Abu Zubaydah May Have Been Waterboarded MORE than 83 Times
MadDog and I just realized something that should have been apparent since August. He and I have been looking at the passage of yesterday’s document dump that refers to CIA keeping OLC informed of how many times waterboarding was used.
First, and most obvious, Jay Bybee’s 1 Aug 2002 memo to John Rizzo stated, in part, “Moreover, you have also orally informed us that although some of these techniques may be used with more than once, that repetition will not be substantial because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several repetitions.” (p. 2) and again, “You have indicated that these acts will not be used with substantial repetition, so that there is no possibility that severe physical pain could arise from such repetition.” (p. 11). The OIG review determined that Abu Zubaydah was subjected to [redacted 2 characters?] waterboard sessions, consisting of at least 83 seperate exposures [redacted sentence] assured us that he gave regular updates to DoJ (i.e. John Yoo [redacted 2-3 words] at OLC) during this time frame, and DoJ was aware of the real numbers, but we were never able to verify this with DoJ, as INV management at the time elected not to interview witnesses outside the building. In addition to the disparity in numbers, the method of water application as recorded on the tapes was at odds with the Bybee opinion… [MadDog’s transcription and emphasis]
Now, here’s what the IG Report itself said about how they came up with that number, 83. (It’s worth actually looking at this passage–on PDF 41-42; this entire discussion appears in one paragraph in the “Videotapes on Interrogations” section.)
OIG reviewed the videotapes, logs, and cables [redacted] in May 2003. OIG identified 83 waterboard applications most of which lasted less than 10 seconds.
[4-5 lines redacted]
OIG found 11 interrogation tapes to be blank. Two others were blank except for one or two minutes of recording. Two others were broken and could not be reviewed. OIG compared the videotapes to logs and cables and identified a 21-hour period of time which included two waterboard sessions that was not captured on the videotapes.
That is, they got the number 83 from not just the videotapes, but also the logs and cables. That’s because the IG couldn’t have gotten the total number of waterboard applications from the videos. As the IG Report makes clear in the same paragraph that first mentions the number 83, two entire sessions of waterboarding should have appeared on the tapes that were taped over or otherwise damaged.
Remember the context of this. CIA’s Office of General Counsel had, in November-December 2002, reviewed the tapes, purportedly to make sure they matched the guidance the interrogators had gotten from Langley and the cables they sent reporting on the interrogation. Yet, as the IG team had discovered during their investigation, the lawyer who conducted that review (according to the WaPo, John McPherson) hadn’t actually compared the guidance to what appeared in the videos. When the IG did a review themselves in May 2003, they discovered that the waterboarding in the video did not match the guidance. Perhaps that’s the only reason the IG Report seems skeptical about the self-reported number that appeared in the log and cables describing the two sessions not videotaped. Or perhaps the IG review of the videotapes had discovered a discrepancy between the numbers shown in the videos and those reported up the chain of command (which might be what the discussion in the four redacted lines is).
The bigger story remains that Abu Zubaydah’s torturers appear to have taped over or otherwise destroyed video of two of their waterboarding sessions. But one of the things that obscures about AZ’s treatment is the number of times he was actually waterboarded.
So, 183 is a base number for KSM?
Thanks EW (and MadDog)for an important post.
Back to the topic at hand: it’s appalling we waterboarded anyone over a hundred times. It’s a testament to EW’s sleuthing we have these nuggets to begin with, and we’re bound to turn up more incriminating information they hoped to obscure with the redaction process.
If even some of the waterboard sessions that weren’t taped over went beyond the written guidelines, just how bad must the erased ones be? Those two sessions are the ones to really look for. Are there electronic copies of the video of those two sessions? (Hint, look in the man-sized safes of Cheney and Addington…)
Unfortunately, there was lots of black smoke spewing from the Old Executive office building that day of the Cheney office fire.
I’m starting to think that fire really was an accident. The DOJ has successfully stonewalled most document requests until the SOL expired, he knows how to use a shredder himself, and it ain’t like he was afraid of criminal prosecution over something that happened to a scary brown moslem.
Boxturtle (Is it possible that Dick is really dead and his ghost is possessing Obama? Or Rahm?)
Have you seen Rahm and cheney in the same picture ever ?
Is Rahm a slimmed down cheney with a rubber mask?
Naw, they did a Vulcan Mind Meld on ObamaRahma.
