What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 12, 2014

How About NOW? Can We Prosecute The Torture NOW?

From McClatchy:
A still-secret Senate Intelligence Committee report calls into question the legal foundation of the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, a finding that challenges the key defense on which the agency and the Bush administration relied in arguing that the methods didn't constitute torture.
The investigation determined that the program produced very little intelligence of value and that the CIA misled the Bush White House, the Congress and the public about the effectiveness of the interrogation techniques, committee members have said.

The techniques included waterboarding, which produces a sensation of drowning, stress positions, sleep deprivation for up to 11 days at a time, confinement in a cramped box, slaps and slamming detainees into walls. The CIA held detainees in secret “black site” prisons overseas and abducted others who it turned over to foreign governments for interrogation.
And here's where offensive gets offensiv-ier:
Some current and former U.S. officials and military commanders, numerous experts and foreign governments have condemned the harsh interrogation methods as violations of international and U.S. laws against torture, a charge denied by the CIA and the Bush administration.

They've based their defense on a series of top-secret legal opinions issued by the Justice Department beginning in August 2002. At that time, the agency sought advice on whether using the harsh techniques on Zayn al Abidin Muhammad Husayn, a close aide to Osama bin Laden who went by the nom de guerre Abu Zubaydah, would violate U.S. law against torture.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel found that the methods wouldn't breach the law because those applying them didn't have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering.

The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the program’s legality. [Emphasis added.]
Now remember, those legal "opinions" of August, 2002 and afterwards were later characterized by Jack Goldsmith, one time head of the Office of Legal Counsel, as tendentious, overly broad and legally flawed. and he withdrew them on the day he resigned.  The memos were reissued and then later formally withdrawn by the Obama Administration

So the CIA lies to Justice about the torture, the OLC within Justice issues a set of memos OK-ing the CIA's torture and then the CIA uses the memos as a "golden shield" to protect them against...prosecution.

But if it's all based on a lie, then when can we start prosecuting the torture?

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