From the Post-Gazette:
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA, said he was not surprised when four young protesters interrupted his remarks Tuesday afternoon at Duquesne University. He has had to make some difficult and controversial decisions in the war on terror.This is what happened:
The four protesters stood up about 45 minutes into the 90-minute forum displaying small signs and chanting, ”Michael Hayden is a war criminal!”Interesting that there's a question about whether the protestors will be charged. Granted this is private property (Duquesne University) and they might have rules about "free speech" on their property. But take a step back - there may be an issue with four protestors but Duquesne had no problem inviting a war criminal to their lovely and peaceful campus.
“Assassination is a war crime! Torture is a war crime!” one of the men shouted before being led from the room by university police. “You are a war criminal and you should be in jail. Arrest Michael Hayden! He murdered people!”
“Welcome home,” Gen. Hayden said, drawing laughter from the audience.
Assistant Chief Michael Sippey of the Duquesne University police said two of the protesters, who were taken off campus in handcuffs before being released, were students at the University of Pittsburgh. He said his department will contact the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office before deciding whether to charge them with causing a disturbance.
So what did Hayden do?
Do you remember a set of video tapes that showed torture that were destroyed? Take a look at how Michael Hayden covered up their destruction. This is from Senator Diane Feinstein's speech before the Senate:
It was the first time the interrogation program was explained to the full Committee as details had previously been limited to the chairman and vice chairman.And then there was the outright lying:
Then, on December 7, 2007, the New York Times reported that CIA personnel in 2005 had destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two CIA detainees: the CIA's first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, as well as 'Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
The committee had not been informed of the destruction of the tapes. Days later, on December 11, 2007, the committee held a hearing on the destruction of the videotapes.
Director Hayden, the primary witness, testified that the CIA had concluded that the destruction of videotapes was acceptable, in part, because Congress had not yet requested to see them. (Source: SSCI transcript, Dec. 11, 2007 hearing)
Director Hayden stated that, if the committee had asked for the videotapes, they would have been provided. But, of course, the committee had not known that the videotapes existed. And we now know from CIA emails and records that the videotapes were destroyed shortly after senior CIA attorneys raised concerns that Congress might find out about the tapes.
The second set of findings and conclusions is that the CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the program and its effectiveness to the White House, the Department of Justice, Congress, the CIA inspector general, the media, and the American public.Michael Hayden's CIA tortured and then they lied about the torture to the Justice Department and to the Congress. All those things are against the law. And yet he was invited to speak at Duquesne University.
This conclusion is somewhat personal for me. I recall clearly when Director Hayden briefed the Intelligence Committee for the first time on the so-called EITs at that September 2006 committee meeting.
He referred specifically to a 'tummy slap,' among other techniques, and presented the entire set of techniques as minimally harmful and applied in a highly clinical and professional manner. They were not.
The committee's report demonstrates that these techniques were physically very harmful and that the constraints that existed, on paper, in Washington did not match the way techniques were used at CIA sites around the world.
Of particular note was the treatment of Abu Zubaydah over a span of 17 days in August 2002.
This involved non-stop interrogation and abuse, 24/7 from August 4 to August 21, and included multiple forms of deprivation and physical assault. The description of this period, first written up by our staff in early 2009, while Senator Rockefeller was chairman, is what prompted this full review.
But the inaccurate and incomplete descriptions go far beyond that. The CIA provided inaccurate memoranda and explanations to the Department of Justice while its [Office of] Legal Counsel was considering the legality of the coercive techniques.
In those communications to the Department of Justice, the CIA claimed the following: the coercive techniques would not be used with excessive repetition; detainees would always have an opportunity to provide information prior to the use of the techniques; the techniques were to be used in progression, starting with the least aggressive and proceeding only if needed; medical personnel would make sure that interrogations wouldn't cause serious harm, and they could intervene at any time to stop interrogations; interrogators were carefully vetted and highly trained; and each technique was to be used in a specific way, without deviation, and only with specific approval for the interrogator and detainee involved. "None of these assurances, which the Department of Justice relied on to form its legal opinions, were consistently or even routinely carried out.
Looks like the police led the wrong people away in handcuffs.