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Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

Obama Protecting Bush’s “Testicle Crusher” Attorney

San Francisco Chronicle
December 8, 2009

The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.

Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Other sanctions are available for government lawyers who commit misconduct, the department said. It noted that its Office of Professional Responsibility has been investigating Yoo’s advice to former President George W. Bush since 2004 and has the power to recommend professional discipline or even criminal prosecution.

The office has not made its conclusions public. However, The Chronicle and other media reported in May that the office will recommend that Yoo be referred to the bar association for possible discipline, but that he not be prosecuted.

Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor, worked for the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003. He was the author of a 2002 memo that said rough treatment of captives amounts to torture only if it causes the same level of pain as “organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death.” The memo also said the president may have the power to authorize torture of enemy combatants.

Read Full Article Here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt1-eWU2Ii0

 



CIA Secret Torture Facility Found at Horse Riding Academy

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Secret ‘Torture’ Prison Found at Fancy Horseback Riding Academy in Lithuania

ABC
November 19, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doJ9rUQt5h8

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time.

“The activities in that prison were illegal,” said human rights researcher John Sifton. “They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions.”

Lithuanian officials provided ABC News with the documents of what they called a CIA front company, Elite, LLC, which purchased the property and built the “black site” in 2004.

 



KSM’s children tortured with insects

KSM’s children tortured with insects

Raw Story
April 17, 2009

Bush Administration memos released by the White House on Thursday provide new insight into claims that American agents used insects to torture the young children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the memos, released Thursday, the Bush Administration White House Office of Legal Counsel offered its endorsement of CIA torture methods that involved placing an insect in a cramped, confined box with detainees. Jay S. Bybee, then-director of the OLC, wrote that insects could be used to capitalize on detainees’ fears.

The memo was dated Aug. 1, 2002. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s children were captured and held in Pakistan the following month, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

While an additional memo released Thursday claims that the torture with insects technique was never utilized by the CIA, the allegations regarding the children would have transpired when the method was authorized by the Bush Administration.

At a military tribunal in 2007, the father of a Guantanamo detainee alleged that Pakistani guards had confessed that American interrogators used ants to coerce the children of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed into revealing their father’s whereabouts.

The statement was made by Ali Khan, the father of detainee Majid Khan, who gave a detailed account of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American guards in Pakistan. In his statement, Khan asserted that one of his sons was held at the same place as the young children of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“The Pakistani guards told my son that the boys were kept in a separate area upstairs and were denied food and water by other guards,” the statement read. “They were also mentally tortured by having ants or other creatures put on their legs to scare them and get them to say where their father was hiding.” (A pdf transcript is available here)

Khan’s statement is second-hand. But the picture he paints of his son’s interrogation at the hands of American interrogators is strikingly similar to the accounts given by numerous other detainees to the International Red Cross. The timing of the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s son — then aged seven and nine — also meshes with a report by Human Rights Watch, which says that the children were captured in September 2002 and held for four months at the hands of American guards.

“According to eyewitnesses, the two were held in an adult detention center for at least four months while U.S. agents questioned the children about their father’s whereabouts,” the report said.

The use of insects isn’t mentioned in a recently leaked International Red Cross report, in which Red Cross officials questioned detainees about their treatment at the hands of US forces and ultimately judged them to have been tortured. A second memo released Thursday, dated May 10, 2005, says the CIA told the White House insects were never actually used in interrogations.

“We understand that — for reasons unrelated to any concerns that it might violate the [criminal] statute — the CIA never used the technique and has removed it from the list of authorized interrogation techniques,” Steven Bradbury, a principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a footnote.

It’s worth noting, however, that the Red Cross was denied access to individuals held at CIA black sites. Khan’s son, Majid, was among those President Bush moved from the CIA’s secret prison network to Guantanamo Bay.

The techniques Khan says were employed against his son also match those approved in the Bybee memo.

“What I can tell you is that Majid was kidnapped from my son Mohammed’s [not related Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] house in Karachi, along with Mohammed, his wife, and my infant granddaughter,” Khan said in his military tribunal statement. “They were captured by Pakistani police and soldiers and taken to a detention center fifteen minutes from Mohammed’s house. The center had walls that seemed to be eighty feet high. My sons were hooded, handcuffed, and interrogated. After eight days of interrogation by US and Pakistani agents, including FBI agents, Mohammed was allowed to see Majid.

