Saturday, December 05, 2015

The Cheney Bust



Pretty sickening:

As vice president, Dick Cheney was a prime architect of the worldwide torture regime implemented by the U.S. government (which extended far beyond waterboarding), as well as the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused the deaths of at least 500,000 people and more likely over a million. As such, he is one of the planet’s most notorious war criminals.

President Obama made the decision in early 2009 to block the Justice Department from criminally investigating and prosecuting Cheney and his fellow torturers, as well as to protect them from foreign investigations and even civil liability sought by torture victims. Obama did that notwithstanding a campaign decree that even top Bush officials are subject to the rule of law and, more importantly, notwithstanding a treaty signed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan requiring that all signatory states criminally prosecute their own torturers.

Obama’s immunizing Bush-era torturers converted torture from a global taboo and decades-old crime into a reasonable, debatable policy question, which is why so many GOP candidates are now openly suggesting its use.

But now, the Obama administration has moved from legally protecting Bush-era war criminals to honoring and gushing over them in public.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a marble bust of former Vice President Cheney, which — until a person of conscience vandalizes or destroys it — will reside in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol.
At the unveiling ceremony, Cheney was, in the playful words of NPR, “lightly roasted” — as though he’s some sort of grumpy though beloved avuncular stand-up comic. Along with George W. Bush, one of the speakers in attendance was Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke movingly of Cheney’s kind and generous soul...

:barf:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The 13 Key Bush Administration War Criminals

The 13 Key Bush Administration War Criminals

1. Dick Cheney, vice president (2001-2009)

2. David Addington, counsel to the vice president (2001-2005), chief of staff to the vice president (2005-2009)

3. Alberto Gonzales, White House counsel (2001-2005), and attorney general (2005-2008)

4. James Mitchell, consultant

5. George Tenet, director of Central Intelligence (1997-2004)
6. Condoleezza Rice, national security advisor (2001-2005), secretary of state (2005-2008)

7. John Yoo, deputy assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel (2001-2003)

8. Jay Bybee, assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel (2001-2003)

9. William "Jim" Haynes, Defense Department general counsel (2001-2008)

10. Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense (2001-2006)
11. John Rizzo, CIA deputy general counsel (2002-2004), acting general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (2001-2002, 2004-present)

12. Steven Bradbury, principal deputy assistant attorney general, OLC (2004), acting assistant attorney general, OLC (2005-2009)
13. George W. Bush, president (2001-2009)

Details on the involvement of each person here (Salon.com article by Marcy Wheeler).

Monday, June 08, 2015

Progress-- June 2015

Charles Pierce:
Last week, Richard Clarke, the man to whom nobody in the administration of C-Plus Augustus listened because what did he know, anyway?, had a chat with Amy Goodman in which he minced no words regarding his former employers.
"I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing. And I think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that in the case of members of the Bush administration. It's clear that things that the Bush administration did — in my mind, at least, it's clear that some of the things they did were war crimes."
And, something that most of us missed, there was a court on the other side of the world that agreed.
In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were... found guilty of war crimes. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia...At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.
At the very least, this court parceled out the blame for the torture program in a fair manner and all the way up the chain of command. The testimony of the victims was as horrible as you might expect:
The court heard how Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers; Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall; Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement, Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter. The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Face of Evil-- The Case of Richard Zuley:

This is way fucked up -- it is a perfect amalgamation of the brutality of police as an institution and the brutality and cruelty of the treatment of "terror" suspects. The end goal is the same -- eliciting false discussions. Cruel, sick, evil.

