lapses that there will be, both by intent and by simple lack of authority, with the kind of limited mandate Durham has as well.
I’m still holding out for Congress to require a broad based investigation into misrepresentation to and obstruction of Congress and the courts by the Exec branch with a special focus on DOJ. I think that’s the mandate that gets you were you need to go, but maybe it wouldn’t even do it.
I see where there is now spec that Stevens if leaving. I’m waiting for Obama to appoint a Gang of 6 to pick the replacement that will make Republicans happy.
The way things are going, how could he choose anyone other than Sunstein?
I thought Sunstein was a big pusher of “move forward, next chapter, turn the page” Don’t be about the “blame game, retribution, witch hunts”
Would seem that pick would be all about moving on and not justice
Maybe he thinks he can get Joe Klein a JD during the three years it would take to get action.
WO, further to your 32 and tied to the last post, the situation of the CIA lawyers (and NSA lawyers for that matter) is part of this. Other than listing meetings, the IG report doesn’t even attempt to do much with or about those lawyers. I haven’t been able to get much scoop on OPR’s authority outside of DOJ, but I don’t think it has much – I guess perhaps CIA might have its own professional responsiblity/conduct panel, review etc. I don’t really know – but let’s take the assertions that CIA was preparing all kinds of things “in anticipation of litigation” prior to even the Abu Ghraib pics and the IG report.
Where were the lit holds issued by those lawyers if CIA was gearing up in anticipation of litigation? As litigation began in various court – from the Padilla and al-Marri cases to Moussaoui to the habeas cases to the Arar and el-Masri cases etc. – where were the lit holds? As court were issuing orders on preservation and production and as standards of prof conduct were requiring preservation and production outside of court orders, where were those lawyers? Granted, someone like Fredman appears to have been busy with his GITMO speaking engagedments, but where were these lawyers?
Aside and apart from how do Levin and Bradbury kick back and accept Rizzo’s “you have told us that … -s” when they are sitting on the IG report showing tht prior representions were intra agency fraud by CIA on OLC (or else conspiracy by OLC and CIA to fraudulently misrepresent facts in a document issued for reliance), who has the CIA lawyers in the box seats, getting them to answer production, preservation, fraud on the courts, fraud on Congress questions? And keep in mind, those lawyers (along with Jello Jay and Harman and Pelosi as well as Dems) didn’t just sit quiet in the absence of litigation – they sat quiet through litigation involving US soldiers being court martialed.
They sat quiet through a national firestorm indicating a VERY SHOCKED consciousness, over the things that they had all been involved with for years by then. They sat quiet while hundred of men and women at GITMO were disappeared, experimented on, and subjected to systemic abuse (involving CIA assistance and directions) even while the CIA had in hand a report on the innocence and non-combatant status of those men and boys.
And where is the investigation that will go somewhere on that and more? Maybe Durham’s, but if his mandate isn’t what it should be, he’ll get lawyers invovled in tape destruction but not al of the other.
nonsequitor and more tied to some comments in the last thread, but those contractors are also not covered by the OLC memos under the OLC parameters that it cannot issue opinions for non-gov third parties. This was glossed over by everyone in the telecom “good faith” arguments (so they didn’t have to point out that the Telecoms were not relying on the DOJ at all, but were instead simply adopting the, “if the President autorizes it, it can’t be against the law” posture taken by Cheney) but contractors range from potentially adverse to actually adverse vis a vis gov, and the OLC can’t give them advice for reliance.
Fantastic questions, one and all. And, of course, because I am often proudly a broken record – whither John Durham?
And you are exactly right about the third party reliance problems. Just as an aside, this is exactly why I have been adamant for years now about the fact that there had to have been indemnification agreements; I am flat telling you, I have seen telco lawyers in action, and they are quite competent and VERY thorough in this regard.
Sorry, I had started a post on this about three hours ago, but got tied up on a call on one of my cases and, well, just finished it and put it up a bit ago.
Actually, you’re wrong on numerous counts.
First, there’s the dual structure of the entire report which is replicated in the chronology which clearly shows an Afghan side and an HVD side. So the entire report is structured the way I’m suggesting these paragraphs MIGHT be.
Also, you’re cherry-picking paragraphs and taking out similar paragraph to paragraph variations in the language. I don’t know what the definition for the OTHER program–the non HVD one is, but it’s clear that’s a factor running through this entire report. That doesn’t mean these two paragraphs replicate that structure, but not because the underlying pattern isn’t everywhere in this report.
First, I’m not cherry-picking anything. Second, I’m not denying that there is a dual structure to the report (that may have been unclear). I’m making the point that the CTC program = EIT program. It’s right there in the report in multiple places. The other program (DO activities outside of the CTC program most likely) is the one in Afghanistan.
You are the one who equated the CTC with the program in Afghanistan. Show me one bit of textual support for that. I quoted four paragraphs that say the following:
1. Detention and interrogation responsibilities split between the DDO and the DCTC.
2. Tenet’s Interrogation Guidelines formalized CTC practice.
3. CTC program was subject to DoJ legal review and Administration approval.
4. CIA faces long-term problems as a result of CTC programs’ use of EITs.
How can you come to any other conclusion than that the CTC program is the EIT/HVD program and the other program is the Afghanistan (and later Iraq most likely) program?
