Thursday, September 21, 2006

Something Hopeful

Even if these CIA people were basically acting in their own self interest (not wanting to be prosecuted) - that's a hell of a lot better than having people in government who think that they are above the law and can do whatever....

CIA ‘refused to operate’ secret jails

Published: September 20 2006 22:07

The Bush administration had to empty its secret prisons and transfer terror suspects to the military-run detention centre at Guantánamo this month in part because CIA interrogators had refused to carry out further interrogations and run the secret facilities, according to former CIA officials and people close to the programme.

The former officials said the CIA interrogators’ refusal was a factor in forcing the Bush administration to act earlier than it might have wished.

When Mr Bush announced the suspension of the secret prison programme in a speech before the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, some analysts thought he was trying to gain political momentum before the November midterm congressional elections.

The administration publicly explained its decision in light of the legal uncertainty surrounding permissible interrogation techniques following the June Supreme Court ruling that all terrorist suspects in detention were entitled to protection under Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.

But the former CIA officials said Mr Bush’s hand was forced because interrogators had refused to continue their work until the legal situation was clarified because they were concerned they could be prosecuted for using illegal techniques. One intelligence source also said the CIA had refused to keep the secret prisons going.


The Bush Administration has recently been trying to push for legislation that would make such illegal activity legal. In another article:

John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, called his opposition to an administration plan to allow aggressive interrogation techniques of detainees “a matter of conscience”.

“Are we going to be like the enemy, or are we going to be the United States of America?” said Mr McCain, who argues the White House plan would redefine US obligations under the Geneva conventions and put US forces at risk if they were captured in future wars. “We have to keep the moral high ground,” he told ABC News.

P.S. McCain ended up endorsing the torture/treatment deal (see 9.22) - so he was just blowing hot air - according to this - it had all been figured out a couple weeks ago, anyway. He likes to sound like the anti-torture guy - but that is apparently meaningless.


John Yoo (a deputy assistant attorney general from 2001 to 2003) - had quite the long op-ed Sunday in the New York Times - he wrote:

"The White House has declared that the Constitution allows the president to sidestep laws that invade his executive authority."

It was Yoo, along with Gonzalas, who wrote the nonsensical torture memos to begin with. As if since he said something was legal that that made it so. Or that he had the right the interpret the Constitution so it meant whatever he wanted it to mean.

The bottom line is that Bush and many people in his administration are guilty of war crimes. And they documented them, themselves - even as they lie about it.


A good NewYorker article from last year - OUTSOURCING TORTURE

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