“Majhid looked terrible and very, very tired,” Khan continued. “According to Mohammed, Majid said that the Americans tortured him for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a small chair until his hands, feet and mind went numb. They re-tied him in the chair every hour, tightening the bonds on his hands and feet each time so that it was more painful. He was often hooded and had difficulty breathing. They also beat him repeatedly, slapping him in the face, and deprived him of sleep. When he was not being interrogated, the Americans put Majid in a small cell that was totally dark and too small for him to lie down in or sit in with his legs stretched out. He had to crouch. The room was also infested with mosquitoes. The torture only stopped when Majid agreed to sign a statement that he was not even allowed to read.”

Later in his statement, Khan alleges that the Pakistani guards revealed other abuses by American agents.

“The Americans also once stripped and beat two Arab boys, ages fourteen and sixteen, who were turned over by the Pakistani guards at the detention center,” he said. “These guards told my son that they were very upset at this and said the boys were thrown like garbage onto a plane to Guantanamo. Women prisoners were also held there, apart from their husbands, and some were pregnant and forced to give birth in their cells. According to Mohammed, one woman also died in her cell because the guards could not get her to a hospital quickly enough. This was most upsetting to the Pakistani guards.”

One blogger notes, “The first indications the children may have been tortured were reported in Ron Suskind’s 2006 book The One Percent Doctrine.”

“When KSM was being held at a secret CIA facility in Thailand, apparently the revamped Vietnam War-era base at Udorn, according to Suskind, a message was passed to interrogators: ‘do whatever’s necessary,’” Kevin Fenton writes at History Commons. “The interrogators then told KSM ‘his children would be hurt if he didn’t cooperate. However, his response was, ’so, fine, they’ll join Allah in a better place.’”

Fenton has two questions: “Did the Khans invent the allegations or garble them in some way and then ‘get lucky’ two years later, when it was revealed the CIA was, at least, contemplating the techniques they alleged it used at the time in question?” and “Given that nobody heard of the CIA using insects for another two years, why would they invent these specific allegations, which sounded bizarre when they were made?”

Abu Ghraib Prisoners Submerged in Ice-Water

New Gitmo Video: Child Detainee Cries During Interrogation

Tortured Patsies To Take Fall For 9/11

Child Prisoners in Iraq Suffering Same Abuse as Adults

 



Outsourcing Torture To Continue Under Obama

Outsourcing Torture To Continue Under Obama

Anthony Gregory
Campaign For Liberty
August 25, 2009

Flashback: Obama Orders Continuation Of Illegal CIA Renditions

About two years ago, candidate Obama, writing in Foreign Affairs, strongly criticized Bush’s practice of “extraordinary renditioning.” Under this policy, terror suspects were apprehended, transferred, sometimes through secret prisons and black cites, and handed over to foreign regimes like Egypt and Morocco. Sometimes this involved torture. Maher Arar, for example, was a Canadian citizen later determined to be innocent, captured in New York and sent to Syria where he was tortured in brutal ways. See this piece in the New Yorker chroniciling other such horror stories.

Obama’s criticism of renditioning, along with his general criticism of the Bush administration’s violations of habeas corpus, was one of his most serious indictments of the war on terrorism as managed by the Republicans.

Now the New York Times reports that “[t]he Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terror suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but will monitor their treatment to insure they are not tortured.”

How will they monitor such treatment? The administration “would give the State Department a larger role in assuring that transferred detainees would not be abused.” This is the State Department headed by Hillary Clinton — the same politician whom Ann Coulter had said she’d vote for over John McCain because Clinton was more pro-torture!

The Times goes on to report:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Obama administration is continuing the Bush administration practice of relying on diplomatic assurances, which have been proven completely ineffective in preventing torture,” said Amrit Singh of the American Civil Liberties Union, who tracked rendition cases under President George W. Bush.

She cited the case of Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian sent in 2002 by the United States to Syria, which offered assurances against torture but beat Mr. Arar with electrical cable anyway.a new administrative interrogation unit, to be housed within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which will oversee the interrogations of top terror suspects using largely non-coercive techniques approved by the administration earlier this year.”

