ACLU And CCR Heart Anwar Al-Awlaki

As usual, the ACLU and CCR are defending the enemies of the United States. Has there ever been a terrorist they didn’t like? This time, they’re upset about “targeted killing”, you know, killing enemy combatants during wartime, what a novel concept, never before seen in the history of warfare.

Anwar al-Awlaki: ACLU wants militant cleric taken off US ‘kill list’

Two US civil rights groups are asking a federal judge to halt an alleged Obama administration plan to kill an American citizen believed to be allied with Al Qaeda and hiding in Yemen.

The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit Monday in Washington. It asks US District Judge John Bates to order the government not to carry out the alleged plot to conduct a targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Mr. Awlaki is a militant Islamic lecturer who used the Internet to spread the ideology of Al Qaeda. Born in the US and educated at American colleges, Awlaki has provided a bridge between militants overseas and some radical Muslims based in the US.

He is reported to have encouraged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. He allegedly helped train Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has been charged with attempting to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day, and is said to have inspired would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

According to the lawsuit, US officials placed Awlaki’s name on a “kill list” in early 2010. The suit says that American officials are using secret criteria to determine who goes on the list.

See also:
ACLU Sues Obama Administration Over Alleged Assassination Plot
Rights groups sue US over kill list
NY groups seek DC order blocking targeted killings
ACLU Sues to Block Targeted Killings
Rights groups challenge Obama on targeted killings
Rights groups sue US over ‘kill or capture’ list
ACLU Sues U.S. Over Targeted Killing of Citizens
A.M. Top News: Civil rights groups sue federal government for targeted killings of suspected American terrorists
American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Constitutional Rights
Meet Al Qaeda’s Lifestyle Coach
Dead Cleric Walking

The evidence is overwhelming that Anwar al-Awlaki is a self-confessed al Qaeda operative with American blood on his hands, also known as a sworn enemy of the United States. Al-Awlaki puts out his own internet videos professing as much! As an enemy combatant on the global battlefield, he’s entitled to a bullet in the head, not his Fourth Amendment rights.

/the ACLU and CCR, they’re not anti-American, they’re just on the other side

Gitmo North

As predicted, here they come! Obama’s going to transfer hundreds of the world’s worst al Qaeda terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Thomson, Illinois. Obama’s irrational rationale for doing this is that, supposedly, holding al Qaeda prisoners indefinitely at Guantanamo has become “a recruiting tool for terrorists” whereas, somehow, moving them north and holding the same al Qaeda terrorists indefinitely in Illinois will magically placate terrorists worldwide. “See, it’s all good Ahmed, the infidels are indefinitely imprisoning our al Qaeda brothers in Illinois now .”

Obama administration to buy Illinois prison for Guantanamo detainees

President Obama, determined to change U.S. detention policy and shut the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, pointed Tuesday to a small town in Illinois as a big part of the answer.

A state prison in rural Thomson will be purchased and refitted to house dozens of terrorism suspects now held at Guantanamo Bay, the administration announced. But Obama immediately drew criticism that revealed just how controversial the issue remains.

Republicans in Illinois and in Washington called the president’s move risky and reminded the administration that a congressional vote is required before detainees not facing trial can be held indefinitely on U.S. soil. GOP members of the House will “seek every remedy at our disposal to stop this dangerous plan,” vowed Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). A vote is weeks or months away, Democrats said.

Civil liberties groups, while embracing the goal of closing Guantanamo Bay, said the administration would be wrong to move prisoners to the heartland without charging them with a crime.

“If Thomson will be used to facilitate their lawful prosecution, then this is truly a positive step,” said Joanne Mariner, counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. If not, “President Obama will simply have moved Guantanamo to Illinois.”

White House officials did not say how many inmates are likely to be transferred to the Thomson Correctional Center. Some detainees will be held for trial by military commissions on the prison grounds, while others could be held without charges.

See also:
Presidential memorandum regarding Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois
Guantanamo Detainees Will Go to Illinois
U.S. will move its war court from Guantanamo to Illinois
US Buying Prison for Guantanamo Detainees
Obama Tells Prison to Take Detainees
Rural Illinois Prison to Get Some Gitmo Detainees
White House: Guantanamo Detainees Will Be Sent to Illinois Prison
Welcome to Anti-Guantanamo, Illinois; Obama to Move Terrorist Detainees into Heartland
Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois set to be new Gitmo, White House says
Obama’s Illinois prison plan faces a high wall: the GOP
Illinois Prison For Guantanamo Detainees Faces Tough Vote In Congress
Khadr may be headed to Illinois detention facility
Thomson Correctional Center
Thomson Correctional Center
The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

Mark my words, we’re going to regret this as a nation. Putting any security concerns aside, the biggest downside of moving Gitmo prisoners to Illinois is that the second the al Qaeda terrorists set foot on U.S. soil, the ACLU and sundry other civil liberties groups will start flooding Federal courts with lawyers, trying to pin full U.S. citizenship rights on the tail of each and every one of these detainee donkeys. The legal three ring circus will have officially arrived in town, with Obama and Holder driving the clown car.

