Marjorie Cohn: The Aftermath of 9-11 Lives On + Ray McGovern and Jason Leopold: 9/11 Not an “Intelligence Failure” + Ralph Nader on 9/11: The Empire’s Overkill + Abby Martin: 9/11 and the Belligerent Empire

9/11 Was an Inside Job

Image by PunkToad via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

The Aftermath of 9-11 Lives On

Originally posted Sept. 11, 2019

on Sep 11, 2019

Even though a federal judge declared the government’s terrorism watchlist unconstitutional, no real remedies were put in place and the violations of civil liberties and the US wars abroad continue, says Marjorie Cohn.

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Chris Hedges: Ramifications For Press Freedom In Julian Assange Extradition

Julian Assange US Extradition Hearing: It Raises Massive Concerns About Free Speech

Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr
Watch the video below

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

RT America on Jun 27, 2020

On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the extradition hearing of Julian Assange with lawyer, author and professor, Marjorie Cohn.

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Marjorie Cohn: The Aftermath of 9-11 Lives On + Ray McGovern and Jason Leopold: 9/11 Not an “Intelligence Failure” + Ralph Nader on 9/11: The Empire’s Overkill + Abby Martin: 9/11 and the Belligerent Empire

9/11 Was an Inside Job

Image by PunkToad via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

The Aftermath of 9-11 Lives On

on Sep 11, 2019

Even though a federal judge declared the government’s terrorism watchlist unconstitutional, no real remedies were put in place and the violations of civil liberties and the US wars abroad continue, says Marjorie Cohn.

Continue reading

Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, March 4, 2009

Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state.

Who wrote these memos? All but one were crafted in whole or in part by the infamous John Yoo and Jay Bybee, authors of the so-called “torture memos” that redefined torture much more narrowly than the U.S. definition of torture, and counseled the President how to torture and get away with it. In one memo, Yoo said the Justice Department would not enforce U.S. laws against torture, assault, maiming and stalking, in the detention and interrogation of enemy combatants.

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Police State Methods: Preemptive Strikes Against Protest at the Republican National Convention

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, September 2, 2008

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a recruiting story called “Moles Wanted.” Law enforcement sought to preempt lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the convention.

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Guantánamo detainees have constitutional right to habeas corpus: Supreme Court Checks and Balances in Boumediene

Dandelion Salad

by Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, June 16, 2008
Jurist

After the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited opinion, upholding habeas corpus rights for the Guantánamo detainees, I was invited to appear on The O’Reilly Factor with guest host Laura Ingraham. Although she is a lawyer and former law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Ingraham has no use for our judicial branch of government, noting that the justices are “unelected.” Indeed, she advocated that Bush break the law and disregard the Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush:

“Marjorie, I was trying to think to myself, look, if I were President Bush, and I had heard that this case had come down, and I’m out of office in a few months. My ratings, my popularity ratings are pretty low, I would have said at this point, that’s very interesting that the court decided this, but I’m not going to respect the decision of the court because my job is to keep this country safe.”

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On Torture and “Administration Interrogation Rules” by Prof Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, May 8, 2008
US Congress

For the complete testimony, see
http://www.c-spanarchives.org/

Testimony to the US Congress

Testimony of Marjorie Cohn

“From the Department of Justice to Guantánamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogation Rules”

Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties House Judiciary Committee

May 6, 2008

What does torture have in common with genocide, slavery, and wars of aggression? They are all jus cogens. That’s Latin for “higher law” or “compelling law.” This means that no country can ever pass a law that allows torture. There can be no immunity from criminal liability for violation of a jus cogens prohibition.

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Beware an Attack on Iran by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, March 17, 2008

Is the Bush administration ramping up for an attack on Iran? The signs seem to point in that direction. On March 11, Navy Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, retired early because of differences with Washington on Iran policy. And now, Dick Cheney’s current Middle East tour may be designed to prepare our Arab allies for an imminent “preemptive” war against Iran.

