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April 26, 2009

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verner

Notice that since OBAMA has decided to continue lobbing Hellfires on Pakistan, this part of Ms. Goodfellow's piece goes unmentioned:

"Tenet, according to half a dozen former intelligence officials, delegated most of the decision making on lethal action to the CIA's Counterterrorist Center. Killing an al Qaeda leader with a Hellfire missile fired from a remote-controlled drone might have been considered assassination in a prior era and therefore banned by law.

But after Sept. 11, four former government lawyers said, it was classified as an act of self-defense and therefore was not an assassination. "If it was an al Qaeda person, it wouldn't be an assassination," said one lawyer involved.

This month, Pakistani intelligence sources said, Hamza Rabia, a top operational planner for al Qaeda, was killed along with four others by a missile fired by U.S. operatives using an unmanned Predator drone, although there were conflicting reports on whether a missile was used. In May, another al Qaeda member, Haitham Yemeni, was reported killed by a Predator drone missile in northwest Pakistan.

Refining what constitutes an assassination was just one of many legal interpretations made by Bush administration lawyers. Time and again, the administration asked government lawyers to draw up new rules and reinterpret old ones to approve activities once banned or discouraged under the congressional reforms beginning in the 1970s, according to these officials and seven lawyers who once worked on these matters."

Then there's the little matter of continued rendition.

Hmm. We seem rather selective, don't we.

Semanticleo

More tortured logic.

Following 'Krystallnacht' the Jewish 'problem', the Final Solution was designed by Reich lawyers who sought 'legal' means under cover of law to CYA Himmler against repercussions of law. At the Wannsee Conference, military higher-ups were briefed on the 'solution' to assuage any fears born by individuals charged with carrying out the orders.

The legal framework was staged, but German authority lost the limelight to Nuremberg.

Argue the 'effectiveness' diversion all you want. It doesn't change the legal definition of 'torture.

verner

Let's also remember, Hamre was a member of the CLINTON team. As such, his failure to properly deal with A-Q after the Cole bombing, and other terrorist acts, most certainly must have been coloring his judgments.

Still, we are left with "Ambiguous" and not a thumbs down. I'd say that's about the best you could expect to get from a former Clintonista.

verner

So are the CIA interrogators also like Dachau guards because they used caloric restriction as a part of EI?

Hint to the boob. So does LA Weight Loss, only, you have to Pay for it.

And while you're on the line==What about those extra-constitutional assassinations by Predator Drone! We seem rather selective in our outrage.

At least with water boarding, you don't end up with pieces of Pakistani toddlers littering the place. How do you moral geniuses square that one into your Brave New World?

Semanticleo

Mitigate, if you will, with deflections like, 'harsh language' and caloric restriction; it's about torture and the legal definition thereof.

verner

No, actually, You're the Alinsky/Lackoff disciple, not me.

And answer the question.

Death is a hell of a lot worse than EI.

Acording to the ethos of the sanctified CHUCH Commission, Obama is committing extra-constitutional executions.By your standards, He and his administration need to stand in the dock right along side the Bushies.

Put up or shut up, pathetic worm.

verner

Make that CHURCH

verner

Anybody know what goofy Eurocrat authored "International" Law says about assassination? (AKA trial by Hellfire)

I bet is says you're not suppose to do it.

Semanticleo

From Suskind's One Percent doctrine;

"bu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be....Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics....And yet somehow, in a speech delivered two weeks later, President Bush portrayed Abu Zubaydah as "one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

....Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. "I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?" Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each...target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."

The rules of engagement are clear when it comes to the enemy. Collateral damage is not a war crime; waterboarding is.

verner

Actually, Rules of engagement, according to Ms Priest-Goodfellow's piece are NOT clear.

Again, put up or shut up.