/the Obama administration, the dumb ideas just keep on coming, if it’s a really bad policy, they’re all over it like butter on toast

Is The Obama Administration Insane Or Just Mind Numbingly Stupid?

Let’s see, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the world’s worst terrorists, has already confessed to masterminding 9/11 and tried to plead guilty multiple times to a military commission at Guantanamo Bay. Now, most right thinking people would say, fine, let the scumbag plead guilty, execute him, and be done with it. But nooo, not the Obama Administration, that’s too easy, Eric Holder has a better idea.

New York trial for 9/11 suspects

Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is to be sent from Guantanamo Bay to New York for trial in a civilian court, the US has confirmed.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he would be transferred from the US prison camp in Cuba with four other suspects.

Mr Mohammed has admitted planning the 9/11 attacks, the US military says.

The move is part of US President Barack Obama’s effort to close Guantanamo, but some relatives of 9/11 victims say they oppose a federal court trial.

Responsibility for the case will go to the Southern District of New York, with proceedings taking place near Ground Zero.

The five men have until now been facing prosecution at US military commissions in Guantanamo. The government had faced a 16 November deadline to decide how to proceed in their cases.

Speaking in Tokyo ahead of Mr Holder’s announcement, Mr Obama said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would face “most exacting demands of justice”.

Bringing al-Qaeda to New York

Candidate Barack Obama urged a return to pre-9/11 counterterrorism-by-courts. President Obama’s Justice Department overflows with lawyers who spent the last eight years representing America’s enemies. Thus, Friday’s announcement that top al-Qaeda terrorists will be brought to New York City for a civilian trial is no surprise. That doesn’t make it any less inexcusable.

The treatment of jihadist terror as a mere law-enforcement issue, fit for civilian courts, was among the worst of the national-security derelictions of the Nineties. While the champions of this approach stress that prosecutors scored a 100 percent conviction rate, they conveniently omit mention of the paltry number of cases (less than three dozen, mostly against low-level terrorists, over an eight-year period, despite numerous attacks), as well as the rigorous due-process burdens that made prosecution of many terrorists impossible, the daunting disclosure and witness-confrontation rules that required government to disclose mountains of intelligence, the gargantuan expense of “hardening” courthouses and prisons to protect juries and judges, and the terrorists’ exploitation of legal privileges to plot additional attacks and escape attempts.

In placing the nation on a war footing after the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration invoked the laws of war to detain terrorists as enemy combatants and to try those who had committed provable war crimes by military commission — measures that were endorsed by Congress despite being challenged in the courts by some of the lawyers now working in Obama’s Justice Department. This military-commission system provided due-process protections that were unprecedented for wartime enemies, including the right to appellate review in the civilian courts. But they protected national-defense information from disclosure.

This commission system is tailor-made for the 9/11 plotters, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suicide-hijacking mastermind who is brazen in taking credit for that and numerous other attacks against the United States. In fact, last December, KSM and his four co-defendants indicated to the military judge that they wanted to plead guilty and move on to execution. But then the Obama administration swept into power and undertook to repudiate many of Bush’s counterterrorism practices, declaring its intention to close Gitmo within a year and forcing a moratorium on military commissions so the process could be “studied.” Friday’s announcement that KSM and the other 9/11 plotters will be sent to federal court in New York for a civilian trial is the most significant step to date in Obama’s determination to turn back the clock to the time when government believed subpoenas rather than Marines were the answer to jihadist murder and mayhem.

It is difficult to quantify how dangerously foolish this course is. As they demonstrated in offering to plead guilty while bragging about their atrocities, KSM and his cohorts don’t want a trial so much as they want a soapbox to press their grievances against the United States and the West. With no real defense to the charges, they will endeavor to put America on trial, pressing the court for expansive discovery of government intelligence files. Having gratuitously exposed classified information on interrogation tactics and other sensitive matters in order to pander to Obama’s base, the Justice Department will be in a poor position to argue against broad disclosure, even if it were so inclined. As the court orders more and more revelations, potential intelligence sources and foreign spy services will develop even graver doubts about our capacity to keep secrets. They will reduce their intelligence cooperation accordingly, and the nation will be dramatically more vulnerable.

Moreover, the transfer of the worst al-Qaeda prisoners into the U.S. will grease the skids for many, if not most, of the remaining 200-plus Gitmo terrorists to be moved here. This will be the worst of all possible outcomes. These are trained terrorists who have been detained under the laws of war, but most of whom cannot be tried because the intelligence on them cannot be used in court. We are still holding them because they are deadly dangerous and because no other country is willing to take them off our hands. Once inside the United States, they will indisputably be within the jurisdiction of the federal courts — which are staffed by judges predisposed against wartime detention without trial. As long as the terrorists were at Gitmo, those judges were reluctant to order them released into the U.S. — a transfer that would violate federal law. If the terrorists are already here, though, judges will not be as gun-shy. Inevitably, some will be freed to live and plot among us.

