Joshua Claus: The Rape Threat and the Dead Detainees

Jim White catalogued some of the hesitancy among the traditional media (and, frankly, the blogosphere) to highlight the precise piece of news that DOD banned four reporters from Gitmo over: the name of the witness dubbed Interrogator #1 who testified at the Omar Khadr hearing the other day, Joshua Claus. Kudos to HuffPo and CNN for refusing to accept DOD’s censorship by printing Claus’ name.

Joshua Claus, Joshua Claus, Joshua Claus.

Froomkin aptly describes DOD’s ridiculous demand that reporters not report on a name that is in the public domain as a demand for amnesia:

Jack Newfield, the legendary investigative reporter, once wrote that if government officials had their way, journalists would be “stenographers with amnesia.”

The “amnesia” part, at least, was generally considered a bit of an exaggeration.

But now, the Pentagon has banned four reporters from covering the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because they refused to forget something that had already been reported to the world.

But DOD claims it is doing something different: making sure that Joshua Claus, whose role in the Dilawar killing has been documented, is not connected to this week’s hearing.

Pentagon officials said it didn’t matter that Claus’ name was already widely known.

“If his name was out there, it was not related to this hearing. Identifying him with Interrogator No. 1 was the problem,” Lapan said.

Which really ought to encourage those of us who would like to confound DOD”s attempt at censorship to focus on what new information can now be connected to Joshua Claus: specifically, that the same guy involved in the killing of the Afghan taxi driver Dilawar also implicitly threatened Omar Khadr with rape.

Both Steven Edwards and Michelle Shepherd (who are both among the journalists banned on Thursday) previously reported that Claus conducted most of Khadr’s interrogations at Bagram. Both raised the question whether Khadr was subjected to the same kind of abuse Claus used on other detainees, most of all Dilawar, who died after abuse in US custody. But in his on-the-record interview with Shepherd, Claus insisted that Khadr wasn’t subject to any of that same kind of abuse.

In the first interview he has given since leaving the army, Joshua Claus told the Toronto Star that he feels he has been unfairly portrayed concerning his work as an interrogator at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan.

“They’re trying to imply I’m beating or torturing everybody I ever talked to,” Claus said by telephone yesterday. “I really don’t care what people think of me. I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do.”


Claus was 21 at the time, and the assignment was his first deployment. But he said yesterday it was unfair to compare his interrogation of Khadr to that of Dilawar or the other detainees.

“Omar was pretty much my first big case,” Claus said, noting that they’d talk for six to eight hours a day. “With Omar I spent a lot of time trying to understand who he was and what I could say to him or do for him, whether it be to bring him extra food or get a letter out to his family … I needed to talk to him and get him to trust me.”

He said he was trying to find a “symbiotic relationship” with Khadr, who was 15 at the time of his capture.

Claus wants us (or at least wanted us) to believe a “symbiotic relationship” existed between him and Khadr. And that’s, frankly, how DOD would like it to remain, with Claus’ denials that Khadr was subject to any of the same abusive treatment that Claus used on others.

Only, we come to learn that as part of that “symbiotic relationship,” Claus told Khadr a story that might lead him to believe if he didn’t give Claus what Claus wanted, he might be sent to a US prison and exposed to rape and possibly even death.

“I told him a fictitious story we had invented when we were there,” Interrogator #1 said. It was something “three or four” interrogators at Bagram came up with after learning that Afghans were “terrified of getting raped and general homosexuality, things of that nature.” The story went like this:

Interrogator #1 would tell the detainee, “I know you’re lying about something.” And so, for an instruction about the consequences of lying, Khadr learned that lying “not so seriously” wouldn’t land him in a place like “Cuba” — meaning, presumably, Guantanamo Bay — but in an American prison instead. And this one time, a “poor little 20-year-old kid” sent from Afghanistan ended up in an American prison for lying to an American. “A bunch of big black guys and big Nazis noticed the little Afghan didn’t speak their language, and prayed five times a day — he’s Muslim,” Interrogator #1 said. Although the fictitious inmates were criminals, “they’re still patriotic,” and the guards “can’t be everywhere at once.”

“So this one unfortunate time, he’s in the shower by himself, and these four big black guys show up — and it’s terrible something would happen — but they caught him in the shower and raped him. And it’s terrible that these things happen, the kid got hurt and ended up dying,” Interrogator #1 said. “It’s all a fictitious story.”