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The Global Research News Hour with Michel Chossudovsky & Stephen Lendman (audio link)

Dandelion Salad

Must-listen radio show, complete with commercials. ~ Lo

The Global Research News Hour w/ Michel Chossudovsky & Stephen Lendman

Feb 18 program: The US Economic Crisis and the derogation of the US Constitution

(Starts Monday, February 18th 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CST)

Audio link

Michel talks with his guest in the first hour Prof. Tremblay and in the second hour Prof. Marjorie Cohn. Michel co-host joins him in the last half hour.

***

AUDIO ARCHIVE: The Global Research News Hour

Feb 18 program: The US Economic Crisis and the derogation of the US Constitution

Global Research, February 18, 2008
– 2008-02-13

The Global Research News Hour
Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN)
Host: Michel Chossudovsky and Stephen Lendman
Time: Mondays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

February 18th

Michel Chossudovsky and co-Host Stephen Lendman, Guests: Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay on the US Economic Crisis, Prof. Marjorie Cohn on Bush Cheney violation of the US Constitution and the derogation of the rule of law.

Other news issues covered in the second hour include Kosovo and America’s preemptive nuclear doctrine.
Click podcast to access Program archive of the Global Research News Hour.

2008
The Global Research News Hour
Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN)

Host: Michel Chossudovsky

and Co-Host Stephen Lendman


E-Mail: GlobalResearchNews@yahoo.com
Website: www.globalresearch.ca

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Click above for station information in your local area.

This program is a cutting-edge initiative of www.globalresearch.ca. It provides a global perspective on what is really happening in America and around the World – vital information unavailable in the mainstream, with noted guests sharing their expertise with listeners.

Topics discussed will include: the Iraq and Afghan wars, Israel-Palestine, national security, law and justice, Al Queda and the “war on terrorism,” what’s happening at the White House and on Capitol Hill, a review of social, economic and environmental issues, the unfolding financial crisis on Wall Street, corporate power and influence, and other vital topics of national and international concern.

To contact us send an email to GlobalResearchNews@yahoo.com

Award winning author and economics professor Michel Chossudovsky is currently Director of the Center for Research on Globalization which hosts the critically acclaimed website: www.globalresearch.ca. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

He has worked for the United Nations on missions in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, has acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries. He is author of several international best sellers including The Globalization of Poverty (2003) and America’s “war on Terrorism” (2005). His writings have been translated into more than twenty languages. He can be reached at crgeditor@yahoo.com

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization and a frequent contributor to the site. He is based in Chicago and has written extensively on war and peace, social justice in America and many other national and international issues. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

© Copyright, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8065

see

Stagflation is Here by Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay

Bush and ExxonMobil v. Chavez by Stephen Lendman

E.U. Police and Military Intervention to enforce Secession from Serbia by Michel Chossudovsky + video

Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence & the Military Commissions Act by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence & the Military Commissions Act by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, February 15, 2008
Jurist

The Bush administration has announced its intention to try six alleged al Qaeda members at Guantánamo under the Military Commissions Act. That Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, although it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment if it was secured before December 30, 2005. Thus, the administration would be forbidden from relying on evidence obtained by waterboarding, if waterboarding constitutes torture.

That’s one reason Attorney General Michael Mukasey refuses to admit waterboarding is torture. The other is that torture is considered a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act. Mukasey would be calling Dick Cheney a war criminal if the former admitted waterboarding is torture. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, has said on National Public Radio that the policies that led to the torture and abuse of prisoners emanated from the Vice President’s office.

The federal government is working overtime to try and clean up the legal mess made by the use of illegal interrogation methods. In a thinly-veiled attempt to sanitize the Guantánamo trials, the Department of Justice and the Pentagon instituted an extensive program to re-interview the prisoners who have undergone abusive interrogations, this time with “clean teams.” For example, if a prisoner implicated one of the defendants during an interrogation using waterboarding, the government will now re-interrogate that prisoner without waterboarding and get the same information. Then they will say the information was secured humanely. This attempt to wipe the slate clean is a farce and a sham.