The Obama Left delusionally argues that running these risks will make us safer. The international community will see how enlightened we are, the fable goes. The hostility of America’s enemies will melt away. They’ll lay down their bombs and stop attacking us. As observed by former attorney general Michael Mukasey — who presided over terrorism cases as a federal judge — “We did just that after the first World Trade Center bombing, after the plot to blow up airliners over the Pacific, and after the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. In return, we got the 9/11 attacks and the murder of nearly 3,000 innocents.”

So Now Khalid Sheikh Mohammad Is A 9/11 “Suspect”

Team Obama has to postpone these trials until after the 2010 elections or this will go down as the biggest “own-goal” of the century millenium.

See also:
New York to host terror trial
9/11 suspects face New York trial
9/11 mastermind, 4 others to face trial in New York
Strong reaction to announcement of 9/11 trial in New York court
9/11 Plotters Trial Divides New York
Reaction Mixed as Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Will Face Trial in New York
UPDATE 1-New York split over plan to try Sept. 11 plotters
Families of 9/11 victims divided over decision to hold trial in New York
Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani disagree on trials
9/11 comes full circle in New York City
Why Bring KSM to the United States?
The Worst Decision by a US President in History
Justice Denied
9/11 mastermind, 4 others to face trial in New York
Holder in the dock as critics focus on New York 9/11 terror trial
U.S. Republicans blast Obama decision on Gitmo
Mukasey Fears Attacks on New York During Trial of 9/11 Defendants
Mukasey: ‘very high’ risk of attack over NYC 9/11 trial
The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

So, instead of quietly letting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed plead guilty and executing his terrorist ass, we’re going to drop him onto U.S. soil in New York for a public spectacle. And, make no mistake about, it, once card carrying ACLU defense attorneys get a hold of this case in Federal court, it will become a circus, a crusade against the policies of the Bush administration. A trial in civilian court will drag on for years, cost millions of taxpayer dollars, cause untold security headaches, endanger American lives, embarrass the U.S. government, disclose classified information, hamper ongoing intelligence operations, give aid and comfort to the enemy, etc., etc.

For what? The Obama administration has already hinted that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will never go free, even if aqitted. So what’s the point of conducting a sham civilian show trial where the outcome is already predetermined? There is absolutely no upside to this stunt, other than to pantomime the boneheaded and discredited liberal ideal that terrorism is a law enforcement problem, rather than warfare against Western civilization.

/seriously, sometimes I think people in the Obama administration stay up late at night thinking, how can we best screw up America tomorrow?

The World’s Worst Al Qaeda Terrorists, Coming Soon To A U.S. City Near You

What a great idea, what could possibly go wrong?

Senate votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US soil for trial

THE US Senate has voted 79-19 to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees to be brought to US soil for trial, boosting President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the notorious facility.

The green light came in a $US42.7 billion spending bill for the US Department of Homeland Security in 2010, which easily cleared the House of Representatives last week and now heads to Obama to sign into law.

Obama vowed on his second day in office to shutter the facility, a magnet for global criticism of US tactics in the “war on terrorism,” by January 22, though White House aides say they face an uphill fight to keep that promise.

Of the roughly 220 people still held at the controversial prison camp, which then-president George W. Bush opened in January 2002, about 80 are waiting to be released and a further 60 are expected to be prosecuted.

The House-approved measure forbids the release of detainees at the US naval base in Cuba onto US soil, and requires a detailed assessment of the possible security risk before they can be brought to trial in the United States.

. . .

The bill did not address whether the Obama administration can hold prisoners indefinitely without charge in the United States and left unclear what the fate would be of those who may be tried and acquitted.

You’re damn right that it’s unclear what would happen if any of these terrorists were to be tried and acquitted on U.S. soil. What would happen? We already know that most of these terrorists can’t be deported to other countries because no other country is willing to accept them. What then? They can’t very well be locked up again after they’ve been acquitted. The only other possible alternative is to release them within the United States. Think that’s a far fetched possibility? Think again, it’s already close to happening.

Guantanamo detainees case reaches Supreme Court

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether Guantanamo detainees who are considered no threat can be ordered released in the United States — over the objections of the Obama administration and Congress — if the prisoners have nowhere else to go.

. . .

The justices said they will hear a challenge from the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs (WEE’-gurs), who are asking the court to put some teeth into its June 2008 ruling that said federal judges could ultimately order some detainees to be released, depending on security concerns and other circumstances.

Acting after the Supreme Court ruling, a federal judge in Washington said the Uighurs must be released immediately into the United States because their continued confinement was unjustified and the U.S. government could find no country willing to take them.

A federal appeals court, however, said the judge lacked the authority to order detainees released into the United States, setting up the new high court challenge.

