• Namaste, indeed, DW! Thanks very much for your support and intelligent interest and commentary.

  • The failure to cover the prisoners renditioned to foreign partners in torture, or to address CIA ops at Guantanamo, for instance, does mean we are only getting a partial picture. To really understand the propagation of the policy, the use of rendition, and also how DoD’s own version of the EITs unfolded is important. To some degree, the problem is an artifact of the separation of oversight duties in Congress. On the other hand, there may be some deliberate obfustcation going on.

    But on the whole, I think what was revealed is doing its job, in that it does show the horror of the CIA’s torture program, and people are definitely getting that.

    Still, as my article makes clear, this is a kind of partial hang-out. What’s being kept secret still, at a minimum, is the use of drugs in the program, the role of Special Forces, the degree to which experiments were taking place, and the fact that all of this has continuity with the past (something the SSCI report did very briefly address, and also gave some nice tidbits of evidence).

    For what I’m trying to do, it means swimming against the tide in order to get the above issues heard. I do understand that, for instance, the legal issues, and the attempt to get accountability is very important. I wrote my article so the underlying problems I discuss are not forgotten, and are at least on the record. But trying to bring MKULTRA, for instance, back into the public discourse is very difficult. You can tell by the degree to which even progressive bloggers and anti-torture advocates will shy away from such discussion.

    — To DW, you know I agree about the amount of damage that is being done, has been done by the turn to torture. That damage was made possible in part by letting torturers from earlier eras go free, and by giving the CIA a free hand in what it does. Things will ultimately change, but I agree with comments made by Richard Falk earlier today, it will take the rise of a progressive movement outside the 2-party framework for this to happen.

  • Informally, this article is dedicated to Jane Hamsher, who has had to take some time off for medical reasons, and whose sponsorship of truly independent journalism and commentary has been an invaluable contribution to our society. Jane, I hope you get well soon!

  • I wonder if you have examined how much back and forth there is between, for instance, the staff of the Congressional intelligence committees and the CIA in particular? George Tenet was not the only Intel Staff Director i Congress to have a later (or earlier) association with the CIA.

  • Let me add that the addition of the Gerwehr emails is important, and I’m very glad your writing has led to what appears to be some kind of investigation of the APA’s role in the Bush torture program (we’ll see how honest that investigation will actually be). All the more reason I am asking about release of the Gerwehr emails.

  • Thanks Tim, for hosting the salon, and FDL for giving all of us this great forum.

    Mr. Risen. I read with great interest your chapter on the APA and their association with the CIA and the Department of Defense. One criticism I have of your book is that it makes it appear that you discovered definitive evidence of the connections between the CIA and the APA. In fact, such evidence has been the work of numerous authors and researchers, not least John Marks, Al McCoy, and Arthur Levine.

    Perhaps you also know I wrote about much of this over the years. Perhaps not. In particular, I wrote more than once here at Firedoglake about Scott Gerwehr, various APA personnel, RAND, and the CIA and a 2003 workshop, mentioned in passing in your book. See http://my.firedoglake.com/valtin/2010/05/23/obama-interrogation-official-linked-to-u-s-mind-control-research/ and http://my.firedoglake.com/valtin/2010/05/16/apa-scrubs-pages-linking-it-to-cia-torture-workshops/

    I, and I imagine other researchers, would be very interested to see the Gerwehr emails. I wonder if you would release them to the public, much as the PENS listserv correspondence was publicly released some years ago. I see no reason not to do this. The CIA already has these emails. The FBI now has them, too. The APA presumably has them. And you and Nate Raymond have them. The only people who don’t have them is the public. Will you release them?

  • Great coverage, Kevin. I’ll be very interested to see how the US tries to squiggle out of the different questions.

    In any case, don’t forget that the issue of “field expedient interrogation,” a subset of Appendix M Army Field manual techniques, has been covered repeatedly here at The Dissenter, most recently last September. Readers can reference my article, ”
    New DoD Directive on Detainees Allows Sleep and Sensory Deprivation, Biometric IDs

  • Thanks for the extra info you dug out on Zuley. Here’s a link to that bio: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12578&page=159

    Zuley is definitely not alone in inhabiting recent and current positions on the “terrorism” and “national security” or police gravy train. As DW pointed out above, the rot runs deep. We lack the political apparatus and tools to successfully turn back this spin into barbarism. They exist, but a generation taught the left was dead do not know anymore how to do it. They will have to relearn it when the time comes. First thing on the agenda will be to dump the Democratic Party and form a new political movement that will oppose the fat cats and their eternal war machine.

  • Wanted to plug a website that was dedicated to Lathierial Boyd’s freedom, but forgot to link in the story itself: http://www.finaljustice4lathierial.com/

  • Thanks for mentioning these names. Darby is particularly a forgotten figure, while Kiriakou still languishes in prison (The Dissenter has been publishing his “Letters from Loreto.”)

    Also, some want to go after the torture lawyers, some after the torture doctors, some after the politicians. My point is that the rot has gone so far that getting rid of torture now will require — or more likely — be part of a larger societal change. That change is coming, but none of us can predict when or what form it will take. In some fashion or another, it likely will rely upon and be spiritually linked to the principles of the Enlightenment, whose primary figures, beginning with Voltaire, fought so hard and strenuously against “l’infame,” against torture.