In Brady v. Maryland, the US Supreme Court held that a prosecutor has a duty to give criminal defendants all evidence that might tend to exonerate them. Yet the CIA admitted destroying several hundred hours of videotapes depicting interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Ramin al-Nashiri, which likely included waterboarding. The administration claims Abu Zubaydah led them to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the defendants facing trial in the military commissions. So the government has destroyed potentially exonerating evidence. Moreover, the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” are classified so they can be kept secret from the defendants, and CIA agents cannot be compelled to testify or produce evidence of torture.

A report just released by Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research reveals more than 24,000 interrogations have been conducted at Guantánamo since 2002 and every interrogation was videotaped. Many of these interrogations were abusive. “One Government document, for instance, reports detainee treatment so violent as to “shake the camera in the interrogation room” and “cause severe internal injury,” the report says.

The Military Commissions Act contains other provisions that deny the defendants basic due process. It allows a trial to continue in the absence of the accused, places the power to appoint judges in the hands of the Secretary of Defense, permits the introduction of hearsay and evidence obtained without a warrant, and denies the accused the right to see all of the evidence against him. Defense attorneys are not allowed to meet their clients without governmental monitoring, and all of their notes and mail must be handed over to the military.

Will the U.S. Supreme Court be able to rectify the situation of abusive interrogations if and when a case comes before it? Not if Justice Antonin Scalia has his way. Once again, Scalia is acting as a loyal foot soldier in the President’s “war on terror.” In a BBC interview that aired this week, Scalia defended the use of torture to extract information from prisoners in some cases.

Scalia’s remarks mean he has prejudged the issues in future cases in which the Constitution might dictate the suppression of evidence because of illegal police interrogation techniques, or the right to compensation of a person whose civil rights have been violated. Justice Scalia should recuse himself from any case that presents these issues.

Bush is meanwhile threatening to veto a bill Congress passed that would forbid the CIA from subjecting prisoners to interrogation techniques banned by the U.S. Army Field Manual. John McCain, the tortured POW who led the charge in 2005 against cruel treatment, has now hitched his wagon to Bush’s star. Presidential candidate McCain voted to allow the CIA to continue to ply its cruelty.

When Bush vetoes the bill, Congress should stand firm for the rule of law and basic standards of human decency and override his veto. Dick Cheney and other officials who participated in formulating the abusive interrogation policies should be investigated under the U.S. War Crimes Act. And the Democratic-controlled Congress should repeal the Military Commissions Act that Bush rammed through the Republican-controlled Congress.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic : Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her articles are archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com/

Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, Jurist, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8090

see

Habeas Corpus/HR 6166/Military Commissions Act/MCA

Cheney Impeachment Gains Traction in House Judiciary Committee by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, January 22, 2008

Nine out of 23 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee favor starting impeachment hearings against Vice-President Dick Cheney. Six of the nine are co-sponsors of H.R. 799, which contains three articles of impeachment.

Articles I and II of H.R. 799 accuse Cheney of purposely manipulating intelligence to deceive Congress and the American people about a fabricated threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda, respectively. Article III charges Cheney with openly threatening aggression against Iran absent any real threat to the United States . All three articles say Cheney’s actions have damaged our national security interests.

Three of the nine Judiciary Committee Democrats who advocate launching impeachment hearings against Cheney, Reps. Robert Wexler (D., Fla.), Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill. ) and Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.), co-authored an op-ed that appeared on December 27 in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

They wrote, “The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that, if proven, may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under the Constitution. The allegations against Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.”

There is also credible evidence that policies set in Cheney’s office authorized the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody, in violation of three treaties the United States has ratified, as well as the U.S. Torture Statute and War Crimes Act. The policies on the treatment of prisoners emanating from Cheney’s office triggered the abuse and torture, according to Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell‘s chief of staff.

“It was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the Vice President’s office through the Secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field,” Wilkerson, a former colonel, said on National Public Radio‘s “Morning Edition.”

