Torture Report

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Re: Torture Report

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 10:44 am

Samantha Bee on Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel: “Man, getting answers out of her is torture!”
The United States has had a rough week, comedian Samantha Bee declared during Wednesday’s episode of “Full Frontal”

1338
SARAH K. BURRIS

MAY 10, 2018 8:00PM (UTC)

This article originally appeared on Raw Story
The United States had a rough week on the world stage, comedian Samantha Bee said during Wednesday’s episode of “Full Frontal.” Whether it was reneging on the Iran Deal or the confirmation hearing of Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director, it was all terrible optics.

Bee made the poignant observation that the president is attempting to negotiate a nuclear disarmament deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, while simultaneously pulling out of a nuclear disarmament deal with Iran. Bee isn’t sure how it’ll turn out, but she noted that it was remarkably similar to trying to pull a dine-and-dash. An astute analogy given a Trump confidant revealed he only nixed the deal to watch pundits freak out on CNN.




“I can tell you another promise Trump didn’t keep: the one we literally made when America agreed to the Iran deal. To be clear, we’re not withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, we are violating the Iran nuclear deal,” Bee explained. “It’s kind of like when you go to a nice restaurant, if you then flip the table over and run out without paying you are not withdrawing from the Shoney’s. You’re just being an assh*le who broke the law. And by pulling out of the Iran deal, we are those assh*les.”

“So one question I have not heard you answer is, ‘do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral?’” Harris asked. “It’s a ‘yes or no’ answer.”

Haspel said a lot of things but never answered the question. Harris pressed further but Haspel refused to say that she considered torture to be “immoral.”

“Man, getting answers out of her is torture,” Bee quipped. “I’m sorry. Getting answers out of her is enhanced interrogation techniques.”

The TBS host noted, however, that Haspel promised in her hearing that the CIA would no longer torture anyone.

“Really, cross your heart, no backsis,” Bee said before playing a clip of the answer Haspel really gave to the question.

“I would not start, under any circumstances an interrogation program at the CIA,” she said.

“Which would be a great answer on torture at a parole hearing but not at a government confirmation hearing,” she explained. “So, this week, we basically told the world we don’t keep our promises and we aren’t going to torture people anymore, we promise. Happy Wednesday!”

She went on to say that the whole drubbing failure will ultimately make it increasingly difficult for other countries to trust the United States in the future. “Let alone now when we have to believe the honesty with a man — of a man with raccoon eyes. I can’t believe we did this in the midst of a deal with North Korea.”

It would be like attaching a Sharpie to a hoagie, handing it to Kim Jong Un and asking him to sign, she said. “If he doesn’t like the hoagie, it’s a gamble.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. senate spent the day hammering the president’s nominee oversee the CIA. Calling her the “torture mom,” Bee played the grilling of Haspel by Sen. Kamala Harris, in which the California Democrat repeatedly demanded answers.

“So one question I have not heard you answer is, ‘do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral?’” Harris asked. “It’s a ‘yes or no’ answer.”

Haspel said a lot of things but never answered the question. Harris pressed further but Haspel refused to say that she considered torture to be “immoral.”

“Man, getting answers out of her is torture,” Bee quipped. “I’m sorry. Getting answers out of her is enhanced interrogation techniques.”

The TBS host noted, however, that Haspel promised in her hearing that the CIA would no longer torture anyone.

“Really, cross your heart , no backsis,” Bee said before playing a clip of the answer Haspel really gave to the question.

“I would not start, under any circumstances an interrogation program at the CIA,” she said.

“Which would be a great answer on torture at a parole hearing but not at a government confirmation hearing,” she explained. “So, this week, we basically told the world we don’t keep our promises and we aren’t going to torture people anymore, we promise. Happy Wednesday!https://www.salon.com/2018/05/10/man-getting-answers-out-of-trumps-cia-nominee-is-torture_partner/


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Re: Torture Report

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun May 13, 2018 7:25 pm

Why Isn’t Gina Haspel Coming Clean About Torture?

President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA refuses to declassify the dark underbelly of her involvement in extreme rendition and torture-by-proxy.

Jack Shafer
May 11, 2018

We know that in the early 2000s, Gina Haspel’s CIA was rendering accused terrorists to unfathomable torture in Syria, as well as Egypt and Jordan. And we know that in 2005, Haspel herself was busy ordering the destruction of evidence of her involvement in the waterboarding of prisoners.

What we don’t know is if she was involved in sending Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer, to Syria, where he was tortured by Bashar Assad—the same Assad now condemned for gassing his own people; the same Assad the CIA has been trying to depose for the past six years.

Did Haspel participate or even order Arar and others to be sent to Syria to be tortured? We will likely never know: Haspel, whose nomination for director of the CIA is currently being considered by the Senate, refuses to declassify the dark underbelly of her involvement in extreme rendition and torture-by-proxy.

Jane Mayer recounted Arar’s story in 2005 after interviewing him for The New Yorker:

Ten hours after landing in Jordan, Arar … was driven to Syria, where interrogators … “just began beating on me.” They whipped his hands repeatedly with two-inch-thick electrical cables, and kept him in a windowless underground cell that he likened to a grave. “Not even animals could withstand it,” he said. Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say. “You just give up, he said. “You become like an animal.”

