Tag: Senate Armed Services Committee

Obama’s Never Ending War

prednisone 10mg dose http://cancersupportmontana.org/?search=from-online-drugstore-real-levitra-canadian Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

http://caseyanthony.com/?search=propecia-pills-5mg The Authorization to Use Military Force is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Pentagon officials testified that the authorization would be needed for another 10 to 20 years and could be used anywhere from “Boston to FATA (Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas).” According to the interpretation of these officials this could be done under the current AUMF without any further authorization from Congress. Those claims elicited disbelief, even from war hawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who said, “For you to come here and say we don’t need to change it or revise or update it, I think is, well, disturbing.”

http://e11even.ca/?search=propecia-causes-sterility Indeed, but disturbing is an understatement, but none of the Senators suggested that the powers under the AUMF be dialed back.

see Testifying before the committee on May 16 were Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Sheehan; Robert Taylor, the acting general counsel for the Department of Defense; Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, Legal Counsel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Gen. Michael Nagata, Deputy Director for Special Operations/Counterterrorism, J-37, Joint Staff

click here This excerpt of the hearing from go to link Democracy Now includes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Robert Taylor, acting general counsel, Department of Defense; Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict, Department of Defense; and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).

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Transcript is here

From Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian on Pres. Obama’s permanent war on terror:

That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the “war on terror” will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week’s big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of “endless war”. Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so.

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat. [..]

The genius of America’s endless war machine is that, learning from the unplesantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible. That is accomplished by heaping all of the fighting burden on a tiny and mostly economically marginalized faction of the population, by using sterile, mechanized instruments to deliver the violence, and by suppressing any real discussion in establishment media circles of America’s innocent victims and the worldwide anti-American rage that generates.

Though rarely visible, the costs are nonetheless gargantuan. Just in financial terms, as Americans are told they must sacrifice Social Security and Medicare benefits and place their children in a crumbling educational system, the Pentagon remains the world’s largest employer and continues to militarily outspend the rest of the world by a significant margin. The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves?

Then there are the threats to Americans’ security. Having their government spend decades proudly touting itself as “A Nation at War” and bringing horrific violence to the world is certain to prompt more and more people to want to attack Americans, as the US government itself claims took place just recently in Boston (and as clearly took place multiple other times over the last several years). [..]

The Obama administration already claims the power to wage endless and boundless war, in virtually total secrecy, and without a single meaningful check or constraint. No institution with any power disputes this. To the contrary, the only ones which exert real influence – Congress, the courts, the establishment media, the plutocratic class – clearly favor its continuation and only think about how further to enable it. That will continue unless and until Americans begin to realize just what a mammoth price they’re paying for this ongoing splurge of war spending and endless aggression.

Harvard Law professor and former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who also testified, wrote this at the end of his brief summery of the hearing:

My general impression of the hearing was that (1) DOD officials were very uncomfortable talking about how they interpret the AUMF and what groups are covered by it, (2) those officials interpret the AUMF very broadly, and (3) several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD’s interpretation of the AUMF.  I came away thinking that Congress cannot address the problem of extra-AUMF threats until it gets a handle on how the AUMF is being interpreted and deployed.  I also came away thinking more than ever that Congress needs to re-engage in a serious way about the nature and scope of the conflict against al Qaeda and affiliates.  Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.

The solutions are for Congress to repeal the AUMF or for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional. Don’t hold your breath for either of those things happening.

Monday: Welcome Back From Your Trip, Mr. President of the Republican Party

President Obama is back from his Pan Pacific – Asian debt sales trip, and the Lame Duck session of Congress is now officially underway.

Dan Choi,Lt Dan Choi,Get Equal,White House Protest,DADT

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-senza-ricetta-Umbria Lt. Dan Choi and 12 other Get Equal civil rights activists handcuff themselves to the White House fence on Monday, Nov 15, 2010, to protest the military’s discriminatory policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (photo of murky screenshot from video was highlighted. )

Considered Forthwith: Armed Services committees (with DADT update)

Welcome to the 18th installment of “Considered Forthwith.”

