Gitmo Judge: Rape Threats Are Okay If They Don’t Work

Here’s what the military judge in the Omar Khadr trial, Colonel Patrick Parrish, said to justify admitting Khadr’s own confessions as evidence. (h/t Carol Rosenberg, whose story on this ruling is here)

There is no credible evidence the accused was ever tortured as that term is defined under M.C.R.E.304(b)(3), even using a liberal interpretation considering the accused’s age. While Interrogator #1 [Joshua Claus] told the accused a story about the rape of an Afghan youth in an American prison, there is no evidence that story caused the accused to make any incriminating statements then or in the future. In fact, the credible evidence is that the accused started to make incriminating statements only after he learned the Americans found the videotape at the compound where the firefight took place which shows the accused and others making improvised explosives and placing them along the roadside at night. No statement offered against the accused was derived from, the product of, or connect to any story Interrogator #1 told to the accused.

Now, here’s what MCRE304(b)(3) says (PDF 206ff):

(3) Torture. For the purpose of determining whether a statement must be excluded under section (a) of this rule, “torture” is defined as an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incident to lawful sanctions) upon another person within the actor’s custody or physical control. “Severe mental pain or suffering” is defined as the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from:

The first definition of treatment that could cause prolonged mental harm is:

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

So Parrish is saying that the implied threat of rape does not constitute the “threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering.” And that’s even ignoring the part of Joshua Claus’ story–as told by Spencer–where the fictional youth raped in an American prison died as a result.

“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. [my emphasis]

So the guy running the Kangaroo Court for this child soldier has decided that rape threats do not constitute a threat of severe pain or suffering.

Mind you, as I alluded to here and made explicit by Parrish’s ruling, Gitmo rules say specifically you can use information so long as the information itself was not collected using torture. Which is why Parrish is so careful to argue that Khadr’s confessions have nothing to do with that threat of severe pain or suffering that Parrish seems to think is no big deal, because then everything’s admissible!

In other words, the logic of Parrish’s ruling is that the use of rape threats as an interrogation tactic is no big deal, provided that it was an ineffective interrogation tactic.

  1. Arbusto says:

    I am so proud, as a Citizen, that the rule of law, support of minority rights and basic humanity are so fully understood, expressed and embraced by us. Can I leave now?

  2. PJEvans says:

    ‘It’s okay if they’re brown and a prisoner’?

    I wish the judges had the guts to call them on this kind of crap.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      I wish their FAMILIES had the guts to call them on it. I would PAY to see Obama explain to his daughters the justice in these trials.

      Boxturtle (Obama better not visit MLK’s grave, he might get b***hslapped by an ANGRY ghost)

  3. BoxTurtle says:

    So the guy running the Kangaroo Court for this child soldier has decided that rape threats do not constitute a threat of severe pain or suffering.

    They must need that confession to get a conviction. Thus, the confession must be admissable. A rational must be found. Col.Parrish, I would remind you that St. Peter won’t accept the “following orders” defense any more than Nuremberg did.

    And it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. But eventually, the lawyer is going to appeal to a real court. We just have to hope it happens before Obama gets to appoint the judge.

    Boxturtle (Wonder if Col. Parrish would feel the same if an Iranian judge made the same ruling about an American)

    • skdadl says:

      Col.Parrish, I would remind you that St. Peter won’t accept the “following orders” defense any more than Nuremberg did.

      Thank you for saying that first, BoxTurtle. It’s what I am thinking, except I’d like to see Col Parrish in a dock sometime earlier than his meeting with St Peter.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        Regretabily, ObamaLLP does accept “following orders” as a defense. You’ll only see him around a dock if he’s fishing.

        I wish we had to guts to look the world in the eye and say “Screw you. We’ll do what we like with them, including torture and locking them up forever, regardless of ANYONE’S laws including our own”. It would save us a bunch of money and we’ve basically already said it by our actions.

        Boxturtle (ObamaLLP is SOOOO lucky that Canada’s government is not interested in making an issue)

        • skdadl says:

          Oh, you’re right there … for the time being. The very worst blame at the moment falls on Harper. That could change, y’know. There are the Supremes, and then there could always be an election … (plz gord).

          Or I could write a really blistering blogpost, and that would really scare Obama, wouldn’t it. (Why does life make me feel so small lately?)

          • BoxTurtle says:

            Why does life make me feel so small lately?

