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Military Blocks Marine's Testimony That Torture Derailed Terrorist's Prosecution

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The house judiciary hearings on Michael Mukasey has them seeking expert info on the effects of the use of torture on legal proceedings.

The Wall street journal reported in an article titled, on it's website, Pentagon Forbids Marine to Testify
Asked last week to appear before the panel, Col. Couch says he informed his superiors and that none had any objection.

Yesterday, however, he was advised by email that the Pentagon general counsel, William J. Haynes II, "has determined that as a sitting judge and former prosecutor, it is improper for you to testify about matters still pending in the military court system, and you are not to appear before the Committee to testify tomorrow." Mr. Haynes is a Bush appointee who has overseen the legal aspects of the Pentagon's detention and interrogation policies since Sept. 11, 2001.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.) said he was "outraged that the Defense Department is refusing to allow Lt. Col. Couch to testify before this committee, in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the government, concerning what he saw and heard relating to interrogation practices at Guantanamo." The subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), said he would consider seeking a subpoena for Col. Couch if the Pentagon doesn't allow him to testify.


The ancient tradition of torture
 

The ancient tradition of torture

Image source from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period

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 In another front page story, the Wall street journal reported,
Col. Couch refused to bring charges against Mohamedou Ould Slahi after determining the detainee's incriminating statements had been obtained through what Col. Couch considered to be torture. Mr. Slahi, who is alleged to have helped recruit several of the Sept. 11 hijackers, is one of two high-value Guantanamo prisoners who were authorized to undergo "special" interrogation methods. In addition to allegedly suffering physical beatings and death threats, Mr. Slahi was led to believe that the U.S. had taken his mother hostage and might ship her to Guantanamo Bay, where she would be the sole female amid hundreds of male prisoners.

Col. Couch, now a military judge, said he reluctantly concluded it would be impossible to prosecute Mr. Slahi without relying on tainted evidence. The decision was particularly difficult, Col. Couch said, because a Marine buddy, Mike Horrocks, had been the co-pilot on the hijacked United 175, which struck the World Trade Center -- and because Col. Couch believed Mr. Slahi indeed had taken part in the Sept. 11 conspiracy. After Col. Couch advised superiors that the tainted evidence made it impossible to proceed against Mr. Slahi, the prosecution was shelved.


The pentagon decided that Slahi's treatment did not amount to torture.

Does George Bush have the right to block congressional testimony by anyone employed by the government? Does the military have the right to refuse to allow its personnel to testify? Most important, will members of congress give up another power?
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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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