“It’s all a fictitious story,” a natural part of any “symbiotic relationship,” right? And those threats of rape and death have nothing to do with an environment in which detainees did die, at Claus’ hand (among others), right?

If we take DOD at its word that the big problem with naming Joshua Claus as Interrogator #1 even after he has been named as Khadr’s primary interrogator at Bagram in the past, then the big problem must be connecting the content of Claus’ testimony at this week’s hearing–that he threatened Khadr with rape–with the general climate of abusiveness which led to the deaths of two detainees.

Remember, DOD is arguing that Khadr’s admissions after he heard this story implicitly threatening rape and possibly death were untainted by abuse. That’s the whole point of this hearing. That claim is much harder to sustain if we also know that the same guy who threatened rape went on to contribute to another detainee’s death.

All the more reason to make that connection clear.

66 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The hearing is being conducted as if it were part of an overall legal defense of the Bush and now Obama conduct of the war and its treatment of prisoners. Obama is treating Bush as an insider and defending his administration’s conduct as if he were a Congressional incumbent facing a primary challenge from a DFH. The incumbent’s actual record is irrelevant: he is to be shielded from challenge because he is an incumbent, or in this case, a past president.

    Actual justice for detainees? Not so important, despite the public prosecutor’s explicit duty to seek justice, not just a guilty verdict. But then these tribunals are not “regularly constituted” courts. That presents Obama a legal no-win, since he is unlikely to win in any credible appeals process, even were he to get the verdict he desires at the tribunal level.

    As Scott Horton has said, the only upside for Obama is to negotiate a “settlement”, a plea agreement that buries the defense’s critical arguments of Khadr’s treatment. A critical, on the record assessment of that treatment would open more than an ugly can of worms for an administration desperately afraid to look back. Remember what happened to Lott’s wife must be the administration’s private motto. Cowards.

  2. skdadl says:

    I just don’t follow the DoD’s logic. Many people knew enough about Khadr’s story — or could have read enough in several places, beginning with the wiki — to know before JOSHUA CLAUS testified that the person called Interrogator 1 whose appearance was being predicted would be JOSHUA CLAUS. i actually have a record of doing that on a discussion board, commenting on a link to a Rosenberg report that does not name JOSHUA CLAUS but says that Interrogator 1 will be up next day. How could Lapan seriously think that no one would make the connection, even beforehand, between Interrogator 1 and JOSHUA CLAUS?

    *Sorry — hit the submit before I’d finished. Will come back to finish comment.

    • emptywheel says:

      I actually think it’d be worthwhile for you to do a Seminal Diary making just that point. That DOD thinks YOU’RE stupid if they think this kind of censorship could work.

      • skdadl says:

        Y’know, I think one problem is that secretly they know (and it makes them rilly angry) that we are actually smart. I mean, critics like you and Rosenberg and Shephard and Ackerman are the smartest, but it must scare them to realize how many ordinary relatively smart people there are watching every clumsy counterproductive move they make. They’re never going to admit that; they resent us too much for being smart, and they’ve got the power to brush us off and plough ahead. But they know, and it bugs them.

        I don’t know whether Spencer would do this, but I would love to hear from him what kind of vibes he and the other reporters were picking up from their handlers at GTMO. I mean, you know what journalists are like: they aren’t exactly in uniform; they don’t all have perfect posture, and they don’t move obediently in straight lines. I can understand that he might not want to talk about the culture wars yet, since he and others need to be going back for the trials, but from Capt Murphy’s outburst on Friday especially I picked up the feeling that the DoD people are close to seething at the way this show trial is going all pear-shaped on them, seen through the eyes of uppity civilians who persist in running on a little critical intelligence.

        I’ll think about it, EW, although I am just so easy for the DoD to dismiss. I know that’s not the point, but still.

        • timbo says:

          This is a really good point. Not only that but there have to not a few people in the military who do not appreciate the fact that the military is being ordered to act in violation of Geneva in this and many other situations. Given that there are going to be some legal eagles on the military side, some of whom have still not resigned their commissions in the optimistic belief that they can mitigate some of the injustices occurring here, the moral and tensions all over these military commissions, and associated military units, must be pretty intense.