When the Chicago detective Richard Zuley arrived at Guantánamo Bay late in 2002, US military commanders touted him as the hero they had been looking for.  Here was a Navy reserve lieutenant who had spent the last 25 years as a distinguished detective on the mean streets of Chicago , closing case after case – often due to his knack for getting confessions. But while Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.
The Guardian examined thousands of court documents from Chicago and interviewed two dozen people with experience at Guantánamo and in the Chicago criminal-justice system. The results of its investigation suggests a continuum between Guantánamo interrogation rooms and Chicago police precincts. Zuley’s detective work, particularly when visited on Chicago’s minority communities, contains a dark foreshadowing of the United States’ post-9/11 descent into torture.
Allegations stemming from interviews and court documents, concerning Chicago suspects, suggest Zuley and his colleagues shackled suspects to walls for extended periods, threatened their family members, and perhaps even planted evidence on them. The point was to yield confessions, even while ignoring potentially exculpatory evidence.
Several of those techniques bear similarities to those used by Zuley when he took over the interrogation of Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo, described in official government reports and a best-selling memoir as one of the most brutal ever conducted at the US wartime prison. serialised last month by the Guardian
A woman still in an Illinois prison who insists on her innocence, Benita Johnson, recalled Zuley and his team handcu"ng her to a wall for over 24 hours in 1995 until she would implicate herself and her ex-boyfriend in a murder, while Zuley threatened her with never seeing her children again. One of many awards in Zuley’s record  – bearing the name of Chicago mayor Richard Daley – praises his help in interrogating the two suspects who ultimately “admitted participating in the crime”.
Nearly a decade later, Zuley – whose interrogation plan for Slahi received personal sign-off from then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld but has gone almost entirely unreported – would tell the detainee that the US had his mother in custody, US government investigations have documented, even while they avoid Zuley’s name. If Slahi didn’t start talking, Zuley said he would have her brought into Guantánamo’s all-male prison environment, which his lawyers consider a rape threat. Slahi began confessing to anything he could. Though prosecutors refused to bring charges once they learned what Zuley and his team had done, Slahi – like the Illinois woman Zuley interrogated that night, and others back on the mainland – remains behind bars.
“I’ve never seen anyone stoop to those levels,” Stuart Couch, a former Marine lieutenant colonel and military commissions prosecutor, said of Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi. “It’s unconscionable, from a perspective of a criminal prosecution – or an interrogation, for that matter.” Mark Fallon, deputy commander of the now-shuttered Criminal Investigative Task Force at Guantánamo, said Zuley’s interrogation of Slahi “was illegal, it was immoral, it was ineffective and it was unconstitutional.” It is unknown if Zuley interrogated other Guantánamo detainees.

Also:
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

-Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
-Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
-Shackling for prolonged periods.
-Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
-Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
-At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

Monday, December 22, 2014

NYT: "Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses"

Bravo:
Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.
Mr. Obama has said multiple times that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.
Americans have known about many of these acts for years, but the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality: In addition to new revelations of sadistic tactics like “rectal feeding,” scores of detainees were waterboarded, hung by their wrists, confined in coffins, sleep-deprived, threatened with death or brutally beaten. In November 2002, one detainee who was chained to a concrete floor died of “suspected hypothermia.”
These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, whichdefines torture as the intentional infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.
We may never get justice for 9/11, but prosecuting these criminals is a kind of surrogate justice, given how intimately they were associated with the crime of 9/11.

#warcrimes #torture #Bushadministrationwarcriminals

Friday, December 12, 2014

Senate Torture Report Released

Kudos to Diane Feinstein (for a change), for actually releasing the report (as far as it goes of course -- which is not far enough since it leaves intact the lies of 9/11).

Interesting how in the report-- it repeatedly refers to 119 suspects in the CIA "enhanced interrogation" program. 119 - 911.

Still, it is a small step of progress, and it's good to see how much news this report has generated.

War-crimes trials seem out of the question for now, and if they are not going to prosecute for torture, they sure aren't going to do anything about 9/11.

The main thing this report does is show clearly how sick, corrupt, evil and incredibly dishonest the CIA is.

And of course, Cheney lied his fucking pathetic evil ass off on Fox two days ago, about torture.



But this was no isolated incident either--  
torture and evil inhumane treatment is indeed who we are as Americans

The ideal, of course, is to work to be better -- and not shove bad news under the rug and apologize for wrong-doing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bush Administration War Criminals Still Making News

Heeheehee-- Dick Cheney denies war criminal allegations at KPU event.  What a lying, sick piece of shit.

Another lying piece of shit -- CIA lawyer John Rizzo:
Today we spend the hour looking at this debate. We’re joined by John Rizzo. He served as acting general counsel during much of the George W. Bush administration and was a key legal architect of the U.S. interrogation and detention program after the September 11th attacks. The Los Angeles Times described him as, quote, "the most influential career lawyer in CIA history." He has recently published a book headlined Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.