Bob in AZ
After the first 83 waterboards, what’s one or two dozen more amongst friends?
Boxturtle (Scary brown Moslems don’t have rights)
The more it was done, the more the Decider felt like a real man.
There were a lot of jokes about VCR this, and technology fail that in the comments yesterday. But now the joke is on those commenters.
This is not against you, Jim, but there is no digital video. There are no backups. It was on old-school VHS tapes for a reason. They were to be kept in Thailand away from prying eyes. No one wanted them in the states and no one asked.
Anything depicted on the tapes went above and beyond the torture sanctioned by the OLC and the WH. That was the point. The things on tape were so far beyond the pale that OGA didn’t feel it had appropriate legal cover, so they destroyed them. If you haven’t caught on yet, and you’re asking yourself what that could be, ask Emptywheel or MadDog.
People need to set aside their indignation and look at it objectively as you pour through the documents and cables. You did not write them; they did. If you are not in their frame of mind, you’ll never understand the way they think. They live on the edge, and act accordingly. If you tell them something previously prosecutable by a Republican President as a war crime is now legal, of course they’re going to push the envelope.
Everything they concealed, or tried to conceal, is because it exceeded the OLC memos. That’s the point. Think like them: you already have blanket approval to waterboard a guy. What can you do beyond waterboarding that stays between you and the other paramilitaries in the room? That’s how these guys think. No one will know. We control what is taped, and what is not. We draft the cables that give the policymakers information about what exactly it is that we’re doing. So we’ll do what we want, outsource the rest and tie it up in a bow when we draft the cable or call in.
I’ve always believed that we need people willing to go that far working for the USG. Willing, but never eager. They should never be encouraged or ordered to go that far. It should never be official policy. But they should be willing to cross some lines to support the national security objectives of the United States.
And that’s the greatest travesty of Yoo and the Office of Legal Counsel/Addington’s involvement. They made what should be extra-legal, legal. So it’s only natural the paramilitary types would take it one step beyond that [waterboarding]. Slicing his testicles off. Notching his ear. Burying a guy alive. This should surprise no one.
Waterboarding is a war crime. Everyone in the military is taught that and we all know that to be true. The instant the campaign was mounted to reinterpret that, America lost its moral standing. And, from a strategic and militaristic perspective, it has made it harder to counter asymmetric threats in the future.
Thanks to Marcy, MadDog and all the others like crossword who keep the torch alive in these dark times.
I hope you don’t mind CW if I join your choir on this one.
I didn’t jump in here this morning expecting to see EW give me a compliment – talk about a sweet bonus. *g*
I really jumped on EW’s this a.m. to comment about something I went to sleep thinking about last night.
And that was a different comment I posted yesterday.
I hope no one will mind if I reproduce it here with some more commentary because it has a very strong connection to the comment you wrote and I quoted above:
When I wrote my comment yesterday, I wanted to emphasize a couple of things.
Folks should really understand that the passage I grabbed from Part 3 is from a very senior “unknown” CIA executive working at the very highest levels of the organization who is documenting for the number 3 CIA executive Dusty Foggo a summary of a conversation the very senior “unknown” CIA executive had with the number 1 CIA executive Porter Goss.
And in that conversation summary, the very senior “unknown” CIA executive makes the seminal point, in fookin’ writing no less to the number 3 CIA executive Dusty Foggo, that some other very senior “unknown” CIA person most probably “lied” to Jose A. Rodriguez, Director of the National Clandestine Service about senior CIA management approval for destroying the videotapes.
Think about what this really means.
To me, it says that at the most senior levels of the CIA, there is the real and normal expectation that the senior folks at the CIA will lie to each other as a matter of course!
The CIA’s “culture of deception” is so all-encompassing that it’s imbued into their genetics.
Lying is what they do, and the fact that they lie to each other is taken as the norm.
I was thinking about that comment last night too. I want to know who the unnamed executive is too.
MD 13 and LOO @17: My thts [[[ ]]] on that “to DustyFoggo” extract…
Dusty – ok – on the Zubaydah tapes – – I am no longer feeling comfortable.[[[from legal?, who seems not to have actually read cable]]]
While I understand [[[legal fawning?]]] Jose’s ‘decision’ [[[…to destroy? why not just plain decision, not ‘decision’?]]] (and believe [[[not see them?]]] the tapes were bad news) I was just told by Rizzo that [redacted] DID NOT concur on the cable – it was never discussed with him [this is perhaps worse news, in that we [[[legal fawning, instead of “you”]]] may have ‘improperly’ [[[thus W/O auth? fawning, inadvertant overt]]]destroyed something [[[coy,plural tapes]]] ). In fact, it is unclear now whether the [halfway redacted 2 characters – IG [[[anomaly]]] ] did as well. [[[did what? “concur” or “improperly destroyed something”?]]]