In November, the House of Representatives sent the impeachment resolution to the House Judiciary Committee for further proceedings. However many Democrats oppose impeachment, citing the year and a half of testimony about Bill Clinton‘s personal relations. They think impeachment will detract from Congress’s other pressing business.

Yet, the three congresspersons noted, the Clinton impeachment “must not be the model for impeachment inquiries. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for Clinton .”

And, they argue, the hearings would “involve the possible impeachment of the vice president – not of our commander in chief – and the resulting impact on the nation’s business and attention would be significantly less than the Clinton presidential impeachment hearings.”

Seventy percent of American voters think Cheney has abused his powers and 43 percent say he should be removed from office, according to a Nov. 13 poll by the American Research Group. Organizations, including the National Lawyers Guild, have called for the impeachment of Dick Cheney.

Impeachment hearings against Cheney would not only fulfill the Constitution’s command that high officials who commit high crimes and misdemeanors be brought to justice. It would also deter the vice president from committing additional crimes that threaten the national security of the United States .

Any impeachment proceeding would have to start in the House Judiciary Committee. The nine Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who favor impeachment hearings are: Robert Wexler, Fla.; Luis Gutierrez, Ill. ; Anthony Weiner, N.Y.; Tammy Baldwin, Wisc.; Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas; Steve Cohen, Tenn.; Keith Ellison, Minn. ; Maxine Waters, Calif. ; and Hank Johnson, Ga.

Here is a list of the entire House Judiciary Committee: http://judiciary.house.gov/CommitteeMembership.aspx.

For information about the campaign to impeach Dick Cheney, see http://impeachcheney.org.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her articles are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7875

see

http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

Dandelion Salad

by Maverick Media
43 min 45 sec – Nov 28, 2007

Marjorie Cohn, president of National Lawyers Guild, author of “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang has Defied the Law”, speaking at Ventura College, Ventura, CA on Oct. 5, 2007. Also discusses need for impeachment.

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The Torture Tape Cover-up: How High Does It Go? by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, December 26, 2007

When the hideous photographs of torture and abuse emerged from Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2004, they created a public relations disaster for the Bush administration. The White House had painstakingly worked to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks by creating a “war on terror.” Never mind the absurdity of declaring war on a tactic. Central to Bush’s new “war” was the portrayal of us as the good guys and al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein as the bad guys.

But the Abu Ghraib photos of naked Iraqis piled on top of one another, forced to masturbate, led around on leashes like dogs shined the light on U.S. hypocrisy.

After the Abu Ghraib revelations, the Bush administration could not tolerate more bad publicity. So in 2005, the CIA destroyed several hundred hours of videotapes depicting torturous interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, probably including water boarding. The former U.S. official involved in discussions about the tapes reported widespread concern that “something as explosive as this would probably get out,” according to the Los Angeles Times. This destruction of evidence may violate several laws. And it remains to be seen how high up the chain of command the criminality goes.

Now that the videotape scandal has come to light, Bush and his men are back in damage control mode. CIA Director Michael Hayden minimized the significance of the destruction, claiming the tapes were destroyed “only after it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative or judicial inquiries.” These claims are disingenuous.

The tapes likely portray U.S. officials engaged in torture, which violates three U.S.-ratified treaties as well as the U.S. Torture Statute and the War Crimes Act.

Bush justifies his administration’s “harsh interrogation techniques” by maintaining that Zubaydah, under interrogation, fingered Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. But according to investigative journalist Ron Suskind in his 2006 book One Percent Doctrine, it was a “walk-in” who led the CIA to Mohammed in return for a $25 million reward.

Zubaydah evidently wasn’t a top al Qaeda leader. Dan Coleman, one of the FBI’s leading experts on al Qaeda, said Zubaydah “knew very little about real operations, or strategy.” Moreover, Zubaydah was schizophrenic, according to Coleman. “This guy is insane, certifiable split personality.” Coleman’s views were echoed at the top levels of the CIA and were communicated to Bush and Cheney. But Bush scolded CIA director George Tenet, saying, “I said [Zubaydah] was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?” Zubaydah’s minor role in al Qaeda and his apparent insanity were kept secret.

