« First They Came After Journalists, Then They Came After the ACLU | Main | The Iran-Contra Something Else »

December 14, 2006


Yes and won't it be interesting to see who signed this 3-1/2 page document. Any bets on Alberto?

Something that shouldn't have been ordered was rescinded, maybe? I'm taking the ACLU's descroption of the memo itself as "mildly embarrassing" at face value. An order to be sure not to slip up and, say, waterboard prisoners would be embarrassing, but far less so than a prior order permitting or prescribing waterboarding.

Coincidentally, in today's WPost, " '04 Pentagon Report Cited Detention Concerns":

A previously undisclosed Pentagon report concluded that the three terrorism suspects [including Jose Padilla] held at a brig in South Carolina were subjected to months of isolation, and it warned that their "unique" solitary confinement could be viewed as violating U.S. detention standards.


Thiessen's report is part of a larger review by Vice Adm. Albert T. Church III, then the Navy's inspector general. Rumsfeld ordered the wide-ranging military investigation to determine whether any interrogation policy for terrorism suspects had caused detainee abuse in U.S. military detention facilities.

The Church report presented to Congress in March 2005 concluded that there was no deliberate high-level policy that led to the numerous cases of mistreatment. Instead, it blamed inept leadership at low levels and confusion over changing interrogation rules.

Church focused on the conditions for foreign nationals held at Guantanamo Bay. But the details of what Thiessen found in the Charleston brig were not mentioned. When asked, high-ranking military officers asserted that the brig fared well in the review.

Suggest you make a link between Vietnam and Iraq. There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armements”


The Pentagon is a giant,incredibly complex establishment,budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Adminisitrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particulary if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefor he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is ablsolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen unitil it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagon instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

This is exactly where and how cases like the AIPAC case come back to haunt, though. Under the reasoning in that case, which Gov is now testing out, receipt of classified info is illegal too. You can't cherrypick and sign on for some, but not others.

So Judy Miller should go to jail if she won't reveal or turnover, but not Romano? Every attack on the first amendment, even ones involving people that are scum, has tremendous ability to come back and bite the best. fwiw

I'm guessing a torture/interrogation revision, and release when folks thought it was "safe" bc of the amnesty in the MCA.

OTOH, if we ever had a credible justice dept with credible prosecutors in the future, or a good indep. pros., I'm not so sure the amnesty provision "works."


That's my point in my last thread--they're not using the precedent of the AIPAC trial--IN THE LEAST.

So all the squawking about precedent for that is either moot--or the notion of judicial review will be upheld.

Judy Miller should go to jail if she is deliberately shielding her cohort. No one is suggesting Romano will go to jail--but it's an assault on the First Amendment anyway. There is still the question of what judicial review will say/do. But in any case, we're a far cry from parallelism between Judy and Romano.

Let me explain that further.

Judy went to jail for contempt of court, because she refused to respond to a subpoena related to an investigation. She would have had to testify under any shield law in this country, and by choosing not to, she was held to be in contempt. The difference between that case and this is that Fitz was investigating, using a GJ in good faith, asking for information for which there is a great deal of precedent.

Romero is being subpoenaed for something not related to an investigation. They know who the person who leaked this document is. They're not asking for one copy of the document, they're asking for all copies (and the assurance that it has been removed from the ACLU computers). Since it's clear the GJ isn't asking for information, it is not acting in good faith. Furthermore, asking for this information violates the Pentagon Papers precedent. The cases are very different. And, as I said, Judy in no way sets a precedent.

The AIPAC case is closer--because of the use of the Espionage statute. But there, they're going after people for passing on information. ACLU hasn't passed on any information, yet DOJ is going after them anyway.

But the whole point is, there is no precedent for what they're doing--not Judy, not AIPAC. If anything, the precedent is Pentagon Papers, which of course is precedent to quash the subpoena.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad