Chapter 113C

I’m copying this entire article from ABC News. It’s too important not to.

Bush Aware of Advisers’ Interrogation Talks
President Says He Knew His Senior Advisers Discussed Tough Interrogation Methods
By JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG, HOWARD L. ROSENBERG and ARIANE de VOGUE
April 11, 2008

President Bush says he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details about how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to an exclusive interview with ABC News Friday.

“Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people.” Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. “And yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved.”

As first reported by ABC News Wednesday, the most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA.

The high-level discussions about these “enhanced interrogation techniques” were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC news.

Does America torture? Yes.

Submitted without (much) present comment

The following is a public statement issued by George Bush today announcing his decision to issue a line-item reprieve of Lewis Libby’s sentence. Hat-tip and thanks to Paul Kiel from whom this text was copied.

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today rejected Lewis Libby’s request to remain free on bail while pursuing his appeals for the serious convictions of perjury and obstruction of justice. As a result, Mr. Libby will be required to turn himself over to the Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

I have said throughout this process that it would not be appropriate to comment or intervene in this case until Mr. Libby’s appeals have been exhausted. But with the denial of bail being upheld and incarceration imminent, I believe it is now important to react to that decision.

From the very beginning of the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame’s name, I made it clear to the White House staff and anyone serving in my administration that I expected full cooperation with the Justice Department. Dozens of White House staff and administration officials dutifully cooperated.

After the investigation was under way, the Justice Department appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald as a Special Counsel in charge of the case. Mr. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified, professional prosecutor who carried out his responsibilities as charged.

This case has generated significant commentary and debate. Critics of the investigation have argued that a special counsel should not have been appointed, nor should the investigation have been pursued after the Justice Department learned who leaked Ms. Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak. Furthermore, the critics point out that neither Mr. Libby nor anyone else has been charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act or the Espionage Act, which were the original subjects of the investigation. Finally, critics say the punishment does not fit the crime: Mr. Libby was a first-time offender with years of exceptional public service and was handed a harsh sentence based in part on allegations never presented to the jury.

Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable. They say that had Mr. Libby only told the truth, he would have never been indicted in the first place.

Both critics and defenders of this investigation have made important points. I have made my own evaluation. In preparing for the decision I am announcing today, I have carefully weighed these arguments and the circumstances surrounding this case.

Mr. Libby was sentenced to thirty months of prison, two years of probation, and a $250,000 fine. In making the sentencing decision, the district court rejected the advice of the probation office, which recommended a lesser sentence and the consideration of factors that could have led to a sentence of home confinement or probation.

I respect the jury’s verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.

My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation.The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect. The consequences of his felony conviction on his former life as a lawyer, public servant, and private citizen will be long-lasting.

The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby’s case is an appropriate exercise of this power.

Recommended viewing:

“There’s a bomb in the building start clearing out”

Monica Goodling admits breaking the law

She didn’t mean to do it.

Remember, she has immunity. Whatever acts she undertook they were not of her own devising, she was working for people who wanted it done.

Hat-tip Paul Kiel.

Witness, receive and transmit.

I do recall

Comey explained yesterday:

COMEY: Mrs. Ashcroft reported that a call had come through, and that as a result of that call Mr. Card and Mr. Gonzales were on their way to the hospital to see Mr. Ashcroft.

SCHUMER: Do you have any idea who that call was from?

COMEY: I have some recollection that the call was from the president himself.

Hat-tip Space Cowboy.

Here is the testimony of (former) acting attorney general James Comey to the senate judiciary committee.

And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and in very strong terms expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, which stunned me — drawn from the hour-long meeting we’d had a week earlier — and in very strong terms expressed himself, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, But that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the attorney general.

Related post:

Tuesday night movie

Sibel Edmonds

Saturday night movie

He might want to postpone that some more…

ABC News:

April 16, 2007 – Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.

That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.

Gonzales was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, but his testimony was postponed until Thursday because of the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University.

Alberto Gonzales, going with the “just following orders” defense?

