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View Diary: Maine's senators will vote to declassify torture report summary. But don't expect to read it soon (30 comments)

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  •  I think it's worse than that. I don't think... (4+ / 0-)

    ...the CIA is a rogue agency. I think the guys who wrote "legal" memos about torture and the guys who ordered torture to be undertaken are the missing targets here. While I-was-only-following-orders is an unacceptable excuse, the first effort should be to deal with those were in control, giving orders. Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 06:27:53 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think our first obligation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benamery21, RandomNonviolence

      is to stop the torture that is going on now.

      Stopping U.S. rendition to torture by Afghan forces, real investigation and prosecution of the 2013 torture and killings in Wardak, opening up and exposing what goes on in the strongly rumored small hidden temporary interrogation facilities all over Afghanistan, and the like.

      This comes from a sense about the obligation on a nation to deal with systematic and institutionalized torture. That stopping current torture is the first and highest priority.


    •  That's Just it-- HOW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      do we know what sort of agency they are when there is ZERO transparency? we don't know what they are doing-- because they are not required to tell us.

      who do these people report to, outside of the agency?

      "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

      by Superpole on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 03:22:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the guys who wrote the legal memos are the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      very first in my books:

      From: Who are the Torture Memo Authors? (April 17, 2009)

      As officials in the department's Office of Legal Counsel Jay Bybee and Steven Bradbury authored the four memos. The first was written in 2002 by Bybee, and the latter three in 2005 by Bradbury. So: who are Bybee and Bradbury?

      Bradbury first. He served as an attorney-adviser in the OLC during the George H. W. Bush administration, before clerking for Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas and working for Ken Starr's law firm  Bradbury returned to OLC in 2004, as a Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

      As for Bybee, he served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration, then was an associate counsel to President George H. W. Bush. He spent most of the 90s teaching law at Louisiana State University, before in 2001 being appointed an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel. While there, he wrote four memos, subsequently released by the Obama administration (one yesterday, three last month), justifying the use of harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding.

      In 2003, President Bush nominated Bybee to serve as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After an initial hold up, Bybee was confirmed by the Senate.

      Thanks to Bybee's authorship of the memos, a Spanish judge is considering indicting him -- as well as five other former Bush administration officials -- for war crimes

      From Who is Steve Bradbury? (October 19, 2007):
      It took two days of hearings for the Senate Judiciary Committee to reinforce its consensus that Michael Mukasey should be attorney general.  The panel asked Mukasey tough questions about torture, detentions, surveillance and the president's inherent wartime powers.

      But those questions might have been misdirected. That's because an obscure Justice Department lawyer, Steven G. Bradbury, the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), might actually be more important to the war on terrorism than the attorney general. ... since the OLC chief has the power to issue what former chief Jack Goldsmith called " an advance pardon" for dubious activities.

      The Office of Legal Counsel's job is to give guidance about whether certain government policies or presidential prerogatives are legal. But it's not meant to be an advocate for the president himself -- that's the White House counsel's responsibility. Goldsmith, in an agonizing reappraisal during 2003 and 2004, ended up rescinding earlier OLC directives about interrogation, expressed discomfort over administration plans to try terrorism suspects in military tribunals, and was part of a near-revolt in DOJ over warrantless surveillance, all of which is documented in Goldsmith's meditation on presidential authority, The Terror Presidency.

      These are the enablers.

      If you consider Clarence Thomas vote yesterday it fits the picture that Bradbury clerked for him and for Ken Starr.

      This all brings up bad memories.

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