  3. skdadl says:

    Further, one of Khadr’s lawyers, either Coburn or the military lawyer (forgive my bad memory — I’ll go back and check later), grilled JOSHUA CLAUS at this hearing about his conviction for abuse at Bagram. It’s a memorable grilling because JOSHUA CLAUS came back at the attorney with that whiny line about the abuse of which he’d been convicted representing “only two and a half minutes of his life” when he lost it.

    Maybe the actual case and the victims were not named, but the connection between Khadr’s interrogation and the physical abuse was made on the record in this commission.

    So Lapan is talking through his hat.

  4. TarheelDem says:

    After this:

    A bunch of big black guys and big Nazis noticed the little Afghan didn’t speak their language

    we have this:

    and these four big black guys show up

    Claus’s racist frame is unmistakable. This says a lot of interesting things about Claus’s fantasy life.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      Absolutely, and I’m glad you pointed it out. I’ve been thinking the same thing, and it’s stunning this hasn’t been pointed out more. It’s totally racist.

  5. klynn says:

    Let me just add that the mental torment of that threat JOSHUA CLAUS repeated to Khadr had a context of an additional threat to what EW notes.

    My comment over at Spenser’s tried to capture that context:

    By the way, #1 did not just threaten rape, he threatened death and the worst possible death for a male practicing the Islamic tradition, death due to multiple acts of rape by males.

    If you add a layer of the possible knowledge that Khadr knew CLAUS was involved in detainee deaths in addition to my context noted above…then there are many war crimes here DOD is failing in its’ accountability role, which makes military commissions a failure.

  6. Jim White says:

    JOSHUA CLAUS to Michelle Shepherd, above:

    “They’re trying to imply I’m beating or torturing everybody I ever talked to,” Claus said by telephone yesterday. “I really don’t care what people think of me. I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do.”

    Which leads me to believe that even JOSHUA CLAUS believes that he did beat or torture at least some of those to whom he talked, even if he thinks what he did to Khadr doesn’t rise to that level.

    Great job of making connections, again, Marcy. I think you are right about just what the Pentagon is doing in trying to keep the name of JOSHUA CLAUS out of the reporting on the Khadr case. I’m also wondering though, if the Pentagon is also worried about JOSHUA CLAUS no longer being in their employ, and whether he might start naming other names if the spotlight on him gets too uncomfortable.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      I’m wondering if JOSHUA CLAUS got a lesser sentence for agreeing to testify in future tribunals.

          • Hmmm says:

            Thanks. I hope the defense team thinks to look that up in The New Great Big Fun Book of MC Rules.

          • timbo says:

            A military commission is only supposed to exist in conditions where civilian authorities do not have the time or cannot use regular legal procedures. In this case, civilian authorities have decided that they do not want to apply regular legal procedures…without any other sound reason. This has placed the military in a precarious position as it is supposed to follow civilian authority and abide by Geneva simultaneously.

            This cannot be good for military moral and good order, at least not with officers and enlisted that take their oaths to uphold the Constitution and who understand America’s treaty obligations, who still possess a basic grasp of what is and is not dignified behavior, etc.

      • bmaz says:

        Interesting thought. I doubt the actual sentence would be manipulated that way by the judge, such deals are made with the prosecutor in the form and nature of the plea agreement. He got off easy, that is for sure.

        • timbo says:

          He got off easy so he wouldn’t feel the need to testify against others is my guess. The fact remains that there really hasn’t been much consequence for any commissioned officers involved in the mistreatment of prisoners at Bagram. Same goes for CIA civilian agents of the United States involved in “disappearing” “terrorists”, also extra-judiciously.

      • emptywheel says:

        You know, one of the last things Carol Rosenberg tweeted before she was taken away to receive her banning was that one of the witnesses who testified did so under a secret subpoena. I asked her WTF that means, but she was obviously occupied. BUt given the hullabaloo that has ensued I wonder whether it was Claus.

  7. skdadl says:

    From Michelle Shephard’s report dated yesterday:

    The former interrogator appeared agitated Thursday when questioned about his 2005 conviction.

    He told Khadr’s lawyer Barry Coburn the incident happened when he “lost control at a very slight moment.”

    “You’re talking about two-and-a-half minutes of my life,” he testified.

    The witness was Khadr’s primary interrogator during the three months Khadr was detained in Bagram before being transferred to the prison here in October 2002.

  8. klynn says:

    “You’re talking about two-and-a-half minutes of my life,” he testified.