I will go back and make an argument that you’re conflating two things that are not necessarily the subject of these two paragraphs.
But I’m not convinced the split you draw is a correct one. Are you really suggesting that EITs were not used with non HVDs? Water dousing? Extended sleep deprivation? Stress positions? Stress positions are, by Tenet’s 2003 definition, an EIT, but they were used repeatedly in Afghanistan, both before and after the IG Report.
The entire moral of the IG Report is NOT just or even primarily that CIA faces long-term problems bc of waht was done to AZ or even al-Nashiri (though I expect they suppressed a real concern over AZ’s treatment). The conclusion of the report is that CIA faces long-term problems because the EITs used on average detainees resulted in deaths. The CIA faces long-term problems not because it holds KSM and AZ in custody. But because it holds a ton more people who we have no business holding–that’s teh whole point about End Game.
One of the reasons I say you’re cherry-picking is because you don’t quote this whole passage:
Both of those events precede the entire HVD program (the only HVD at the time was al-Libi in Egypt). Which says, if this passage doesn’t refer to an umbrella CTC program encompassing both teh Afghan stuff and the HVD stuff, then it by default refers to the Afghan stuff.
I can go on at length if you want me to later. But it’s clear that EITs does not equal HVDs (though it was developed with the capture of AZ).
non-HVD’s = JSOC interrogation teams, not CIA. No EIT’s. Not the approved ones, anyway. We’ve delved into this before on another thread. There were and are parallel rendition and interrogation programs. One run by JSOC, one run by CIA augmented by contractors.
But that’s not covered in this document. This document is, clearly, about two different CIA entities, on in Afghanistan, and one in the black sites. And while we know CIA was partnering with JSOC on straight out beatings–much of which postdated this report and took place in Iraq–that doesn’t account for some of CIA’s actions in Afghanistan.
That’s because it wasn’t CIA.
Official memorandums say it’s CIA entities.
Official memorandums can be typed or altered. So can cables. Did you really think they would fully declassify everything and release it all because the ACLU asked for it?
Within the DoD, FOIA has a name: Fuck Off, Internal Affairs.
Emptywheel…come on. You know my background, and I pegged you for a realist. I am opposed to the behavior, that’s why I participate here.
Or let me put it a different way. REGARDLESS of what it is called in this document, REGARDLESS of who does the actions described in it, there is still a dual structure of this document that does not exclude EITs (in actuality) in the Afghan theater.
One way of proving that point is simply to look at the “specific unauthorized techniques” in the non-HVD section of the report (pages 69 to 77). If this theater DID NOT allow EITs, then you’d see all the EITs we know to have been used there–starting with stress positions–because they would have been “unauthorized.” Instead, we see things like pressure points and mock executions.
So it is clear–from the fact that the non HVD section allows for EITs–that you can’t say CTC=HVD=EIT.
Sorry, I misread you on this one.
Now it’s my turn to accuse you of cherry-picking. You call attention to pages 69-77. But you ignore page 78 (Abuse [redacted] at Other Locations Outside of the CTC Progam) which is part of the same section. Look at how paragraph 193 starts off:
How does that make any sense unless the stuff above is within the scope of the CTC Program?
And just to make this clear, the report then goes on to talk about the incident for which Passaro was convicted and the assault on the teacher. Now, flip over to the chronology. Those two incidents are in the column that doesn’t contain the EITs. So, if you’re argument is that the chronology reflects the CTC/non-CTC dichotomy, then the EITs are clearly in the CTC program.
Because you’ve got CTC: HVD and CTC: Afghanistan and then Non-CTC (cooperation with JSOC, most likely).
The “although not within the scope of the CTC program” clearly counterposes with the rest of the section, which in my book is pretty strong affirmation that the Afghan stuff was CTC as well.
Then how does your analysis of paragraphs 46 and 47 make any sense if you concede that the CTC program included HVDs? That’s what started this whole argument. I thought you were asserting that the CTC program didn’t include the HVDs.
I think you also are slandering the IG report when you say this:
The IG report actually says:
In both cases, the report includes enough information to allow a reasonable reader to conclude that Muller was totally blowing smoke with those claims.
Reads like a healthy disagreement. thank you both for all you do.
I apologize–my post was in-apt. What I was really questioning was never “Is CTC in charge of the HVD program.” What I was questioning is “is the reference to CTC Interrogation and Detention Program” the formal name for the Afghan side? Or does it apply to the whole kaboodle (what is clear is that it doesn’t refer solely to the HVD program)?
Here are the two paragraphs:
My questions are:
1) Why did the report use two paragraphs for these descriptions whereas usually they lump barely related content together rather than separate them (that is, the paragraphs in this document function as functional separators, not grammatical ones).
2) What explains the weird timing in the first paragraph (early 2003, end of December)? Particularly given the representation (probably inaccurate) that the al-Nashiri stuff happened in January 2003? And does the end of December stuff suggest the briefing pertained to just the Afghan stuff?
3) Is it possible there were other briefings to Congress on stuff that was not HVDs?