This weekly series looks at the various committees in the House and the Senate. Committees are the workshops of our democracy. This is where bills are considered, revised, and occasionally advance for consideration by the House and Senate. Most committees also have the authority to exercise oversight of related executive branch agencies.

This week, I will look at the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Forces Committees. Obviously, these members are the ones to contact to advance the bill that would repeal the “Don’t ask/don’t tell policy.” These are also the committees that need a proverbial kick in the pants to advance legislation that would close Gitmo. More information below.

SERE Psychologists Still Used in Special Ops Interrogations and Detention

Originally posted at Firedoglake

The great novelist William Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

With all the controversy over the use of Survival, Evasion, Escape, Resistance, or SERE, psychologists in the interrogation of “high-value detainees” — most recently detailed in a fascinating melange of an article in last Sunday’s Washington Post —  everyone seems to assume that terrible chapter is a thing of the past. Recent documentation that has come to my attention suggests otherwise.

The reasons no one until now has noticed the current activities of SERE psychologists in offensive military operations are that, one, no one has cared to look, and two, a specious narrative ending in the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC)  report, “Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody,” released last April, that appeared to conclude the episode was over. In its Executive Summary, the SASC concluded that, in September 2004, “JFCOM [U.S. Joint Forces Command] issued a formal policy stating that support to offensive interrogation operations was outside JPRA’s charter.” And that, presumably, was that.

Senate Report: Bush Solicited “Wish List” of Torture Techniques

http://cmcpediatrics.com/?search=viagra-canadian-sales Crossposted from Antemedius

According to a RawStory article about an hour ago:

A report by the Senate Armed Services Committee released Tuesday night says that torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib prison and approved by officials in the George W. Bush administration were applied only after soliciting a “wish list” from interrogators.

President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. This act, the committee found, cleared the way for a new interrogation program to be developed in-part based on “Chinese communist” tactics used against Americans during the Korean War, mainly to elicit false confessions for propaganda purposes.

“In mid-August 2003, an email from staff at Combined Joint Task Force

7 (CJTF-7) headquarters in Iraq requested that subordinate units provide input for a ‘wish list’ of interrogation techniques [to be used at Abu Ghraib], stated that ‘the gloves are coming off,’ and said ‘we want these detainees broken,'” the report found.

The report is available as a .pdf file from the Senate Armed Services Committee site, and opens with this extraordinary paragraph:

On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third Geneva Convention. The President’s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President’s order stated that, as “a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions,” the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legal compliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.

SASC Full Declassified Report Due Out, Levin to Call for DOJ Referral

Jason Leopold reported today that the Senate Armed Services Committee is very close to releasing — “possibly as early as next week” — its 200 page, 2000 footnote

… voluminous report on the treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody and the interrogations methods they were subjected to, according to Defense Department and intelligence sources, who described the report as the most detailed account to date of how the Bush administration and Defense Department implemented interrogation methods widely regarded as torture.

Levin and the SASC’s investigation is a gold mine of information about how the Bush administration implemented its torture program. Both the documents produced by the investigation, and the declassified 19-page summary released by Sen. Levin last year contained important new information, such the details surrounding John Yoo’s drafting of the torture memos.

Liberal “Hero” Jon Stewart Cozies Up to War Criminal Myers

As even a commenter at The Daily Show’s website put it, Jon Stewart’s interview tonight with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George W. Bush, General Richard Myers, was “one of the most fawning, sycophantic interviews I have ever seen Jon Stewart do.”

There is no transcript or link to the interview yet. It’s too fresh. From my memory, the interview began with Stewart lauding the sacrifice of U.S. troops, and it also ended the same way. A few days after electrifying much of the blogosphere with a critical interview with CNBC financial host Jim Cramer, Stewart showed how he can cower when faced with someone with real power, and not a small-time media crony like Cramer.

General Myers was promoted to the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs only two weeks before 9/11, after having served as vice chair under President Clinton. As a loyal military man under the evil Bush/Cheney regime, he helped organize the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq that produced hundreds of thousands of deaths and a million or more refugees, all under the guise of a bogus search for supposed weapons of mass destruction.

