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    old boss same as the new boss..., 2005-11-07 18:45:42 | Main | only a nerd would maintain a top ten list in the dead of night of his mother's basement on the greatest prog rock bands to be regularly revised and reconstructed from certain ascertainable first principles of the art..., 2005-11-09 01:54:23

    if I was responsible for investigating myself I'd never come up for prosecution, either:

    for those with a short attention span here's a review of recent history:

    The C.I.A. has reportedly been implicated in at least four deaths of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, including that of Jamadi, and has referred eight potentially criminal cases involving abuse and misconduct to the Justice Department. In March, Goss, the C.I.A.’s director, testified before Congress that “we don’t do torture,” and the agency’s press office issued a release stating, “All approved interrogation techniques, both past and present, are lawful and do not constitute torture. . . . C.I.A. policies on interrogation have always followed legal guidance from the Department of Justice. If an individual violates the policy, then he or she will be held accountable.”

    Yet the government has brought charges against only one person affiliated with the agency: David Passaro, a low-level contract employee, not a full-fledged C.I.A. officer. In 2003, Passaro, while interrogating an Afghan prisoner, allegedly beat him with a flashlight so severely that he eventually died from his injuries. In two other incidents of prisoner abuse, the Times reported last month, charges probably will not be brought against C.I.A. personnel: the 2003 case of an Iraqi prisoner who was forced head first into a sleeping bag, then beaten; and the 2002 abuse of an Afghan prisoner who froze to death after being stripped and chained to the floor of a concrete cell. (The C.I.A. supervisor involved in the latter case was subsequently promoted.)

    One reason these C.I.A. officials may not be facing charges is that, in recent years, the Justice Department has established a strikingly narrow definition of torture. In August, 2002, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel sent a memo on interrogations to the White House, which argued that a coercive technique was torture only when it induced pain equivalent to what a person experiencing death or organ failure might suffer [ed: that goes a little beyond the entirely subjective, doesn't it?]. By implication, all lesser forms of physical and psychological mistreatment—what critics have called “torture lite”—were legal. The memo also said that torture was illegal only when it could be proved that the interrogator intended to cause the required level of pain. And it provided interrogators with another large exemption: torture might be acceptable if an interrogator was acting in accordance with military “necessity.” A source familiar with the memo’s origins, who declined to speak on the record, said that it “was written as an immunity, a blank check.” In 2004, the “torture memo,” as it became known, was leaked, complicating the nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales to be Attorney General; as White House counsel, Gonzales had approved the memo. The Administration subsequently revised the guidelines, using language that seemed more restrictive. But a little-noticed footnote protected the coercive methods permitted by the “torture memo,” stating that they did not violate the “standards set forth in this memorandum.”

    Dysfunctional. I certainly didn't notice the footnote.

:: posted by buermann @ 2005-11-08 13:53:31 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

journals, notes,
other curmudgeonry

- A Timeline -

Oil for Nothing:
US Holds On Humanitarian Supplies
Iraq: 1997-2001

the good book
and other cultural

The Autobiography
Mother Jones

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