            If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never tried to sleep in a room with a single mosquito – Ghandi

            Boxturtle (Even dragons have kneecaps)

            • bobschacht says:

              If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never tried to sleep in a room with a single mosquito – Ghandi

              That’s a great quote! Thanks!

              Bob in AZ

    • michaelfishman says:

      Boxturtle (Wonder if Col. Parrish would feel the same if an Iranian judge made the same ruling about an American)

      I can’t believe you’d even think of comparing an Iranian judge’s ruling to an American judge’s ruling. They’re muslims!

  4. Mary says:

    The thing about “prolonged mental harm” is that it is still causing damage afterwards.

    So to say that he gave incriminating evidence, but that it couldn’t be torture related bc it happened AFTER the torture is a pretty circular, unreasonable, interpretation of a statute that partially defines torture as being something that has long term mental effects.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, right. I could halfway accept such logic and ruling if it were an isolated threat and response or nonresponse thereto. Isolated threat and no incriminating evidence adduced, okay nothing need be excluded. Of course that is not what occured in this continuous and cumulative case of Khadr.

  5. manys says:

    Let me see if I have this right.

    Torture: “I’m going to rape you.”
    Not torture: “Someone else is going to rape you.”

  6. allan says:

    Next up: throwing a “witch” into the pond is OK if she drowns. Or doesn’t.
    Either way, they hate us for our freedoms.

  7. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Bullshit a threat like that could give a guy or girl a stroke on heart attack. Rather than have that happen a Man or Woman might commit suicide if they believed the threat. You might decide to fight so the guards would have to kill you Suicide by Cop.
    Never mind just what this ruling says about us.

  8. ThingsComeUndone says:

    America once had a reputation for fairness. I doubt Pravda ever wrote stuff like this about us the editors would say come on we must write stuff people might believe about America. A story like this even at my most paranoid I never thought a judge would say its ok.
    If I ever have any teen age Daughters they better not bring any judges home.

    • skdadl says:

      klynn, I swear — I just came from a discussion board where another woman friend said exactly the same thing. Who comes out with that kind of language about a minor — “mature for his age”? Who?

      • bmaz says:

        Well, in fairness, it is hard to think of or treat any of the Khadr family as being relative innocents. Including Omar. That does not excuse or justify his treatment or subsequent denial of due process under US law and international protocols in the least. But that is somewhat distinct from having any significant sympathy for who he and his family are and what they stand for.

        • geraldo says:

          At what age do you feel a child becomes guilty for doing what he’s told?

          When I was a kid, if my parents told me to do something and I didn’t do it I got spanked. Maybe I thought it was stupid or wrong. But I did it, because if I didn’t I would be punished.

          At what age is the cutoff between doing what you’re told by adults because they know better and not doing it because you think they’re wrong?

        • geraldo says:

          Further to the above. When you are a child and an adult tells you to do something, you do that thing because if you don’t you will be punished.

          Maybe you think that thing they tell you to do is stupid. Or wrong. You still get punished. You trust that adults are telling you to do these things for your own good. You do what you are told because you are a child.

          Child soldiers are protected by international law precisely because they are also victims.

          • bmaz says:

            You seem to be mistaking the constructs of international law and morality in general with a specific understanding of the Khadr family and their history. And in answer to your specific question, irrespective of the international child soldier conventions, I generally have begrudgingly come to accept age 15 as the presumptive standard for possession of requisite mental state for criminal culpability, with adjustment up or down upon a heightened demonstration of cause.

            • Jeff Kaye says:

              The issue of criminal culpability is a red herring in this case, as there was no crime committed. These were actions in a state of war, or of self-defense, take your pick. To manufacture “war crimes” out of the actions, true or not, of Omar Khadr, is absurd.

              Have we so quickly forgotten David Frakt’s critique of the “war crimes” violations as newly constituted in the Obama-era MCA? (See discussion on the dubious “Murder in Violation of the Law of War” portion of the MCA.)

              Even more so, there is nothing more or less legitimate about the actions of the Khadr family than of the U.S. government, which has itself supported terrorist actions, including by the father of Omar Khadr against the Soviet-backed government of Afghanistan in the early 1980s, and other terrorist actions under the auspices of Operation Gladio, including terrorist bombings that killed many innocents.

              As to age of adequate mens rea for a crime, you do not argue, do you bmaz, that age is not a mitigating factor in consideration of responsibility for a crime? If you did, then you would have to argue that capital punishment therefore could be performed on a person for a crime committed at age 15. But the Supreme Court has already ruled on that, and I don’t believe you think that anyway.

