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Archive for the ‘Gonzales’ Category

Ney challenges Gonzales: ‘Let’s see what you think of waterboarding — after you’ve tried it!’

Think Progress- By Amanda Terkel at 4:42 pm

Disgraced former congressman Bob Ney — now a radio talk show host — today issued a challenge to former Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales: “Let’s see what you think of waterboarding — after you’ve tried it!”:

If Alberto Gonzales wants to clear his name by saying he didn’t cooperate in torture, then let him try it himself,” said Ney, whose 1 PM show on WVLY and WVLY.net is heard in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and throughout the western panhandle of West Virginia.

“When it comes to the worst abuses by the Bush administration, Alberto Gonzales is scurrying under every rock you turn up,” said Ney, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2006, when he resigned to face criminal charges in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal.

“Whether it was rushing to the sickbed of his predecessor, John Ashcroft, to try to pressure him to sign off on illegal warrantless wiretaps, or getting the Justice Department to approve clear violations of the Geneva Conventions, there was Alberto Gonzales. He didn’t follow the law; he did whatever he was told. He’s part of the ‘Great Lie’ that was the last administration.”

In a conversation with ThinkProgress at the America’s Future Now conference this week, Ney joked that Gonzales should have served time in the Morgantown, WV federal prison — just like he did.

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This is Keith Olbermann’s Top 9/11 Story: The Promotion Of Failure In Bush Administration. It was aired in September 2007 and presents a powerful statement about the Bu$h administration. Some of the 911 truth movement criticized Olbermann for not mentioning that 911 was an inside job, while not even considering the ramifications of his doing so. An open and independent investigation is what is needed, and this is what the people of this country want. I’m sure that Olbermann would agree on that, but 911 is only one of 945 issues or more that need to be addressed.

Darth Cheney expresses his fondness for Rush Limpballs, like he is the only voice in the corpo-media, but hopefully he isn’t taking the same pill as “Rush”.
Oxycontin is pretty powerful stuff and it would be nice if Darth lived to be a ripe old age because it might be a while before he is put on the stand, or in stocks in front of the Lincoln Memorial building, or at least made to answer for his crimes.

Attention Dick Cheney

May 27, 2009 at 07:27:04

Diary Entry by Dean Hartwell

This letter calls out Dick Cheney and asks him to explain not just how he made us safer from terrorism during his time in office, but it also questions whether he should be indicted for participating in the attacks of 9/11.

Read it on OpEdNews.com

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Ewen MacAskill in Washington
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 April 2009

Senior members of the Bush administration who approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures could face prosecution, Barack Obama said today, in a surprise about-turn by the president.

He said his attorney general, Eric Holder, was conducting an investigation and the final decision rested with him.

Obama cited four Bush administration memos he released last week detailing CIA interrogation measures, saying they “reflected, in my view, us losing our moral bearings”.

The revelation of possible prosecutions amounts to a turnaround by Obama, who had been resisting a prolonged and divisive partisan row that could distract from his heavy domestic and foreign agenda.

He also lifted his opposition to a separate congressional inquiry today.

The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said the president would like to see the inquiry modelled on the 9/11 commission.

Obama reiterated that there would be no prosecutions of CIA agents who carried out the interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members at Guantánamo and secret prisons around the world.

But for the first time he opened up the possibility that those in the Bush administration who gave the go-ahead for the use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques could be prosecuted.

Read more…

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Torture Lover John Yoo Excoriates Obama For Banning Torture»

Think Progress- By Ali Frick at 12:04 pm

John Yoo, infamous author of the Bush administration legal memos authorizing the use of torture on suspected terrorists, slams President Obama for banning torture in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, gravely warning that Obama “may have opened the door to further terrorist acts on U.S. soil.”

Throughout the article, Yoo insists that torture is America’s most effective weapon against terrorists and warns that without it, the U.S. will be incapable of intelligence-gathering:

Eliminating the Bush system will mean that we will get no more information from captured al Qaeda terrorists. Every prisoner will have the right to a lawyer (which they will surely demand), the right to remain silent, and the right to a speedy trial. […]

Relying on the civilian justice system not only robs us of the most effective intelligence tool to avert future attacks, it provides an opportunity for our enemies to obtain intelligence on us.

Considering the Bush administration repeatedly insisted its use of coercive techniques was “limited,” it would be a far stretch even for loyal Bushies to suggest that torture is not the one and only method to obtaining information. And as ThinkProgress has made clear again and again, numerous intelligence experts and real interrogators agree that, far from being “the most effective intelligence tool,” torture simply doesn’t work.

Yoo continues his screed by making up facts about Obama’s ban:

The CIA must now conduct interrogations according to the rules of the Army Field Manual, which prohibits coercive techniques, threats and promises, and the good-cop bad-cop routines used in police stations throughout America. … His new order amounts to requiring — on penalty of prosecution — that CIA interrogators be polite.

