• 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 17:50:49View | 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.


  • 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.

  • I do agree that they do not want someone to come forward. Besides David, there have been books by Murnat Kurnaz (who you are referring to, I believe, as he is a German national of Turkish origin), and by Moazzam Begg, who helped found CagePrisoners, and who was arrested for allegedly aiding Syrian “terrorists,” and awaits his next hearing on July 14.

    Begg was certainly someone who spoke out and organized to expose the plight of the Guantanamo prisoners. Most of those released have been frightened or too psychologically damaged to speak out. They are forced to sign a waiver that says they won’t talk about their treatment if they are released… forced because if they don’t sign, they don’t get released.

    To @Bobster33 – you are correct about the difficulty of having a prisoner hang themselves in the cells at Guantanamo. It’s never really been explained. I’d note, too, that the prisoners were under intense visual observation, including by video/closed circuit camera.

    There are plenty of reasons to question the government’s story, and not just on the three 2006 “suicides.” I will be writing soon regarding new information about the 2007 death of Abdul Rahman Ma’ath Thafir al Amri. The government’s story has worn quite thin surrounding his supposed suicide, as well. I’ll try to get that new information out soon. Thanks for sharing your own expertise and experience. I only wish others would speak out.

  • Thanks so much for bringing this important info to the discussion. David Hicks’s experience under torture has been deliberately kept out of the American public’s eye. Hicks, who was the first person to come under the purview of the Bush-era Gitmo military commissions, was viciously attacked in the press when he tried to bring his story to the public’s attention in Australia and elsewhere.

    The Justice Campaign was formed to help him get heard and provide support. Hicks was also a prime example of how the US government has used hyperbole and lies to slander the Guantanamo detainees (and others held by DoD and the CIA), all while ratcheting up their campaign of torture and indefinite detention.

  • No problem, reader. Thanks for the thoughts!

  • Here’s that link to Leigh’s article, “UK Forces Taught Torture”: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/may/08/iraq.iraq

  • Thanks to all who’ve responded, tweeted, etc, this article. I hope you all are taking the time to read the CPR report.

    As for who imported the techniques to Abu Ghraib, Miller certainly came in there with a mission to “Gitmo-ize” the prison. But I don’t think we yet have the full story. A 2004 article by David Leigh at The Guardian is worth pursuing in that regard. I don’t have the link at hand, but will return and post that.

    As for Scott Horton, I don’t have the full story on all that so do not comment not out of discretion, but because I have nothing sensible to say.

  • Thanks for getting this up, Kevin!

    It’s a shame, but understandable from a monetizing standpoint, that Horton’s article is behind a firewall. The $35 pony-up is a bit steep for many. Meanwhile, you can bet the rest of the press won’t cover this. Will the GuardianUS, whose news editor is Alex Koppelman, who back in his Adweek days pummeled Horton for the original Harpers story on the suicides, cover it, for instance?

    The key takeaway from this latest is that NCIS — who, by the way, has been stalling for what seems forever on my FOIA requests for two other Guantanamo so-called suicides — falsified records released. Certainly this is a crime, and the statute of limitations begins from the moment of its discovery. Will the Obama administration or Congress intervene to investigate. The referral by CCR to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights shows no one likely trusts this government to do the right thing when it comes to Guantanamo and torture anymore.

    I uncovered evidence that other Guantanamo suicides were suspicious, particularly the deaths of Mohamed Al-Hansahi and Abdul Rahman al-Amri (the latter discovered hanging with his hands tied behind his back). This was ignored by the mainstream media, with the notable exception of Scott Horton at Harpers, who noticed when the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings and Disappearances stated he would look into these latter cases based on my report.

    Unfortunately, that UN investigation appears to have been yet another dead end, as I’ve never been able to obtain any reply or answer as to what that investigation uncovered, even if it was nothing.

    Proletariatprincess @13 is not far off the mark. Whether the judgment will fall as harshly as on the Hitler regime, I question. But not far behind those criminals. Not far behind.

  • I could not get an “on the record” response from the SASC. However, someone with the SASC was willing to talk with me “on background.” That person agreed to be identified as an “SASC staffer.” I cannot speak to their wish to be anonymous, as I really didn’t understand it. My personal opinion is that they say they feel “comfortable” with Appendix M, but not comfortable enough, evidently, to say so in their own name, or as an official comment from the Committee.

  • I get you want to believe in something, to believe you’re in a relationship with this thing called the “Government,” and that you want to give it the benefit of the doubt, the way you would an essentially good but wayward spouse.

    But that’s not the way it is. The Government isn’t in a relationship with you. It’s not even close. It’s indifferent to your existence.

    Curl up with a hot toddy and rent Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove. Learn what the Government really is, and what ride it’s taking you, me, and everyone on.

  • Jeff Kaye commented on the diary post At Least 31 Dead In Odessa As Pro-regime Rioters Burn Trade Union by fairleft.

    2014-05-02 18:31:49View | Delete

    Much thanks for this coverage. Dark days lie ahead.

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