In response to the torture, Zubaydah told his interrogators about myriad terrorist targets al Qaeda had in its sights: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statute of Liberty, shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, and apartment buildings. Al Qaeda was close to building a crude nuclear bomb, Zubaydah reported. None of this was corroborated but the Bush gang reacted to each report zealously.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the government’s duty to provide criminal defendants with any evidence in the government’s possession that might tend to exonerate the defendant or impeach the prosecutor’s case. Zacarias Moussaoui tried to subpoena Zubaydah to testify at his trial. On May 9, 2003, Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Novak and David Raskin lied to U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over Moussaoui’s trial. When the judge asked “whether the interrogations are being recorded in any format”?, the U.S. Attorneys, evidently relying on information from the CIA, said “No.” This is obstruction of justice.

When Zubaydah and al-Nashiri go before the military commissions, they will undoubtedly raise their torture as a defense to whatever crimes they face. Yet the evidence of that torture has been destroyed by the government.

There was no way of knowing whether these tapes could have intelligence value in the future. Indeed, the government defied the 2003 and 2004 demands of the 9/11 Commission by failing to turn over the videotaped interrogations. Now the CIA is parsing words by claiming the commission never directly asked for videotapes. “We asked for every single thing they had,” commission co-chairman Thomas Kean said. “And then my vice chairman, Lee Hamilton, looked the director of the CIA in the face, and said, ‘Look, even if we haven’t asked for something, if it’s pertinent to our investigation, make it available to us.’” Hamilton said the CIA “clearly obstructed” the commission’s investigation.

At the same time the 9/11 Commission was denied the tapes, the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records of the treatment of all detainees held in U.S. custody abroad since 9/11. When the government refused to comply with the FOIA requests, the ACLU sued in federal court in New York On September 15, 2004, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the CIA and other government agencies to “produce or identify” all requested documents within one month. They are still not forthcoming. The ACLU has filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt of court for refusing to comply with Judge Hellerstein’s order.

When the destruction of the tapes became public, both the House and Senate intelligence committees opened investigations, and subpoenaed witnesses and documents to shed light on the matter. Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused to cooperate and tried to put the kabosh on the congressional probes, asking them to wait until he had finished his own internal investigation. But after criticism in the media, the CIA relented and agreed to produce documents and the testimony of acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo.

The decision to destroy the tapes was allegedly made by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who was chief of the Directorate of Operations, the CIA’s clandestine service. Although the House intelligence committee has subpoenaed Rodriguez, there is no indication his bosses will allow him to testify.

The Sunday Times ( London ) reported that Rodriguez may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee. Rodriguez’s testimony could be explosive.

At least four top White House lawyers participated in discussions with the CIA between 2003 and 2005 about whether to destroy the videotapes. They included Alberto Gonzales, David Addington (Cheney’s former counsel, now his chief of staff), Harriet Miers, and John Bellinger (former senior attorney at the National Security Council). The New York Times quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying there was “vigorous sentiment” among some high White House officials to destroy the tapes.

Two former CIA officials, Vincent Cannistrano and Larry Johnson, think it highly unlikely Rodriguez made the decision to destroy the tapes on his own. George W. Bush “has no recollection” of hearing about the existence or destruction of the tapes before Hayden briefed him on December 13. Yet given Bush’s keen interest in Zubaydah’s interrogation, it seems more likely the President was involved with the decision to destroy the tapes.

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Michael Mukasey refused to opine about whether water boarding constitutes torture. Mukasey knew the Bush administration had admitted water boarding prisoners, and that torture is a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act. Mukasey was shielding his future bosses from criminal liability as war criminals. Now the Department of Justice, under Mukasey, is investigating the destruction of the tapes.