Cable was apparently drafted by [redacted 4-6 characters] and released by Jose; they are [[[sic]]] only two names on it [[[cable’s author and Jose?]]], so I am told [[[“I” did not see it]]] by Rizzo. Either [redacted 4-6 characters] lied to Jose about ‘clearing’ [[[the cable?]]]with [redacted word] and [halfway redacted 2 characters – IG] (my bet) or Jose misstated the facts. (It is not without relevance that [redacted 4-6 characters] figured prominently in the tapes, as [redacted 4-6 characters [[[3? “she”?]]] was in charge of [redacted word] at the time and clearly would want the tapes destroyed.) Rizzo is clearly upset, because he was on the hook to notify Harriet Miers of the status of the tapes because it was she who asked to be advised before any action was taked. Apparently, Rizzo called Harriet this afternoon and she was livid, which he said was actually unusual for her. Rizzo does not think this is likely to just go away. Rizzo has advised [redacted 3-4 characters] of this latest ‘wrinkle.’ Sounds like we will regroup on Monday…
Reads like was written by s/o from legal.
Your suggested “lied” party may be a “she”, as in redacted 3 characters. Compare length of redact with “she” [in Harriet Miers sentence…”was she who”…]. Note both examples are prefaced/followed identically with same letters “s” and “w” which proves spacing count.
Reference conversation seems to be between author “I” and Rizzo, not Goss.
Very last redact possibly “DCI”.
If you remember Richard Helms’ testimony under oath to the Church Committee he stated that he felt it to be the duty of CIA to lie whether under oath or not. Why think they wouldn’t lie to each other? There’s no honor among thieves.
I knew when Dubya appointed Porter Goss, former Op40 assassin in Latin America along with Bernard Barker, Felix Rodriguez, and Frank Fiorini (Sturgis) that Goss was being put in place to do a clean up of whatever evidence was around that could implicate people in crimes.
How come he’s never been confronted by any committees?
Yes. They wanted to make it “legal” to be “working on the dark side”…legal to BE the monsters:
And because these monsters looked too “long into the abyss”,the rest of US are free falling into it, as well.
At least, that’s how it feels to me.
I will buy your description of what the tradecraft should have been, but it’s long been a point of speculation in some parts that there was some sort of essentially “live” feed from the black sites to the sick bastards who put this program into place in the first place. Just as MadDog points out that the highest level CIA folks expected to be lied to by one another, adherence to proper security practices was not a concern to Cheney, Bush or Addington (ask Valerie Plame). If the proceedings were “fed” to an undisclosed location in the US, I’d bet on electronic copies of those feeds.
I could see a Working Group within the NSC, safeguarded by
obscuritythe requirement you be read into that specific Special Access Program.
A modern day iteration of the TIWG, if you will.
I think this is a reasonable assumption.
Just saw this (and I’ve probable reached my limit for comment spamming — not that that is my intent), but should interest readers:
Zubaydah’s Torture, Detention Subject of Senate Intelligence Inquiry, from Jason Leopold at Truthout
And if there were electronic copies made I bet that they still exist. The sick, arrogant bastards are probably holding onto them as “souvenirs” or “trophies” just like serial killers hold onto theirs. It enables them to relive their feelings of power over and over again. Remember how Bush kept Sadaam’s pistol?
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,644112,00.html#ixzz0lNRgoAX0
TF-121 captured Saddam. This is the same task force that was caught bringing gold-plated AKs back to the states as trophies on my 2004-2005 deployment.
CBP, of course, looked the other way.
“And if there were electronic copies made I bet that they still exist. The sick, arrogant bastards are probably holding onto them as “souvenirs” or “trophies” just like serial killers hold onto theirs. It enables them to relive their feelings of power over and over again. Remember how Bush kept Sadaam’s pistol?”
Cheney has to get off somehow.