4) What are the specific meanings of “CTC Interrogation and Detention Program” and EITs? Is it possible (I don’t think it is, but I’m not sure) that the CTC Interrogation and Detention Program is the Afghan side and the EIT–the name, not the techniques–is the HVD side? Is it possible there’s slippages in those terms as suits the CIA?
One thing I’ve got out of this squabble is that neither of those terms if fixed, perhaps deliberately so. Just as an example, let’s assume the name EIT (which was invented after the fact, at about this time) were to refer to just the HVD program. That’s actually possible, though we know EITs, the techniques, were used on non HVDs. When did COngress learn of the Yoo document (probably in 2004)? Would it then become clear that they were using these methods on more than just HVDs, and EIT was just kabuki to pretend that only really important captives were being abused (I’m working on a post tracing the changing definition of HVD, which might support that suggestion)? Does the capitalized INterrogation and Detention Program mean both Afghanistan and HVD?
As to your point about the IG Report clearly attributing that to Muller, I think that’s a fair observation. But that doesn’t mean they’re not counting that as legal review. Here’s how they refer to the Ashcroft purported approval in the Exec Sum, the same section where they say this has been subject to review:
There, there’s no caveating that this was just GC representation–it is portrayed as full approval by the Agency as a whole.
Sorry, one more clarification. One of the reasons I’m hung up on the CTC Detention and INterrogation Program is because it is long, as is the heading in the Chronology. The heading for the HVD one is short, which might mean they do use EIT.
I notice you cleverly avoid the third point in my argument:
What program was subject to legal review and Administration approval? Only the one where they said they were going to use EITs on HVDs. Who decided which terrorists were HVDs? The CTC. Seriously, are you going to argue that the use of EITs on non-HVDs was subject to legal review and Administration approval? Where’s the evidence of that? I can point to, um, all the OLC memos that refer directly to EITs and HVDs. Every single one of them. Every one of them says “we need EITs to interrogate HVDs”. I really don’t see any way to argue against, at the very least, the CTC program including the HVDs. Who went to brief the GITMO folks? Jonathan Fredman from the CTC.
Now, to your arguments. Including the additional sentence from paragraph 3 makes my point stronger rather than weaker. In the very beginning, the responsibilities for the interrogation and detention were split between the CTC and DO. Who developed the HVD and EIT programs? The CTC.
During the time period of the IG report, that simply is not true. EITs were approved only for HVDs. When they were used on non-HVDs, they were unauthorized techniques. Water dousing wasn’t even an approved EIT at this point. I’m not saying that horrible torture didn’t happen at Bagram and other places. The physical violence used there went far beyond anything that was ever approved. I’m just saying that it is ludicrous to say the CTC program didn’t involve HVDs and EITs.
Sorry. You mean the same IG Report that claimed BOTH that Ashcroft’s limited “reassertion” on 7/28/03 counted as approval for an expanded program AND that Yoo’s cooperation on the “Legal Principles” amounted to OLC approval? The “Legal Principles” document that lists every EIT plus one, but that limits it only to Al Qaeda detainees?
You are absolutely incorrect in asserting that the IG Report’s claim that these were subject to legal approval means only the things explicitly approved by the 8/1/02 memos would have been termed “legally approved” by the IG Report (which is not to say they were legally approved). Because there is abundant evidence that the report treats these other things that do not limit EITs to HVDs as “legal approval.”
I agree with you that CTC oversaw the HVD program (though again, I think there is abundant evidence disproving your EIT argument, everywhere in the document). But what I’m not sure abotu is whether there is a HVD program (the title for this program is very short) and a CTC capture and detention program, or some such thing.
Are you even reading what I’m writing? Because I didn’t say any of things you seem to think I did.
And the IG Report doesn’t say what you claim it says.
Look, I think you’re misunderstanding what I’m saying. I’m not saying the Afghan program is not run by the CTC. But the CTC program is not just the HVD program.
Paragraph 3 necessarily says that that line of control goes back to well before AZ. Before they even imagined that they’d need the Black Sites. SO either you need to reexplain that paragraph, or it says CTC is older than AZ.
The legal issue is moot because the IG report counts the Legal principles doc as legal review.
And your point about 193 actually reinforces my point. CTC = HVD+Afghanistan.
I think your point about the chronology is your best yet. Though it doesn’t explain teh November 2001 or November 2002 events.
OT and apologies if someone else already linked, but Wackenhut is totally wacked out in Kabul on their contract to provide security at the US Embassy. Check out the details in this letter to Sec. Clinton.
fatster had a link up yesterday about that…I didn’t read it but went to your link today.
I think the idea of privatized government services, especially in military and security, need to come to an end. It’s ruining our country and a total waste of tax dollars.
Sheldon Whitehouse states it best:
Here’s related stuff appearing on the innertubz news sites today.
STATE DEPT TO REVIEW KABUL EMBASSY
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 12:30 PM by Domenico Montanaro
“From NBC’s Libby Leist NBC News has learned that the State Department Inspector’s General office will be sending a team of more than a dozen inspectors to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul in the coming weeks to conduct a “full inspection” of embassy operations, according to a spokesman for the Inspector General’s office.
. . .