    Never a defense for a crime.

    • skdadl says:

      As soon as I read that line, I thought, yeah, it’s two and a half minutes of your life, but it was pretty much the whole of Dilawar’s. It’s certainly possible to kill someone in two and a half minutes (although I know that’s nowhere close to how long it took Dilawar to be killed).

      I’m struck again and again by how whiny so many on the prosecution side have been. Col Parrish’s amour-propre is offended when Omar balks at the conditions under which he is transported to court. Capt Murphy, the prosecutor, huffs and puffs at the defence team for talking to reporters (jealous?). JOSHUA CLAUS whines in the witness chair when challenged. Col Lapan persists in an indefensible distinction when questioned. What a bunch.

  9. Mary says:

    Random observations

    1. Claus also used rape threats against Dilawar.

    Both Walls and Claus slam Dilawar against the wall when he tries and fails to kneel; he begins to either fall asleep or pass out. Baryalai will later state, “It looked to me like Dilawar was trying to cooperate, but he couldn’t physically perform the tasks.” As Baryalai will later tell investigators, Claus grabs Dilawar, shakes him, and tells him that if he does not cooperate, he will be shipped to a prison in the United States, where he would be “treated like a woman, by the other men” and face the wrath of criminals who “would be very angry with anyone involved in the 9/11 attacks.” Dilawar asks for a drink of water, and Claus responds by taking a large plastic water bottle and, instead of giving Dilawar the water, punching a hole in the bottom of the bottle. As Dilawar fumbles with the bottle, the water pours over his orange prison garb. Claus then snatches the bottle back and begins spraying the water into Dilawar’s face. As Dilawar gags on the spray, Claus shouts: “Come on, drink! Drink!” A third interrogator, Staff Sergeant Christopher Yonushonis, enters the room and, as he will recall, finds a large puddle of water, a soaking wet Dilawar, and Claus standing behind Dilawar, twisting up the back of the hood that covers the prisoner’s head. “I had the impression that Josh was actually holding the detainee upright by pulling on the hood,” Yonushonis will recall. “I was furious at this point because I had seen Josh tighten the hood of another detainee the week before. This behavior seemed completely gratuitous and unrelated to intelligence collection.” When Yonushonis demands an explanation, Claus responds, “We had to make sure he stayed hydrated.”

    2. In Dilawar’s case, Claus is also directly tied to the denials of medical treatment Khadr claims. Same link

    An interrogator, presumably Yonushonis, promises Dilawar that he can see a doctor after the interrogation session concludes, but Claus tells the guards not to take him to a doctor. Instead, Claus tell the guards to chain him to the ceiling again. “Leave him up,” one of the guards will later quote Claus as saying. Dilawar dies while chained up; hours later, an emergency room doctor sees Dilawar’s body already dead and stiffening. Yonushonis reports the abusive interrogation to his superior officer, Staff Sergeant Steven Loring, but Dilawar is already dead.

    3. Claus’ torture of Dilawar was taking place although most involved thought at the time of that torture that Dilawar was innocent:

    He also adds one extra detail: by the time Dilawar was interrogated the final time, “most of us were convinced that the detainee was innocent.”

    4. Despite the killing of Dilawar and the knowledge that he was innocent at the time of the killing, Dilawar’s fares from the cab were shipped off to GITMO for further cover up.

    Dilawar’s three passengers are eventually shipped to Guantanamo for a year, before being released without charge. The three will describe their ordeal at Bagram as far worse than their treatment at Guantanamo. All will claim to have been beaten, stripped in front of female guards, and subjected to repeated and harsh rectal exams. Abdul Rahim, a baker from Khost, will recall: “They did lots and lots of bad things to me [at Bagram]. I was shouting and crying, and no one was listening. When I was shouting, the soldiers were slamming my head against the desk.” Another of Dilawar’s passengers, Parkhudin, later recalls that Dilawar “could not breathe” in the black cloth hood pulled over his head.

    How much you want to bet that these three witnesses to the kinds of abuse engaged in by Claus et al – witnesses who were ALSO shipped off to GITMO based on those torture sessions – guys who have to have been really bad guys, since we abused them at Bagram and shipped them to GITMO (where only the worst of the worst were sent) and found them to be combatants in a CSRT – how much you want to bet the military has no idea where to find those guys as witnesses to “Interrogator #1s” handling of detainees? BTW, those witnesses were also never charged and were, what’s that word I’m looking for – starts with an “i” ends with a “cent” … darn, I must be getting Obamafever, it’s a word I just can’t spit out.