It makes no sense that they would have had just one video camera running and one tape deck, not for something as important as this. They would have wanted a backup available if something went wrong with the other equipment, at the very least. They may have had VCR’s on premises just to copy tapes. (I worked over 20 years ago in a job where we had to video interviews, and we certainly had such a setup.) Other types of video feeds or uses are another possibility, as you point out, but without anyone talking or other evidence, we’re simply left with speculation. (There was the mention of other “magnetic media” however.)
Thank you. (And IntelVet too)
Made me think of:
Actually, your point fits with EW’s posts on David Passaro. My thought was that Passaro had actually been briefed on the Yoo Memos and guidelines and read them like any person of the type you’re describing, as a carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to do. I his case, it was delivering a fatal blow to Ahmed Wali’s abdomen, probably rupturing Wali’s intestine leading to his subsequent, septic death. Passaro wanted the Yoo materials to approve his “unleashing,” which didn’t sit very well with the C.I.A.
I don’t think he had the documents from OLC before the Wali death, or even before his indictment (though Bybee One was leaked just before he was indicted). But I do think he had internal CIA documents which were probably even more permissive.
I disagree. You believe that as long as certain things are kept in the shadows, and not institutionalized, then that’s okay. However, that may be, among other things, that is a static view of history, and immoral.
The U.S. tried to keep these kinds of things (torture, assassinations) in the shadows for decades, with some degree of success. But as the project of worldwide operations grew, and began to experience generational change, the operations of this parastate (as J. Patrice McSherry calls it), or parallel covert state, became institutionalized.
As a result, the parastate, or covert actions of the state, began to bleed over into the institutions of the overt state, until the two became merged together. The normal state apparatus became more and more compromised by the actions of the shadowy state operators; they exchanged leaderships (ex-CIA leaders as President); and the doctrines and ideologies of the parastate infected and took over that of the normal state, and through the latter, infected civil society as a whole.
There is no way to bottle up evil. As the intelligence services and special operations military convinced themselves that extralegal methods were acceptable, even preferred, they carried that point of view into the non-covert world.
Frankly, it was not John Yoo, Jay Bybee or David Addington, or even Dick Cheney that created the torture program. That program predated the political lives of these individuals. While one cannot alibi these individuals, who must be responsible for their actions and choices, if none of them had existed, the program and behaviors they pushed would have happened to some degree anyway. The larger social, institutional, organizational and cultural forces are what is determinative.
It may not be too late to turn things around, but it will be awfully difficult, and significantly disruptive to the society. It will be the Sixties and Seventies at a higher pitch. I believe people instinctively understands this and feel paralyzed (currently) in taking on such a large historical endeavor. But I also believe that U.S. society will revolt rather than accept some version of Operation Condor turned inward into the supposedly democratic states. And that is not hyperbole, because as the United States pursues its military agenda, and with it the spreading of the use of assassination and torture and indefinite detention (and Obama has certainly not ended the latter), and the endless militarism continues to immiserate the society propping it up, increased political and social repression in the “homeland” is guaranteed.
So, no, I don’t accept your premises. The OSS were brave people, fighting a terrible enemy. Their grandchildren are cruel, ignorant, lost individuals, who have adopted an ideology of hubris and control by elites. In the end, they will lose.
The use of torture and assassination was key. The U.S. lost its moral compass when they adopted this as SOP, even when it was kept secret. It started with Bluebird, or even before, with the covert war in Greece after WWII, perhaps, or the assembly of the secret stay-behind fascistic armies. Don’t blame those who finally thought it was cool to institutionalize it all — hold them responsible, yes, but the die was cast long ago, and there is no way back without fundamental change.
The part of crossword’s comment that I also meant to quote, to make my comment make more sense:
I should say I respect crossword’s contributions in the many thread here, it’s just that I disagree with this aspect of his POV. If I have been incorrect in how I understood that, I’m sure I’ll hear that.
We will agree to disagree.
When I read your 2nd paragraph “no digital video,…no backup, …old school VHS for a reason”, I felt a little giggle rising within because I’ve long thought the same thing (and the idea of live-streaming video too select locations, to implausible to consider). But you state these things (and others in previous comments) as if you know them to be facts, rather than speculation. Your writing style makes it appear that we here are like Bob Woodwards in a parking garage being informed by Deepthroat about the inside scoop on reality. I suppose I should be glad you’re here if that is the case. However my scientific training suppresses that giggle of delight pending assurance that what is being issued is fact, and not overconfident speculation. So without intending to be rude, I must ask: How do you know these things?