“Separately, the State Department IG’s office has opened an investigation into the ArmorGroup contract. The Project on Government Oversight, or POGO, revealed explicit photos and videos yesterday of alleged hazing by ArmorGroup guards at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and accused the company of failure to provide proper equipment to protect the embassy, overworked guards, guard shortages, a lack of English-speaking guards, bringing prostitutes on base and supervisors engaging in missions they are not trained for.”
Our Embassy in Afghanistan Is Guarded by Sexually Confused Frat Boys
By John Cook, 4:18 PM on Tue Sep 1 2009, 144,529 views
“Wonder what it’s like to guard State Department facilities in Kabul? In photos first published by Gawker, security contractors get their kicks peeing on one another, simulating anal sex, doing “butt shots,” and “eating potato chips out of ass cracks.”
“These photos were provided to us by the Project on Government Oversight, which has just written a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton detailing its investigation into the “Lord of the Flies environment” that has overtaken the private contractors who guard State Department employees in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to POGO, employees of ArmorGroup North America—a unit of contracting giant Wackenhut—get their jollies off by “deviant hazing [that] has created a climate of fear and coercion, with those who declined to participate often ridiculed, humiliated, demoted, or even fired.”‘
Also OT but relevant to your OT post:
Wackenhut was the original contractor for many CIA/DIA installations worldwide.
Blackwater/XE amd ArmorGroup were brought on board when it became clear Wackenhut could not staff its domestic (nuclear plants, Nevada), Iraq and Afghanistan contracts.
Sure gives me hope that the ACLU and the Firedoglake brainiacs are focused on Justice, International agreements and the moral highground.
ew “After all, if the meeting was initiated because Tenet wanted some kind of reaffirmation that torture represented the policy of the Bush Administration, then don’t you think the presence of Alberto Gonzales, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney ought to merit inclusion?”
But wait the Bush administration does not torture
Bush says U.S. ‘does not torture people’
Sideways topic –
I don’t know that it could ever be pulled off, but it would be nice to see if there were a way (I know healthcare is the end all right now) to get a multisource focus on “Children and the US Torture Programs” as a different face for the discussions.
A coordination of discussion of things like the wife and children of Khalid el-Masri and what happened when he disappeared, the divorce, the childrent not knowing what happend to their father, and now knowing, but with the Obama telling them to look forward and the US praising the programs; Maher Arar’s daughters and what happened with discovering that their father had disappeared and what they knew of Syria and what their mother’s fear; an IG report that indicates that KSMs children (7 and 9) were disappeared into a program where they were to be used to facilitate their father’s torture and no one in Congress or the DOJ, despite the report, has ever pursued what happened to them; the reported sodomy of a boy by a translator at Abu Ghraib and the veil that the US government has dropped over that case while the US was, simultaneously, trying to adopt Egyptian interrogation standards which have included child sodomy; the son of the Iraqi General who was taken hostage to get their father to turn himself in, then were subjected to abuse while their father was alternated between military and CIA directed torture culminating with the son’s mock execution and the father’s death in the sleeping back suffocation/beating “interrogation; the lack of inquiry into Aafia Siddiqui’s very young children and the suspicious US handling of her young American son, who was taken into custody when she was, but instead of being brought back to the US with here was handed off to Afghan agencies and originally claimed by the US to be lost, only to appear when Pakistan demanded his turnover.
To put a different face than that KSM picture on the torture program.
When you put a face on “policies” (like our Napalm policies in Vietnam, or our destruction of whole villages of women and children) it makes a difference. Obama won’t let pictures be released showing one of the faces of the torture programs that he’d like to be forgotten. But there are faces he can’t make go away yet – pictures of the children while they were children and their voices on what the programs he wants to protect really meant.
Are the children’s photos available?
You’re hitting on all the questions in my mind. I still think a post on these issues would be worth doing.
It could be titled:
This advice was not solicited in the ordinary course of business
Two more from Abu Ghraib to add to the list.
The Iraqi General and son, late 2003, where they used them to break each other. The son was dumped in mud and then taken for a cold ride. They manipulated the son into pissing on the father. I think Sam Provance mentions this one in his Congressional testimony. Other statements mention it.
The two army dog handlers had a contest to get detainees to piss themselves. Having succeeded, they upped the ante to shitting. One dog handler set his dog into a cell with two kids in it. The Fay report has this as “Caspar”.
Mary…thanks…. where do I find more about these children? This is beyond anything you read or see in the MSM. Wondering if we could get Rachel Maddow, Olbermann, Bill Moyers someone to cover this very serious issue. What was done to these children and where are they?
One thing our military and government learned from Vietnam. NEVER NEVER SHOW THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IN PICTURES OR FILM WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN THEIR NAME.
bet the blue dogs in congress would give a yelp of approval for sunstein – having an animals rights justice on the court for balance.
More from The Guardian on the CIA doctors
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims
Medical ethics group says physicians monitored ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and studied their effectivenes
Ed Pilkington in New York
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 2 September 2009 18.39 BST
“Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged.”
I’ve been calling it human experimentation for a long time bc it’s been really clear for a long time that’s what it was. The note on waterboarding by the docs – ‘hey, we don’t really know much about this so take good research notes for us’ does everything but use the words “human experimentation.”