Rick Ballard

Verner,

A troubling aspect of the targeted assasination of young Pakistani muslims is the probability that stressful interrogation techniques were used in developing the intelligence which led to their killing. I would assume that President Obama would not order the killings of the suspects (and their wives, children and friends) without being satisfied as to the likelihood of their adherence to strongly held beliefs in a basic interpretation of muslim religious doctrine but I find the apparent conflict in his statements concerning muslim jihadism being a law enforcement problem and his authorizations to kill suspects to be at odds, especially if the information might be construed as "fruit of the forbidden tree" due to it having been elicited under duress.

Semanticleo

Thelaw ispretty clear about what constitutes torture. But you don't want to talk about Bush. You want to talk about Obama.
Why do you hate America?

Semanticleo

"A troubling aspect..."

NOW you're concerned about the innocent !?!

Oh, I guess it's different when YOUR ox is being gored.

verner

No, the problem is your selective politically motivated moral outrage.

I think that both EI AND predator strikes are necessary, and I'm morally consistent.

YOU ARE NOT.

Deal with it...

Wink at ya RB.

PeterUK

More tortured history Septic?
Those who attended the Wannsee Conference.

The following persons took part in the discussion about the final solution of the Jewish question which took place in Berlin, am Grossen Wannsee No. 56/58 on 20 January 1942.

Gauleiter Dr. Meyer Reich Ministry for the Occupied
and Reichsamtleiter Eastern territories
Dr. Leibbrandt

Secretary of State Dr. Stuckart Reich Ministry for the Interior

Secretary of State Neumann Plenipotentiary for the
Four Year Plan

Secretary of State Dr. Freisler Reich Ministry of Justice

Secretary of State Dr. Bühler Office of the Government General

Under Secretary of State Foreign Office
Dr. Luther

SS-Oberführer Klopfer Party Chancellery

Ministerialdirektor Kritzinger Reich Chancellery

SS-Gruppenführer Hofmann Race and Settlement Main Office

SS-Gruppenführer Müller Reich Main Security Office
SS-Obersturmbannführer Eichmann

SS-Oberführer Dr. Schongarth Security Police and SD
Commander of the Security Police
and the SD in the
Government General

SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Lange Security Police and SD
Commander of the Security Police
and the SD for the General-District
Latvia, as deputy of the Commander
of the Security Police and the SD
for the Reich Commissariat "Eastland".

Note 1942 some years after "Krystallnacht".

The "military high-ups" do not seem to have been there.It was a planning meeting.

sbw

Verner must be seeing ghosts. She's talking to nobody. Heh!

Semanticleo

"I'm morally consistent."

-Adolph Eichmann-

Semanticleo

"It was a planning meeting."

-Heinrich Himmler-

PeterUK

"At least with water boarding, you don't end up with pieces of Pakistani toddlers littering the place."

Well.if Obama missed them with the abortion...

Semanticleo

"She's talking to nobody. Heh!"

Trollblocker is my friend.

PeterUK

It was Reinhardt Heydrich.
Look Septic,stick to areas you know about,a mish mash of historical scribbling will not do.

Rick Ballard

"It was Reinhardt Heydrich."

Oh. I know, I know - the answer is "Who was most similar to Rahm Emanuel in the Hitler Administration?"

Did I get it?

PeterUK

"Oh, I guess it's different when YOUR ox is being gored."

Those poor Pakistani and Somali children were Republicans? Are the no depths to which Obama will not sink in the pursuit of politics?

PeterUK

Mr Ballard,
Well it could have been Joseph Goebbels or Adolf Eichmann,but near enough.

Semanticleo

"Who was most similar to Rahm Emanuel in the Hitler Administration?""

Oh, I get it.

It's the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS

PeterUK

Septic,even for a micrcophalic cretin like you, that conclusion is pathetic.

Semanticleo

"that conclusion is pathetic."

Payback IS a bitch, ain't it?

Survival TTip:

Learn to like it.

Paul Zrimsek

Let's see if I've got this straight. We know waterboarding is wicked because we executed Japanese for doing it in WWII; what we don't know is whether it's effective because no one called for an evaluation of this new and untried technique after 2003. Is that about right?

PeterUK

Septic,Your logic chip is faulty.Report to the recycling centre,there may be some parts that can be used for a hairdryer.