Cernig writes,

A manager as awful as Gonzales admits himself to be should be fired if he won’t resign – his only possible plus point being that this managerial awfullness appears to be exactly what Rove was counting on.

STRANGE WOMAN: It is a most elusive fish!
STRANGE MAN: And it went wherever I did go.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: A-fish, a-fish, a-fish, a-fishy, ooooh.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: That went wherever I did go.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Look up his trunk!
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Yeah, it’s hidden in his trousers!

Well isn’t that special?

Related posts:

Haven’t we seen this one before?

Katie Couric: Plagiarist

Passing someone’s words off as your own without attribution is plagiarism. Reading someone else’s words in first person, saying things like, “I still remember when I got my first library card, browsing through the stacks for my favorite books,” is dishonest if it was not your own recollection. But having ghost writers in news reporting is one thing, and having ghost writers who themselves plagiarize other writers is another. If you read a work-for-hire, you claim credit, so you must also accept responsibility.

Katie owes the American public an apology, a correction for the record, and very possibly her resignation unless she can demonstrate some reason we should trust her now.

And I owe more thanks to Melissa McEwan for this:

Update: It’s interesting to Google for “Katie Couric plagiarist” — you find gems like this.

Update 2: I should have included the direct link to Oliver Willis above. It’s a gem:

She clearly wasn’t involved at all. She had no idea what she was saying. They stuck something on a teleprompter and like she’s done for years now, Couric just read the darn thing.

Sad, but if true, it’s hardly an excuse.

War. What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing.

Hat-tip Nicole Belle.

More than a few loose ends

Rez Dog at Mockingbird’s Medley provides a good wrap-up of some very suspicious military deaths that require investigation. I’m copying the whole thing because I don’t want you to have to go farther than necessary to find out more information about each of these cases.

A petition worth your attention is one on behalf of PFC LaVena Johnson whose death in Iraq was ruled a suicide despite obvious signs of a beating. Read the whole story at Welcome to Pottersville. I found the story at Shakespeare’s Sister where Waveflux has been blogging the story for a while.

Here’s yet another suspicious set of circumstances that masks the reality that the chain of command would rather ignore. Here in Arizona, we have a similar military death, SPC Alyssa Petersen of Flagstaff, whose suicide came after she was displayed too much empathy with detainees and was unable to interrogate them as directed.

Arizona, of course, has the well-known case of fabricated events in the death of SPC Pat Tillman but everybody knows that. The less well-known are easily overlooked by the electronic circus that passes for news in this country. All the more reason for citizens to speak out and ask questions.

Copyright be damned, and torturers go to hell real quick

Terry Jones Here is Terry Jones. Via Why Now?

Call that humiliation?

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch

Terry Jones
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this – allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world – have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God’s sake, what’s wrong with putting a bag over her head? That’s what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it’s hard to breathe. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can’t be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn’t be able to talk at all. Of course they’d probably find it even harder to breathe – especially with a bag over their head – but at least they wouldn’t be humiliated.And what’s all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It’s time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That’s one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn’t rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it’s just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What’s more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting “stress positions”, which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It’s all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is “unhappy and stressed”.

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her “unhappy and stressed”. She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer – whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python
www.terry-jones.net

Are you experienced?

Have you ever been experienced?

Hat-tip Cookie Jill.

Related posts:

Do you prefer plagues of locusts?

What is six times nine in base thirteen?

The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.

What is the Ultimate Question?

You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.

Can you compute?

Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.

Read the rest of this entry »

What do you call a guilty plea made under conditions of likely torture and with denial of prepared counsel?

David Hicks (pictured here) pled guilty to a charge today. It was the only way he was going to be allowed to make any kind of deal to go home. Ever.

I have no idea if the charges are based on anything but speculation. I’ll never believe justice was done under these conditions.

The plea to a late night specially convened military commission came after an apparent deal was reached between his defence attorney and the prosecution.

They couldn’t even stand the light of day in Guantanamo Bay.

Do his pants seem to be on fire?