Justice Department regulations call for the appointment of an outside special counsel when (1) a criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted, (2) the investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department, and (3) under the circumstances it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter. When these three conditions are satisfied, the attorney general must select a special counsel from outside the government. (28 C.F.R. 600.1, 600.3 (2007).)

When he was a federal judge, Michael Mukasey issued the material witness warrant for Jose Padilla. The warrant was based partly on information from Abu Zubaydah. It is not clear whether Mukasey knew Zubaydah’s statements were obtained by torture. But since he issued the warrant, Mukasey has a real or apparent conflict of interest. He has said it is premature to appoint an outside special counsel. But like the Nixon administration, the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to investigate itself. Congress should be pressured to pass a new independent counsel statute.

 

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law. Her articles are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, Global Research, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7684

see

Did Bush Watch the Torture Tapes?

CIA Torture and other War Crimes By Philip Giraldi

The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal By Andrew Sullivan

Lawyers Stepping Up by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Dandelion Salad

by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Global Research, December 22, 2007
The Nation – 2007-12-21

We are lawyers in the United States of America. As such, we have all taken an oath obligating us to defend the Constitution and the rule of law…. We believe the Bush administration has committed numerous offenses against the Constitution and may have violated federal laws…. Moreover, the administration has blatantly defied congressional subpoenas, obstructing constitutional oversight …. Thus, we call on House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy to launch hearings into the possibility that crimes have been committed by this administration in violation of the Constitution…. We call for the investigations to go where they must, including into the offices of the President and the Vice President. American Lawyers Defending the Constitution

Over one thousand lawyers – including former Governor Mario Cuomo and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein – have signed onto the above statement demanding wide-ranging investigative hearings into unconstitutional and potentially criminal activity by the Bush administration.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and winner of the 2007 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, said: “The majority of lawyers in this country understand that the Bush administration has really gone off the page of constitutional rights and off the page of fundamental rights, and is willing to push the Congress to restore those rights.” Ratner said he was “dismayed” that a Democratic majority has failed “to push on key illegalities… the torture program, and now the destruction of the tapes involving the torture program; the warrantless wiretapping, the denial of habeas corpus, the secret sites/rendition program, special trials, and of course what we now know is the firing of US Attorneys scandal…. The minimal that absolutely is needed to get us back on the page of law is to have serious investigative hearings that go up the chain of command and figure out who is responsible for what.”

Ratner noted that even with regard to the US attorney’s investigations, where Congressional committees held Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove in contempt, leadership has failed to enforce these actions by bringing the resolutions to a vote. “Just announcing that investigations will be held and subpoenas will be issued is terribly insufficient unless Congress is willing to enforce the subpoenas by issuing contempt citations,” Ratner said. “Congress has a constitutional duty to oversee the activities of the executive branch and our entire system of government is threatened when Congress simply folds before an obstinate executive. Issuing contempt citations against Bolten, Miers, and Rove should be Congress’s first order of business in 2008.”

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild, discussed the administration’s torture program violating three US-ratified treaties and the US torture statute; the illegal War in Iraq violating the US-ratified UN Charter as a war of aggression; and Attorney General Michael Mukasey‘s conflict of interest in overseeing investigations into the torture program and the destruction of the CIA interrogations tapes.

Also speaking with reporters was Jesselyn Raddack, a former Justice Department ethics lawyer who served as an advisor during the interrogation of John Walker Lindh (the “American Taliban”). Raddack said, “My e-mails documented my advice against interrogating Lindh without a lawyer, and concluded that the FBI committed an ethics violation when it did so anyway. Both the CIA videotapes and my e-mails were destroyed, in part, because officials were concerned that they documented controversial interrogation methods that could put agency officials in legal jeopardy…. ” Raddack pointed to the Department of Justice’s investigations of Enron and Arthur Anderson for obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence, and the need for the same aggressive oversight and legal proceedings in these scandals.