  • Since writing this article, I discovered that were a few other postings at Just Security, besides that of Steve Vladek, including one by Gabor Rona, and one by Marty Lederman. These postings appear to be primarily concerned with the language around the definition of “unprivileged belligerents.” Neither of the other postings are critical of what Lederman called “expanded humane treatment provisions” in the new directive.

    Meanwhile, Ryan Vogel, who says he “led the drafting and coordination process for DoDD 2310.01E”, published today at Just Security a new article, “A Response on Department of Defense Directive 2310.01E (Detainee Program).”

    Vogel writes, “… this new detainee directive is dramatically different from its predecessor, mandating, as a policy matter, those practices and lessons learned over the prior decade. Some of the more notable changes include: expanded humane treatment provisions and added emphasis by moving them into the main body from the attachments section; clarification regarding the general process for handling detainees from point of capture or assumption of custody until final transfer, repatriation, or release; expansion of the policies related to the transfer, repatriation, and release of detainees, including applicable humane treatment and security assurances; references to Article 75 of Additional Protocol I and Articles 4-6 of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 as applicable detention principles (even though the United States is party to neither Protocol); and, most significantly, a new policy requirement to conduct detainee review processes, used to ascertain the status and continued necessity of detention for individuals detained by DoD under the law of armed conflict.”

    I think my answer to Vogel is explicitly aired above. What is disturbing is that the legal analysts at Just Security are so obtuse on the issue of what constitutes “humane treatment.” Vogel is probably not obtuse. He must know where the textual bodies are buried, so to speak.

  • Thanks to all for the good comments. I do want to echo points by Hugo and eCAHNomics about Gladio, and the long history of U.S. support for local dictatorships.

    I’ve seen Stephen Cohen talk. I’m just glad his voice is still allowed out there in the public media realm.

    Nuclear war is very possible. I see US/NATO/EU and Russia getting into a situation where no one can back down. A similar dynamic is unfolding in the Far East, where US/Japan is demonizing China, rounding up support from others in Asia.

    It’s almost as if diplomacy doesn’t exist anymore. Just bellicose behavior, and war maneuvers, as the participants prepare for the nightmare their leaders appear ready and eager to implement.

    Perhaps Obama and the generals and their allies in London and Berlin think that Russia will simply fold, retreat yet again. After all, the Bolsheviks are not in charge anymore. Maybe they should go back and read their Tolstoy, instead of dreaming they will get to install another Yeltsin.

  • Jeff Kaye commented on the diary post Malaysian Press: Ukrainian Fighter Jets Shot Down Flight MH 17 by Ohio Barbarian.

    2014-08-09 16:50:49View | Delete

    That would be very interesting if article had really changed. But I saw what Tarheel Dem saw, and so far no clear evidence what caused crash, though appears there may be re BUK missiles.

  • Sorry you feel that way. When it comes to torture, it is not about just 3 people the U.S. tortured. You may be thinking about the claims the U.S. makes about the number of prisoners it waterboarded. We know it was more than that. As to larger numbers, hundreds of prisoners went through Guantanamo, and thousands more have been held in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other “war on terror” sites around the world.

    Also, I believe you may be referring in part to the use of torture outside the military/intelligence setting, and not on foreign enemies, but on the citizenry. Indeed, the use of tasers, drugs, solitary confinement, beatings, instilling fear and other forms of abuse by authorities from the police to prison wardens, and even in medical and educational settings, is undeniable. Nothing in this article takes away from these serious problems.

  • Kurt, perhaps you could point us to a detailed debunking of Valentine’s book. But I ask you, what other author has made the materials in creating his book so public, depositing the notes for 100s of materials with a public and well-known archive, or posting online some of the crucial audio interviews with the principals involved.

    Of course there is a cottage industry that spent time trying to discredit Doug Valentine and his work, and The Phoenix Project in particular. In a combination of luck (Colby’s initial help) and perseverance (Doug’s work), the American people have a rare look inside a classified operation that became the model for later US counterinsurgency actions. The CIA and Pentagon will always hate him for that.

  • Wittes has served the national security state very well. Besides your examples, I noted some time ago that DoJ used his writings (in this case a supposed debunking of Scott Horton’s work on “The Guantanamo Suicides”) to oppose a lawsuit by the parents of two of the detainees who died mysteriously at Guantanamo. See http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2011/07/15/feds-cite-koppelman-wittes-hit-pieces-on-scott-hortons-guantanamo-suicides/

    The article did not escape the attention of Mr. Wittes, who replied with what he must have felt was withering sarcasm, though not, of source, substantively. I wrote that up, too: Benjamin Wittes Responds: “Happy to be a government proxy”.

    Something about a leopard and his spots, I’d say.

  • For those interested in more, at the 15:00 minute mark, Abby Martin at RT interviews Mark Crispin Miller about how The Phoenix Program was suppressed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yd0tufqI94

  • For those interested, here’s a link to a video of Colin Ross talking about Karen Wetmore’s new book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6PhnUHE6w8

  • Great article, Kevin. It shows the FBI, particularly abroad, is implicated in torture in a fashion usually attributed only to the CIA, or maybe DoD. This decision, like Kessler’s allowing forced feeding torture shows how low the US has fallen on the scale of civilizations.

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