@49 – I remember watching Provance tesitfying about that one in a hearing in front of Kucinich and Shays, but while I remember reading some references to the dog competition, your reference here if the first I have really seen or heard of that just how far that dog competition went. That’s pretty horrible.
@47 – I’m sure with some contacts to lawyers involved in the cases some could become available, depending on how the lawyers or family would feel about that kind of campaign. I know there have been several pictures of el-Masri and Arar with their children when they got home:
Just not much in the US news. If you had some kind of a blog campaign that coupled with some petitions to Congress and some petitions to MSM on a few of the issues, and could even get Olberman or Maddow or anyone to have an interview with Arar’s daughters, it might be something – esp if they followed up with a torture advocate like Graham or Sustein to explain why those children should just “look forward” and not bother over what happened to their father and what has been happening to the tens of thousands of fathers and their children in our AFghanistan and Iraq detention programs.
And let them explain to those children how disappearing and torturing their father was necessary to keep America safe and how it is only unpatriotic schmucks who would want to investigate how we came to disappear a Canadian into Syrian torture programs (and maybe also point out that the IG report didn’t even try to touch on those rendition to torture programs involving Arar and al-Libi)
We could finish up with a petition to Pepsico to explain why they need a GC who is adept at having Canadians disappeared into torture and asking the board if they would like any statement passed on to Mr. Arar’s children on their behalf.
In my humble opinion this is absolutely the best way to frame the discussion and I am constantly frustrated that we are not using this angle (innocent children) on the ED show, Olbermann, and even Maddow’s show.
Pro lifers are backed into a corner on this one. Stopped breathless and dead in their tracks. The only way of refuting this argument is to deny that our gov’t would EVER do this. So…the best way to create that dissonance (which is the first step in persuasion) is to make this point clear. If we can do that I believe it is possible to make it very unseemly to defend the torture program.
Clinton’s affair would not have had the traction it did if it weren’t for the fact that feminists were forced to acknowledge the age and power differential between Clinton and Lewinsky. I believe that it was THIS angle more so than proof of his affairs or lies that caused him to have to concede. It was incongruent for a feminist to defend Clinton. I know because I was working in a female run agency advocating for women’s issues and while we had gained significantly from the Clinton Administration in regard to federal grants we could not defend Clinton’s behavior. (not saying he deserved impeachment or any of that…just saying it changed the debate as it was brought to the forefront of the discussion).
Yes…lets demand action in regard to these children. Let’s find a way to make their case and this would then broaden support for the torture investigation. “Were children hurt or threaten?…should we know the answer to this?”
I don’t think this has been linked yet. If so, apologies.
Why Doesn’t Hillary Clinton Fire Blackwater?
By Jeremy Scahill
“As a candidate for president, Hillary Clinton pledged to ban Blackwater.
. . .
“These private security contractors have been reckless and have compromised our mission in Iraq,” Clinton said in a February 28, 2008 statement on the campaign trail. “The time to show these contractors the door is long past due. We need to stop filling the coffers of contractors in Iraq, and make sure that armed personnel in Iraq are fully accountable to the U.S. government and follow the chain of command.”’
She has no control over the contract awarding.
The Defense Logistics Agency in Virginia does. State and DoD contract out of there. Yes there is the WWPS contract, but that’s diplomatic security, not embassy (”static site”) security contracts.
Translation? Hillary can’t fire Wackenhut – or Xe – if she wanted to. Gates can. But he won’t.
Thanks so much for the explanation.
I’m not disagreeing with your statements about JSOC. As you’ll recall, I offered that up to you as what I thought you were alluding to.
But I am disagreeing with your reading of this document. Jeebus, I frankly doubt the SASC report got even close to the JSOC activities, so I agree with you that we’re not going to get JSOC activities. But we know that many of the events in this report were done by known CIA people.
Regardless of guidance or instructions from the WH or NSC:
who is going to have “situational authority” in the winter of 2001 in Afghanistan?
A 45-year old Ranger from a JSOC task force, taking orders from the OVP and with combat experience in Pakistan, Iraq, Panama and South America?
Or a CIA paramilitary officer in his mid-30s who graduated from the University of North Carolina and has never left Virginia?
Don’t fool yourself. There is a caste system, even within the paramilitary arena.
I’m totally not disagreeing with anything you say. ALl I’m trying to do is figure out why they wrote a document in the way they did, and figure out what it means.
If you’re saying, Paragraph 46 pertains to JSOC and Paragraph 47 refers to CIA/HVD (at which JSOC attended), I’m cool with that.
“If you’re saying, Paragraph 46 pertains to JSOC and Paragraph 47 refers to CIA/HVD (at which JSOC attended), I’m cool with that.”
At the time, Director of CIA (DCI) was what the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) is now – the de facto “boss” of ALL the intelligence agencies, HUMINT or otherwise.
With that established – it’s not a stretch to say there were multiple classified, compartmentalized programs run out of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center. But the people carrying out CTC’s operations? Borrowed personnel. CIA has been “borrowing” Rangers/SEALs/Air Force for years. Specifically JSOC personnel and its predecessors.
