December 4, 2020 / by 

 

Happy “Dirty Your Hands” by Partnering with Bashar al-Assad Day

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As I noted last week, 12 years ago today, President Bush signed the Memorandum of Notification that governed — and as of last year, at least, still governs — our war on terror.

Part of that MON, according to Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, includes partnering with “rogue regimes” like Syria on intelligence collection.

[Tenet] called for initiating intelligence contact with some rogue states such as Libya and Syria that he said might be helpful in trying to destroy al Qaeda. For the CIA to obtain helpful information against the terrorists, they might have to get their hands dirty.

After signing that MON, Bush’s own regime sent people like Maher Arar off to be tortured by Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The same guy we almost went to war against last week because he’s so barbaric, we partnered with, in a policy set by the President, outsourcing our torture.

As of May 25, 2012, the government was still relying on this MON (probably, at a minimum, to cover the drone and other method assassinations that aren’t covered by any AUMF).

I already noted all this; I wasn’t going to otherwise call out the anniversary of the day the “Gloves Came Off.”

But then I saw this clip of Philip Mudd on Colbert. About halfway through, Mudd says we have to fight Syria because Assad is,

a tyrant who has a reckless abandon when he murders innocents. At what point do you draw a line and say we are not just US citizens, we’re global citizens?

Mudd then goes on to answer a question about whether he tortured prisoners by saying he was Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center, which held and tortured prisoners.

He doesn’t regret that, he says.

He then goes on to admit he signed papers to render prisoners.

Mudd: If you’re asking if I’m responsible for some of that, the answer’s yes.

Colbert: Alright, you think that was the right thing to do.

Mudd: Yes.

Colbert: And we renditioned some of those people to Syria.

Mudd: Uh, I think the answer’s yes, I don’t [shakes head]

Colbert: OK

Mudd: We rendered a lot of people.

At what point do you draw a line, says this man, who can’t even remember that Syria was indeed one of the countries we outsourced our torture to, even the torture of an innocent man. We must be global citizens, not just American citizens, he says, and doing anything else is a sign of cowardice.

And yet, this intelligence expert can’t even figure out why Assad thinks he can get away with murdering his own people.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/tag/maher-arar/