Read Full Article Here

 



U.S. Interrogator: “You have 3 minutes to live”

U.S. Interrogator: “You have 3 minutes to live”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocneQaBFvXg

 



White House has its own interrogation room

White House has its own interrogation room

Think Progress
August 8, 2008

In Ron Suskind’s new book, Suskind describes a disturbing case in Washington, D.C., where security officials detained and interrogated Usman Khosa, a Pakistani U.S. college graduate, because he was “fiddling” with his iPod near White House gates. Officials took Khosa to an interrogation room “beneath” the White House:

He turns as a large uniformed man lunges at him. The backpack!” the man yells, pushing Usman against the Italianate gates in front of Treasury and ripping off his backpack. Another officer on a bicycle arrives from somewhere and tears the backpack open, dumping its contents on the sidewalk. […]

Usman is trundled from the SUV, escorted through the West Gate, and onto the manicured grounds. No one speaks as the agents walk him behind the gate’s security station, down a stairwell, along an underground passage, and into a room — cement-walled box with a table, two chairs, a hanging light with a bare bulb, and a mounted video camera. Even after all the astonishing turns of the past hour, Usman can’t quite believe there’s actually an interrogation room beneath the White House, dark and dank and horrific.

“Usman Khosa is a Pakistani national in his early twenties, a graduate of Connecticut College now working for the International Monetary Fund,” Suskind notes.

 

Bin Laden Firm to Build Saudi Arabian Prisons to Replace Guantanamo Bay

Pakistan Daily
August 9, 2008

Saudi Arabia is to build five modern prisons in the kingdom to replace US Guantanamo detention facility, a new report has revealed.

Jordanian daily quoted unnamed sources as saying that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Saudi officials are cooperating to construct the prisons which are to replace Guantanamo and US secret prisons in Europe.

Riyadh is to spent about two billion Saudi Rials for the project which can accommodate up to 18000 inmates, they added.

Bin laden firm and with the help of German engineers will build the prisons in the Saudi cities of Mecca, Haer, Demmam, and Qasim.

The US has been under pressure due to violating individual rights in its detention camps in Europe and Guantanamo Bay.

UN human rights investigators have urged the White House to shut down the Guantanamo camp.

America’s Iraqi prisoners
http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2008/08/iraq-detainees-held-mnf-rights

 



Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

Iraqi detainees put in wooden crates

The Memory Hole
July 23, 2008

In Iraq, some prisoners/detainees are kept in wooden crates known as “prisoner boxes,” so I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Central Command asking for the following:

“Vanity Fair (Feb 2005 issue) has reported the existence of wood “prisoner boxes” being used by the US military in facilities in and around Baghdad. They are used to hold individual prisoners and detainees.

“I hereby request all photographs of these boxes, including empty boxes as well as boxes holding prisoners and detainees.”

Around nine and a half months later, CentCom responded by sending the three photographs on this page.

See Full Resolution Images

 

Another Secret Terror War Prison Found

Huffington Post
August 1, 2008

The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the “War on Terror,” and recent revelations in TIME — based on disclosures by a “senior American official,” who was “a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings” after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that “a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island” — will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely.

The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the US government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret “War on Terror” prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, “extraordinary rendition” and the practice of torture.

Read Full Article Here

2002 DOJ Memos OKed Torture
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/..6my6QSyHcMGDyb_qe2WwvIE

ACLU: Memos authorized CIA torture
http://rawstory.com//news/2008/A..horized_CIA_torture_0724.html

Former Gitmo Prosecutor Says Trials Rigged
http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2008/07/former-gitmo-prosecutor-says-t.html

MI5 Outsourced Torture
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/15/humanrights.civilliberties

`Terrorist’ Loses 60 Pounds on Cheney Torture Diet
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/new..8&sid=as7YVr4Wamak&refer=home

Why Pelosi won’t impeach: She knew about the torture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w88NXHsgi08

Ashcroft: Waterboarding ‘Consistently’ Seen As Legal, Refuses To Say Use On U.S. Troops Is ‘Unacceptable’
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/17/ashcroft-torture/