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November 12, 2007

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Yeah, but based upon AGMukasMembrane's secret, private statements to Huckleberry Graham, which differ markedly from his confirmation hearing testimony of record under oath, we can all rest easy that he will see to it that we are a nation that does not torture and follows the rule of law.....

Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition...

Killing the messenger is par for the course with the vadarites. They abhor the truth.

At the risk of flogging a dead horse I would say that the only way to stop the egregious, on going, disregard of US laws and mores is to impeach the bas**rds. Of course this Congress has neither the will nor the inclination to do so. Consequently we are doomed to greater and greater violations of the Constitution until it does not exist. I would expect that time to be about twelve to fourteen months away.

We shall soon be casually conversing, not about just water boarding, but about fingernail pulling, genital electrocution, eye gouging and other forms of nastiness that have been practiced by less than civilized nations (and one religion) lo these many years.

America has gone. In its place a capitalist dictatorship with not one point of a moral compass has taken over. It is almost too late to stand up against the coup and unless we impeach now it will be too late all too soon.

BAE -- there they are again. This is beginning to challenge my filing skills.

I have to assume, EW, that you're familiar w/Pat Lang's latest comment on waterboarding on his blog:

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2007/11/waterboarding-i.html

Not to mention the 60 Minutes interview segment he did after the Abu Hell story broke...

Superb reminder. Point out that emperor Dick, and Lil' Bush, have no clothes and lose your job AND the ticket - a top security clearance - needed to get another one in your chosen field. Retribution on a Cheney scale. Like prohbiting a sailor from going to sea because he pointed out the captain was steaming over his own tow-line.

The example makes a good business or law school case. Ms. Axsmith worked for a private contractor, a great deal of whose revenue comes from being allowed by Dick Cheney to contract with his Defense Department.

What's a manager to do? Protect the notional utility of those contracts and, therefore, shareholders' expectations (and, no doubt, his or her bonus)? Or comply with applicable employment laws, your own corporate business standards, and devise a more nuanced way to deal with an employee whose opinions threaten the company's revenue? Discuss. Fifteen minutes.

Just watching Anderson Cooper on CNN. Fairly good and long story on Maher Arar kidnapping and torture in Syria. I am somewhat surprised that they did this story, especially with the billing as "the story the US Government doesn't want you to see - and for good reason". We need way more of this. I am going to write CNN and thank them and tell them they should keep on this story and do more of the same.

Bmaz -

Fair enough - but ain't it just typical of CNN & Cooper that they have just now caught on to the Arar story? Must be well over a year since the Canuckistan judge published the findings there.

Only having started on the hard stuff Ms E Wheeler deals out here since January I beg her foregiveness & general indulgence if this has been raised before:

Should we find some perverse comfort in the similarities in the behavior of the Bush administration in leaking its bogus ad campaign material for eviscerating Iraq to a steamy esteemed memberette of the press & its related boondoggery in outing Plame by engaging the Duke of Douchebaggery [Jon Stewart's take not mine]

- & the behavior of the Canadian government in leaking false info about Arar being pretty much Canada's own bin Laden to a selected memberette of the press during his court process?

Maybe its age but I got this distinct impression that members of the Order of Loyal Bushie Republicans may have tried to repay the original favor by loaning out to The Great White North it's Double Super Secret Updated Propriety Handbook on Constructive Plumbing & Leaking.

LabDancer - Point well taken on the delay on CNN's part in picking up the Arar story. Better late than never though, and most people have no idea about the rendition program and what really happens in it. Arar is a good face; he presents and speaks well. I wish the story could be out there even more, so i'll take anything I can get. As to what the Canucks are up to; there are folks here a lot better qualified than I am to talk about that; perhaps Ishmael or one of the others will see this. Wouldn't surprise me if we haven't rubbed off in a negative way though.

What I find striking about the comments is that the blogger does not appear to be a lawyer, but is openly discussing Geneva implications. This suggests that within the CIA contracding community, non-lawyers well know that the practices are not lawful.

Raises the question: How can anyone working on contract for the CIA -- knowing about these legal requirements/policies which violate those requirements -- credibly argue, "But we were relying on superior orders"? To defend against war crimes, the defendant has to show that the orders were reasonably legal; and that they reasonably relied on those orders.

This bloggers comments show that such a defense is not possible: There are open discussions on the Intellink which belie the assertion that there is "confusion" about Geneva; even outside "expert legal circles" the non-lawyer-contractors well know the Geneva requirements; and have raised reasonable doubts which have not been addressed.

Her blog suggests the scope of the war crimes problems for CIA and CIA contractors is much wider, and not ambiguous as DoJ OLC might like us to believe. There can be no credible legal claim that the Geneva Conventions are "unclear"; or that there was "confusion" about Geneva's prohibition against prisoner abuse when non-lawyers are documenting their concerns that the procedures are not meeting the legal requirements. Her firing and fact that she has a blog raises the prospect that the US government's "appeal to confusion" is a frivolous legal defense, further implicating DoJ OLC legal counsel in alleged war crimes. Arguably, once DoJ OLC have been linked with alleged frivolous legal arguments, they could be implicated in re the war crimes.