              Instead, if there were a real crime here (and there is not), then what we would be looking at is not the “possession of requisite mental state for criminal culpability,” but question of criminal responsibility. Mens rea is not the same as the determination of agency of an individual, and we must assume that adequate personhood is not established by age fifteen. In my work with young adults, it’s not clear that such adequate personhood and identity is established until perhaps one’s early to mid 20s. Hence the age at time of crime is a factor to be considering in determining punishment, and even type of prosecution. This is generally understood, and the existence of a separate juvenile justice system is related exactly to these questions.

              As to the issue of age and criminal responsibility, I refer readers to this interesting article by Gerry Maher, with whom I happen to disagree, but touches upon some of the important questions.

              There were two different ways in which a legal system could deal with “age of criminal responsibility.” In the first sense this is the age below which a child is deemed to lack the capacity to commit a crime. By contrast another sense of age of criminal responsibility is the point at which the age of a suspect or offender has no relevance for his treatment or disposal as part of the criminal justice system, most typically the age at which an accused person becomes subject to the full, or “adult,” system of prosecution and punishment.

              The latter is the question in regards to child soldiers at age 15, not whether they had possession of requisite mental state for criminal culpability.

              • klynn says:

                Jeff have you ever met Alan McEvoy? The two of you would have backgrounds which would compliment one another.

                  • klynn says:

                    You would appreciate his research and books. He has written, If She Is Raped and the book, If He Is Raped.

                    He’s written many other books and research articles about antisocial behavior as well. One focus from the noted books in this comment has been on the impact of PTSD on victims of sexual violence, threats and harassment.

            • geraldo says:

              See, I think the age of 31 should be the standard. I was not a very mature young man, or I probably would have married that girl.

              Let’s compromise and set it at 23.

              • bobschacht says:

                Actually, it’s pretty idiotic to assume that *any* age marker assures adulthood. Whatever age you choose, there will be a certain percentage who are not yet mature, and another percentage who have been mature adults for some time. For example, those who suffered frontal lobe damage in utero may not reach maturity until about 36 years. But it all depends on how much damage, and exactly when. Some people are fully mature at 15, others not until 36.

                Bob in AZ

            • BayStateLibrul says:

              “I generally have begrudgingly come to accept age 15 as the presumptive standard for possession of requisite mental state for criminal culpability, with adjustment up or down upon a heightened demonstration of cause”

              For us laymen, man what does heightened demonstration of cause” mean?

        • skdadl says:

          Well, we shall have to agree to disagree, and I shouldn’t say much more than that here, I guess.

          … who he and his family are and what they stand for.

          I will say that I don’t see the relevance or even the meaning of those categories of thought, although I certainly run into them often enough.

      • klynn says:


        I am a youth advocate on this issue of child victims of sexual violence. No matter what the age, no matter how “mature” for his age, the threat of rape has devastating impact. Add in religious concerns and the threat becomes greater than a threat.

        This judge needs a quick course on the impact of sexual violence and the impact of the threat of sexual violence. If I was Khdar’s lawyer, I would be calling Alan McEvoy formerly from Wittenberg University. He is now chair at North Michigan University. In fact, Marcy, I would invite Alan here to discuss this military judge’s ruling. Alan has been a guest on many noted TV shows. He has been a guest on some of the top victim list serves. He. Is. The. Expert.

        If I was Carol Rosenberg, I would give Alan a call and ask to organize a discussion with him and some of his peers he has worked with on the various issues. Alan is a global expert wrt anti-social behavior and it’s impact on youth. He has also served as an expert for the US Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives.

          • BoxTurtle says:

            Which means he and his testimoney will never be permitted within sight of Cuba.

            They’re not going to permit testimony that challenges the Col’s rulings.

            Boxturtle (But the defendent is a Scary Brown Moslem, so who cares?)

        • skdadl says:

          Good morning, klynn. I should correct my misquote above: Parrish said “not immature for his age” rather than “mature for his age,” and there’s maybe a shade of difference but not much. Especially in the context of rape threats, that expression is shocking, and I believe that any judge who came out with a line like that in our courts would be in professional trouble right now. We’ve seen a judge fired here for tiptoeing around paedophilia territory, and if Parrish doesn’t recognize that that’s what he was doing, it should be impressed upon him.