This is a vital effort by those charged with defending our constitution, as Ratner said, “This lawyers’ letter and the growing number of signatures we’ll have on it, and prominent people – it’s a way of saying to Congress, ‘You need some backbone. You need to have a serious investigation, wherever it might go, on these issues that really have taken the United States out of the mainstream of human rights.’ It’s absolutely critical… We’ve opened up the door to illegality…. Unless we have accountability on those illegalities, we’re going to be facing a very bleak future in which fundamental rights will not really be obeyed.”

Global Research Articles by Katrina vanden Heuvel

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see

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Guantanamo Detainees’ Fate at Stake by Prof Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, December 5, 2007
marjoriecohn.com

Boumediene v. Bush hearing at the Supreme court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in Boumediene v. Bush. Most of the 34 detainees whose fate hangs in the balance in this case were brought to Guantánamo after being picked up by bounty hunters or tribesmen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet the Bush administration has fought hard to keep them away from any independent court where they could contest the legality of their confinement.

In February, two judges on a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that strips the statutory rights of all Guantánamo detainees to have their habeas corpus petitions heard by U.S. federal courts. The Supreme Court will decide in Boumediene whether these men still have a constitutional right to habeas corpus.

If the lower court decision is left to stand, they can be held there for the rest of their lives without ever having a federal judge determine the legality of their detention.

Background on the Guantánamo cases

In June 2004, the Supreme Court decided Rasul v. Bush, which upheld the right of those detained at Guantánamo to have their petitions for habeas corpus heard by U.S. courts, under the federal habeas statute.

The ink was barely dry on Rasul when Bush created the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, ostensibly to comply with the Rasul ruling. But these tribunals amounted to an end-run around Rasul. They were established to determine whether a detainee is an enemy combatant.

At the end of last term, the Supreme Court struck down Bush’s military commissions in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld because they did not comply with due process guarantees in the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions. Military commissions are criminal courts to try prisoners for war crimes.

Then, in October of last year, in another end run, this time around Hamdan, Bush rammed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 through a Congress terrified of appearing soft on terror in the upcoming midterm elections. The Act does many things, but it notably amends the habeas corpus statute to strip statutory habeas rights from all Guantánamo detainees.

Do detainees retain constitutional right to habeas corpus?

The two-judge majority in Boumediene upheld the Military Commissions Act’s stripping of statutory habeas jurisdiction that the Supreme Court had recognized in Rasul.

Art. I of the Constitution contains the Suspension Clause, which says that Congress can suspend the right of habeas corpus only in times of rebellion or invasion when the public safety may require it. We are not now in a state of invasion or rebellion, and Congress did not make such a finding.

The two-judge majority in Boumediene said: (1) in the absence of a statutory habeas right (which Congress eliminated in the Military Commissions Act), the Constitution only protects the right of habeas corpus that was recognized at common law in 1789; (2) the law in 1789 did not provide the right of habeas corpus to aliens held by the government outside of the sovereign’s territory; and (3) Guantánamo is outside U.S territory for constitutional purposes, even though the U.S. has complete control over it.

This reasoning is erroneous for three reasons.

First, the Supreme Court held in INS v. St. Cyr that the Constitution protects the writ as it existed in 1789 “at the absolute minimum.” The high court in Rasul cited St. Cyr.

Second, although the Boumediene majority relies on the treaty that says Cuba, not the U.S., has sovereignty over Guantánamo, the Supreme Court rejected that argument in Rasul, when it said: “By the express terms of its agreements with Cuba, the United States exercises ‘complete jurisdiction and control’ over the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, and may continue to exercise such control permanently if it so chooses. . . Aliens held at the base, no less than American citizens, are entitled to invoke the federal courts’ authority under §2241.”

Third, although the Rasul Court was analyzing the pre-Military Commissions Act habeas statute, it also cited Johnson v. Eisentrager, which construed the constitutional right of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court in Eisentrager denied habeas jurisdiction to German citizens who had been captured by U.S. forces in China, then tried and convicted of war crimes by an American military commission in Nanking.