Rick Ballard

"what we don't know is whether it's effective because no one called for an evaluation of this new and untried technique after 2003. Is that about right?"

According to former CIA Director Michael Haydon

"Five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, 60 percent of the knowledge of the U.S. intelligence community about Al Qaeda, its leadership structure and its operations came from enhanced interrogation techniques."
the benefits of enhanced interrogation were obvious.

Jane

The rules of engagement are clear when it comes to the enemy. Collateral damage is not a war crime; waterboarding is.

Cleo,

When did Congress approve a war with Pakistan?

Jane

Payback IS a bitch, ain't it?

Cleo my friend, you are about to find out.

Semanticleo


"the benefits of enhanced interrogation were obvious"

Marmalard;

traditional interrogation was used in conjunction with EI. Which came first on the 60%? Perhaps Haydon has an axe to grind. (His own carcass?)

One of the critical questions in the debate over the CIA's use of harsh interrogation tactics is this: Did they work?

The case of Abu Zubaydah is often held up as the quintessential example of why enhanced interrogation techniques are a necessary evil. Former CIA director Michael Hayden said as much on Fox News last Sunday: "The critical information we got from Abu Zubaydah came after we began the EITs [enhanced interrogation techniques]."

Anchor Chris Wallace pressed him, "Not before?"

Hayden was emphatic. "No."

In a recent editorial, Hayden was even more specific. He claimed that the enhanced interrogation techniques led to the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

That said, one of Zubaydah's FBI interrogators, Ali Soufan, remembers it differently. Soufan wrote in The New York Times that Zubaydah talked without being coerced.

Two high-ranking former FBI sources remember it that way, too. They say that intelligence breakthroughs came before Zubaydah was subjected to harsh techniques, not after. Another person close to the interrogation, Rohan Gunaratna, has similar recollections. He is an al-Qaida expert who has worked with U.S. government agencies on terrorism issues."

link in next comment. alas, this IS TypePad.

bio mom

I am so sick of constantly replaying all of this. Can't we just "move-on"?

Semenfilledcleo

Oh, I see the Soufan talking points were already dismantled here at JOM.

Maybe I should try reading outside my bubble sometime.

Sorry everyone!

PeterUK

Rohan Gunaratna. They don't seem to be impressed.

PeterUK

Just a snippet from the link about Rohan Gunaratna.


"In the international world of Intelligence analysts, Sri Lanka-born slick performer Rohan Gunaratna had transformed into the ‘Temple Drum’ of Terrorism Industry. Until recently, he had been a staple contributor to the parochial press in Colombo (the Island newspaper) and Chennai (the Frontline magazine) spewing his intelligence on LTTE activities like a camel which spits when it is irritated. Thus it is heartening to see that in a few cities, investigative journalists have begun to size up the quality of ‘intelligence’ delivered by Gunaratna. The camouflage and cloak of this slick artist had been scruitinised, and Gary Hughes had produced an expose for the Melbourne Age newspaper on July 20th.

One should give the devil his due. The expose by Gary Hughes reveals that Gunaratna has some peculiar talent for (a) social climbing, (b) academic imposturing, (c) name dropping and (d) vita forgery, by puffing his vita with non-existing positions. To appreciate the expose of Gary Hughes, it would be helpful if one first reads how the Temple Drum of Terrorism Industry paraded himself as the Emperor of the Terrorism Analyst. A good example of such a performance was Gunaratna’s interview, which appeared in Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine of November 2002. Thus, in this assembled anthology on Rohan Gunaratna, I provide the following publicly available material in series, and follow it with an end note on Sri Lanka’s other con persons who made some wave in the past."

Gee Septic,you really know how to pick them.

Semanticleo

"Soufan talking points were already dismantled here"

Yeah I witnessed the 'dismantling' but thought I'd address your issue; "Anything's OK as long as my ass is safe" and moral equivalency directives.

