Corrected: Gina Haspel Did Not Torture Zubaydah, Apparently

Not only did the new CIA Director personally oversee the torture of Abu Zubaydah, she did so in order to lie you and your mom into supporting the aggressive war against Iraq.

From David Rose’s report “Tortured Reasoning“:

Some of what he did say was leaked by the administration: for example, the claim that bin Laden and his ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [Zarqawi was not an ally of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden -editor] were working directly with Saddam Hussein to destabilize the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. There was much more, says the analyst who worked at the Pentagon: “I first saw the reports soon after Abu Zubaydah’s capture. There was a lot of stuff about the nuts and bolts of al-Qaeda’s supposed relationship with the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The intelligence community was lapping this up, and so was the administration, obviously. Abu Zubaydah was saying Iraq and al-Qaeda had an operational relationship. It was everything the administration hoped it would be.”

Within the administration, Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation was “an important chapter,” the second analyst says: overall, his interrogation “product” was deemed to be more significant than the claims made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, another al-Qaeda captive, who in early 2002 was tortured in Egypt at the C.I.A.’s behest. After all, Abu Zubaydah was being interviewed by Americans. Like the former Pentagon official, this official had no idea that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured.

“As soon as I learned that the reports had come from torture, once my anger had subsided I understood the damage it had done,” the Pentagon analyst says. “I was so angry, knowing that the higher-ups in the administration knew he was tortured, and that the information he was giving up was tainted by the torture, and that it became one reason to attack Iraq.”

Says here Zubaydah wasn’t moved to the black site in Poland until late 2002. Not that I know she wasn’t there too, but “soon after Zubaydah’s capture” means on Haspel’s watch in Thailand it seems fair to conclude.

By the way, Zubaydah was not even a member of al Qaeda at all, much less their “Number 3 Lieutenant.”

Update: Pro Publica has completely retracted their story claiming that Gina Haspel was in charge of the torture dungeon in Thailand at the time Abu Zubaydah was held there.

He was still tortured into lying us into war with Iraq, but not by her, apparently.

The Problem with Human Rights/Humanitarian Law Taking Precedence over the Nuremberg Principle: Torture is Wrong but So Is the Supreme War Crime

A number of human rights issues converge on Friday January 11, 2013. In Washington DC and many other cities around the country, including the Twin Cities, people will don orange “Gitmo” jumpsuits and black hoods to protest the 11th year anniversary-travesty of Guantanamo as well as the (bizarrely coincidental) national release of the  despicable, CIA-inspired “zero conscience” film that falsely conveys the message that torture “works” and is somehow heroic.

This photo was taken a few days ago in Washington DC of a protest by Amnesty International and Witness Against Torture activists outside the opening of the Zero Dark Thirty film at the Newseum.

The third, far less known issue involves the resignation (effective on January 11) of Suzanne Nossel, Director of Amnesty International-USA.  Her resignation after only one year as American Director would be unimportant except for how it exposes more fundamental problems involving the way human rights principles during peace time and humanitarian rules governing warfare can function to undercut the more well established jus ad bellum prohibitions, under international law, of launching wars of choice.  Nossel’s statement itself gave little clue of the more fundamental problematic issues underlying her resignation (except for the fact that she only mentioned her appreciation for working to uphold “human rights” in the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Syria ­but left out the human rights violations that the US-NATO-Israel is responsible for).
Continue reading “The Problem with Human Rights/Humanitarian Law Taking Precedence over the Nuremberg Principle: Torture is Wrong but So Is the Supreme War Crime”

Update: Gag Lifted in Druze Spying Case

Richard Silverstein sent this update last night to regarding Sunday’s article Shin Bet Arrests Israeli Druze at Syrian Border, Slaps Gag on Media Reporting:

Yesterday, the Shin Bet lifted the gag order prohibiting reporting on the case of the 38 year-old Druze doctor, Eyad Jamil al-Jawhari. He’d been arrested on June 28th as he attempted to enter the occupied Golan heights at the Kuneitra border crossing. His entire family had been waiting for him, as he hadn’t visited them in the past three years (he’d spent a total of ten years in Syria pursuing medical studies and a career in family medicine).
Continue reading “Update: Gag Lifted in Druze Spying Case”

Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!

Dear Department of Justice and Department of Treasury Officials:

We might have just helped you bag another material supporter of terrorism this week! And you’ll never believe who the culprit is! We were even able to tape record some of his own damning admissions! (That’s the reason for my calls last week to your duty attorneys and media offices.)
Continue reading “Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!”

Group Calls for Annulment of the APA’s Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics & National Security (PENS) Report

From Boiling Frogs:

Leading scholars and human rights groups from a range of fields — including psychology, medicine, law, military, and intelligence — have joined together in spearheading a broad-based effort to annul and delegitimize the American Psychological Association’s deeply flawed 2005 Report of the Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (the PENS Report). In a joint declaration the coalition states:

Despite evidence that psychologists were involved in abusive interrogations, the PENS Task Force concluded that psychologists play a critical role in keeping interrogations “safe, legal, ethical and effective.” With this stance, the APA, the largest association of psychologists worldwide, became the sole major professional healthcare organization to support practices contrary to the international human rights standards that ought to be the benchmark against which professional codes of ethics are judged- the “do no Harm” standard.

Further, the coalition points out the inherent bias in the Presidential Task Force membership, where six of the nine voting members were on the payroll of the U.S. military and/or intelligence agencies, and five having served in chains of command accused of prisoner abuses. The group cites other significant conflicts of interest by the Task Force’s unacknowledged participants, such as the spouse of a Guantánamo intelligence psychologist and several high-level lobbyists for the Department of Defense, and direct funding for psychologists by the CIA.

The Coalition has launched a petition calling for the annulment of the APA’s PENS Report as part of their joint effort to remove psychologists from torture and abusive interrogations.

Krauthammer: WikiLeaks show the U.S Military’s “Restraint”

This has got to be the quote of the day — maybe the week, maybe the month. After agreeing all around on FOX News’ Special Report tonight that there was “nothing there, there” in the 400k documents dumped by WikiLeaks on Friday (a massive release of classified reports that martyr-hero-analyst Juan Williams deemed “unnecessary and mischievous”), neoconservative war hawk Charles Krauthammer said, “the overall the impression I got was how restrained the United States was.”

Charles Krauthammer

Yeah, I’m sure to Mr. Krauthammer, the killing of  681 civilians, including 50 families and 30 children — non-insurgents all — in their cars, at manned checkpoints, over a five-year period is pretty restrained (only 120 actual insurgents were killed at checkpoints in that same period, by the way). It’s pretty hard, however, to read the emerging individual stories of what actually happened and think “restraint” had anything to do with it.

But I guess the Americans were showing tremendous restraint when they turned over all those Iraqi prisoners to Iraqi military torture chambers that make the latest “Saw” installment look PG-13. They could have questioned their “orders” to ignore the abuse because international laws and the laws of humanity certainly prohibit torture — but our soldiers showed restraint (which is pretty impressive considering how many “Christians” there are filling the evangelical church services on any given forward operating base these days). They also showed great restraint in not questioning their Iraqi brothers doing the torturing — many of whom were part of the deadly U.S trained Wolf Brigade, so you could say there was some familiarity there. But the Americans followed orders and looked the other way. Restraint.

Sarcasm aside, just what might be “unrestrained” in Mr. Krauthammer’s world? — I am afraid to find out.