          • klynn says:

            The problem is why is there even an issue of “not immature for his age” wrt rape or the threat of rape? It is a moot point from the perspective of sexual threat. The threat of rape and rape itself is a power-powerless dynamic that has no age limit, no degree of understanding and no discrimination of impact on a male or female.

            It’s not like there was tasteless “joke” being told.

            Start with, “it was a threat of rape.” Add in “he was a minor.”

            I believe that any judge who came out with a line like that in our courts would be in professional trouble right now.

            I do not understand how come Parrish is not in professional trouble right now. This is a sick ruling.

            I started asking myself questions like, “Is there a use of threat of sexual violence in the military that is tolerated?” when I read his ruling. We had a case in Columbus where two school coaches, former Marines, threatened and then raped a kid in front of the team. It came out that this was a continued threat used on the kids. It was called “being gloved.” I wondered about their military background and the way the threat was used to manipulate and scare the kids. The athlete victims were 17-18 year old kids and it was devastating.

            If there is a hidden undercurrent of sexual violence used in training of our military, or a level of tolerance for sexual violence, then military judges are not able to properly do their job.

            I deeply question the impartial abilities of Parrish.

            • BoxTurtle says:

              I do not understand how come Parrish is not in professional trouble right now.

              Because, first and foremost, he’s an Officer in Obama’s military not a lawyer or a judge. And he’s following orders.

              Also, the Bar associations have been very reluctant to take action against BushCo or ObamaLLP lawyers. I decline to speculate as to why.

              Boxturtle (Personaly, if I were a bar association, I’d start with Holder and Gonzo)

            • jackie says:

              “not immature for his age” meaning Kadhr would have completely understood what the ‘threat’ was and how easily it could become reality?

  9. TarheelDem says:

    It increasingly looks like the purpose of this nonsense is to make sure that Khadr does not get back to Canada, where the Canadian government can begin to investigate his confinement at Guantanamo and the US involvement in torture. Well, maybe not the current Canadian government.

  10. Jeff Kaye says:

    …there is no evidence that story caused the accused to make any incriminating statements then or in the future.

    The judge believes that torture must cause the production of incriminating evidence, but there is nothing in the torture statute that speaks to any linkage between “an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incident to lawful sanctions) upon another person within the actor’s custody or physical control,” and the production or non-production of any evidence.

    Also, there is a ton of psychological literature that speaks to the emotional sequelae of such severe mental or physical pain, and the introduction of later material, such as the videotape, may or may not have produced “incriminating evidence”, but that has nothing to do with the fact of the torture threats. This judge is quite mixed up, or perhaps determined, more likely, to disavow any claims of torture, even by use of bogus and confused and plainly wrong argument.

    Military “justice” in Obama’s America. (Headline peek)

    • BoxTurtle says:

      The judge believes that torture must cause the production of incriminating evidence,

      He does not. He’s just looking for some way to rationalize the rulings he must make in order to obey his “The verdict must be guilty” orders.

      Boxturtle (A terrible lawyer, but a good officer)

  11. bobschacht says:

    Does it sound to anyone else like the Judge in this case is laying down a record to make a successful appeal of the military commission’s inevitable conviction not only likely but inevitable? Or is he just really stupid?

    Bob in AZ

  12. bobschacht says:

    Is it time for trash talk yet? The Iggles are playing the Bungles tonight. A Bungles safety just missed an easy interception near the end zone. Lost the football in the lights, apparently.

    Bob in AZ

  13. bobschacht says:

    Parson Calmer is actually looking pretty sharp. But his 2nd and 3rd string receivers are upholding the reputation for the Bungles by dropping passes that hit them in the hands. Terrell Owens & Ochocinco caught their passes earlier.

    The Iggles, OTOH, are out-bungling the Bungles. Bungles get another TD. Mostly by running. Bungles, 22, Iggles, 9, late in the 4th.

    Bob in AZ

  14. Becca says:

    They didn’t just threaten him with rape. Read the rest of it: “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.”

    This interrogator told this kid he was going to be raped, hurt, and end up dead as a result.

    Threatening prisoners with violence and death is flat-out a violation of the Geneva Conventions as well as U.S. and international law.

  15. wdmichtom says:

    Is this correct: Khadr had been living in Pakistan & Afghanistan previous to the US invasion.

    After the invasion, he was allegedly among people fighting the US.

    While doing this, he allegedly killed a US soldier.