A year later, in October, 2003, Arar was released without charges. … Imad Moustapha, the Syrian Ambassador in Washington, announced that his country had found no links between Arar and terrorism. Arar, it turned out, had been sent to Syria on orders from the U.S. government, under a secretive program known as “extraordinary rendition.” This program had been devised as a means of extraditing terrorism suspects from one foreign state to another for interrogation and prosecution. Critics contend that the unstated purpose of such renditions is to subject the suspects to aggressive methods of persuasion that are illegal in America—including torture.

Was Haspel simply a loyal dupe, unable to protest an accused man being sent to certain barbaric torture? Or was she an eager participant in this dark chapter in our history?

If she had any criticisms at the time, Haspel, who is currently the acting head of the CIA, has the power to declassify them. And yet all we’ve gotten are select records that don’t address her participation in extraordinary rendition.

Know this: That fact alone should be enough to cause the Senate to reject her nomination.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... aul-218358
The only card he has left to play is his resignation
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Re: Torture Report

Postby Grizzly » Mon May 14, 2018 1:56 am

Know this: That fact alone should be enough to cause the Senate to reject her nomination.


True. However, I liked it better when these jackals are out in the open because we know what they are... and where they are.

Also... must see:

https://twitter.com/thepileus/status/994670663960088576
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Re: Torture Report

Postby Grizzly » Thu May 17, 2018 5:33 pm

Six Democrats helped Republicans in confirming Haspel:

• Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia,
• Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana,
• Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida,
• Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota,
• Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and
• Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia –

...most of whom are up for re-election this November in states Trump won handily in 2016.
If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: Torture Report

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:55 pm

Torture of terror suspect at CIA black site operated by current director Gina Haspel detailed in newly declassified cables

Current CIA director Gina Haspel talked in detail about torturing a terror suspect by means of waterboarding and other controversial methods while she was running a secret black site in Thailand, according to previously classified cables.

Heavily redacted documents, many of which are believed to have been written by Ms Haspel, reveal a previously undisclosed level of detail about the methods being employed by the CIA following the 9/11 attacks and after George Bush launched his so-called war on terror.

The cables dating from 2002 detail actions taken against suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who in one interrogation, according to the documents, had his clothes ripped from him as he “whimpered that he would do anything his interrogators required”. He was told if he did not cooperate, he would suffer “in ways he never thought possible”.

“Interrogation escalated rapidly from subject being aggressively debriefed by interrogators while standing at the walling wall, to multiple applications of the walling technique, and ultimately, multiple applications of the watering technique,” reads one document, referring to the use of waterboarding.

Another document refers to how Ms al-Nashiri crawled into “the small box”, in which he was confined, after the torture session was completed. The questioners told the prisoner they did not believe he was telling the truth and threatened more action if he did not cooperated, though it appears they eventually concluded he was not withholding information.

The role of Ms Haspel in overseeing torture methods such as waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning that was outlawed once Barack Obama became president, was the focus of much of the questioning she faced earlier this year before she was eventually confirmed 54-45 by the Senate as CIA Director.


Given that Donald Trump has often talked of his desire to restart the use of such methods, Ms Haspel, a 30-year-veteran of the agency was asked whether she agreed with the president.

Gina Haspel hearing interrupted by an anti torture protestor yelling bloody gina
In a letter to Democratic senator Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, she said: “With the benefit of hindsight and my experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation programme is not one the CIA should have undertaken.”

The National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institution located on the campus of George Washington University, said the documents provided details of conditions “the public has only seen in the infamous Abu Ghraib photographs from Iraq of detainees hooded and shackled, forced nudity, wall slamming, and box confinement, as well as ‘enhanced techniques’ never photographed such as the simulated drowning of suspects”.

“Release of Gina Haspel’s torture cables shows the power of the Freedom of Information Act to bring accountability even to the highest levels of the CIA,” said archive director Tom Blanton, who obtained the documents following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.


It said although the CIA had redacted Ms Haspel’s name and those of the CIA contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who administered the waterboard, other declassified documents, including the 2004 CIA Inspector General report, had confirmed their leadership role over Mr al-Nashiri at the black site between November 15 and December 4 2002.

The archive said one outstanding question was whether Ms Haspel wrote Cable 11359, from December 1 2002, which used remarkably vivid language to describe the torture sessions.

“[The interrogators] strode, catlike, into the well-lit confines of the cell at 0902 hrs [redacted], deftly removed the subject’s black hood with a swipe, paused, and in a deep, measured voice said that subject – having ‘calmed down’ after his (staged) run-in with his hulking, heavily muscled guards the previous day – should reveal what subject had done to vex his guards to the point of rage,” it read.

Mr al-Nashiri, a Saudi citizen, is believed by US intelligence officials to be behind the 2000 bombing attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 US sailors and injured dozens more. He has denied this.

He was seized in 2002 and held for four years on various secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Morocco, and Romania.