So, what happens when the world’s worst terrorists face trial in Federal court, on U.S. soil, and the prosecution’s case collapses due to lack of evidence, tainted evidence due to improper interrogation or a faulty chain of evidence, or the inability to present evidence due to national security concerns, what then? Once a trial starts, the only two eventual outcomes are conviction or acquittal. What happens if any of the hardcore al Qaeda operatives, sworn to kill as many Americans as possible, are acquitted in Federal court, on U.S. soil, can’t be deported, and can’t be locked up again? What then?

See also:
Congress Approves Trying Guantanamo Terror Suspects in U.S.
Senate allows more transfers of detainees to U.S. for trial
Congress passes Guantanamo bill
Senate OKs transfer of Gitmo prisoners for trials
US Congress votes to allow Guantanamo transfers to US
Guantanamo prisoner restrictions clear Congress
Court to Decide on U.S. Release of Uighurs at Gitmo
Supreme Court to hear appeal from Guantánamo Bay Uighur prisoners
U.S. top court to hear Guantanamo Uighurs appeal
Guantanamo Inmates Get High Court Review on Release
Supreme Court To Hear Appeal From Uighurs Held At Guantanamo
High court accepts Guantanamo Uyghur case

One thing we do know for sure is that the second these al Qaeda jihadis set foot on U.S. soil proper, each one of them will have the best free criminal defense lawyers the ACLU and other liberal organizations can provide, banging on every Federal courthouse door in the country, on a crusade to attach the full panoply of legal rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens to their terrorist clients. Removing these unlawful combatants from a perfectly good military prison and military tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay and bringing them onto U.S. soil, to be tried in Federal court, ranks right up there as one of the dumbest ideas ever.

/not only is there a possibility that stone cold al Qaeda killers might eventually be released into the United States, but the whole Federal court trial and appeal process will become a farcical circus, a public stage for the jihadi “martyrs”, that will drag on for years, jeopardize national security interests through discovery, and cost the American taxpayers many millions of dollars

Holder Declares War On The CIA

Losing the health care debate badly? Need to distract the public attention from the horrific deficit forecasts being released tomorrow? No problem, just demagogue a five year old report and threaten to persecute evil Bush era CIA interrogators!

Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.

Durham’s mandate, the sources added, will be relatively narrow: to look at whether there is enough evidence to launch a full-scale criminal investigation of current and former CIA personnel who may have broken the law in their dealings with detainees. Many of the harshest CIA interrogation techniques have not been employed against terrorism suspects for four years or more.

The attorney general selected Durham in part because the longtime prosecutor is familiar with the CIA and its past interrogation regime. For nearly two years, Durham has been probing whether laws against obstruction or false statements were violated in connection with the 2005 destruction of CIA videotapes. The tapes allegedly depicted brutal scenes including waterboarding of some of the agency’s high value detainees. That inquiry is proceeding before a grand jury in Alexandria, although lawyers following the investigation have cast doubt on whether it will result in any criminal charges.

Word of Holder’s decision comes on the same day that the Obama administration will issue a 2004 report by the then-CIA Inspector General. Among other things, the IG questioned the effectiveness of harsh interrogation tactics that included simulated drowning and wall slamming. A federal judge in New York forced the administration to release the secret report after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

A separate internal Justice Department ethics report on the professionalism of lawyers who blessed the questioning techniques continues to undergo declassification review and is not likely to be released imminently. The New York Times reported Monday that the ethics report recommended that Holder take another look at several episodes of alleged detainee abuse that previously had been declined for prosecution during the Bush years, bolstering his decision to appoint a prosecutor.

Leaders at the Justice Department and the intelligence community have clashed this year over the release of sensitive interrogation memos, military photographs of detainee abuse and how to handle the cases of more than 200 detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Holder’s decision could complicate the Justice Department’s relationship with the White House, where President Obama has repeatedly expressed a desire to move forward from the national security controversies of the Bush administration. Deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton told reporters Monday that the president had complete faith in Holder and that the decision whether to launch an investigation was the attorney general’s sole prerogative.

“The White House supports the attorney general making the decisions on who gets prosecuted and investigated,” Burton said.

Holder acknowledges the possible fallout from his decision, but has concluded in recent days that he has no other choice than to probe whether laws were broken in connection with the Bush administration’s interrogation program, the two sources said. Fewer than a dozen cases will be examined, most from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Any criminal investigation into the CIA conduct faces serious hurdles, according to current and former government lawyers, including such challenges as missing evidence, nonexistent or unreliable witnesses, no access to some bodies of detainees who died, and the passage of up to seven years since the questionable activity occurred far from American soil.

During the Bush years, a team of more than a half-dozen career prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, which is renown for its expertise in probing clandestine operations, reviewed about 20 cases of alleged prisoner abuse after receiving referrals from the military and then-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson. Among the assistant U.S. attorneys involved in the review was Robert Spencer, who successfully prosecuted al-Qaeda operative Zacharias Moussaoui and who later won one of the highest awards the Justice Department bestows.