    The US has charged him with a war crime.

    Accepting all this (if I have it correct), he is a fighter opposing an invading army, kills one of the invader/occupiers, and HE is guilty of a war crime?!?!?!

    And we’re talking about the judge accepting that [threatened] rape is not torture?

    Did I miss something?

    • emptywheel says:

      Nope, not at all.

      Daphne Eviatar did a pretty good rant on HuffPo last week on precisely that issue-why are we prosecuting Khadr and not our own men?

      • klynn says:

        And more ranting is needed on that issue.

        EW, this whole case is sick.

        You should consider calling Alan McEvoy since he is in MI now. You could not get a better source on this issue.

    • Mary says:

      Did I miss something?

      The fact that he supposedly threw the grenade that killed the soldier after an air strike had been called in and a 500 lb bomb dropped on him.

  16. alinaustex says:

    So what happened Col Patrick Parrish that made you renege on your pledge to protect our Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic ? Specifically Colonel Parrish why did you decide to particpate in this type of show trial- and as a judge no less ? How does this further our national security when we have adopted as our own- arguably Soviet style judicial proceedings .Finally Colonel Parrish -Heaven forbid -that you ever be captured by our enemies and then be put on trial by that foreign power as a war criminal when you were defending us. And especially Heaven forbid should that enemy threaten you with rape and torture that We – your fellow Americans would not all say with one voice this is a violation of our Colonel’s guarenteed human rights-citing Article 5 -among other legally binding documents . We are better then this as a Country and as Military Service member Colonel Parrish – we pray you and the other military members will in the end renounce these UnAmerican show trials . Are as former Sec Def Rumsfeld once said in a different context “We are in for a tough slog .”
    Finally Colonel Parrish -by trying this kid as a war criminal -in a kangaroo court you are making al Zawhari’s argument about the corrupt and Godless infidels come true – we are better then this as a nation Colonel Parrish- you know that and and so do We the People.

  17. klynn says:


    Can any ruling from military courts be used in a defense in civilian courts?

    Just curious. IANAL.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      If it were a regular military court, barring classified data, anything that comes out of it would be usable in a civilian court.

      However, these commissions are suspect on so many levels that I think any use of their output could be challenged. I don’t think you’ll see many prosecutors trying to get evidence admitted by citing the above ruling, for example.

      In a real court, with the evidence of rights violations that have already been presented, the debate would have already shifted from “What will you cop a plea to” to “How much will it cost us to settle this out of court”

      Boxturtle (No longer going to refer to Parrish as Judge. I’m thinking Kommissar)

      • DWBartoo says:

        Apparatchik Parrish, looking forward, sees unknown and unknowable power accruing to the Unitary Executive; knowing which side “but” is breaded on, Parrish will remain loyal to those individuals with whom his future, his very life, is now entwined – revolving doors and a most-excellent, and very secure, life await. But first, it is essential that truth must make way for twisted and tortured “reasoning” … that the ball of wax, with strings of lies,and ample evidence of intended crimes against humanity and common decency, does not unravel until it is too late, under the rule of law, to do anything about it.

        (There be some cold-blooded, cold-hearted souls amongst us, eh, BoxTurtle?)


    • bmaz says:

      Is a complicated question that would depend on specific facts and circumstances including type of ruling and type of use intended in the civilian court etc.; but yes it is possible I assume.

      • klynn says:

        That is quite troubling. Troubling for victims; especially, youth who have been victims of sexual harassment.

        What an outrage for child rights and child protection laws.

  18. allan says:

    Is this 2010 or 2004?
    For what it’s worth (which isn’t much), the review in the NYT Book Review
    of a book about the WaPo that I had mentioned a few days ago is now online.
    Money quote:

    And while independent Web sites and new online ventures are increasingly producing rigorous, original journalism, every blogger who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows there would be next to nothing important for the vast Internet commentariat to aggregate, curate or opine about without professionally edited, remunerative reporting.

  19. freepatriot says:

    Colonel Patrick Parrish knows that any Colonel who rules that a prisoner was tortured ain’t gonna git promoted to General

    Amurika don’t torture

    so, no matter what we did to these guys, it ain’t torture

    if a Judge doesn’t actually SAY it’s torture, then you can’t really say we tortured anybody

    it’s a fuckin word game

    Colonel Patrick Parrish knows that

    • skdadl says:

      How stupid do they think we are? (Dinna fash yersel’s — that’s a rhetorical question.)

