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Truth & Logic also tortured by Bush Admin

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Concerning "Detainees," new evidence proves they weren't all that was tortured. So were logic and truth.
The Veterans For Common Sense article ("May 21, Torture Lawsuit Press Release: Justice Department Report Reveals Senior Government Officials Knew Early About torture but Did Not Stop It") that follows my introduction is a perfect example how newsworthy stories do not make heavy waves in America's print and cable news media.
It is imperative that everyone understand that one serious consequence of the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques" practice is that all charges against Mohammad al-Qahtani, the alleged "20th hijacker," have been forced to have been dropped. Not only has the commission charged with prosecuting those held for what might be appropriately construed as the most outrageous crime against the United States since Pearl Harbor conceded his admission was brutally coerced, but that all evidence that was generated from that admission had to be excluded. Furthermore, as a deleterious result of his treatment while he was confined, his mental and physical states have been so diminished that he is no longer even physically or mentally able to stand trial.
Score a big "0" for the Bush administration. Also chalk up that ZERO for all those conservative pundits who either pooh-poohed the idea those "interrogation" techniques might be inhumane, or that they might be beyond the pale of what this country ought to stand for, as well as what we ought to stand proudly four-square against, but that they really were in fact that harsh. They were, and they were, and they were, and they were! Thanks for nothing all you "conservative values" folks. Detainees have died as a result of the conditions they were held under. Others committed suicide.

Another aspect of the story, pried loose only under an FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) crowbar, details how Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and all top echelon national security administration officials, including the president, knew exactly what was going on, and they lied to the country and the world about it.

Lastly, you received from your sources the news about who was up and who wasn't on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, and likely reasonably well informed relative to all the season finale's, including the NBA and NHL semi's and finals, not a single nanosecond of which will affect your life or the lives of anyone you might know now serving a combat role in the military. What you did not get, or, if you got any of it at all, you got little more than a passing sentence, were stories that are critical to the health and survivability of a working democracy. Please take the few moments to bring yourself current, and insist that those you know are also brought into the loop.

Ed Tubbs Palm Springs, CA
_PS - One other very newsworthy story that hasn't made it into the news, and likely will not, was highlighted in a House Foreign Affairs/International Organization for Human Rights & Oversight Subcommittee; Detention at Guantanamo Bay hearing May 20, chaired by Representative William Delahunt, that featured the extraordinarily articulate testimony by Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham (Ret). The hearing's thumbnail synopsis, taken directly from the C-SPAN website, ( follows.
_A hearing was held to examine errors made at
Guantanamo Bay and damage to the country's reputation. Murat Kurnaz testified via videoconference about his detention. Mr. Kurnaz is a Turkish national living in Germany who was wrongfully imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. Early in his captivity, American and German authorities concluded he was not a threat but it took four years for him to be released. Lieutenant Colonel Steven Abraham, a retired military intelligence specialist who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, talked about the flawed processes used to determine the guilt or innocence of detainees at Guantanamo. He characterized the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) as merely rubber stamping earlier decisions by the military that the detainees were guilty.
_Detention at Guantanamo Bay
_Product ID: 205461-1
_Format: House Committee / Foreign Affairs
_Last Airing: 05/20/2008
_Event Date: 05/20/2008
_Length: 4 hours, 35 minutes
_Location: Washington, District of Columbia
If you can summon only one reason to view the hearing, let it be Colonel Abraham's chilling recitation how neither President Bush nor anyone in his administration's entire upper level cadre ever had the first inkling that "justice" or "protecting the US from terrorist attacks" was what Git'mo was about. It was about covering political ass . . . PERIOD!

_May 21, Torture Lawsuit Press Release: Justice Department Report Reveals Senior Government Officials Knew Early About Torture But Did Not Stop It


_Rachel Myers

_May 21, 2008
_First Government Report To Identify Rice As Receiving Interrogation Complaints
_May 20, 2008, New York - The results of an internal Justice Department investigation released today reveal that officials at the highest level of government – including the White House - received reports on the abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody overseas as early as 2002. Congress called on the department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct the investigation after documents made public through an American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed FBI agents at Guantánamo had raised concerns about methods used by military interrogators. Today's government report is the first to identify that then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice received complaints of torture.
_"Today's OIG report reveals that top government officials in the Defense Department, CIA and even as high as the White House turned a blind eye to torture and abuse and failed to act aggressively to end it," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "Moreover, the country's top law enforcement agency – the FBI – did not take measures to enforce the law but only belatedly reported on the law's violations. It's troubling that the government seems to have been more concerned with obscuring the facts than with enforcing the law and stopping the torture and abuse of detainees. Had the government taken action in 2002, perhaps the disgrace of Abu Ghraib and other abuses could have been avoided."
_According to the OIG report, which was initiated in December 2004 and took three and a half years to complete, senior administration officials failed to stop torture and abuse even after being made aware of it.
_The report reveals the White House had knowledge of reports that originated with individual FBI agents, including concerns about the unlawful nature of interrogation tactics. Some of these discussions involved effectiveness, while others involved legality, the effect of abuse on the admissibility of evidence, and damage to the rule of law.
_"Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently testified to Congress that he cannot prosecute anyone for anything approved by Justice Department opinions that authorized detainee abuse. But no one gets immunity for acts they should have known were illegal," said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "The filtering up of information from FBI agents to high government officials makes claims of immunity even more incredulous."
_The report confirms that senior FBI officials knew as early as 2002 that other agencies including the CIA were using abusive interrogation methods. However, the FBI didn't advise its agents to report incidents of abuse until 2004, after the publication of photographs revealing abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison.
_The report also reveals that the CIA hampered the OIG investigation by blocking an OIG interview with a detainee who was the subject of aggressive interrogation techniques including waterboarding. According to the report, the Defense Department had granted the OIG permission to interview several detainees including Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein Abu Zubaydah stating the interviews would not interfere with their attempts to obtain intelligence from the detainees. However, the CIA acting general counsel objected to the OIG team interviewing Zubaydah. The OIG was also denied access to classified information about CIA-controlled facilities, what occurred there, and what legal authorities governed their operations.
_"We are deeply troubled by the CIA's efforts to frustrate the Inspector General's investigation by denying the inspector general access to critical information and a key prisoner," said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. "The report only underscores the pressing need for an independent and comprehensive investigation of prisoner abuse. It's unacceptable that, four years after the publication of the Abu Ghraib photographs, no senior official has been held accountable. Most of those who ought to have been held accountable have been nominated and confirmed to higher posts instead."
_"This new report should become exhibit A at the next congressional hearing on the Bush administration's use of torture," said Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel to the ACLU. "The House Judiciary Committee is in the middle of the first thorough congressional review of the development and implementation of the torture policies at the top levels of government. The questions are who did what and what crimes were committed. This Justice Department report helps answer both questions."
_In October 2003, the ACLU and the New York Civil Liberties Union – along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace – filed a FOIA request for records concerning the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the FOIA request – including the Bush administration's 2003 "torture memo" written by John Yoo when he was a deputy at the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel.
_The ACLU filed another FOIA request in April 2008 demanding the release of the OIG report after media reports that the investigation had been completed for months. Today's report confirms that the Defense Department used its classification review to delay the release of the report.
_The OIG report is available online at:
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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."
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