In only one of the cases did the lawyers recommend seeking a grand jury indictment. A federal appeals court earlier this month affirmed the assault conviction of David A. Passaro, a CIA contractor who wielded a metal flashlight against a detainee at a military base in Afghanistan. Passaro was not charged with murder. Abdul Wali, the detainee he questioned, died shortly after the beating but investigators could not conclusively link his death to the flashlight attack.

A former government official involved in the previous review said that, given problems with evidence, there was “no conceivable way we could have come out different” and sought criminal indictments. The official said that analysis might change if new and reliable witnesses emerged.

Current and former CIA officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations have cited the prior review by prosecutors as one of several reasons why the Obama Justice Department need not act. They fear that any criminal investigation will chill intelligence activities and alienate operatives who are responsible for protecting national security.

See also:
Attorney General Holder opens ‘preliminary’ investigation of post-9/11 interrogations
Holder Orders Review Into Abuses of Terror Suspects (Update2)
Holder Releases Statement on Detainee Interrogations, Special Prosecutor
Holder’s Pick for CIA Investigation Known as Tough, Diligent
Sources: Report to detail alleged abuse inside CIA secret prisons
CIA staged mock execution, wielded power drill in interrogations, secret report says
CIA Faulted for Conduct at Prisons
DOJ probe opens divides with Hill, CIA
Liberals and the CIA
Civil Liberties Groups Prepare Delicate Message on CIA Probe
GOP senators warn Holder against CIA abuse inquiry
Republicans warn Holder on probe
U.S. Republican senators oppose investigation into CIA
Panetta Letter to CIA Staff on Release of Interrogation Report
Panetta Defends CIA in E-Mail to Agency
Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit
Is Panetta About to Quit?
The Justice Dept.’s War On Heroes

Okay, the memo is five years old and the alleged transgressions contained within, from even further back in ancient history, basically boil down to CIA interrogators threatening some of the world’s worst and deadliest terrorists with nasty and frightening, yet totally fictitious, never intended to be implemented, torture techniques and retribution against the terrorists’ family members. Sticks and stones didn’t hurt their bones, only words were used to break them. These allegations have already been thoroughly investigated, a long time ago, by career prosecutors experienced in CIA matters, and in the one case where abuse was found charges were brought.

Why is Holder digging up this well settled grave again after all these years, to placate the uber liberal CIA haters, the ACLU, to stroke his own ego? Doesn’t he care what damage it will do to the CIA and how much it will demoralize CIA operatives out in the field, risking their lives every day to defend America and keep us safe? What part of numerous past and present CIA Directors vociferously telling him, in no uncertain terms, that this new witch hunt is a really bad idea doesn’t he understand? Hell, even Obama doesn’t particularly want to travel down this long abandoned road.

/given Eric Holder’s undaunted determination to give aid and comfort to the enemy, at the expense of those standing between us and the enemy, it’s unclear as to where his loyalties lie and who’s side he’s really on

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Taking time out from his relentless crusade to destroy capitalism, the U.S. economy, and America as we used to know it, Obama finally got one right today.

Obama Seeks to Block Release of Detainee Abuse Photos

President Barack Obama reversed course and is seeking to block release of photographs that show the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. personnel.

“This is not a situation in which the Pentagon has concealed or sought to justify inappropriate action,” Obama said today at the White House. “Publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals.”

Instead, it might “inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger,” he said.

A federal appeals court ordered the release in connection with a Freedom of Information Act suit. Last month, the Justice Department told a federal judge that the administration would not resist a court order to turn over 44 photographs sought by the American Civil Liberties Union in the suit.

The president told his legal team last week that he “did not feel comfortable with release of the photos,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said earlier.

Gibbs said that Obama concluded that Justice lawyers, during former President George W. Bush’s administration, didn’t make the strongest case against release of the pictures.

“The argument that the president seeks to make is one that hasn’t been made before,” Gibbs said. “I’m not going to get into blame for this or that,” he said, adding that the case was working through the court system before Obama took office.

Evidence

During the Bush administration, release of photographs of prisoner abuse by U.S. troops at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq caused an international uproar. The pictures at issue are part of potential evidence in cases that have been wrapped up since 2004, Gibbs said.

Obama said releasing the pictures may have a “chilling effect” on future investigations.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he recommended to Obama that the photos be withheld and that both General Ray Odierno, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, and General David McKiernan, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, objected to the release.

“Our commanders have expressed very serious reservations and their very great worry that release of these photographs would cost American lives,” Gates said when asked about the issue at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Durbin, Lieberman Comment

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, one of Obama’s closest allies in Congress, said the legal brief in the court cases initially “led him to believe” that releasing the photographs was “inevitable.”

“Now they seem to have some reservations about what the impact of those photos might have, particularly on the security of troops,” Durbin said.

Senators Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, supported Obama’s decision.

“It’s good for the troops to know that their commander-in- chief is going to bat for them and that is what he did today,” Graham said at the Capitol.

Lieberman said releasing the photos would have done more harm than good. When the Abu Ghraib photos were first released, “they were immediately put up on jihadist Web sites across the world and were used by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups to recruit,” he said.