I’ll quote Jeff Kaye himself:
“I’ve always believed that we need people willing to go that far working for the USG. Willing, but not eager. It should never be official policy. But they should be willing to cross some lines to support the national security objective of the United States”.
These words of yours drew comment from Dr Kaye, but I have a different take on them. It appears that you view a need to have some who are not bound by the rule of law, not officially, of course, but kept in secret cages to be let out to “cross some lines” (break some laws) when “needed”. The need being to protect and defend the US national security, rather than the constitution of the US. The constitution is our written code of conduct; it’s not just words for the kiddies to live by till they “mature” enough to see things as you do, and then accept the “needed” exceptions. The problem here is that your view has the national security taking precedence over the national reason for being; the constitutional entity which does, like a person, require protection, but also requires the opportunity to exist. Your band of the willing are incompatible with that. On this I imagine we also must disagree.
I can’t be anymore exasperated by your interpretation of what I took ample time to spell out, but yes, we disagree.
Just one whistle blower. One Daniel Ellsberg type. Someone with a conscience
Good comment. And I will add one other consideration, although I have no clue as to whether it came into play here or not – my guess would be probably not – and that is many experts in the field of criminal interrogation have previously argued analog VHS is preferable forensically for documentation of custodial interrogations due to it being easier to determine whether there has been corruption, editing, cutting and/or other mischief than with digital media. Obviously, for the very reasons you state, there is about zero chance evidentiary preservation and/or chain of custody were in the thoughts of these interrogators, but it nevertheless was the best practice in the general field for a very long time. There are many law enforcement agencies who continued to use VHS for taping of interrogations long into the digital age for this exact reason, and some still do although it seems to finally be phasing out; I assume because the hardware and media just are not regularly sold and commonly and easily available as they used to be.
I’m not buying the less then ten second BS. If that true he would learn to hold his breath that long. The thing with goons a little defiance results in a disproportional aggressive response, I think it’s a control thingy .
It seems certain now the contents of most all the tapes are out there.
Somebody keep their insurance policy on a CD or two.
EW, you’ve really made my day!
I was thinking yesterday after typing that comment – “Man o’ man, this just can’t be what I’m seeing. Just can’t! EW is gonna come along (thank doG she’s flying right now and can’t see this), and say, no, no MD this is old news! and I’ll think – Jiminy crickets! my Swiss cheese memory…again. *g*
So, what a relief to see your post this morning. I should probably pinch myself to make sure I’m really awake. LOL!
ONCE is too much and failure to prosecute is almost as big a crime as the torture itself.
Who is worse: The crook who commits the crime, the lawyer who enables him to get away with it, or the president who has more important things to do.
Boxturtle (Hint: They could all be the same person!)
The torture was performed by only a few individuals; the failure to prosecute and the implicit approval that bestows is a crime committed by our entire society.
After the first 50 the rest must be for the amusement of the torturers and the destroyed tapes probably showed their excitement.
What evidence is there for that vulgar speculation?
Try the tapes of the helicopter gunners who chuckled while they were shooting the people in the van and looking for more targets. Hoping the wounded would find a weapon so they could finish them off.
Even assuming that had a correct count for the number of times they had waterboarded AZ, it seems unlikely the professional obfuscators at CIA would have revealed it to their bureaucratic interrogators. This is the same crew, after all, that first claimed only two tapes had been erased, then several, then, gosh, 92 tapes were blank.
Misanthropy is a generalized dislike, distrust, disgust, contempt, or hatred of the human species. I am a misanthrope. Our species is guilty of torture, war and slavery. We need another great flood. I hope the next one gets ALL of us. Have a nice day.
Goodness! My granny would have said that you need a good dose of castor oil. I hope your outlook improves.
We also feed the poor and the homeless. We rebuild burned homes and churches. Not to mention the hundreds of acts of kindness shared.
We need another great flood.
And low-speed long-distance passenger rail…you left that out.
Let that sink in. It goes to whether CIA had an accurate count and whether a session counted because it was short or quickly followed an earlier one.
More importantly, in terms of our treatment of people we imprison without legal recourse, it highlights the contrived legal focus on a “treatment” technique’s effectiveness in obtaining information rather than on what it does to the person we are using it on.
Why might the effectiveness of a technique wear off? In the Marathon Man, it wore off because the torturer dentist painfully destroyed the nerve in the first tooth he manipulated. He needed to drill into another tooth whose nerve was still alive, to inflict more pain in hopes of getting an answer to his question, “Is it safe?”.