    5. So Interrogator #1 has a pattern of threatening rape, pattern of engaging in abuse, pattern of sending innocent detainees to GITMO, pattern of preventing a detainee from receiving medical care, etc. – but none of those patterns are supposed to be linked to Khadr’s interrogations. OTOH, things that have been okeydokey for everyone to report include all kinds of Khadr’s family (i.e., father’s) information. Terrorist linked father – report. Torture killing linked interrogator – don’t report.

  10. Jeff Kaye says:

    GREAT article, EW! And thanks to Jim, too.

    Like the crumbs left by an evil Hansel and Gretel, the work of those who briefed and trained the interrogators cannot be hidden. Joseph Claus is not someone who would come up with the idea of forming a “symbiotic relationship” with his prisoner, and even less likely at age 21.

    In fact, the use of symbiotic relationship is closely associated with the formation of a highly dependent relationship, similar to the Stockholm Syndrome, i.e., attempting to create a relationship of close psychological allegiance, in order to exploit [their terminology] the prisoner for information or other purposes. It is an orthodox strategy employed by the intelligence services, and is often the reality behind the polite mask of creating a “rapport” with the prisoner.

    For those who might remember, fostering of a Stockholm syndrome in a prisoner was a primary attribute of the alternate CITF interrogation plan for Al Qahtani in Guantanamo. (Michael Gelles of NCIS is briefly noted as speaking of this in the SASC report.) I wrote about this kind of interrogation motive in an article here last December.

    Ironically, the focus on Claus and First amendment rights, and the outrageousness of administration censorship pulls us away from considering who was conducting policies for government detention and interrogation/torture policies to begin with. The “court” (a word in the instance of the Guantanamo Military Commissions one can only say aloud with gall and vomit in one’s mouth) is duly constituted to do one thing: legitimate the invasions and actions of the U.S. government, including its prisoner and torture policies.

    If the lions of the press may read Marcy’s blog, then consider this: if you had a semblance of integrity, you would assemble a boycott of the next White House briefing in protest of how your colleagues were unfairly treated.

    • bobschacht says:

      If the lions of the press may read Marcy’s blog, …

      You can encourage them by using the Spotlight feature. But you know that, right?

      Bob in AZ

        • bobschacht says:

          I know about that. But are they reading THIS diary? Are they paying attention to it? I think it will make a difference if they hear that real people actually think this is a big deal.

          BTW, I liked your insights about what happened regarding the oil platform catastrophe. Do you have any insights about how they’re going to make the “cap” work, to deal with the “ice” crystals that collect in the top of the collector, and plug it up?

          Bob in AZ

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Damn, you caught me again. It’s hard to learn new habits. I don’t even do it on my own blogs. I’ll get right to it, Bob, and thanks!

    • timbo says:

      Yep, this is not a legal court. It is an extra-legal military commission, likely in violation of International law since the necessity for a military commission here has not been met. This is not a “battlefield” situation, nor is there a state of emergency that would require such a commission to exist…except to circumvent legal procedures so as to violate the legal rights of a prisoner.

      Note that they call the prisoners held at Guantanamo “detainees” as some sort of attempt to create a new, fictitious legal category of person who are ‘detained’. Obviously the United States is detaining these people, yet there doesn’t seem to be a legal framework that holds water, under International, and possibly even under domestic laws, that give the peopel proper and dignified, fair, and unbiased, just, treatment.

      • skdadl says:

        Agreed. On principle, I always use “prisoners” rather than “detainees,” which I agree is an obvious term of propaganda. This is an issue in Canada right now because our Afghanistan scandal has become commonly known as the scandal of “detainee transfers.” Very hard to turn that kind of rhetoric around once it has taken hold.

      • Mary says:

        It is an extra-legal military commission, likely in violation of International law since the necessity for a military commission here has not been met. This is not a “battlefield” situation, nor is there a state of emergency that would require such a commission to exist

        Absolutely. And to top it off, the courts have already taken jurisdiction for habeas purposes.