See also:
Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos
In reversal, Obama seeks to block abuse photos
Obama reverses course on alleged prison abuse photos
Obama sets up abuse-photos fight
Obama Moves to Block Release of Detainee Abuse Photos
Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos

Of course Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into changing his mind under intense pressure from his military commanders or else he he would have made this no-brainier decision in the first place. I mean, it’s obvious to any moron that doesn’t absolutely despise the U.S. military that releasing these photographs would do nothing besides incited and inflame our enemies, hand them a huge propaganda victory that they would exploit as a recruiting tool for years to come, and generally put U.S. troops worldwide in much greater danger.

/but hey, small victories, credit where credit is do, it was the correct decision, let’s just hope he follows through with opposing the release of the photographs in court

I’ll Talk, I’ll Talk, Anything But The Caterpillar Torture!

You know, if the release of the four once top secret Justice Department Memos on Interrogation Techniques wasn’t so utterly devastating to future CIA operations and our national security in general, the description of the interrogation techniques contained within, that supposedly constitute “torture”, would be just plain damn laughable.

Inexcusable Lapse

War On Terror: Imagine a president of the United States, within his first hundred days, revealing secrets that help terrorists kill. The secret memos on enhanced interrogation, now made public, do exactly that.

We are told by President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod that the president agonized for four weeks over the “weighty decision” to make public memoranda detailing the specifics of the CIA’s tough interrogation of high-value terrorist detainees such as 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

For most other presidents, it would have taken maybe four minutes, required little soul-searching and resulted in the opposite choice.

What on earth could the president have been thinking in revealing the nuts and bolts of how we extract information from al-Qaida operatives to prevent the success of their terrorist operations?

What could have possessed him to make public the steps our interrogators go through, the limits of pain and discomfort they (but not the prisoners) know they will not exceed, and the analytical classification and specific purpose of each of the various techniques?

These top secrets will arm Islamist jihadists with knowledge that will be invaluable to them. Future terrorist detainees will now know, for instance, that their interrogations are under continual video surveillance to make sure no lasting medical or psychological consequences result from the techniques used. Will they now teach themselves to fake such ill effects?

Terrorists will know that when they are placed in a tiny container in “cramped confinement” it will last only “up to two hours,” as a declassified memo from the Justice Department to the CIA noted. They will know that “stress positions” are used “only to induce temporary muscle fatigue” not “severe physical pain.”

They will now know that when subjected to “water dousing” they need not have the slightest fear of hypothermia, because every precaution is taken to keep the temperature of both the room and the water itself far above freezing.

They will know sleep deprivation inflicted by the interrogators seldom exceeds 96 hours, and they’ll know the specifics and purposes behind the relatively mild technique of “dietary manipulation.”

What the president has given to our enemies is a treasure chest of defensive weapons. Within the caves of the mountainous Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Islamofascist plotters must wonder how self-destructively corrupt their American adversaries have to be to allow such materials to land in their hands.

The piece of information that may be of most value to terrorists is the government’s assessment that waterboarding was “the most traumatic of the enhanced interrogation techniques” and implicitly the most effective.

Terrorist groups around the world will now know that waterboarding was “authorized for, at most, one 30-day period, during which the technique can actually be applied on no more than five days” with “no more than two sessions in any 24-hour period.”

Each session lasted no more than two hours, consisting of, at most, six applications of water for 10 seconds each time, for a total of no longer than 12 minutes per each 24-hour period. Presumably the issue is academic since the Obama administration has officially prohibited waterboarding.

There is no more valuable tool for subjects of interrogation than to know what they will be subjected to. How in good conscience could our president have given this gift to those trying to destroy us?

The President Ties His Own Hands on Terror

By MICHAEL HAYDEN and MICHAEL B. MUKASEY
The Obama administration has declassified and released opinions of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) given in 2005 and earlier that analyze the legality of interrogation techniques authorized for use by the CIA. Those techniques were applied only when expressly permitted by the director, and are described in these opinions in detail, along with their limits and the safeguards applied to them.

The release of these opinions was unnecessary as a legal matter, and is unsound as a matter of policy. Its effect will be to invite the kind of institutional timidity and fear of recrimination that weakened intelligence gathering in the past, and that we came sorely to regret on Sept. 11, 2001.

Proponents of the release have argued that the techniques have been abandoned and thus there is no point in keeping them secret any longer; that they were in any event ineffective; that their disclosure was somehow legally compelled; and that they cost us more in the coin of world opinion than they were worth. None of these claims survives scrutiny.

Soon after he was sworn in, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that suspended use of these techniques and confined not only the military but all U.S. agencies — including the CIA — to the interrogation limits set in the Army Field Manual. This suspension was accompanied by a commitment to further study the interrogation program, and government personnel were cautioned that they could no longer rely on earlier opinions of the OLC.