Effectiveness can also wear off because the finger has been broken or cut off, or because the face or fingers or genital have become numb to the pain, or because the person being abused expects it or is less sensitive to that particular kind of pain.
What we land animals never become used to doing without, however, is air to breath. Which is what makes waterboarding so continuously effective.
“Two others were broken and could not be reviewed”.
What means “broken”? …And “could not be reviewed”? Ordinarily, an explanation be added for clarity…if clarity was intended.
Any tape can be “reviewed”, if only frame by frame or in intermittent patches. Broken, like cut into a million pieces? Twisted by tank treads?
Great questions. So simple, yet quite an important question.
Given the language in the interview on this, I think it was ripped, so you couldn’t put it in the player to play.
You know, it would be refreshing to see some of you on the left spend as much time dissecting the tactics of the enemy as you do dissecting our tactics. You seem to be unaware of FDR and his policy, which Bush only continued, of fighting fire with fire.
> dissecting the tactics of the enemy
That is exactly what’s going on here.
So, you must be of the opinion that America is your enemy.
And… a second taping system!
Well, there ya go. There is more than one camera original for every session then.
Getting back to the evidence search requests issue from the previous post, there are at least three versions of that recording-to-external-HDs scenario, all of which raise where’s-the-evidence-and-is-it-only-magnetic questions:
(1) Use a fresh HD for every session recording. Now, where did the drives go after the recordings were made? (This would be magnetic.)
(2) Re-use a fixed set of one or more HDs, deleting old session recordings to make room for new ones, like a TiVo. Now, how do we know nobody made backup or archive copies of the recordings before the recordings got deleted, like a TiVo that writes DVDs? We don’t. (Such copies could have been made to additional HDs, or to optical media.) (The rewritten drives would be magnetic; so would copies made to HD though those wouldn’t necessarily be findable any more since they might have slipped into other parties’ hands; CD/DVD would be optical, not mechanical, and again wouldn’t necessarily be findable any more.)
(3) If the live session video was going directly into a computer to get recorded, then how do we know that that computer wasn’t also streaming it out over a live communication link (possibilities include but are not limited to internet or some other, perhaps encrypted, feed). Copies could exist at the receiving end of the link, or from tapping the link, wouldn’t necessarily be findable, and could be either magnetic or not.
So… what do you guys make of it?
This was in 2002 and 2003.
Not sure what your point is, can you be a little more specific? External HDs, writable optical media, and video-streaming-capable internet connections existed then.
It’s probably 119.
I wrote about this a couple of months back:
Very nice. Thanks for linking to that.
There’s a August 4, 2004 cable to Daniel Levin that actually lays out much higher amounts for waterboarding. I’m about to head out, but I’ll try to dig it up again. It might suggest a different#, though I like the detail on Ashcroft.
And of course, the detail that Ashcroft had would suggest maybe DOJ WAS kept in the loop on the actual number of waterboardings.
It may be that even Kevin’s estimate on AZ’s waterboarding is still too low.
From Part 1 page 4 (28 page PDF) in October 2002:
This may mean that there were more than both the 83 and more than the 119 that Kevin posits.
If a single videotape was reused over and over again for AZ’s waterboard sessions beginning in October 2002, and in addition, those CIA/CIA contractors as notetakers were describing a waterboard session instead of the individual applications of the waterboarding, OGA reviewing attorney John McPherson (as well as CIA IG Helgerson’s team) may have had no real clue what they were attempting to document on waterboarding.
The actual number of waterboarding instances that AZ underwent may in fact be closer to the 183 that KSM underwent (and who’s to say that the KSM 183 number is accurate either).
I’m sorry you’re exasperated. I looked back to see if I had indeed misinterpreted you. I note 2 things. First, I see that Jeff Kaye was responding to a different paragraph entirely.
Second, these are your words. “…you already have blanket approval to waterboard a guy. What can you do beyond waterboarding that stays between you and the other paramilitaries in the room? That’s how these guys think. No one will know. We can control what is taped and what is not. We draft the cables that give the policymakers information about what we’re doing. So we’ll do what we want, outsource the rest and tie it up in a bow when we draft the cable or call it in.”
“I always believed that we need people willing to go that far working for the USG.”