IHT (emphasis added):

Gonzales said last week he was not involved in any discussions about the impending dismissals of federal prosecutors. On Friday night, however, the department disclosed Gonzales’ participation in a Nov. 27 meeting where such plans were discussed.

Hat-tip Watertiger.

Related post:

Update: Phoenix Woman channels Freddie Mercury.

Stoner genius

jibbs00 (2 days ago)

this is a true thing that happens! its not a chain letter! its kinda scary at first but it really works!! paste this message into 3 comments and press ALT F1 and your crushes name will appear on the screen!!! its soo wierd

Former Deputy Secretary of Interior J. Steven Griles

Paul Kiel at TPMmuckraker:

The AP has reported that “federal prosecutors will seek no more than a 10-month prison sentence for Griles – the minimum they could seek under sentencing guidelines – but they will agree to let him serve half that in home confinement.”

So easy even a caveman could understand it

Glenn Greenwald:

First, the President began his Press Conference by admitting that the administration’s explanations as to what happened here have been — to use his own words — “confusing” and “incomplete.” Why, then, would Congress possibly trust Bush officials to provide more explanations in an off-the-record, no-transcript setting where there are no legal consequences from failing to tell the truth?

Related posts:

A real problem for somebody

Hypocrisy

Look!

Now I will tell you a secret.

Read the rest of this entry »

First denial, then anger. Next up?

Bargaining:

As the meeting was breaking up, Gonzales suddenly switched tacks and seemed to want to be cooperative. “How can we make this better?” he asked. “What can we do?” According to this source, the attorney general seemed to some in the room to be genuinely befuddled.

Source: Newsweek via David Kurtz.

Depression is next, and with it, resignation. This will not go away.

Related post:

Impeachment testimony

Is that a “Known Unknown?”

Click chart for more from BradBlog.

What did the president know and when did he know it? Who would have known before Rove and Cheney?

Related post:

This world is going to survive

Space, the final frontier

Watch this from NASA via Carnacki.

If you take responsibility, you must resign.

Hat-tip Shakes for the video. Now John Edwards has called for Gonzales’ resignation as well. One more point for John Edwards. I wish I could make a stronger recommendation but I won’t be able to do so until I know where he stands on medical cannabis.

Related post:

Update: Even more, and the hits will keep on coming.

Update 2: The next installment, like I said.

Google censors.

Tell congress to investigate the vice president

Juan Cole on the convicted liar — former chief assistant to the assistant chief — Irv Lewis Libby aka “Scooter.”

Via Doctor Snedley — personal assistant to Doctor Biobrain — who has the complete defense of the Richard Bruce Cheney aka “Shooter.”

Chromosphere now playing

At this new website.

No warranty, this has been tested to work only on Firefox 2.0.0.2 on Mac OS X, and might not even so in your case.

To reduce the chance of difficulties, install the JSyn plug-in before proceeding.

Related post:

Nine years old.

One two three four five six seven, all good children go to heaven

It rhymes, so it must be true.

Update: Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

What kind of shameful regime puts an innocent 9-year old child in a prison for two years?

Cannabis treats attention deficit disorder, according to physicians

Keith Olbermann has the story,

Hat-tip Tanya.

A penalogical approach to family values?

Please read an update on the unAmerican concentration camps by Peterr.

John McCain for president?

Hat-tip Pete McGowan, via thehim.

“Scooter” Libby

Okay, so we’re down to the first verdict. No Blood For Hubris muses that he will be pardoned, but I remind you that if he were but not killed, he could still be made to testify again but without privilege against self-incrimination or immunity to further prosecution for new perjuries.

So we can do this the easy way or the hard way.

Rock the casbah?

Not like this, you did not think?

Update: More from river, via Glen.

Habeus corpus ad testificandum

American rounds, made in America?

Lewis Libby, the prosecution rests

Summary from Countdown on MSNBC at Where’s the Outrage? via Ellroon.

Update: For those who care to know such things, this is post #1,000 on Cannablog. I should have done something more dramatic?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.