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WaPo: Pentagon Blamed Military for Own Torture Policy

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treatment with 500 mg of prednisone A Senate investigation has concluded that top Pentagon officials began assembling lists of harsh interrogation techniques in the summer of 2002 for use on detainees at Guantanamo Bay and that those officials later cited memos from field commanders to suggest that the proposals originated far down the chain of command, according to congressional sources briefed on the findings.  

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http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=propecia-for-women Officials Looked Into Interrogation Methods Early On

source url By Joby Warrick

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 17, 2008; Page A01

click A Senate investigation has concluded that top Pentagon officials began assembling lists of harsh interrogation techniques in the summer of 2002 for use on detainees at Guantanamo Bay and that those officials later cited memos from field commanders to suggest that the proposals originated far down the chain of command, according to congressional sources briefed on the findings.

The sources said that memos and other evidence obtained during the inquiry show that officials in the office of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld started to research the use of waterboarding, stress positions, sensory deprivation and other practices in July 2002, months before memos from commanders at the detention facility in Cuba requested permission to use those measures on suspected terrorists.

The Post does not go to the trouble of adding 2 and 2, here: does not, that is, raise the possibility that the Pentagon asked “the commanders at the detention facility in Cuba” to request “permission” to use the very techniques that the Pentagon was already investigating.  This would be an obvious question to ask: Did Rumsfeld instruct Gitmo to ask Rumsfeld for permission to engage in torture, thus providing CYA for Rumsfeld?

The reported evidence — some of which is expected to be made public at a Senate hearing today — also shows that military lawyers raised strong concerns about the legality of the practices as early as November 2002, a month before Rumsfeld approved them. The findings contradict previous accounts by top Bush administration appointees, setting the stage for new clashes between the White House and Congress over the origins of interrogation methods that many lawmakers regard as torture and possibly illegal.

“Some have suggested that detainee abuses committed by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and at Guantanamo were the result of a ‘few bad apples’ acting on their own. It would be a lot easier to accept if that were true,” Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a statement for delivery at a committee hearing this morning. “Senior officials in the United States government sought out information on aggressive techniques, twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.”

Note Levin’s words here.  He is why is lasix used on horses asserting that Senior officials “twisted the law to create the appearance of legality.”  This indicates that Levin is satisfied that the government was violating the spirit of the law, at the very least.  So it is depressing (but hardly unexpected) that the next move from Congress will be to ask the Justice Department to determine whether the “twisting” was successful.

A group of 56 Congressional Democrats last week asked the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether any Bush administration officials may have broken laws in approving the use of harsh interrogation techniques for suspected terrorists.

Apparently, the game here, as far as some Democrats in Congress are concerned, is not to aggressively pursue violations of the Constitution, but gingerly to check whether the White House successfully created a veneer of legality by “twisting the law.”  I am getting tired of this.  That is not why we have a government — so that people can play this game with each other, to see whether they can find clever ways to keep torture legal.

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  1. Also at Daily Kos.

    • Valtin on June 17, 2008 at 8:01 am

    that you can make heads nor tails out of the games these people are playing, unless you realize the Pentagon has had lots of experience with torture predating 9/11. This was not something that just came up because commanders at Kandahar or Baghram or some such wanted stronger methods.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld were well aware and even involved somewhat in these earlier programs, whether it was MKULTRA (Cheney and Rumsfeld both worked covering up the murder of potential whistleblower on the CIA, Frank Olson) or Operation Phoenix and other military operations from Vietnam to backing death squad terror in Latin America.

    The main problem Rumsfeld had was a lack of trained interrogators and torturers (not always the same role). At Baghram, military guards were simply beating detainees to death. So they turned to CIA/military psychologists that had worked with the SERE program to jerry-rig from SERE and certain CIA techniqes the kind of torture that later became infamous at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

    These are points I make elsewhere, but think it worth noting here, as a comment to your otherwise excellent contribution to this discussion.

    • brobin on June 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    any story they put forward to the masses.  

    They have sold their souls for lies of omission while continuing to lie about how that omission occured.

    • geomoo on June 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Lawyers at the highest levels wrote briefs filled with fictions concerning obligations under the Geneva Convention and definitions of torture.  The military used these illegal briefs to guide their illegal behavior for at least several months. When military lawyers took a stand, the official policy was changed, a tacit admission that the previous policy had been indefensible.  And the attempt to create the impression the policies arose in response to requests from the field has been fully and undeniably exposed.

    These are cold, hard facts. Yet our Congress seems to be engaged in a discussion of hypotheticals, full of factual doubt and procedural uncertainty.  The constitution and our laws contain clear-cut guidelines as to the proper course of action.

    That is not why we have a government — so that people can play this game with each other, to see whether they can find clever ways to keep torture legal.

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