February 6, 2008

We Only Did Waterboarding Three Times

George Bush gave CIA Director Michael Hayden permission to tell the 'truth' to Congress. The Bush administration only used waterboarding on three people whom they believed had high-value information.

Do you believe Hayden? Only three people? Suppose there were an international tribunal to investigate aggressive, lawless acts by the United States. Would it be OK for this tribunal to snatch Hayden from US soil if he refused to submit to interviews? Would it be OK to snatch him from foreign soil if he were traveling abroad?

Hayden had to ask permission from President Bush to tell Congress about the CIA's waterboarding. Suppose the President did not give Hayden permission to talk to the international tribunal. Would it be OK for the tribunal to waterboard Hayden to get that information? Would it be OK for the tribunal to do so to send a message to future US officials that aggressive, lawless acts will not be tolerated by the international community?

The answers to these questions are "no." Just as it is not acceptable for the US to use torture and kidnap people. The world is on the brink of descending into a dark chaos. If we slip into that horror, the US government, including the weak Congress under the so-called leadership of Nancy Pelosi, will share the blame.

PS Why do we have a guy in a military uniform heading the CIA. Shouldn't the CIA be led by a civilian?



Anonymous said...

Now that George Bush and Michael Hayden have publicly confessed to government waterboarding in a press conference on February 6, 2008, and in testimony before Congress on February 5, 2008, you may find the following information useful:

The law review article referenced below (available at no cost at: http://www.law.utah.edu/_webfiles/ULRarticles/150/150.pdf ) makes clear that waterboarding is torture and is a crime and a war crime punishable under a number of treaties to which the United States is a party and several U.S. statutes.

The article also explains that there is no defense available due to either (1) prior legal advice, or (2) circumstances (including, without limitation, terrorist acts – see citations in Footnotes 21 and 25 in the article), contrary to the claims of Bush and Hayden.

The law review article (see pages 359 to 374) also establishes that under a number of treaties to which the United States is a party, the U.S. has an obligation to initiate an official investigation regarding confessed acts of torture. For example, the 1984 U.N. Convention Against Torture, (1465 UNTS 85), Article 12 reads as follows:

“Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.” (NOTE: The article also explains why “territory under its jurisdiction” includes GITMO and all DOD and CIA secret detention sites for the United States.)

The following case, among others, has held that waterboarding is torture:

In re Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos Human Rights Litigation, 910 F. Supp. 1460, 1463 (District of Hawaii, 1995)

Waterboarding is torture regardless of the surrounding circumstances – there is no circumstantial or necessity defense to torture claims.

It is time for the appointment of a special prosecutor – General Mukasey must recuse himself because of his refusal to publicly state that waterboarding is criminal torture. As explained in the law review article and elsewhere, the following individuals played primary roles in the authorization of waterboarding and should be immediately identified as the primary subjects of the investigation:

George W. Bush
Richard “Dick” Cheney
John Ashcroft
Alberto Gonzales
Donald Rumsfeld
George J. Tenet
John E. McLaughlin
Porter Goss
David Addington
Jay S. Bybee
John Yoo
Jack Goldsmith
General Ricardo Sanchez
General Geoffrey Miller
General Janis Karpinski

Bush/Cheney Pardon Calendar

Under the circumstances – a public confession of criminal acts by George W. Bush -- you should expect that immediately after the November elections George W. Bush will pardon all of the people listed above, then resign. At that point, Richard “Dick” Cheney would become President, and you should expect that in that capacity Cheney will immediately pardon George W. Bush.

Immediate Appointment of Special Prosecutor

As a result of the expected pardons, a special prosecutor should be appointed immediately

Commencement of Impeachment Proceedings

As a result of the expected pardons, on the day after the November elections, the House of Representatives should impeach George W. Bush and Richard “Dick” Cheney for high crimes -- torture -- violating the following statutes, among others:

18 USC 3231
18 USC Sections 2340-2340A
18 USC 2441

Please note the strategic importance of simply presenting the impeachment to members of the House with no hearings and an immediate vote on the day after the November elections. There is no reason for hearings or delay, since George W. Bush has admitted the criminal act that is the basis of the impeachment.

International Crimes Not Subject to Pardon Power

It is worth pointing out that torture violations of the Law of War and international treaties are not subject to the Presidential pardon power. We will see these individuals on trial in the Hague for their publicly confessed war crimes.

“Above the Law: Unlawful Executive Authorizations Regarding Detainee Treatment, Secret Renditions, Domestic Spying and Claims to Unchecked Executive Power,” Jordan J. Paust, Utah Law Review, 2007, Number 2, Pages 345 to 419

Article available free at: http://www.law.utah.edu/_webfiles/ULRarticles/150/150.pdf

GDAEman said...

Why is General Janis Karpinski on the list? My understanding is that she's a scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

If you've kept your eye on Karpinski lately, in her enthusiasm to blame others, she has disclosed events surrounding the arrival of General Miller upon the specific instructions of Rumsfeld (Miller is the one who set up the torture procedures at GITMO). Her disclosures establish that she knew full well what was going on. More to the point, there is command liability under the applicable treaties and laws (remember that the Nazi Admiral Doenitz was executed for the actions of those under his command).

GDAEman said...


I suppose as a prosecution tactic they could go after Karpinski.

Also, I'm not sure Jack Goldsmith should be on the list. Heck, I'd replace Karpinski and Goldsmith with John Negroponte and Elliot Abrams.

Then I'd add the following:

James Steele (Dr. Deathsquad)
Harriet Meyers (US Attorney Plants)
Paul Wolfowitz (War of Aggression)
Scooter Libby (go thru him to get Cheney)
David Wurmser(Pentagon Lie Factory)
Douglas J. Feith (Pentagon Lies)

The list gets pretty long. Would keep Attorney General John Edwards busy.