Present day, intelligence/clandestine operations are run from three different places:
– The Pentagon (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and DIA)
Google for a guy named Greg Tatum. He was Air Force in the 1970s and ended up in a…unique set of circumstances. His story was independently confirmed and vetted in the late 1980’s but disappeared after HW Bush’s pardons in 1992. I believe there are many parallels between the Reagan/HW Bush clandestine activities and present day. Especially since many of the same people returned to the government in the beginning of the Bush 43 Administration…
(Feith, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Negroponte, Cambone, Powell)
…and many still remain…
(Gates, Clarke, Brennan, Holbrooke, Ross, McCain, Admiral McRaven, General McCrystal).
@7 LabDancer : Your point about Ray McGovern’s career as a CIA analyst being well in the past is relevant to TheOrA’s ‘(ex-CIA)’ parenthetical, and of course you’re entitled to your opinion of his writing.
But the particular piece linked (or its slightly shorter version at Consortium News) is at least as worthwhile as most links provided here; anyone citing Darius Rejali is worth a look. McGovern is simply another writer taking on the subject EW addressed a day earlier.
[TheOrA’s link would have been even more on-topic in comments there, but the posts come so thick and fast here at the ‘wheel that the comments sections grow cold unusually quickly; that post is three pages back in the archives, and the comments there ended when the McGovern piece had only been online for probably half a day. When the thermometer reaches the top, maybe those of us who contributed to put EW on staff could join in a push for archives pages that show more posts on one page — in honor of her Milbank-unit-shredding pace.]
@TheOrA: The point McGovern makes about sleep deprivation, via Rejali, is new information to many people, and forms an important part of the torture paradigm that the CIA has been developing and promoting since the organization came into existence. Mary regularly and rightly points out here the government and media suppression of focus on the “preliminaries” of prisoner treatment, of which sleep deprivation is a major component.
Demanding justice for the victims and survivors of torture and accountability for those who set the policy is going to call for a lot of engagement with people for whom much of this is unknown or misunderstood. Rejali’s book Torture and Democracy is an essential for anyone who wants to equip him/herself for the task, along with Alfred McCoy’s A Question of Torture.
Which is not to say I’m right about those two paragraphs, btw. But I’m just trying to point to the structure of the document and the way the content lines up with it.
I will say what I’ve said previously on EW/FDL:
CIA is a useful patsy for JSOC operations. It goes south, and the “rogue, reckless, unaccountable CIA” takes the fall.
To say that there WOULDN’T be two, separate operations within CIA is not facing reality and the facts. JSOC personnel and CIA paramilitaries (who carried out the CTC operations) are part of the three-tier revolving door:
– CIA paramilitary – gov employee
– CIA paramilitary – contractor
Some are all three. CIA routinely uses DoD aviation and facilities as cover for its operations. Pray tell: why wouldn’t the old-boys network of JSOC personnel, in employ of CIA, be running a unaccountable, unsupervised, off the books program with CIA resources?
Critical thinking is required to understand the significance of the scandal and the true participants. Blind adherence to the “CIA is rogue and acted alone” narrative will get you zero convictions. The lack of attention by the liberal blogosphere (which everyone from Jermey Scahill to Rachel Maddow to Congressional staff take cues from) on JSOC and its ties and framing of the CIA to take the floor will bite you in the ass if you guys don’t get this together.
EW: I respect you for taking the initiative and trying to expose this scandal. I would respect you much more if you would guide the blogs readership to expand their scrutiny. CIA personnel are afraid to take government subsidized travel, they did not craft this program nor execute the parts we haven’t had disclosed yet.
Take it easy on EW, as she is a prime example of sleep deprivation, trying to deal w/ this s**t 24/7 FOREVER.
As distinct from “CTC Program.”
So: CTC Program, which includes “CTC DEtention and Interrogation Program” and “EIT Program” (even though both uses EITs). But that’s probably not right.
Ok, I’m starting to understand where you’re coming from. Let’s start at the beginning, Sept. 17, 2001. The CIA gets the Presidential Finding that says go forth and catch these m’f’ers (probably not with those words, but with these yahoos, who knows). The program was interrogation AND detention. That means the black sites were contemplated from the very beginning. The military order didn’t come for two months later (after the Afghanistan war started). Yoo and Philbin were working on plans for GITMO to avoid all sorts of issues with the UCMJ and domestic law. The CIA was planning on doing everything in secret.
Now, to my first point, paragraph 3:
Why do you think that line is in the document? It’s a classic IG style critique of management. Tenet divided the responsibility. I’ll bet you 10-1 that one of the recommendations in the IG report was to consolidate the responsibility for the detention program. Also, note that it doesn’t say detention and interrogation. It says capture and detention. I see nothing in the report that suggests that any other part of the CIA was responsible for interrogation policies. The paramilitary wing of the CIA (that SKIMPYPENGUIN is talking about) was handling the takedowns, renditions, and detention of the medium value detainees. That means that the use of torture on MVDs still falls back on the CTC.
Something very important happened in January 2003 with respect to confinement guidelines. Look at the difference between the pre-2003/post-2003 interrogation guidelines vs the pre-2003/post-2003 confinement guidelines.
