Category Archives: Enhanced Interrogations

A Celebration of Life for Steven

I am reposting this as a reminder for some of you, that like me, tend to be a little forgetful. Fnord will be off to the land of blue-bloods and yachts for a bit, but she assures me that the exposure to the upper-crust of society won’t change her and she will be ready for an invasion of Pop Bloggers. See you on the 12th!

Remember, attendance is mandatory!

Okay, it’s a bit more than a month, but Fnord has to attend some wedding thingie in Boston (lame excuse) and there are other commitments I have in the weeks proceeding.

So, mark your calendars:

June 12th – a Celebration of Life for Steven. Two PM.

Griffin and Fnord have graciously volunteered (?) to host this event at their home.  It is going to be a hella party to honor Steven.

Be prepared!

I will be bringing a couple of slabs of my world-famous ribs and a pot of my even more famous Smoked Scrapyard Baked Beans.

Attendance is mandatory – that means you, Roxie and Pondy! If you fail to show up, we will hunt you down and drag you to the celebration. You cannot hide from the “evil liberals!” Liberals are very violent, don’t cha’  know!

Please contact me at WSClark52@gmail.com with questions, directions, comments or whatever.

Also, please note on this thread what you will be bringing. If you can’t bring anything, that’s cool, too. Everyone knows that liberals are socialists and we SHARE.

Be prepared to laugh, cry and sing.

And stuff your face!

We all will.

William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Enhanced Interrogations, Psychological Disorders, This humble little blog..., Weird news

Six Reasons To Not Prosecute Interrogaters: Six Reasons Why We Must.

From the Washington Post we have this Op-Ed.  Jeffery H. Smith is of the opinion that prosecuting criminal wrong-doing by the CIA and contractors will be bad for America.  Interesting opinions by Mr. Smith, and some simple -minded refutations/reflections.

From Mr. Smith:  “First, these techniques were authorized by the president and approved by the Justice Department. The relevant committees of Congress were briefed. Although the Justice Department’s initial legal opinions were badly flawed, the fact remains that the agency responsible for interpreting and enforcing the law said the techniques were “legal.” That alone will make prosecutions very difficult.”

From the Nixon era:  “If the President does it, it must be legal.”  That did work real well, before, didn’t it? Well, maybe not.   This fundametnally assumes that the president and other government officials cannot break the law.  Th0se of us who lived through the 1970’s , may have a different idea.

“Second, the CIA provided the inspector general’s report to the Justice Department in 2004. Justice has not prosecuted any CIA officers but did successfully prosecute a contractor who beat a detainee to death, an incident that was initially reported to the department by the CIA. What has changed that makes prosecution advisable now? No administration is above the law. But the decision of one administration to prosecute career officers for acts committed under a policy of a previous administration must be taken with the greatest care. Prosecutions would set the dangerous precedent that criminal law can be used to settle policy differences at the expense of career officers.”

This point assumes that politics supercedes the authority of law.  I know some Republicans who wish this was reality, but, sorry folks, it is not…  And never has been [period].

“Third, after Justice declined to prosecute, the CIA took administrative action, including disciplinary action against those officers whose conduct it deemed warranted such responses. This is standard procedure; reports of possible criminal activity must be referred to Justice. If it declines to prosecute, the matter is sent back to the CIA for appropriate administrative action.”

A tennis match between Justice and CIA, that is so much better than the investigations that are needed…

“Fourth, prosecuting CIA officers risks chilling current intelligence operations. This country faces an array of serious threats. A prosecution or extensive investigation will be an unmanageable expense for most CIA officers. More significant, their colleagues will become reluctant to take risks. What confidence will they have when their senior officers say not to worry, “this has been authorized by the president and approved by Justice”? And such reactions would be magnified if prosecutions focus only on the lower-ranking officers, not those in the chain of command. Such prosecutions are likely to create cynicism in the clandestine service, which is deeply corrosive to any professional service.”

Oh no…. we definitely do not want our intelligence services staff to follow the law.  Such would be sooooo… inconvenient and maybe dangerous [see Bush re-election, 2004].

Fifth, prosecutions could deter cooperation with other nations. It is critical that we have the close cooperation of intelligence services around the world. Nations often work together through their intelligence services on matters of mutual interest, such as combating terrorism, even if political relations are strained or nonexistent. The key to this cooperation is the ability of the United States to be a reliable partner and keep secrets. Prosecuting CIA officers undermines that essential element of successful intelligence liaison.

This silly idea assumes that our alliances have a vested interest in us lying about what we are doing.  I am willing to pose the really stupid idea that this is might not be the case.

Sixth, President Obama has decisively changed the policies that caused so much damage. He recognizes that it is vital to our security to have an effective intelligence community that is not distracted by looking backward and coping with congressional investigations and grand jury subpoenas.

The central assumption here is that we have to ignore of criminal wrong-doings to move forward.  I thought one had to confess one’s sins to move forward; please quote the Bible verse that claims otherwise…

Shaking my head; can’t you guys do better than this?

iggy donnelly…

 

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Filed under Enhanced Interrogations

Bush-era Intelligence Issues: Moving On?

President Obama has been clear that he wishes to look to the future and pursue an active domestic agenda, rather than dwelling on the mistakes of the prior administration.  Unfortunately, revelations like the recent report that Vice President Cheney ordered the CIA to not  reveal to Congress a program designed to assasinate Al Qaeda leaders, make this desire more difficult.  See this very good Question and Answer article on this subject.

Will we really be able to move on from the Bush-era controvesies if we don’t confront them? I am of the opinion we cannot.  What do you bloggers think?