He was transferred to the US military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay in 2006 where he was eventually brought before the Guantanamo Military Commission and charged with plotting the attack on the USS Cole. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

A spokesman for the CIA said: “Thank you for reaching out. We do not have a comment on this matter at this time.”

Mr al-Nashiri’s lawyer, Mr Richard Kammen, said that his client was brutally tortured by the CIA and that he hoped the truth came out before he went on trial. He told The New York Times: “Ultimately, the public will be horrified by the level of brutality employed by the CIA.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 87001.html
The only card he has left to play is his resignation
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Re: Torture Report

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 pm

Judge Bars Statements Made by Guantánamo Detainees During F.B.I. Interrogations

Aug. 17, 2018

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed shortly after his capture in 2003. He is one of the five detainees accused of aiding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.United States Department of Justice
In a potentially major setback for the effort to prosecute five Guantánamo Bay detainees accused of aiding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a military commission judge ruled on Friday that prosecutors may not use a key piece of evidence against the men: statements they made to F.B.I. interrogators shortly after their transfer out of the C.I.A.’s “black site” prisons nearly a dozen years ago.

The decision brought to a head a long-running and potentially irreconcilable tension in the case: Defense lawyers say they need to thoroughly investigate the torture of their clients at the hands of the C.I.A. for there to be a fair death penalty trial. But the government says there is a national security imperative to keep certain facts related to that period — like the identities of C.I.A. personnel who worked at certain prisons — secret.

The ruling centered on a fight over a technique the F.B.I. used to try to get statements out of the detainees — including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described architect of the attacks — that could be used as courtroom evidence, despite their abuse in C.I.A. custody.

To attenuate that, the bureau sent in a “clean team,” whose agents did not know what the detainees had previously said, to start over with questioning them. But defense lawyers argue that the lingering effects of their clients’ previous torture tainted those interrogation sessions, too.

To make that case, defense lawyers said they needed to investigate what had happened to their clients in C.I.A. custody independently of restrictions the government imposed on their ability to speak to potential witnesses, including forbidding them from directly approaching agency personnel. Prosecutors offered summaries of what guards and doctors had seen and done, saying that was sufficient.

But in a 36-page ruling handed down Friday, the judge, Col. James L. Pohl, said that those summaries were not an adequate substitute. While he upheld the rules the government imposed on the defense lawyers’ ability to investigate the C.I.A. in general, he also suppressed the F.B.I. statements as evidence because the rules were too restrictive for a fair fight over their admissibility.

The summaries, he wrote, “will not provide the defense with substantially the same ability to investigate, prepare and litigate motions to suppress the F.B.I. clean team statements” because the restrictions on defense lawyers’ ability to talk to witnesses “will not allow the defense to develop the particularity and nuance necessary to present a rich and vivid account of the 3-4 year period in C.I.A. custody the defense alleges constituted coercion.”

As a result, he wrote, the government is not allowed to “introduce any F.B.I. clean team statement from any of the accused for any purpose.”

Colonel Pohl’s ruling was not yet available on the tribunal’s website, but a copy was obtained by The New York Times.

[Read the ruling.]

The defense lawyers’ larger strategy has been to argue that because the United States government tortured their clients, it should not be permitted to execute them as mitigation — an issue that would come to a head during the sentencing phase after a trial and conviction.

It is not clear how the reasoning behind Colonel Pohl’s decision to suppress the F.B.I. statements, if it stands, will affect that question.

While Colonel Pohl also ruled that the summaries were adequate for mitigation purposes, the defense is likely to argue on any appeal that death sentences should be off the table for the same reasons.

Asked for a comment on behalf of the prosecution, Cmdr. Sarah Higgins of the Navy, a spokeswoman for the Office of Military Commissions, said officials would “let the rulings speak for themselves when they post” on the tribunal’s website.

But James Connell, a lawyer for another Sept. 11 defendant, Ammar al-Baluchi, hailed the ruling.

“Witnesses are the foundation of the American criminal justice system,” Mr. Connell said. “If the government prohibits the defense from investigating witnesses, the proceeding becomes more like a play than a trial.”

Still, an appeal by prosecutors seemed likely.

The chief prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins of the Army, and his team had argued that the law permitted some concessions to national security imperatives in such a case, while playing up how much information the government had turned over in discovery about the black-site program, including summaries about what agency employees and contractors who served as guards, doctors and interrogators at the prisons saw and did. Most of those people are described using code names.

After providing that information, the prosecution told defense lawyers last year that they were not allowed to directly approach people they believed might be such witnesses or to travel to countries they believed might have hosted prisons to ask questions. Rather, the defense has to go through the government to request interviews, prosecutors said, and the government in turn approaches witnesses and asks if they want to talk to defense lawyers while also telling them what they can and cannot discuss.

In practice, Colonel Pohl wrote, only a few of the dozens of witnesses the defense asked to speak with agreed to talk under those conditions.

The Sept. 11 case defendants offered to plead guilty in late 2008, but after the Obama administration took office, it tried to move the case to civilian court. After Congress blocked that option, the defendants were rearraigned before a Guantánamo tribunal in 2012 and pleaded not guilty. Years of pretrial hearings and delays have ensued.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/us/p ... tions.html
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