Confinement goes from being a ‘whatever the officer in charge thinks is right’ to you have to follow the DCI guidelines. In many ways, this is a bigger deal than the DCI guidelines for torture.
Now, go back to paragraphs 46 and 47. I just realized that the distinction being made isn’t about the topics of the briefing, but the briefers. In para 46, it’s CIA officials. In para 47, it’s DO officials. That’s not what the CIA briefing document said. It listed two briefings in Feb 2003 by the CTC, not the DO, the General Counsel and Congressional Affairs. I’m more and more convinced that Scott Muller lied through his teeth to the IG.
I’m not convinced the black sites were contemplated at the beginning. There’s still al-Libi to explain. And remember that the program initially thought of just detaining people to get them off the battle-field, or that’s what CIA conveniently claimed.
That said, I think you’re onto something with the DO observation.
Also note, the two incidents that happened not in scope of CTC program may well have been entirely DO.
ew and friar will –
(wherever and ff)
i’ve been waiting all day for this event, checking in from time to time to see if the fight had started.
what a fine debate.
i shade a bit toward friar will, though i frankly i don’t understand the details at all.
i just know from YEARS of reading (and admiring) her that emptywheel is a very competitive athlete – a very competitive intellectual athlete in this case.
as a general principle, it’s hard for me to see why any bureaucracy would have two separate torture programs.
it’s not hard for me to see why there would be an advantage to “partialling out” the program by using different acronyms. that is, after all, what dod and nsa did with their various electronic spying operations.
what a delight to read a really good, no sweet talking, debate at this site.
A Google for ISA, SSB and DCHC would illuminate our participants and lurkers alike re: parallel DoD intelligence operations. Especially if you’re interested in knowing if they overlap or explain exposed operations purported to be CIA.
you comments interst me
i’ve question based on this:
“Present day, intelligence/clandestine operations are run from three
– The Pentagon (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and DIA)
– what is ODNI?
-does “The Pentagon (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for…” have an active interest in, e.g., programs operating in, africa?
if so, how is it designated?
are you saying that
“..(Feith, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Negroponte, Cambone, Powell)…”
ALL served with ghw bush?
ODNI is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which was set up in 2005 to take the oversight and administrative responsibility away from the CIA director. The first DNI was Negroponte, who was the Ambassador to Honduras until President Reagan. He was never implicated in Iran Contra. Many think if the investigation continued he would have been connected with Casey, North, et al.
ASD(I), which is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, is a new position (2003) created by Rumsfeld. Before that, all Pentagon intelligence operations were run out of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) by a 3-star General. Rumsfeld took that away from DIA, and created another layer of bureaucracy within the Pentagon. ASD(I) is a civilian appointee and needs to be confirmed by the Senate, like other Assistant and Deputy Secretaries. Rumsfeld did this so he could put his guy (Stephen Cambone) in charge of all intelligence at the Pentagon. More importantly, Generals and Admirals who wanted to follow the law and wanted to safely retire now were powerless and had no real influence. They now had a new civilian boss who was close friends with the Secretary of Defense. Cambone was a major player in the run-up to the Iraqi Freedom.
ASD(I) would, naturally, be involved in “preparing the battlespace” anywhere we have troops. There are “lillypads” in Morocco, Ethiopia, Chad, Kenya, Eritea and Somalia. Madagascar was/is a black site. So, yes, they are involved in Africa.
You asked if “..(Feith, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Negroponte, Cambone, Powell)…” served in President HW Bush’s cabinet. They did.
Feith: Defense Science Board; Department of Defense
Cheney: Secretary of Defense; “pretend” White House Chief of Staff under FEMAs Continuity of Government program. In the event of nuclear attack, if everyone in the White House was killed, Cheney would be the Chief of Staff to the new President.
Rumsfeld: private sector, Defense Science Board, Presidential Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Negroponte: Deputy Secretary of State, Special Envoy
Cambone: private sector, defense contractor(s)
Colin Powell: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Deputy National Security Adviser under Reagan
Everyone needs to consider the following as it relates to this fiasco with the last Administration.
Many people made their mark in the Ford Administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld) and Reagan Administration (Powell, Gates, Clarke, Feith, Negroponte, even David Addington, was CIAs General Counsel/top lawyer).
They climbed the ladder and put in their time. When an influential person got on the ticket (Cheney) they were given sweetheart positions within the administration. Nobody objected at the time because they were overqualified and they wanted a strong national security team that would rival Clintons.
If you think mid-level appointees won’t be mid-level appointees or cabinet Secretaries/Directors in the next Republican administration, think again. Perfect example: Cofer Black (who founded CTC and now works for Xe/Blackwater) was Mitt Romney campaign advisor for counterterrorism. He felt so strongly about it he was willing to leave Blackwater and his 6 digit salary behind. Think about that.
Many people from the Bush years will show up in subsequent Republican (and Democratic) administrations. At some point we simply won’t have anybody with the experience that’s still alive that didn’t serve in the Clinton or Bush 43 White House/National Security Council/Pentagon.