Although evidence shows that the Army Field Manual, which is available online, is already used by al Qaeda for training purposes, it was certainly the president’s right to suspend use of any technique. However, public disclosure of the OLC opinions, and thus of the techniques themselves, assures that terrorists are now aware of the absolute limit of what the U.S. government could do to extract information from them, and can supplement their training accordingly and thus diminish the effectiveness of these techniques as they have the ones in the Army Field Manual.

Moreover, disclosure of the details of the program pre-empts the study of the president’s task force and assures that the suspension imposed by the president’s executive order is effectively permanent. There would be little point in the president authorizing measures whose nature and precise limits have already been disclosed in detail to those whose resolve we hope to overcome. This conflicts with the sworn promise of the current director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, who testified in aid of securing Senate confirmation that if he thought he needed additional authority to conduct interrogation to get necessary information, he would seek it from the president. By allowing this disclosure, President Obama has tied not only his own hands but also the hands of any future administration faced with the prospect of attack.

Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption. It will also incur the utter contempt of our enemies. Somehow, it seems unlikely that the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and have tortured and slain other American captives, are likely to be shamed into giving up violence by the news that the U.S. will no longer interrupt the sleep cycle of captured terrorists even to help elicit intelligence that could save the lives of its citizens.

Which brings us to the next of the justifications for disclosing and thus abandoning these measures: that they don’t work anyway, and that those who are subjected to them will simply make up information in order to end their ordeal. This ignorant view of how interrogations are conducted is belied by both experience and common sense. If coercive interrogation had been administered to obtain confessions, one might understand the argument. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who organized the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, among others, and who has boasted of having beheaded Daniel Pearl, could eventually have felt pressed to provide a false confession. But confessions aren’t the point. Intelligence is. Interrogation is conducted by using such obvious approaches as asking questions whose correct answers are already known and only when truthful information is provided proceeding to what may not be known. Moreover, intelligence can be verified, correlated and used to get information from other detainees, and has been; none of this information is used in isolation.

The terrorist Abu Zubaydah (sometimes derided as a low-level operative of questionable reliability, but who was in fact close to KSM and other senior al Qaeda leaders) disclosed some information voluntarily. But he was coerced into disclosing information that led to the capture of Ramzi bin al Shibh, another of the planners of Sept. 11, who in turn disclosed information which — when combined with what was learned from Abu Zubaydah — helped lead to the capture of KSM and other senior terrorists, and the disruption of follow-on plots aimed at both Europe and the U.S. Details of these successes, and the methods used to obtain them, were disclosed repeatedly in more than 30 congressional briefings and hearings beginning in 2002, and open to all members of the Intelligence Committees of both Houses of Congress beginning in September 2006. Any protestation of ignorance of those details, particularly by members of those committees, is pretense.

The techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. Of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of the techniques discussed in these opinions. As already disclosed by Director Hayden, as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government’s knowledge about the structure and activities of al Qaeda came from those interrogations.

Nor was there any legal reason compelling such disclosure. To be sure, the American Civil Liberties Union has sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain copies of these and other memoranda, but the government until now has successfully resisted such lawsuits. Even when the government disclosed that three members of al Qaeda had been subjected to waterboarding but that the technique was no longer part of the CIA interrogation program, the court sustained the government’s argument that the precise details of how it was done, including limits and safeguards, could remain classified against the possibility that some future president may authorize its use. Therefore, notwithstanding the suggestion that disclosure was somehow legally compelled, there was no legal impediment to the Justice Department making the same argument even with respect to any techniques that remained in the CIA program until last January.

There is something of the self-fulfilling prophecy in the claim that our interrogation of some unlawful combatants beyond the limits set in the Army Field Manual has disgraced us before the world. Such a claim often conflates interrogation with the sadism engaged in by some soldiers at Abu Ghraib, an incident that had nothing whatever to do with intelligence gathering. The limits of the Army Field Manual are entirely appropriate for young soldiers, for the conditions in which they operate, for the detainees they routinely question, and for the kinds of tactically relevant information they pursue. Those limits are not appropriate, however, for more experienced people in controlled circumstances with high-value detainees. Indeed, the Army Field Manual was created with awareness that there was an alternative protocol for high-value detainees.

In addition, there were those who believed that the U.S. deserved what it got on Sept. 11, 2001. Such people, and many who purport to speak for world opinion, were resourceful both before and after the Sept. 11 attacks in crafting reasons to resent America’s role as a superpower. Recall also that the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the punctiliously correct trials of defendants in connection with those incidents, and the bombing of the USS Cole took place long before the advent of CIA interrogations, the invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or the many other purported grievances asserted over the past eight years.

The effect of this disclosure on the morale and effectiveness of many in the intelligence community is not hard to predict. Those charged with the responsibility of gathering potentially lifesaving information from unwilling captives are now told essentially that any legal opinion they get as to the lawfulness of their activity is only as durable as political fashion permits. Even with a seemingly binding opinion in hand, which future CIA operations personnel would take the risk? There would be no wink, no nod, no handshake that would convince them that legal guidance is durable. Any president who wants to apply such techniques without such a binding and durable legal opinion had better be prepared to apply them himself.