        I think one of the reasons, in addition to all the torture and disinformation interwoven with Claus, that the Pentagon doesn’t want *his* story to be a part of *the* story, is that at some point eyes will inevitably turn towards Claus’ sentencing. A few months for his involvement in a torture killing and nothing for his actions at Abu Ghraib. He was fully and thoroughly represented at every stage of accusations against him and was never tortured for information on what he and his associates did.

        By contrast, Khadr has been unrepresented, tortured and locked away for years. His supposed crime, based on covertly altered records, was to throw out a grenade after being bombed.

        For that matter, the Haditha proceedings also show what the military’s approach to war crimes has been. Soldiers shooting unarmed men with hands up, breaking into a home and killing a toddler and his mother, etc. – those were almost summarily dismissed by the military as not being criminal in nature, and yet a 15 yo (who very possibly didn’t throw the grenade after all) who throws a grenade after having a 500 lb bomb dropped on him – gets years of torture to rig up a kangaroo court conviction.

  11. qweryous says:

    Is it that the rape threats against a 15 year old prisoner (if on US soil that would be a crime?) are to be kept quiet?

    Here is another allegation to be kept quiet, combined with a question: was Joshua Claus – name published in the main stream media on many previous occasions- involved with this, or was this just another unrelated incident?

    LINK to a Reuters article dateline Brussels Feb 28, 2007 by Mark John.

    “Among those indicted for the 2003 abduction are Jeff Castelli, former CIA chief in Rome, former CIA Milan station chief Robert Lady and a former head of Italy’s SISMI military intelligence agency, Nicolo Pollari.

    Prosecutors say a CIA-led team, with SISMI’s help, grabbed terrorism suspect Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, off a Milan street in February 2003, bundled him into a van and drove him to a military base in northern Italy.

    Prosecutors allege the CIA flew him from there via Germany to Egypt, where he says he was tortured with electric shocks, beatings, rape threats and genital abuse.

    Persistent criticism by European rights groups and lawmakers of U.S. anti-terror tactics and the alleged acquiescence of European governments has long troubled officials on both sides of the Atlantic.

  12. Teddy Partridge says:

    I had hoped that on Friday, Rachel Maddow would report the name of JOSHUA CLAUS when she featured Spencer Ackerman’s Streak reporting on the journalists’ being censored at Gitmo.

    But sadly, no.

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        Well, unless you’re talking ovaries, that’s kinda to be expected with her. :-)

        But yes, it’s telling that the “chief liberal voice” on network TV flunked this test.

  13. tjbs says:

    How bizarre to accept, as fact, that a torturer/murderer will admit to war crimes while testifying as to weather he tortured the prisoner? REALLY?

  14. Gitcheegumee says:

    I was raised to believe that the United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    Freedom….bravery ??

  15. Quebecois says:

    What motivates a kid to want to be part of an interrogation team? I’d love to hear from those who knew claus before he went into the army.

    • timbo says:

      Another good point. Is there anyone who knew this guy from way back who will talk to reporters about his personality and general demeanor in, say, high school?

    • Acharn says:

      I agree. I wish someone would do a really in-depth profile of him. I’ll bet, for example, that he was a football player in high school, but couldn’t make the first team and spent almost all his time on the bench. I’ll bet he’s filled with smoldering resentment. I’ll bet he’s also suffering from PTSD, has terrible nightmares.

      • Garrett says:

        Not intending to be oxymoranic about it: the military puts smart ones, in military intelligence. It sure doesn’t seem like it, though.

        • timbo says:

          The scary thing is that we all *know* that there are people a lot older and more experienced than Josh Claus in the military and CIA who have done this and worse and they haven’t been held accountable at all. And they’re protecting Citizen Claus as long as they possibly can, not because they like him personally but because it furthers their own conspiracy, a conspiracy to prevent themselves from being held legally accountable for their thuggery.

  16. Twain says:

    When I read things like this I think of all the horrible stuff that has gone on that we will never know about. It makes me feel sick. I think we should all send a letter to the WH with the name Joshua Claus repeated over and over with nothing else on the page.

    • Dearie says:

      I send daily emails to Obama and the Israelite. I suspect that the Secret Police will be showing up at my door at some point. I am completely respectful in tone… and honest. I will not be complicit. I know that ObamaRahm gets 40,000 emails a day (after all, Obama told us so) and that he doesn’t to read them (told us that, too), but I simply must speak my truth to his power. I wish everyone would do that. Every day.