Iggy Donnelly

13 Comments

Filed under Cheney, Enhanced Interrogations, Political Reform, Republicans, The Economy, torture, Wingnuts!, World Politics

The American Psychological Association and Bush Era “Torture”

This is an open letter to the membership of the American Psychological Association from the Board of Directors.  It is quite interesting.

June 22, 2009

An Open Letter from the Board of Directors

Dear Colleague,

As a psychologist and member of the American Psychological Association (APA), you no doubt share our serious concerns about reports regarding the involvement of psychologists in torture and abusive interrogations as part of the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” We recognize that the issue of psychologist involvement in national security-related investigations has been an extremely difficult and divisive one for our association. We also understand that some of our members continue to be disappointed and others angered by the association’s actions in this regard. Although APA has had a longstanding policy against psychologist involvement in torture, many members wanted the association to take a strong stand against any involvement of psychologists in national security interrogations during the Bush administration.

Information has emerged in the public record confirming that, as committed as some psychologists were to ensuring that interrogations were conducted in a safe and ethical manner, other psychologists were not. Although there are countless psychologists in the military and intelligence community who acted ethically and responsibly during the post-9/11 era, it is now clear that some psychologists did not abide by their ethical obligations to never engage in torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The involvement of psychologists, no matter how small the number, in the torture of detainees is reprehensible and casts a shadow over our entire profession. APA expresses its profound regret that any psychologist has been involved in the abuse of detainees.

This has been a painful time for the association and one that offers an opportunity to reflect and learn from our experiences over the last five years. APA will continue to speak forcefully in further communicating our policies against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment to our members, the Obama administration, Congress, and the general public. In so doing, we will continue to highlight our 2008 petition resolution policy, Psychologists and Unlawful Detention Settings with a Focus on National Security. APA will ensure that association communications convey clearly that the petition resolution is official association policy and must be central to psychologists’ assessment of the appropriateness of their roles in specific work settings related to national security. Our association’s governing body, the Council of Representatives, will soon be receiving guidance from various governance groups regarding further steps to implement this resolution. The history of APA positions and actions related to detainee welfare and professional ethics can be found at http://www.apa.org/releases/timeline.html.

On a closely related matter, the Ethics Committee and APA governance as a whole are focused intently on Ethics Code Standards 1.02 and 1.03, which address conflicts between ethics and law and between ethics and organizational demands, respectively. In light of Bush administration interrogation policies and uncertainty among our membership, the Ethics Committee has issued the attached statement, “No defense to torture under the APA Ethics Code.” Invoking language from the U.N. Convention Against Torture, this statement clarifies that the Ethics Committee “will not accept any defense to torture in its adjudication of ethics complaints.” APA will continue to monitor material in official reports related to psychologist mistreatment of national security detainees, will investigate reports of unethical conduct by APA members, and will adjudicate cases in keeping with our Code of Ethics. The association’s focus on these ethical standards is consistent with its position that no psychologist involved in detainee abuse should escape accountability.

In conclusion, as part of APA’s elected leadership, we have an obligation to protect and further psychology’s longstanding commitment to the highest standards of professional ethics—including, and especially, the protection of human welfare.

Respectfully,

American Psychological Association 2009 Board of Directors

James H. Bray, PhD
Carol D. Goodheart, EdD
Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D
Barry S. Anton, PhD
Paul L. Craig, PhD
Norman B. Anderson, PhD
Rosie Phillips Bingham, PhD
Jean A. Carter, PhD
Armand R. Cerbone, PhD
Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD
Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD
Michael Wertheimer, PhD
Konjit V. Page, MS

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Filed under Cheney, Enhanced Interrogations, Psychology Ramblings..., Republicans, torture, Wingnuts!

Mohammed Jawad: A Huge Injustice

Mohamed Jawad

Mohammed Jawad was taken into U.S. custody during our war in Afghanistan. He confessed to throwing a hand grenade that injured U.S. soldiers. It was later revealed that this confession was obtained with torture. He is from a poor Afghan family where exact dates of birth are not known. It is probable that he was born in 1991 based upon his mother’s recollection of significant events – this in turn means that in 2003 when Jawad was captured that he was 12 years old. The official U.S. documents contend that he was age 18 when he was transferred to the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay – this is unlikely.

The U.S. Army officer assigned to conduct Jawad’s military tribunal removed himself from the case due to his inability to “in good conscience” complete this assignment.

Read the accounts here and here of this shameful case. It is way past time to free Jawad.

The photo above was taken three months before Jawad was captured.

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Filed under Crimes, Enhanced Interrogations, History, Republicans, torture, WAR, World Politics

“The Decider” Has Determined Obama’s Policies Lacking

In a speech in Erie, Pennsylvania, former president George W. Bush was critical of a number of decisions and approachs adopted by Obama.

* Waterboarding helped get information and protected American lives

*Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center is a bad idea

*Government should stay out of healthcare

*”You can spend your money better than the government can spend your money.”

I was starting to have my doubts about Obama, so thanks George for straightening me out.  Read the entire Washington Post article.

iggy donnelly

12 Comments

Filed under Economics, Enhanced Interrogations, Obama, Political Reform, Religion, Republicans, torture, Wingnuts!

Obama Is For “Preventive Detention”?

In a national security speech Obama indicated that some detainees at  Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted would pose a risk to the U.S. if they were to be released.  Thus for these detainees our president stated favoring “preventive detention”.  Obama did not state the reasons these detainees could not be prosecuted, but a reasonable assumption would be that they were tortured.  I would sure like to see the evidence that torture worked, so that we might feel better about being in this legally ugly double-bind.

iggy donnelly

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104466660

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Filed under Addington, Cheney, Crimes, Diplomacy, Enhanced Interrogations, Obama, Political Reform, Republicans, torture, World Politics