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The New York Times is reporting that no criminal charges will be brought against anyone for destroying videotapes depicting the brutal interrogations of Al Qaeda detainees at a CIA facility in Thailand.

The New York Times is reporting that no criminal charges will be brought against anyone for destroying videotapes depicting the brutal interrogation of Al Qaeda detainees at a CIA facility in Thailand.

After investigating the matter for almost three years, Special Prosecutor  John H. Durham has decided not to proceed against the C.I.A. undercover officers and CIA lawyers for their roles in the destruction of
the tapes.

In 2005, Jose A. Rodriguez, former head of the agency's clandestine service, ordered the destruction of audiovisual recordings of interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri that the agency had conducted in 2002. The recordings had been stored in a safe at the site of the interrogations, a CIA site in Thailand.

This is a sad day for the rule of law.  In United States of America v. Hideji Nakamura, Yukio Asano, Seitara  Hata, and Takeo Kita, U.S. Military Commission, Yokohama, (1-28 May,  1947), Yukio Asano was sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for mistreating Allied prisoners of war.  NARA Records, NND 735027 RG 153, Entry 143, Box 1025. The charges and specifications against Asano included:

Charge: That between 1 April, 1943 and 31 August, 1944, , at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asana, then a civilian serving as an interpreter with the Armed Forces of Japan, a nation then at war with the United States of America and its Allies, did violate the Laws and Customs of War.

Specification 1: That in or about July or August, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Morris O. Killough, an American Prisoner of War, by beating and kicking him; by fastening him on a stretcher and pouring water up his nostrils.

Specification 2: That on or about 15 May, 1944, at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asano, did, willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Thomas B. Armitage, William O Cash, and Munroe Dave Woodall, American Prisoners of War by beating and kicking them, by forcing water into their mouths and noses; and by pressing lighted cigarettes against their bodies.

[....]

Specification 5. That between 1 April, 1943 and 31 December, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did, willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture John Henry Burton, an American Prisoner of War, by beating him; and by fastening him head downward on a stretcher and forcing water into his nose.

Torture and Other Inhumane Treatment

The practice of torturing prisoners of war and civilian internees prevailed at practically all places occupied by Japanese troops, both in the occupied territories and in Japan. The Japanese indulged in this practice during the entire period of the Pacific War. Methods of torture were employed in all areas so uniformly as to indicate policy both in training and execution. Among these tortures were the water treatment, burning, electric shocks, the knee spread, suspension, kneeling on sharp instruments and flogging.

[....]

Prisoner of War Administration Section of the Military Affairs Bureau of the War Ministry to which they rendered monthly reports. The Kempetai were administered by the War Ministry. A Kempetai training school was maintained and operated by the War Ministry in Japan. It is a reasonable inference that the conduct of the Kempetai and the camp guards reflected the policy of the War Ministry.

To indicate the prevalence of torture and the uniformity of the methods employed we give a brief summary of these methods.

The so-called 'water treatment' was commonly applied. The victim was bound or otherwise secured in a prone position; and water was forced through his mouth and nostrils into his lungs and stomach until he lost consciousness. Pressure was then applied, sometimes by jumping upon his abdomen to force the water out. The usual practice was to revive the victim and successively repeat the process. There was evidence that this torture was used in the following places: China, at Shanghai, Peiping and Nanking; French Indo-China, at Hanoi and Saigon; Malaya, at Singapore; Burma, at Kyaikto; Thailand, at Chumporn; Andaman Islands, at Port Blair; Borneo, at Jesselton; Sumatra, at Medan, Tadjong Karang and Palembank; Java, at Batavia, Bandung, Soerabaja and Buitennzong; Celebes, at Makassar; Portuguese Timor, at Ossu and Dilli; Philippines, at Manila, Nichols Field, Palo Beach and Dumaguete; Formosa, at Camp Haito; and in Japan, at Tokyo.

Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East,  Chapter VIII, Conventional War Crimes (Atrocities) at 1057, 1059.

Link.
Link.

Obviously, we are playing by different rules now.

Jesse Ventura on Waterboarding: "You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney, and one hour,
and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."  Time Stamp 02:20-02:27.

Originally posted to Rashaverak on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 09:46 AM PST.

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