Firing a CIA contractor for allegedly discussing alleged-knowing involvement in Geneva violations: Sounds like a similar problem with the IG System, and the loyalty oaths. Would be interesting to hear from other CIA contractors whether they were required to sign agreements to remain silent about illegal activity. Agreements to hide evidence of war crimes evidence is not enforceable. Please encourage your friends to discuss these issues with current/former CIA-NSA contractors: Are they uncomfortable with the scope of their non-disclosure agreement; and are they openly discussing their concerns that they are "forced" to keep quiet about alleged war crimes evidence?

It would be interesting to compare/examine the language in these non-disclosure agreements with (1) the language DoJ crafted in re FISA-violating agreements; or (2) other agreements US government crafted to impose silence in re rendition, prisoner abuse at GTMO/Abu Ghrabi, or other violations of the laws of war. One method to identify the range of issues CIA hopes to suppress in re public disclosures is examining the blacked out areas in this book. A plain reading of her book will give insights into the CIA Security classification guidance in re sensitive areas. These issues are likely closely matching those contract terms within these non-disclosure agreements.

It would also be interesting to consider the (a) IntelLink; and (b) former CIA contractor blog comments near the Supreme Court ruled rendition is a "state secret". The blog comments might appear to show some relationship between (1) public issues related to rendition; (2) internal IntelLink discussions in re prisoner abuse; (3) knowing memoranda/frivolous denials by DoJ-CIA Legal counsel; (4) Open discussion/email within the CIA contracting community that the legal counsel's legal arguments were not consistent with clear requirements in Geneva; and (5) schedules, timing issues, and other reportable data provided to Congress that was incomplete; or (6) Other issues the Gang of 8/Pelosi as Speaker and others were provided, but have publicly pretended they've done nothing about. Raises issue of Member of Congress alleged complicit with Geneva violations for not acting on information they well knew, or should have known, was a Geneva issue.

Backup e-mail systems raises doubts about legal counsel's compliance with attorney standards of conduct in re If counsel for the WH-DoJ really thought the acitivity (rendition, prisoner abuse/waterboard, FISA violations) was lawful, they cannot explain (a) why the established a separate backup system; nor (b) why, in establishing this backup system, they are implicitly arguing that they didn't believe that the executive privilege claims would protect the primary email system; nor how they credibly complied with 8.3.

E-mail Discovery:

A. Which of the e-mails sent to OVP (Addington) expressly outlined these CIA contractor concerns; and what was the response from the OVP legal counsel's office? [32 CFR 2800, OVP E-mail retention requirements regardless where VP pretends his office is or isn't inside or outside the Executive/Legislative Branches]

B. When the Supreme Court ruled that GTMO detainees did have Geneva protections, what e-mail traffic was there between the CIA and CIA contractors on these legal issues to (a) quickly move prisoners; (b) realize they had a legal problem; and (c) acknowledgement they needed to revisit the concerns raised before Supreme Court ruling in re Geneva/GTMO?

C. Where are the records related to rendition, prisoner abuse, and other alleged breaches of Geneva contained on the Intel Link system; which contractor has backup copies; and where is evidence these records related to alleged Geneva violations are being retained (they are forseeably expected to be subpoenaed).

D. Where are the Congressional correspond logs in re these issues?

To avoid Federal Preemption, it is important to attempt to gather this evidence before filing the FOIA.

What's the basis to demand immunity for activity which the GOP has destroyed evidence? Said another way: Despite knowing the GOP has destroyed emails -- allegedly related to FISA, rendition, prisoner abuse, and Geneva violations -- what's evidence is Congress reviewing to justify immunity for illegal acts?

Seeing some similar patterns in re alleged war crimes evidence destruction, inter alia:

1. AG evasive answers verbally/in writing to Senate;

2. IGs forced to take loyalty oaths (to President over Constitution, allegedly violating 5 USC 3331);

3. DoD GC Haynes blocks testimony on waterboarding;

4. RNC email destruction despite legal duty to retain data;

5. CIA non-lawyer contractors expressing legal concerns about Geneva violations, while DoJ OLC pretends things are confusing; and

6. Existence of an internal CIA blog on IntelLink discussing issues of war crimes, prompting firing of that CIA contractor

7. Calls for immunity for FISA violations -- to block all current, pending, future litigation -- without reviewing the scope of the illegal activity.

Curiously, if the GOP Legal counsel was convinced what they were doing (FISA violations, rendition, prisoner abuse) was legal, there would have not been a reason to establish a backup system: That originally written email "should have" been protected by privilege. That they've destroyed/not retained the primary or backup e-mail strongly suggests legal counsel (a) They knew the activity wasn't lawful; (b) Something changed to undermine confidence that they could hide behind claims of executive privilege; and (c) even, going forward from 2001, if there was a successful state secrets claim (as was with Supreme Court, rendition), the evidence was very bad indeed.

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I didn't know anyone with more than a GED watched CNN. Abu Graib was left wing hysteria at its finest. I had tougher fraternity initiations in high school. All you kooks are so worried about Cheney and Bush, yet not a single one of you halfwits even mentions Bin Laden or Ahmedinijad. Too bad there's not a draft, some of you loons might get shot. If you stay-at-home cowards had any balls you'd be trying to uncover Hezbollah and Al Qaeda plots and conspiracies. Idiots. Oh, sorry, gotta go. My black helicopter is waiting to take me to Alaska to build the labor camps for you morons.

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