People like Addington are fairly young and will be around for a long time. I personally think Addington will be the next National Security Advisor or Counsel to the President. Possibly the Attorney General if Palin runs, because the Republican establishment will only let her run if they get to choose the cabinet and White House/NSC staff.
skimpy @93 and 94
thank you very much for taking the time to answer in detail.
i have learned a lot in these last few minutes of reading that i had not known before.
this was especially interesting:
” ASD(I), which is the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, is a new position (2003) created by Rumsfeld. Before that, all Pentagon intelligence operations were run out of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) by a 3-star General. Rumsfeld took that away from DIA, and created another layer of bureaucracy within the Pentagon. ASD(I) is a civilian appointee and needs to be confirmed by the Senate, like other Assistant and Deputy Secretaries. Rumsfeld did this so he could put his guy (Stephen Cambone) in charge of all intelligence at the Pentagon. More importantly, Generals and Admirals who wanted to follow the law and wanted to safely retire now were powerless and had no real influence. They now had a new civilian boss who was close friends with the Secretary of Defense. Cambone was a major player in the run-up to the Iraqi Freedom.
ASD(I) would, naturally, be involved in “preparing the battlespace” anywhere we have troops. There are “lillypads” in Morocco, Ethiopia, Chad, Kenya, Eritea and Somalia. Madagascar was/is a black site. So, yes, they are involved in Africa. “
i had a feeling about this.
As we pull out of Iraq and try to figure out what to do in Afghanistan, there will be more lillypads. Not less. By definition the lillypad concept eschews large, permanent bases in favor of small airfields and logistical hubs that allow the US to project air power from the sea (aircraft carriers) and move land forces ashore (Marines) or fly them in (Army Rangers, Airborne, SOCOM). The lillypad concept is embraced by the current administration more than any other previous administration.
Guam: see here and here
Turkey: As we pull out of Iraq, everyone will go fly back to the US, Germany, South Korea or Japan via Turkey. We have already started to pull forces out of Southern Iraq and are prestaging them there.
Philippines: same as Guam, more low-key.
Myanmar: Same as Philippines and Guam.
Georgia: one word…Iran.
Uzbekistan: airfield for the Air Force and Army helicopters
Kyrgyzstan: signals intelligence station, major airfield for Air Force/CIA
Poland: can’t talk about that.
Ukraine: or that either.
Egypt: Old news
Germany: the biggest offender
Italy: second biggest offender
England: the original lillypad. SOCOM, among other people.
This might be a good moment to mention the seven new U.S. “lilypads” in Colombia? The rest of the hemisphere sees what that basing agreement is all about (as they also grasp just how seriously our government is opposed to the coup in Honduras — not very). The recent emergency meeting of UNASUR, twelve South American governments, gave Obama and his administration every opportunity to answer questions or even just provide more information. Obama declined. Those of us who’re footing the bill for the new, deeper intervention aren’t being given any more information.
Nothing has changed or is going to change in our imperial foreign policy.
You can’t move into Ecuador or Venezuela without a lillypad.
So it stands to reason the most sympathetic/supportive government in South America would let us build them under the guise of drug interdiction/eradication.
On a related note, the Navy just established the Fourth Fleet in Florida. Fourth Fleet is run by Admirals who planned and executed the amphibious campaign against Iraq in 2003 (Marines brought in on ships, and sent ashore via helicopter, with UAV, fighter/bomber and Tomahawk missile support).
Everything that I have – ever – discussed on Emptywheel is unclassified and can be confirmed via open-source. 95% of what I’ve shared was me working in the government and just paying attention. The other 5% was me asking questions and answering them myself by finding out what’s what.
This thread, even though ‘old,’ is extraordinarily interesting.
EW, you’re the cream of the cream when it comes to documentary analysis. However, you’ve got to think about the operational environment in which these documents were prepared. I think you are trying to do that, and want to encourage those efforts.
Let me offer this: we have here the interaction of both centripetal and centrifugal forces.
The centrifugal forces are represented by VP Cheney and his recurrent tactic of fragmentation, creating isolated separate command structures connected only at the top. We see them represented here in this thread perhaps by (1) JSOC teams, (2) CIA operations, (3) contractors, and maybe others, as well.
Centripetal forces are represented by the DNI, who is supposed to know what all these segments are doing, and under what authority. And maybe at a lower level, by the Director if the CIA, who is supposed to know what all the segments the CIA is involved with are doing.
The CIA IG report purports to render a unified picture of the actions of these segments, as if it were all one coherent, integrated program, even if it isn’t.
Since Cheney’s opinion of the CIA has been well known for years, he has apparently been trying to interfere with the CIA’s command structure in various ways, and segmentation is one of his favorite tools.
Therefore in analyzing the IG report, it is important to discern whether there were segmented command and control structures not adequately represented by the IG report, and the extent to which (as EW notes) there were changes in the structure and the “rules” of engagement over the years in question.
I don’t know if these observations help any, but I hope this discussion continues, because it has the potential to decode a lot of the BS that is floating around.
Bob from HI in AZ
Solid logic and conclusions.
Only flaw in what you said is the ODNI bit. ODNI was created – with Cheney’s objection – in 2005. These documents (2004) and the interrogations/black sites themselves (1990’s – 2002) predate ODNI.