What other interpretation can one make of this, of your beliefs? Then to slide into a whine about your “exasperation” is an irrelevant dodge, just like the one @ 47 where you claim to authoritatively know things but “can’t” discuss the foundation of that knowledge, is, if you’ll pardon the expression, exasperating to anyone seeking an intelligent discourse on the relevant facts of our civic life.
#54 supposed to be a reply to crossword @ 50. Somehow lost the connection during writing.
I was responding to the totality of the comment, but especially the paragraph I initially quoted, and another one, which you, thankfully, noticed, which I mentioned @38.
I think, as CW already said, we’ll have to agree to disagree with him. If, for his own reasons and political beliefs, wishes to contribute to stop torture, and make the torturers accountable, I’m all for that. But I needed to be clear about what I think of the particular way he believes we can get the genie back into the bottle. Also, it gave me an opportunity to make some larger political comments that I’ve been dwelling on these last weeks and months.
I appreciate your comments on his statements.
American government, at times, does great harm to those it claims to serve. Corrupt tax policies, wars, subsidies to major polluters, outright lies, graft and corruption do exist and harm the majority of Americans to enrich a few. It is deceptive to posit this in terms of America being its own enemy. As do people, it encompasses corrupt behavior as well as mutually beneficial behavior.
No one can know what’s in another’s heart. It is the act, the overt behavior, that needs to be regulated or redirected, not the thing or the person.
One question: Did we or did we not obtain useful information from the three monsters that we water boarded, while Bush was President? From what I can ascertain, we did, thus saving American lives. The way I see it, if enhanced interrogation can only be authorized by the President of the United States, I see no problem with using it. I would have concerns if it could be authorized by anyone but the President.
What an odd perspective. The one person in the world I would never want to be able to excuse himself from any requirement of the US Constitution would be the POTUS. A person would have to be a right psychopath to want that kind of power+freedom combo.
Odd perspective? Why? The US constitution specifically allows the Commander in Chief, actually requires, him, to defend this country and it’s citizens against those who seek to attack us. According to the Constitution, that is the Commander in Chiefs primary function. Are you not aware of this? By your post, I would say you are willfully ignorant of the primary function the Federal Government.
This type of Power should “flow” from the top, down, not from the bottom, up. No one but the President should have the power to authorize enhanced interrogation.
That is a completely false; it says nothing of the kind. If you want to spew your bunk, please at least be informed, accurate and truthful; otherwise take your crap somewhere else.
So, you don’t believe the primary function of the commander in chief is to protect this country, and it’s people, against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. What a strange belief system you seem to operate under.
No, I think the oath and duties of the President, like other officers, is to defend the Constitution. In fact, the oath reads:
The phrase “from all enemies foreign and domestic”, by the way, also refers to defense of the Constitution and is generally contained in oaths of the military and immigrants acquiring citizenship. The language and thought you mindlessly misrepresent to people here does not exist in the Constitution at all. Quit making false assertions about that which you clearly do not know or go elsewhere. And that is an official warning.
Get him, bmaz. I get the distinct impression he’s military and regurgitating neoconservative propaganda.
& @ 73, where I think you have one extra word on your last sentence.
We were able to use waterboarding Zubaydah to “confirm” the falsehood that al-Libi was a member of the al-Qaeda governing group. It was a lie we obtained via torture, but useful to help validate the information that we obtained from the Egyptian waterboarding and live burial torture of al-Libi. After that, al-Libi offered up the falsehood that Iraq was training al-Qaeda.
So we validatd the torture of al-Libi with the torture of Zubaydah to get the sequential lies that we then shared with the UN as if they had not been obtained from torture – and we sent Americans to lose their lives and their limbs and their minds in war in Iraq, and we visited death and destruction and turned millions into refugees in Iraq.
That’s some of what we got for our torture. Apparently, you’re a satisfied customer. God help you.
So, how does one go about defending the country? By taking away the commander in chief’s power to order enhanced interrogation? I don’t think so.
I think bmaz got the question absolutely correct in all regards, as he often does, and it appears you concede his point.
Your question @73 appears to presuppose that the powers the Constitution invests in the President aren’t sufficient for defending the country. I’m pretty sure that few here would agree with that position, so before answering your question, would you care to support your position there for us? I always welcome the opportunity to learn more.
Thanks, bmaz, for redirecting attention to the Constitution as the prime directive.
Those who mistakenly think the oath is to support the President, and his role in defending the country, are defending the royalist “l’etat, c’est moi” line of the French King. They are confused about first principles.
Bob in AZ