Short Diary – Senate Committee Torture Report Released

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

From TPM:

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s “Inquiry Into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody” has now been posted on the Committee’s website.

Warning, the link is a pdf of over 250 pages.

Just one excerpt:

Military Lawyers Raise Red Flags and Joint Staff Review Quashed (U)

(U) In early November 2002, in a series of memos responding to the Joint Staff’s call for

comments on GTMO’s request, the military services identified serious legal concerns about the techniques and called for additional analysis.

(U) The Air Force cited “serious concerns regarding the legality of many of the proposed techniques” and stated that “techniques described may be subject to challenge as failing to meet the requirements outlined in the military order to treat detainees humanely…” The Air Force also called for an in depth legal review ofthe request.

(U) CITF’s Chief Legal Advisor wrote that certain techniques in GTMO’s October 11, 2002 request “may subject service members to punitive articles ofthe [Uniform Code of Military Justice],” called “the utility and legality of applying certain techniques” in the request “questionable,” and stated that he could not “advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that is predicated upon the principle that all is well ifthe ends justify the means and others are not aware ofhow we conduct our business.”

(U) The Chief of the Army’s International and Operational Law Division wrote that techniques like stress positions, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, and use of phobias to induce stress “crosses the line of ‘humane’ treatment,” would “likely be considered maltreatment” under the UCMJ, and “may violate the torture statute.” The Army labeled GTMO’s request “legally insufficient” and called for additional review.

(U) The Navy recommended a “more detailed interagency legal and policy review” of the

request. And the Marine Corps expressed strong reservations, stating that several techniques in the request “arguably violate federal law, and would expose our service members to possible prosecution.” The Marine Corps also said the request was not “legally sufficient,” and like the other services, called for “a more thorough legal and policy review.”

(U) Then-Captain (now Rear Admiral) Jane Dalton, Legal Counsel to the Chairman of

the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that her staff discussed the military services’ concerns with the DoD General Counsel’s Office at the time and that the DoD General Counsel Jim Haynes was aware of the services’ concerns. Mr. Haynes, on the other hand, testified that he did not know that the memos from the military services existed (a statement he later qualified by stating that he was not sure he knew they existed). Eliana Davidson, the DoD Associate Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs, said that she told the General Counsel that the GTMO request needed further assessment. Mr. Haynes did not recall Ms. Davidson telling him that.

(U) Captain Dalton, who was the Chairman’s Legal Counsel, said that she had her own

concerns with the GTMO request and directed her staff to initiate a thorough legal and policy review ofthe techniques. That review, however, was cut short. Captain Dalton said that General Myers returned from a meeting and advised her that Mr. Haynes wanted her to stop her review, in part because of concerns that people were going to see the GTMO request and the military services’ analysis of it. Neither General Myers nor Mr. Haynes recalled cutting short the Dalton review, though neither has challenged Captain Dalton’s recollection. Captain Dalton testified that this occasion marked the only time she had ever been told to stop analyzing a request that came to her for review.


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  1. … the pdf, you’ll see there are quite a few redactions.

  2. … over at the orange by Richard Cranium — with lots of links to other analyses.  Cranium’s diary is worth a read.

    • Alma on April 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    is supposed to be on MSNBC this hour to talk about it.  Unfortunately I have to go out and will probably miss him.

  3. andrea mitchell just had Ron Suskind on. And “coming up next” she will talk to that Zelikow guy, sorry Im horrible with names.

    thanks NPK

    • Edger on April 22, 2009 at 8:04 pm
    • Alma on April 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    When I think of all the people that have been hurt.  It took us way to long to do something about it.

    And how many people might not have joined a terrorist group if we had gotten it stopped.

    I’m just so sad that we didn’t get it done.

  4. I went hunting for this the other day, but I want to add it to my Thursday Action Diary. Anybody know? Ill keep looking.

    Its not a simple answer.

    PS I was gonna post this ? in buhdy’s Info Essay from yesterday but its too big already! ha.

  5. the amount of information that is being made public and what is yet to come. It seems like this issue is likely to remain in the public eye for quite a while.

    In addition to the release of this report, there was the McClatchy story about torture being used primarily to try to tie Saddam to al Qaida.

    Soon we’ll hear reports about the OPR investigation on the OLC lawyers and the Special Prosecutor’s report on the destruction of the CIA tapes.

    Along the way, I’m sure other stories like the one in McClatchy will surface as whistleblowers feel its safe to come out of the woodwork.

    Did I miss anything?

    And BooMan has a great diary about the breadth of the problem.

    But the corruption of basic morality that was caused by the combination of 9/11-induced fear and the fear-based leadership of the Bush administration (color-coded terror charts, anyone?) was so systemic, that it’s hard to find the beginning and end of legal culpability for the war crimes that were committed, not to mention the illegal invasion that was launched.

  6. since I have it. No idea if its helpful to anyone. (Sorry… Im multi-tasking now, not focused)

    McLatchy –

    Washington Bureau chief, David Lightman

    David Lightman was the Hartford Courant’s Washington Bureau Chief for 23 years before joining the McClatchy Washington Bureau in October. He has covered every presidential campaign since 1980, and earlier this year won the David Lynch award for outstanding regional reporting in Washington.

    William Douglas, White House correspondent,

  7. link to Zelikow article…

    The OLC “torture memos”: thoughts from a dissenter

    Tue, 04/21/2009

    By Philip Zelikow

    • dkmich on April 22, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Whose job was it to provide oversight?  Whose jobs was it to declare war?  Whose job was it to fund it?  Whose job was it to regulate the markets and the banks?   Whose job was it to protect American jobs, schools, and the economy?

    Did any of them get fired?  Take a $1.00 a year in salary?  Lose their healthcare or their pensions?   Take a pay cut?  

    Of course not.  You see,  “This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. Our national greatness is embedded in America’s ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence. That is why we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future.”  

    How come it only works for them?  

    • geomoo on April 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I’ll go look at the other diary now.

    I can be a bit romantic, but reading this reminds me how at during the first half or so of the Bush years, I kept wondering, “Where are the true patriots?”  I’ve had a lot of bones to pick with the CIA, the MIC, etc. over the years, but I always assumed we shared some shred of respect for our country and our constitution.  I waited and waited for patriotic conservatives to speak up.

    That aspect of this report is heartening.  And it also makes me think that, outside of Congress, there are plenty of conservatives who will support investigation of these crimes.  It also makes me wonder if there is insider commitment to changing the circumstances that allowed this country to drift so far away from our ideals.

    I like this:

    CITF’s Chief Legal Advisor … stated that he could not “advocate any action, interrogation or otherwise, that is predicated upon the principle that all is well if the ends justify the means and others are not aware of how we conduct our business.”

    We may be the loud, liberal, dirty hippie agitators, but I have to believe there is a lot of support for investigation from quiet insiders.

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