Beyond that, anyone in government who seeks an opinion from the OLC as to the propriety of any action, or who authors an opinion for the OLC, is on notice henceforth that such a request for advice, and the advice itself, is now more likely than before to be subject after the fact to public and partisan criticism. It is hard to see how that will promote candor either from those who should be encouraged to ask for advice before they act, or from those who must give it.

In his book “The Terror Presidency,” Jack Goldsmith describes the phenomenon we are now experiencing, and its inevitable effect, referring to what he calls “cycles of timidity and aggression” that have weakened intelligence gathering in the past. Politicians pressure the intelligence community to push to the legal limit, and then cast accusations when aggressiveness goes out of style, thereby encouraging risk aversion, and then, as occurred in the wake of 9/11, criticizing the intelligence community for feckless timidity. He calls these cycles “a terrible problem for our national security.” Indeed they are, and the precipitous release of these OLC opinions simply makes the problem worse.

Gen. Hayden was director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009. Mr. Mukasey was attorney general of the United States from 2007 to 2009.

See also:
Former Bush officials slam release of torture memos
Four CIA chiefs said ‘don’t reveal torture memos’
CIA objections slowed torture memos release
“On a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009.”

So, what horrible torture techniques were contained in these memos that justified their public release, thereby tying the CIA’s hands behing their back and pulling their pants down around their ankles?

10 CIA torture tactics revealed

The 10 terror techniques

1. Attention grasp

Grasping the suspect with both hands – one hand on each side of the collar opening – in one quick motion. In the same motion, the suspect is pulled towards the interrogator.

2. Walling

The interrogators construct a flexible false wall, but do not tell the suspect it is fake. The individual is then placed with his or her heels touching the wall. The suspect is then pulled forward, and then quickly pushed back against the wall.

It is designed so that the suspect’s shoulder blades hit the wall. The individual’s neck is supported to stop whiplash.

The suspect is allowed to rebound off the wall – which makes a loud noise. The theory is that the noise will cause the suspect to think they are being harmed, when in fact no damage is being done.

3. Facial hold

One open palm is placed on either side of the suspect’s face – to keep their head immobile. The fingertips are kept away from the individual’s eyes. It is designed to intimidate.

4. Insult slap

The interrogator slaps the suspect’s face, with fingers slightly spread. The slap is aimed for the area between the chin and the ear. The aim of the slap is not to cause long-lasting pain, but to shock, surprise or humiliate.

5. Cramped confinement

The suspect is placed in a dark and confined space. Confinement in a larger space can last up to 18 hours, in a smaller space it is supposed to be less than two hours.

6. Wall standing

Used to induce muscle fatigue. The suspect stands about four or five feet from the wall, with his feet spread approximately to shoulder width. Arms are stretched out in front of them, with fingers resting on the wall. The fingers support all the body weight, and they are not allowed to move.

7. Stress positions

A variety of positions may be used, such as sitting on the floor with legs extended straight out in front with arms raised above the head. Again, they are designed to create the physical discomfort of muscle fatigue.

8. Sleep deprivation

Used to reduce the suspect’s ability to think on their feet, create discomfort, and encourage them to cooperate. The CIA was asking for this to happen for up to 11 days.

9. Insects placed in a confinement box

The suspect is placed in a confined space with a seemingly lethal insect. They are told is it lethal, even though it is actually harmless.

Strangely, the CIA had indicated that they wished to place Zubaydah in confinement with a caterpillar, as he appeared to have a fear of such creatures.

10. Waterboarding

The individual is bound securely to a bench, with their feet elevated. A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes.

Water is then poured on the cloth, and the cloth itself is lowered to cover the mouth and nose.

Air flow is then restricted for up to 40 seconds at a time; this causes an increase in carbon dioxide in the individual’s blood. It is designed to simulate suffocation and panic.

Nevermind that all these interrogation techniques were conducted under close medical supervision, but none of them even constitute “torture”, which used to be defined as something that causes lasting physical or psychological harm. Furthermore, besides the heinous “caterpillar torture”, which one of these techniques is something new that wasn’t already publicly exposed over the last several years? And since all these techniques were already publicly known, what was the point of releasing the memos, over the objections of CIA professionals, other than to give aid and comfort to the enemy and officially confirm for them exactly what interrogation techniques we will or will not use and how far we’ll go in using them?

You want to see what torture really is? Do five minutes of research on the techniques our enemies use; electric drills, pulling off body parts, burning, cutting, mutilation, etc., etc., that’s torture. Being put in a box with caterpillars is not torture and promising to refrain from it and pulling the CIA’s pants down around their ankles for even thinking about “caterpillar torture” will not convince our enemies to put down their Black & Deckers.

Caterpillar torture, are you [expletive deleted] kidding me? That’s not torture, it’s comedy gold! What’s next, the Comfy Chair?

/no one expects the Caterpillar Inquisition, until now!