Friday, December 21, 2007

Torture Is Classified Information...

To recap... If you only read one thing today, read this: THE CIA OFFICIAL WHO OVERSAW TORTURE: Cofer Black by leveymg


Groundhog Day for Bush on CIA Tapes, Iran NIE (dkos version here)

Asked Thursday about his previous knowledge of and support for the 2005 destruction of secret CIA detainee interrogation tapes, President Bush did what comes naturally - he played dumb:

"The first recollection is when Mike Hayden briefed me. That's pretty clear. Secondly, I am confident that the preliminary inquiry conducted by the AG and the IG of the CIA, coupled with the oversight provided by the Congress, will end up enabling us all to find out what exactly happened. And therefore, over the course of these inquiries and oversight hearings, I'm going to reserve judgment until I find out the full facts."

President Bush first debuted his version of Alberto Gonzales' Sgt. Schultz defense regarding the CIA torture tapes 9 days earlier during an interview with ABC's Martha Raddatz:

"My first recollection of whether the tapes existed or whether they were destroyed was when [CIA Director] Michael Hayden briefed me," Bush said.

"There's a preliminary inquiry going on and I think you'll find that a lot more data, facts will be coming out," he said, "that's good. It will be interesting to know what the true facts are."

(It is worth noting that President Bush's pleas of ignorance were central to the White House's attack on the New York Times on Wednesday. When the Times reported that top administration lawyers were involved in meetings with the CIA leadership over the tapes, press secretary Dana Perino cited Bush's "no recollection" statement to successfully counter the charge that the "White House Role Was Wider Than It Said.")


I'd suggest reading through This Amnesty International Report particularly point 3.

And also a timeline from cooperative research (Who are currently doing a fundraising drive, they're a great resource so if you have some to spare throw a little money their way)...

Context of 'September 15, 2001: CIA Director Presents Bush and his Cabinet with Extensive Plan for Combating Terrorism Worldwide'

To see how heavily involved in the planning for torture Bush was, making the denials and stonewalling ring a little hollow.

While we're at it it appears that: Testifier on CIA tactics now in criminal probe(A CIA 'criminal referral' has led to a probe into whether one of its former officers went too far in his testimony on the agency's interrogation techniques.)

See also the TPMmuckraker report:

Today's Must Read
By Spencer Ackerman - December 21, 2007, 9:03AM

A lot of people want to talk to John Kiriakou. After the leader of the team that interrogated senior al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in 2002 -- one of the detainees whose interrogation was secretly recorded -- went public, a lot of confusion remained. Did Abu Zubaydah really break after 35 seconds of waterboarding, as Kiriakou said? Or, as the FBI's Dan Coleman and others have said, did Abu Zubaydah's interrogation yield the best information through non-coercive techniques? Very few people are sure of the answer. Many want to ask Kiriakou more questions.

Not least of whom: the Justice Department.

Jonathan Landay of McClatchy reports that the CIA has referred Kiriakou's case to the Justice Department. No, the department isn't investigating whether Kiriakou's role in Abu Zubaydah's interrogation was potentially illegal. That would be an admission that the torture apparatus established after 9/11 is illegal, and you know that Michael Mukasey and Mark Filip can't make up their minds about that. Rather, the FBI wants to know if Kiriakou criminally disclosed classified information by speaking to ABC News about the interrogation.

What's more, Kiriakou's former employer, the CIA -- which surely wasn't happy about seeing Kiriakou confirm on TV that his team waterboarded Abu Zubaydah and then call waterboarding torture -- won't confirm that it dimed him out.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment when asked if the agency had sought a criminal probe of Kiriakou. But the spokesman, George Little, added, "Separate and apart from any specific instance, when the agency has reason to believe there has been a possible violation of the law, such as the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, it has an obligation to refer the matter to the Department of Justice."


It appears that torture is classified information...

Excuse me while my brain breaks...

Devilstower has a good summary on Kiriakou: Kiriakou's 15 Minutes of Shame while ShawnGBR points out The thing with videos is: more copies.

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