Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:30pm EDT
MADRID (Reuters) – A Spanish judge considering possible criminal action against six former Bush administration officials for torture at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay defied pressure to drop the case Friday.
Torture memos reveal brutality of US imperialism
By Tom Eley
18 April 2009
On Thursday, the US Justice Department released four legal memos crafted during the Bush administration that authorized agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to commit specific acts of torture against prisoners swept up in the “war on terror.” The Obama administration faced a Thursday deadline to release the memos after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The release of the legal opinions, written by lawyers in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 and 2005, adds to an overwhelming body of evidence that proves the Bush administration carried out a large-scale and systematic torture operation in flagrant violation of domestic and international law. The public record already included accounts from victims, a recently leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report documenting various instance of torture, and numerous media accounts that include quotes from interrogators and Bush administration officials endorsing torture.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month
By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am
I’ve put this detail in a series of posts, but it really deserves a full post. According to the May 30, 2005 Bradbury memo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002.
On page 37 of the OLC memo, in a passage discussing the differences between SERE techniques and the torture used with detainees, the memo explains:
The CIA used the waterboard “at least 83 times during August 2002” in the interrogation of Zubaydah. IG Report at 90, and 183 times during March 2003 in the interrogation of KSM, see id. at 91.
Note, the information comes from the CIA IG report which, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, is based on having viewed the torture tapes as well as other materials. So this is presumably a number that was once backed up by video evidence.
From insects to waterboarding: 10 ‘torture’ techniques blessed by Bush
April 17, 2009
In this August 1, 2002 memo, Jay S Bybee of the US Department of Justice approves ten methods of “enhanced interrogation” on the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah. He was writing to John Rizzo, CIA acting general counsel
These ten techniques are: (l) attention grasp, (2) walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap (insult slap), (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box, and (10) the waterboard.
You have informed us that the use of these techniques would be on an as-needed basis and that not all of these techniques will necessarily be used.
More revelations from Bush torture memos
By Tom Eley
20 April 2009
The Bush administration memos released last Thursday by the US Justice Department demonstrate that Washington carried out a studied and systematic torture operation for years.
The documents, written by lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counsel, make clear that the CIA was carrying out torture prior to, and during the time the memos were written in 2002 and 2005.
They also show that Bush administration officials were well aware that the methods discussed could be construed as torture. They therefore sought to develop an ex post facto and pseudo-legal rationale for specific acts of torture, in defiance of US and international laws.
White House bars prosecution of Bush officials who authorized torture
By Patrick Martin
20 April 2009
In the wake of last week’s release of the top-secret Bush administration documents setting out a pseudo-legal justification for torture, the Obama administration is caught in a devastating political contradiction.
The documents, legal memos drafted by the US Department of Justice in 2002 and 2005, clearly establish that acts of torture which are criminal under both US and international law were authorized and justified by the highest levels of the Bush administration. But while making the documents public, Obama has asserted that both those responsible for devising the torture policy and those who carried it out will not be prosecuted.