Yoo has no idea what he’s talking about. Nothing requires anyone to “be polite” — although the rapport building method has often proved to be interrogators’ most effective technique. And the notion that good-cop/bad-cop would be banned is simply false, Media Matters pointed out earlier this week:

In fact, the Army Field Manual explicitly permits good cop-bad cop interrogations under the name of “Mutt and Jeff” interrogations, which involve two interrogators “display[ing] opposing personalities and attitudes toward the source.” The Field Manual says the “goal of this technique is to make the source identify with one of the interrogators and thereby establish[ing] rapport and cooperation.”

It’s no secret that Yoo is an ardent torture enthusiast: He famously said that only those techniques that inflict pain equivalent to “death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions” constitute torture, and last year refused to agree that the president could not order a detainee buried alive. With Obama signaling a clean break from the Bush administration’s terrorism policies, it’s no wonder Yoo is desperate to restore his crumbling torture regime.

Update- Yoo also makes it perfectly clear that Bush himself directly and explicitly ordered torture, including the waterboarding of at least three detainees:

What is needed are the tools to gain vital intelligence, which is why, under President George W. Bush, the CIA could hold and interrogate high-value al Qaeda leaders. On the advice of his intelligence advisers, the president could have authorized coercive interrogation methods like those used by Israel and Great Britain in their antiterrorism campaigns. (He could even authorize waterboarding, which he did three times in the years after 9/11.)

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Gonzales: I don’t think anyone is going to prosecute me.»

Think Progress- By Faiz Shakir at 1:32 pm

In his confirmation hearings, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder declared “waterboarding is torture,” worrying conservatives that he might pursue criminal prosecutions of officials involved in detainee interrogations. In an interview with NPR today, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he doesn’t believe he’ll be prosecuted:

On the question of prosecuting officers who employed any of the “extreme tactics” that the Bush administration has acknowledged, without admitting to any “torture” of detainees: “I don’t think that there’s going to be a prosecution, quite frankly.” Gonzales said. “Because again, these activities…. They were authorized, they were supported by legal opinions at the Department of Justice.”

When Holder is confirmed – with a vote expected Wednesday – he “will have to make a decision as to whether or not move forward with an investigation or a prosecution,” Gonzales said. “But under those circumstances, I find it hard to believe…

“Nonetheless, the very discussion about it is extremely discouraging,” the former attorney general said.

Gonzales recently wondered, “What is it that I did so fundamentally wrong?” As ThinkProgress noted, he politicized the Justice Department, approved torture, lied about warrantless wiretapping, and distorted pre-war intelligence.

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Are We Civilized Enough to Hold Our Leaders Accountable for War Crimes? The World Is Watching

By John W. Dean, FindLaw.com. Posted January 24, 2009.

Other countries are likely to take action against officials who condoned torture, even if the United States fails to do so.

Remarkably, the confirmation of President Obama’s Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder, is being held up by Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who apparently is unhappy that Holder might actually investigate and prosecute Bush Administration officials who engaged in torture. Aside from this repugnant new Republican embrace of torture (which might be a winning issue for the lunatic fringe of the party and a nice way to further marginalize the GOP), any effort to protect Bush officials from legal responsibility for war crimes, in the long run, will not work.

It is difficult to believe that Eric Holder would agree not to enforce the law, like his recent Republican predecessors. Indeed, if he were to do so, President Obama should withdraw his nomination. But as MSNBC “Countdown” anchor Keith Olbermann stated earlier this week, even if the Obama Administration for whatever reason does not investigate and prosecute these crimes, this still does not mean that the Bush Administration officials who were involved in torture are going to get a pass.

With few exceptions, the discussion about what the Obama Administration will do regarding the torture of detainees during the Bush years has been framed as a domestic matter, and the fate of those involved in torturing has been largely viewed as a question of whether the Department of Justice will take action. In fact, not only is the world watching what the Obama Administration does regarding Bush’s torturers, but other countries are very likely to take action if the United States fails to do so.

Bush’s Torturers Have Serious Jeopardy

Philippe Sands, a Queen’s Counsel at Matrix Chambers and Professor of International law at University College London, has assembled a powerful indictment of the key Bush Administration people involved in torture in his book Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. He explains the legal exposure of people like former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney’s counsel and later chief of staff David Addington, former Office of Legal Counsel attorney John Yoo, the former Department of Defense general counsel Jim Haynes, and others for their involvement in the torture of detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and CIA secret prisons.

After reading Sands’s book and, more recently, listening to his comments on Terry Gross’s NPR show “Fresh Air,” on January 7, 2009 I realized how closely the rest of the world is following the actions of these former officials, and was reminded that these actions appear to constitute not merely violations of American law, but also, and very literally, crimes against humanity — for which the world is ready to hold them responsible.

MORE HERE

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