S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The CIA, the tapes, the ICRC report, the outrage --


WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 24:  U.S. President Georg...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Irony -- "When lie detectors lie: The CIA and John Sullivan," is by Jeff Stein on Spy Talk at Congressional Quarterly- - Politics (4/13/09). His post is a fascinating expose' of how the CIA allegedly used a lie detector test, in this case to cause harm to Sullivan, an ex-employee who was himself' a lie detector operator. Will the information eventually emerge? Time will tell.

Lost for a while -- "The mysterious case of CIA interrogator Mark Swanner," was written by Jeff Stein in Spy Talk at CQ-Politics (4/8/09). This post is a feature follow-up story to the Mark Dannner NYT Review of Books revelation of the ICRC report on torture. Stein discussed the status of a homicide investigation of Swanner in the interrogation death of a detainee, revealed in a Jane Mayer New Yorker story in November of 2005. Where would we be without such journalists? And what would we do without the ACLU?

ACLU stays on the job -- "Red Cross report on treatment of CIA detainees published," includes a discussion of medical personnel involvement (4/7/09); and "Note to CIA: be kind, rewind" regarding its "Torture FOIA" suit against the CIA (4/10/09). Both posts are from the ACLU Blog of Rights. The courts can sometimes step into the vacuum, offering standing to where the truth lies.

Investigation -- "U.S. medical personnel and interrogations: What do we know? What don't we know?" These questions are asked by Sheri Fink from the nonprofit investigative journalism website, ProPublica (4/9/09). To quote from this important article: "To put the new information into perspective, ProPublica offers these answers to key questions about the roles of American medical personnel in detainee treatment in recent years." These are the questions: What is known about the involvement of health professionals in the interrogations? What other issues have been raised? What do standards of medical ethics have to say about health professionals participating in detainee questioning? What questions remain? Are there any investigations coming? These important questions demand answer, but the administration has yet to fully step up to the plate.

The President -- "Obama, the ICRC Report and ongoing suppression," is an important and unsettling post by Glenn Greenwald at (4/7/09). To quote from his outstanding - and very painful - post,

Obama has repeatedly done the exact opposite of what he vowed he would do: rather than "seek full accountability for past offenses," he has been working feverishly to block such accountability, by embracing the same radical Bush/Cheney views and rhetoric regarding presidential secrecy powers that caused so much controversy and anger for the last several years.

Caught? We do not know yet -- "What does Dusty Foggo know about the torture tapes?" is a post by emptywheel (4/2/09). This post raises questions about the extent of possible involvement of former CIA Director Porter Goss, given the report that Foggo will be interviewed before going to prison, by CIA torture tape Special Prosecutor, John Durham. Just like the courts Special Prosecutors must continue to find out the truth. Here is a chilling thought. What if Dick Cheney is still a real player?

A mole? "Cheney's stay-behind," is explored by emptywheel (4/1/09). Marcy Wheeler delves into the Sy Hersh report that Veep Cheney may have left a mole or moles at the NSA. Here's why, to quote,

. . . Hersh's report that such stay behind includes NSA is of particular concern.

Not only does this raise concerns about the warrantless wiretap program and its use (particularly given reports that the NSA was segregating contacts with journalists, like Hersh, who has lots of contacts in the Middle East). But it raises concerns about whether or not Cheney sustains the practice--publicized during the John Bolton confirmation hearings--of getting the US person end of NSA intercepts (I have no idea whether Cheney would do this through dead-enders, whether he's getting that much more directly, or whether he's getting help from Israelis involved in our wiretap programs). A number of people suspected that Bolton had used NSA intercepts to undermine North Korean diplomacy (among other things). Such a practice obviously fits Cheney's MO.

No accountability, so far -- "Cheney lies, obstruction of justice and torture tape destruction," was penned by "bmaz" at emptywheel (3/29/09). The author does a stinging follow-up to an earlier post by his cohort Marcy Wheeler on possible reasons why the torture tapes were destroyed because, "they demonstrated there was no credible/usable information produced as a result of that torture," and because members of the Bush National Security Council Principles Committee approved it all. Bmaz concludes, "I don't want the Obama Administration to be partisan and spiteful, I want them to do their damn job. Is that too much to ask?"

The CIA operating in the dark, destroyed videotapes of detainees being torture, shocking reports, state secrets excuses, is it a surprise that we are outraged?

See also Behind the Links, for further info on this subject.

Carol Gee - Online Universe is the all-in-one home page for all my websites.

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