      Who left this material available to who knows how many thousands before WL got it? Would that be the same people who lifted off the embassy roof in Saigon in 1975, leaving behind not only a lot of collaborators but also a lot of unshredded records about those very collaborators?

    • skdadl says:

      In answer to just a couple of your questions:

      1. Sgt Speer keeps being referred to as a medic for propaganda purposes. In fact he was a Delta Force combatant at the time and was not acting as or classified as a medic.

      2. Joshua Claus helped to torture to death at least two people at Bagram. He was convicted of a few euphemisms and sentenced to five months in prison.

      • youmayberight says:

        Thanks. I now see it was the notorious Dilawar (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) case which led to Claus’s court martial. I wonder how that impacted on his credibility with Col. Parrish.

  20. youmayberight says:

    I am not a lawyer, but allow me to make a few points.

    1. I haven’t read the charges, but is it possible Omar Khadr is being charged with a war crime because the soldier he killed was a medic? Is it a war crime to specifically target a medic on the battlefield?

    2. This was not a trial of the interrogator who I believe tortured Khadr. That interrogator was court martialed for detainee abuse. Does anyone know what the result of that court martial was? How much time did Sgt. Claus get?

    3. From Col. Parrish’s opinion, it seems a significant difference in the Military Commissions is how a defendant’s failure to testify is treated. It is my understanding that in civil courts, juries are uniformly instructed that they can draw no adverse inference of any kind because a defendant does not testify. In Col. Parrish’s opinion, he clearly states that Khadr’s failure to testify reflects negatively on the credibility of his affidavit, in which he claims he was abused.

    4. Were there videotapes of these interrogation sessions? If not, I find it totally incredible that Col. Parrish drew no inference from the fact that the person who said Khadr was shaken and decided to talk after being shown the seized video showing him making bombs was none other than Sgt. Claus again, the very person who made the threats of rape and death. Wouldn’t it make sense to give that testimony its proper weight, given that obviously Sgt. Claus is going to want to get admitted evidence that otherwise might well be inadmissible?

    5. From Sgt. Claus’s own testimony, Afghan’s are terrified of rape. Given that, shouldn’t the good Colonel have inferred that maybe Khadr would want to hide that fear and try to give a false impression of the true reason he was now talking?

  21. fatster says:

Task Force 373, the Secret Killers – Part 1 

    ‘”Find, fix, finish, and follow-up” – also known as F4 – is the way the Pentagon describes the mission of secret military teams in Afghanistan which have been given a mandate to pursue alleged members of the Taliban or al Qaeda wherever they may be found. Some call these “manhunting” operations and the units assigned to them “capture/kill” teams.”


  22. ScrewBush says:

    I thought there was a new sherrif in town. Apparently this sherrif works for the same folks as the old sherrif. Some elections have consequences and some don’t when you’re not swapping out the folks who really have the power.

    • bobschacht says:

      Define “fail.”
      Under normal circumstances, this would result in a guaranteed re-occupation. The British Mandate in Iraq, for example, resulted in prolonged engagement (even after they had supposedly turned Iraq over to Iraqis, in the hands of their chosen monarchy), nevertheless “had” to re-occupy Iraq.

      Will we learn from their experience? Or is our government so wedded to American exceptionalism that it is blind to learning history’s lessons?

      Bob in AZ

    • Mary says:

      It’s interesting, isn’t it, that they only focus on military failure. Nothing much about govt failing, or govt being unable to provide education, or roads, or medical clinics or most importantly, non-miltiary jobs. Bc, of course, the miiltary “succeeds” so well when govt has failed.

      • fatster says:

        “Small People” all over this world, including in this country, need all those things on your list, Mary, in addition to jobs, nutritions food, clean water and housing. Somehow, though, the military sucks up humongous amounts of tax dollars that could be used to actually help human beings.

        And in the meantime, in the parade of never-ending incentives to direct more of our tax dollars to military enterprises, is this.

        • DWBartoo says:

          Who could have imagined?

          Militaristic society destroys … civil society.

          Both abroad and … at “home”.

          (Any “historic precedent” for such an unimaginable thing? One imagines it only applicable to unexceptional nations and empuhs, of course.)


  23. Garrett says:

    Double back flip with a solid landing twist.

    1. Torture is not torture, unless it produces a confession.
    2. The produced confession did not come from the torture.
    3. The torture did not happen.