Sunday, December 23, 2007

How long have you known about the CIA torture tapes, Mr. President?

And have you watched them?
CIA 'kept' tapes from 9/11 probe:
A leaked memorandum from the former 9/11 commission says it made repeated requests to the CIA for information on the interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects.

But ex-commission executive director Philip Zelikow says the CIA did not hand over tapes that have since come to light, the New York Times reported.

The CIA later erased the footage, which allegedly contains images of abuse.

The memo urges a further investigation into whether the agency acted illegally by withholding the recordings.

The CIA says there was no specific request for the tapes, which reportedly contained images of interrogation techniques including water-boarding, which simulates drowning. The CIA denies torture.
CIA director Hayden:
CIA director General Michael Hayden has confirmed that his agency destroyed videotapes taken during the interrogations of two al-Qaeda suspects soon after 9/11.

His statement to CIA employees was widely reported nationwide by Thursday evening.

Gen Hayden - ex-Air Force Intelligence, ex-National Security Agency, amiable and widely respected - now faces a public test of his credibility.


Gen Hayden says they posed a security risk: they could expose the CIA interrogators shown on them to al-Qaeda reprisals.

The general also says that their contents had been documented in detail and they were not pertinent to any of the legal investigations and court cases that have requested from the CIA details of detainee interrogations.

And, says the CIA, all the interrogation techniques shown were legal.

Under investigation

The question for the CIA now will be this: will anybody - lawyers for detainees or human rights activists or congressional investigators or even just bloody-minded opponents of the Bush administration - be able to make a case that the CIA, by destroying the tapes, was destroying evidence?
"..they could expose the CIA interrogators"? Really? Kinda like when Valerie Plame was outed? How many people were compromised when that happened? How many people died? Is the CIA going to let the White House run right over them again?

Four White House lawyers talked about the tapes in depth: Alberto Gonzales, John Bellinger III, Harriet Myers, and David Addington. And they didn't confer with you, Mr. President? You, who prize loyalty and secrecy above everything else? They acted without you?

I find that really hard to believe, unless Uncle Dick is not sharing everything he's done with you....

Water boarding: prisoner bound to a board with feet raised, and cellophane wrapped round his head. Water is poured onto his face and is said to produce a fear of drowning

Cold cell: prisoner made to stand naked in a cold, though not freezing, cell and doused with water

Standing: Prisoners stand for 40 hours and more, shackled to the floor

Belly slap: a hard slap to the stomach with an open hand. This is designed to be painful but not to cause injury


It's torture, Georgie. Why did your administration decide to call the Geneva Conventions quaint? Why did you want torture 'on the table'? Why were you so adamant to have these torture techniques employed? Why was Abu Gonzales asked to find a legal way to activate torture? Why was Rumsfeld scrawling notes about how easy it was to stand for eight hours and that it wasn't enough? Why was there an overheard conversation (Richard Clarke?) between high-ranking White House staff in the days after 9/11 happily discussing torture techniques to use on al-Qaeda and Iraqis? And we're supposed to believe all those dog leashes and glow sticks used on prisoners at Abu Ghraib are part of the everyday equipment of soldiers?

And when Rumsfeld became incensed over the photos of Abu Ghraib, he wasn't upset by the torture. He was upset by the existence of the photos. The acts didn't disturb him, the fact that the world now knew disturbed him.

You opened this door and are now trying to pretend that what was done with your okay and in your name hasn't happened. The truth will out and we will get to hear all the horrible details, if not now, soon. This administration thought that torture would make people be in shock and awe of them. All this did was announce to the citizens of Iraq and the United States and to the world that this administration was cowardly, craven, inept and incompetent. Losers use torture. Wise men don't need to.

And don't drag out that stupid excuse that everything changed on 9/11. Nothing changed on 9/11 except we finally joined the rest of the world in dealing with terrorists. Not every country dealing with terrorism turns into a police state and tortures people. Not every government uses such a blow to undo everything that they can't stand in the Constitution and in our laws. But your administration did, Georgie.

I bet you and your pals have watched the CIA torture tapes. Or, as you demanded of Saddam Hussein to produce proof that he did not have WMDs, prove that you haven't.

Because, by the way you are denying things and shifting times to prove you didn't know anything about anything, we're assuming you have.

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