The Eisentrager court listed six factors to determine whether an alien is entitled to constitutional habeas jurisdiction in U.S. courts. These factors were cited in Rasul, which said:

“In reversing that determination, this Court [in Eisentrager] summarized the six critical facts in the case:

“We are here confronted with a decision whose basic premise is that these prisoners are entitled, as a constitutional right, to sue in some court of the United States for a writ of habeas corpus. To support that assumption we must hold that a prisoner of our military authorities is constitutionally entitled to the writ, even though he (a) is an enemy alien; (b) has never been or resided in the United States; (c) was captured outside of our territory and there held in military custody as a prisoner of war; (d) was tried and convicted by a Military Commission sitting outside the United States; (e) for offenses against laws of war committed outside the United States; (f) and is at all times imprisoned outside the United States.”

“On this set of facts, the [Eisentrager] Court concluded, “no right to the writ of habeas corpus appears.”

The Rasul court continued:

“Petitioners in these [Guantánamo] cases differ from the Eisentrager detainees in important respects: They are not nationals of countries at war with the United States, and they deny that they have engaged in or plotted acts of aggression against the United States; they have never been afforded access to any tribunal, much less charged with and convicted of wrongdoing; and for more than two years they have been imprisoned in territory over which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction and control.

“Not only are petitioners differently situated from the Eisentrager detainees, but the Court in Eisentrager made quite clear that all six of the facts critical to its disposition were relevant only to the question of the prisoners’ constitutional entitlement to habeas corpus.”

Combatant Status Review Tribunals not adequate substitute for habeas corpus

In Boumediene, the Bush administration asked the Court of Appeals to review the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. But the court declined, saying it had an inadequate record before it.

The Combatant Status Review Tribunals do not provide a meaningful opportunity to challenge detention. The prisoner is not entitled to an attorney, only a “personal representative,” and anything the detainee tells his personal representative can be used against him. After reviewing the cases of 393 detainees, a Seton Hall legal team found that in 96 percent of the cases, the government had not produced any witnesses or presented any documentary evidence to the detainee before the hearing. Detainees were allowed to see only summaries of the classified evidence offered against them, and that evidence was always presumed to be reliable and valid. Requests by detainees for witnesses were rarely granted.

In addition, the personal representatives said nothing in 14 percent of the hearings and made no substantive comments 30 percent of the time. Some personal representatives even advocated for the government’s position. In three cases, the detainee was found to be “no longer an enemy combatant,” but the military continued to convene tribunals until they were found to be enemy combatants. These detainees were never told of the favorable ruling and there was no indication they were informed or participated in the second or third hearings.

As the dissenter in Boumediene pointed out, the procedure set up in the Detainee Treatment Act for reviewing decisions of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals “is not designed to cure these inadequacies. The court may review only the record developed by the CSRT to assess whether the CSRT has complied with its own standards. Because the detainee still has no means to present evidence rebutting the government’s case – even assuming the detainee could learn of it contents – assessing whether the government has more evidence in its favor than the detainee is hardly the proper antidote.”

The suspension of habeas corpus will certainly have profound effects on non-citizen detainees. Consider the case of Abu Bakker Qassim, an Uighur from China who was held at Guantánamo for four years. He wrote in the New York Times: “I was locked up and mistreated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during America’s war in Afghanistan. Like hundreds of Guantánamo detainees, I was never a terrorist or a soldier. I was never even on a battlefield. Pakistani bounty hunters sold me and 17 other Uighurs to the United States military like animals for $5,000 a head. The Americans made a terrible mistake.”

Rasul v. Bush was a 6-3 decision. Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, O’Connor and Kennedy voted with the majority. The dissenters were Justices Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist.

The Supreme Court should reverse the Court of Appeals decision in Boumediene, probably in a 5-4 vote with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito voting with the dissent. Surely the Court will not decide that Bush has succeeded in placing the detainees beyond the reach of our federal courts by sending them to Guantánamo. It should also conclude that the judicial review of the decisions of Combatant Status Review Tribunals does not provide an adequate substitute for constitutional habeas corpus.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.” Her articles are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

Marjorie Cohn is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn
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