Minutes from a Torturers’ Meeting at Guantanamo (w/Update)

Crossposted from Daily Kos

What follows below was transcribed from a PDF of  the original document (or a copy of same), posted on the website of Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. It, along with a wealth of other documentation, was used in preparing the SASC’s highly critical report late last year on interrogations and detainee treatment, which concluded that high officials bore responsibility for the mistreatment and torture of prisoners under U.S. control.

The document below constitutes the minutes from a meeting held at Guantanamo in early autumn, 2002. It is presented with minimal editorial comment, as I believe it speaks for itself. So far as I know, no other transcription of this document, minus certain excerpts, has ever been published or posted before. It is done so here as a public service, to promote the position that prosecution of the government’s torture crimes is of paramount importance.

How GOP Plans to Defend BushCo on Torture

I don’t have any special source within inner Republican Party circles. Nor do I have any particular new insight into the dynamics of how the GOP works out their policy. What I do have is the statement of the Republican minority opinion on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s “supposedly bipartisan” report, Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody. In the minority’s mix of apologia and attack, we see the outlines of the GOP game-plan for any investigations into Bush crimes under an Obama administration and a Democratic-majority Congress.

The minority statement is endorsed by only about half of the Republican Senators on the Armed Services committee: Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, James Inhofe, R-OK, Jeff Sessions, R-AL, John Cornyn, R-TX, John Thune, R-SD, and Mel Martinez, R-FL. As you read what follows, consider that all of the above http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=real-cialis-without-prescription voted for the unanimously released report. According to a Washington Post article at the time, the SASC report was originally “sent to the Pentagon with no dissenting views.”

Secret Memos Show White House Approved CIA Torture

Joby Warrick at The Washington Post has an article today confirming what many of us have suspected for some time: the CIA asked for and received written approval for its “enhanced interrogation” program, which notoriously includes the use of techniques like waterboarding. Condoleezza Rice confirmed in hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month that she and other White House “Principals” had been briefed on the CIA’s torture program in early 2002. (ABC News had broken the story first, last spring.)

According to Washington Post article today, CIA director George Tenet pushed for the written confirmations of support, wary of legal entanglements for CIA personnel involved in the abusive interrogation program. He first asked and received the CIA’s get-out-of-jail card in June 2003, and then again after the Abu Ghraib story broke in mid-2004.

Nuts & Bolts: How U.S. Organized Torture Program

The Armed Services Committee’s hearings last week on interrogation and torture gave us a startling look into how torture was taught at the Naval Prison at Guantanamo Bay. Most articles have not bothered to look deeply into what was discussed in meetings between officials of the Navy’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape, or SERE, program and ranking officers and personnel at Guantanamo. This article will look in some detail at what actually occurred. (At the end, I will address an important correction and clarification to an earlier article on SERE.)

As Mark Benjamin writes in his “timeline to Bush government torture”:

Soon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Pentagon and the CIA began an orchestrated effort to tap expertise from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape school, for use in the interrogation of terrorist suspects. The U.S. military’s SERE training is designed to inoculate elite soldiers, sailors and airmen to torture, in the event of their capture, by an enemy that would violate the Geneva Conventions. Those service members are subjected to forced nudity, stress positions, hooding, slapping, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation and, yes, in some cases, waterboarding.

At Last! Senate Hearings Tackle SERE-Inspired Torture Program

The Senate Armed Services Committee will be holding hearings into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. Tomorrow is part one, as Senator Levin’s committee looks into the origins of U.S. aggressive interrogation techniques. A new article by AP makes clear that these techniques were approved at the highest levels, and that the resulting torture revelations were not due to the actions of a few “bad apples.”

Also, on Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing entitled “From the Department of Justice to Guantanamo Bay”, which is the second part of its inquiry into administration lawyers, like John Yoo, and their role in writing and approving torture and guidelines for abusive interrogation.

Meanwhile, Human Rights First has a petition up, demanding that Congress ask William Haynes, former General Counsel to the Department of Defense – who “once advised the Bush Administration that waterboarding and death threats were ‘legally available’ options” – tough questions, bearing upon his culpability for implementing a U.S. torture program.