The bottom line whether effective, or not, water-boarding is torture. Get over.

lurking

Oh, please, Leo. Waterboarding is not 'torture', its use was highly circumscribed and resulted in actionable intelligence which saved lives. You can flap your fingers 'til blood flows from underneath your nails without changing those facts.

MarkJ

Semanticleo,

If the U.S. is just like the Third Reich, why aren't you already little bits of ash getting into my eyes?

Try answering that one, Mensa Boy.

lurking

Furthermore, Obama is setting himself up for severe second guessing once the next inevitable domestic terrorist attack comes. And believe me, someone in the CIA will leak the news that they were prevented from getting the necessary intelligence. Payback is a bitch.

lurking

Look how the CIA trashed a sitting President simply to cover their embarrassment at being so wrong about Iraq. Do you think they'll have any mercy for the President that has made their jobs exponentially harder and lives measurably riskier? Leo, the Dreamer.

lurking

Yeah, Leo equilibrated innocent Jews to the worst criminals of al Qaeda. Leo, you've got a screw loose. Tighten up.

clarice

I find the apparent conflict in his statements concerning muslim jihadism being a law enforcement problem and his authorizations to kill suspects to be at odds, especially if the information might be construed as "fruit of the forbidden tree" due to it having been elicited under duress.
To the contrary. It's all perfectly consistent. It's Chicago law enforceement, Ricky.

Semanticleo

"Leo equilibrated...."

Perhaps you should go back to 'lurking'.

boris

Perhaps you should go back to Assclownistan.

PeterUK

Boris,I hope that isn't an inference about Septic's son.You know that is off limits.

lurking

Leo, look at your 3:04 post. If you'll quit being absurd, I'll go back to lurking. What's the chance of that?

PeterUK

lurking,
That is all Septic can do,the theatre of the absurd.

Semanticleo

"look at your 3:04 post."

You mean you can't see the parallel to David Addington taking dictation from Cheney, then confabulating his torture memos to squeeze out some faux-constituional logic to make torture palatable to the inquisitors?

lurking

In order to make a point, he will throw all sense of proportion to the winds. It's a judgment problem, and pitiful rhetoric.

PeterUK

lurking
Septic is a liberal!

Semanticleo

"look at your 3:04 post."

I expect it would be difficult for you to see the parallel between the legal parsing of
'The Final Solution' and Addington writing the tortured logic Cheney demanded.

PeterUK

"I expect it would be difficult for you to see the parallel between the legal parsing of
'The Final Solution' and Addington writing the tortured logic Cheney demanded."


It would be difficult for anyone sane.

Semanticleo

Maguire's added page-breaks! A typePad innovation worth the wait.

clarice

It's difficult for me to see it. Is the sugggestion that everytime we need to adjust normal operating rules to cover exigent circumstances not covered by those rules we are planning a final solution?

Everything's so complicated this afternoon.

lurking

And you don't seem to be able to distinguish between innocent Jews and criminal al-Qaeda. It's a pitiful world you live in, Leo.

Semanticleo

"Everything's so complicated this afternoon."

Not so complicated....

Does waterboarding meet the legal definition of torture?

War Crime !

and the final solution is not the point either. The legal cover for illegal activities was squeezed out of the whole cloth of crime.

verner

And the S word never did answer my question about assassination. Figures.

PeterUK

Only a depraved mind could equate the waterboarding to the Final Solution.Septic is a product of the historically illiterate fever swamp.

verner

Yes, just remember Clarice, Republicans are Nazis, and all will be clear.

The putz has lost the argument, and will not address rendition and assassination by hellfire. Like pouring water on the wicked witch of the west. This latest goofy stuff is the equivalent of the WWW screeching "I'm melting" as she goes down into the puddle.

Ignore. Not worth a reply.

lurking

And I say no, it doesn't fit the legal definition of torture. Waterboarding is a smart bomb to the central nervous system. It is harmless and effective when time is of the essence. It should be highly regulated, as it was in the Bush Administration, and it should be safe, legal and rare.


lurking

As I've said, if Obama doesn't authorize its use, he's going to be second guessed. Remember, it is effective, when nothing else is. The need for its use is going to be inevitable. Never forget that.

verner

You know, if I were an A-Q terrorist, maybe I would be a little sad that the EI program is now canceled.