      On edit: today’s was “Joshua Claus, Joshua Claus, Joshua Claus.”

    • timbo says:

      Oh, we might just learn a lot of stuff that you may think we will not learn about. In fact, much of what has occurred in the few prominent cases has been or is being reported on now. To be sure, there appears to have been more than 100 people extra-judicially killed, executed, or assassinated under the Bush Doctrine. The sad thing is watching Obama to simply try to keep a cap on this information. It’s going to come out I think. Either that or civil liberties in this country are dead for the foreseeable future. Take your pick.

  17. Oilfieldguy says:

    I came across a story years ago, sorry no link other than to my whiskey soaked brain, where rampant sexual abuse was taking place in a daycare. I know, it’s as bad as it gets. But no, it can get worse. To compel the children to silence, every few days a small puppy or kitten would be killed in front of them.

    • PJEvans says:

      Ah, one of those ‘satanists in the childcare center’ inventions. (Sounds like the notorious McMartin case, where no mistreatment was ever demonstrated.)

    • bmaz says:

      Another conservative wet dream the Obama Administration signs on to. The 9th does not need to be “broken up”; this is pure bullshit by conservatives and Federalist Society leaders who literally hate the 9th Circuit. Yet here is fucking Eric Holder giving the thought legitimacy. What a jackass.

      • fatster says:

        Amen! The 9th is the best we got, IMHO, and now they want to erode that, too. Thanks so much for your comment. I agree completely, but you have the authority and expertise to weigh in most effectively.

  18. Garrett says:

    Another thing they are protecting about his name is his connection to Abu Ghraib.

    He appears in Fay report incident #1, which is the beating of another kid.

    There was a mortar attack that killed two Americans, injured many. They sent out an “ad-hoc” team to capture the kid and his mother, who were attending to their irrigation ditches in the vicinity of the mortar launch. The ad-hoc team was composed of soldiers close to the ones killed and injured. This in preference to the official Quick Reaction Force.

    They beat the kid. An MP Lieutenant tried to stop it. (Don’t believe Fay where he says the kid was released that day. It’s not true.)

    Claus also appears in Fay incident #34. Two soldiers finger Claus as directing an early nakedness.

    Joshua Claus, Military Intelligence, directing the first reported instance of nakedness at Abu Ghraib. An awkward point for the military, you know?

  19. cinnamonape says:

    “It was something “three or four” interrogators at Bagram came up with after learning that Afghans were “terrified of getting raped and general homosexuality, things of that nature.”

    Which indicates to me that rather than this threat being an aberration…it was regularly applied to Afghani detainees….probably scores if not hundreds.

  20. goto100 says:

    Oddly enough, all kinds of laws have been broken all over the place by Bush and his cronies.

    There is also a legal duty to enforce the law on the part of DoJ. Failure to do so also constitutes a criminal offence, no?

    So on multiple counts, the Obama administration is criminal too. And that’s only the stuff we know about, for both parties. How much fraud they’ve each committed and hidden (conspiracy charges all over the place too), we may never find out.

    In effect, your entire government, both sides, is completely criminal. It is a system lacking any legitimacy.

    Do you think a system such as this can heal itself and reform from within?

    No, me neither.

    So what are you going to do now?

  21. klynn says:


    Did you read this at the Guardian.

    It’s a pretty good write up on the decision.

    In a resounding victory for open justice, the rule of law and the right to a fair trial, the court of appeal has this week ruled that the government cannot use secret evidence to defend itself against the claims of Binyam Mohamed and five other former Guantánamo detainees that the UK was complicit in their unlawful detention and torture.

    • DWBartoo says:

      Thank you, klynn;

      Jean Lambert (the author of the article) says “… the right not to be tortured is an absolutely fundamental right.”

      Fundamental to ALL of humanity. Not dependent upon “quaint” documents or “empathetic” legal systems.

      Our humanity, everyone’s personal “humanity” must depend on the “humanity” of everyone else.

      There ARE certain “givens” that ALL human beings, to be considered as such, MUST agree upon.

      That torture is ALWAYS wrong and ALWAYS destroys the humanity AND any legitimacy of the torturer, making the torturer, and ANY society which condones torture, both “outlaws” AND terrorists, is such a “given”.


  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Fictitious story or not, it’s still a death threat and it’s still illegal. Sole bad apple or the first coming to ground of a very large oil slick?

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