Under Obama, with rendition, that pretty much assures a one way ticket to Egypt, or Jordan, where a three minute ride on the waterboard is the movie preview.

Just like Clinton used to do.

Oh the horror. Where's the outrage!!!!

lurking

I love it, verner: Waterboarding, the humane option. Seriously.

verner

A little info about the Church Committee. And please note dear readers, according to the Obama Administration, we are no longer dealing with a "WAR ON TERROR." And we are certainly not at war with Pakistan. And where in the law does it say we get to gun down common criminals with Hellfire missles?

Therefore, I demand that the Commander in Chief, under the new standards established by the Democrat Left, should be investigated by the Attorney General and brought up before some international tribunal, filled with sanctimonious European Socialist Bureaucrats for WAR CRIMES!

In their findings, the Church Committee stated that in the absence of war, assassination should be rejected as a tool of American foreign policy. The practice was “incompatible with American principle, international order, and morality,” it reasoned, and violated the “moral precepts fundamental to our way of life.” The Committee also suggested that it was probably inevitable that any plot hatched by U.S. officials would eventually be revealed because of the demonstrated inability of a democratic government to keep secrets.

Regardless of the success of the actual plot, such a disclosure would seriously harm U.S. foreign relations and incite retaliatory attempts on the lives of U.S. officials. The Committee concluded that the damage from such revelations “to American foreign policy, to the good name and reputation of the United States abroad, to the American people’s faith and support of its foreign government and its foreign policy, is incalculable.”

PeterUK

"Regardless of the success of the actual plot, such a disclosure would seriously harm U.S. foreign relations and incite retaliatory attempts on the lives of U.S. officials."

So which U.S. officials is Obama trying to get killed?

cathyf

Somehow that has not been articulated well enough -- calling these "The Torture Memos" is actually quite prescient. You see, waterboarding is probably unique in two aspects: 1) it has all of the benefits of torture* without being torture, and 2) we have excellent historical data and long experience with it having used it on 25,000+ people already. Or, to the point, it was unique, in that it used to have the benefits of torture* until Obama released the memos. Now AQ has the requisite details to set up their own SERE school. So that the next time we must have something with the intelligence advantages of torture, we will be left with only one option: actual torture.

Barack Obama -- the 21st Century's first important facilitator of torture.

Compared to him, that little Julius and Ethel Rosenberg incident was a triffle.

---
*ok, all of the legitimate benefits as far as intelligence collection.

clarice

Well, we could lock the detainees in a small room with only semanticleo or andrew sullivan for company.

PeterUK

"Well, we could lock the detainees in a small room with only semanticleo or andrew sullivan for company."

Isn't there a risk of moral turpitude with a minor,or taking an idiot across the state line.


bad

Or prolonged hurling, PUK...

Gmax

I LIKE IT!

Waterboarding:

SAFE, LEGAL and RARE!

clarice

I'm a dame without pity, PUK. I thought you knew that...

verner

Waterboarding:

SAFE, LEGAL and RARE!

That's a bumper sticker if I ever saw one.

Charlie (Colorado)

Argue the 'effectiveness' diversion all you want. It doesn't change the legal definition of 'torture.

Which would be what, leo? can you quote it? Can you explain how waterboarding, in which there is no fear of being killed, loud music, and sleepless nights can be construed to come under that definition? With a straight face?

When you can come back with a definition that can't be construed, as Sullivan does, as anything that actually elicits information, and not to include, and Human Rights Watch tried a couple years ago, to include not having a private bathroom, get back to us.

Charlie (Colorado)

"Probability approaches 1"

— Mike Godwin

Charlie (Colorado)

Does waterboarding meet the legal definition of torture?

Well, no, actually.

So much for that.

Charlie (Colorado)

I'm a dame without pity, PUK. I thought you knew that...

le Belle Dame sans Merci?

clarice

Voden? ChaCo

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