Thursday, April 30, 2009

Welcome Home, from IAVA

Today IAVA is launching a massive new effort, in partnership with the Ad Council, for the friends and family members of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Watch the new television ad below, which will begin running nationwide today. And please take a minute to forward the ad to your friends and family, and help us reach our goal of 100,000 views by Mother's Day, May 10th.

We all support our troops. We may not support the war, we may not agree with anything to do with anything to do with it, but we all support our troops. They need all the support they can get. Their families need our support, and our help.

Take a few seconds, a few minutes and go to Support Your Vet and check it out, to learn what you can do. If you have a family member, friend or know of someone who needs help coming home.

Coming home is hard.. for all of them. Sometimes they don't realize how hard it is.

Condi Rice Went to Stanford, And You Won't Believe What She Said

The Young Turks have it for us.. I subscribe to their YouTube channel and get the videos when they come out. This was in my inbox this morning... WOW... is about all I can say..

Why are the media not covering this? They are ignoring this so much. They really don't want to talk about the fact the Bush Mis-Administration tortured. They really don't. Thank goodness some of the students were on the ball and got this on tape.

Here is what Condi Had to say and what Cenk Uygur's analysis of it afterward. It is priceless...

So, again, if the President says it is ok, then it's not illegal. Give. Me. A. Break.

Here we go with the Empirical Presidency of Bush/Cheney. That's what it amounted to. They had a stranglehold on this country and the Congress allowed it to happen.

Another Stupid Republican Steps Up

Rep. Virginia Foxx, (R,NC) steps up to help Michelle Bachmann with the Stupid. During testimony yesterday while debating the Matthew Shepard Bill, Foxx actually got up and made the most ignorant statement she could have made.

With Matthew's mother in the gallery, Foxx called the story of Matthew's death a "hoax", even though the 2 men who committed this hate crime admitted it in court and were convicted of the crime.

Listen to what she had to say for herself when she was giving her testimony in the chamber yesterday:

Huffington Post has a story about it and this is what they said:

A Foxx spokesman didn't immediately return a call. The Matthew Shepard "hoax" notion is a popular meme on right-wing blogs.

The New York Times reported in 1998: "According to the local police and prosecutors, the two men lured Mr. Shepard out of a bar by saying they were gay. Then, the Laramie police say, the pair kidnapped Mr. Shepard, pistol-whipped him with a .357 Magnum, and left him tied to a ranch fence for 18 hours until a passing bicyclist spotted Mr. Shepard, who was unconscious."

"She should be ashamed," said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), himself a victim of a hate crime during the struggle for civil rights. "That is unreal, unbelievable. The law enforcement people and almost every reasonable person I know believes he was murdered because he was gay."

For more information about Matthew Shepard and to help with the campaign for his memory and his foundation it can be found at

It is shameful what these stupid republicans are doing now. They will lie, they will spin stories, they will call the President names, have their stupid tea parties. All because they have lost elections.

At the rate things are going it is likely to be a long time before they win again. These are things we have to keep remembering. We can't let these things just pass by. If we do and let these people keep coming back into the government we deserve whatever we get.

They are dangerous to us. If they will lie like this in the Chamber of the Congress, which becomes public record, what will they do next? What else will they lie about.

We know what Bush lied to us about, or mostly. How many more times are we going to stand for them to lie to us before we vote them out and banish them forever.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pres. Obama Had a Town Hall in Arnold, MO This Morning

Here is video of the town hall Pres. Obama had in Arnold, MO this morning. I think it was really great and very well received by all.

Not sure anyone would like to see it or missed it this morning but thought I would post it just in case.

It is about an hour, so be prepared. Hope it helps if you want to see it.

The Stupid Part 2...Strikes Again.. Bachmann..she just can't keep her facts straight.

Who does this womans research... It must either be another person stupider than her or she does it herself and she really can't read.

Watch this:

Now, just in case your history isn't all that good.. I have to admit I was a little thrown by the "Hoot-Smalley Act". Not only that but I was sure that FDR wasn't president in 1930, but I could have been mistaken.. so I did a little research.. It didn't take me long to find what I was looking for...

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (sometimes known as the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act) was an act signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. In the United States 1,028 economists signed a petition against this legislation, and after it was passed, many countries retaliated with their own increased tariffs on U.S. goods, and American exports and imports plunged by more than half.

And the president on June 17, 1930, was that Republican Herbert Hoover. Not Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Again, she is trying her best to lay the blame for everything on the Democratic Presidents and it just isn't working, she just keeps showing how really stupid she is.

H/T TPM and TPC for this.

An Officer's Obligation -- Say No to Torture

Matthew Alexander, Air Force officer, and leader of the interrogations team that located Abu Musab al Zarqawi, is very well respected. I have written about him before and he has been on with Keith and Rachel several times.

He is a wonderful, authoritative voice of reason in this discussion about torture. He has written a book called How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq.

He has a post up at Huffington Post that is a spanking to a certain extent to the other officers and military who let their values and their morals be compromised by the higher ups and by the Bush Mal-Administration.

The first thing he says is this:

As a former active duty military officer, it is troubling to me that other military officers followed unlawful orders to torture or abuse prisoners. Military officers have a sacred responsibility that is embedded in their oath of office: "I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same..."

He goes on to remind us all that in the 8th Amendment to the Constitution of our great Country we are told we must prohibit cruelty to ANY PERSON. Yet, our former president and vice president ordered this done.

As I said this is a good and scathing piece and Matthew (not his real name) does a great job. He also knows of what he speaks. When he wrote his book, he tried to get it approved by the Department of Defense and they redacted it so much he couldn't publish it.

Please take a few minutes to read what he wrote. It is at Huffington Post and is really a good read.

Morning Joke Tries to Cover His Butt

After Pat Buchanan made a really ignorant remark which showed how stupid the rethuglicans are getting, the Joke of the Morning just made it even better by helping him out. Watch this.. then I will show you how he tries to cover his Butt by trying to walk it back.. You are going to love his sorry excuse.

Now here is his statement that was also posted at Huffington Post to walk his statement back and excuse himself because he was tired and he wasn't using of all things... wait for it... a TELEPROMPTER.. yep.. for all the crap they have been giving Pres. Obama over his use of a teleprompter, now the Joke uses that as an excuse for making a stupid statement.

Earlier today on Morning Joe, a guest suggested that President Obama might shoulder the blame for any future terror attacks on the United States because the CIA would not be using enhanced interrogation techniques adopted following September 11th. I took that opportunity to defend Barack Obama by saying the CIA's counterterrorism program was compromised long before the President was inaugurated this year.

I stated that the blame for any future attacks on the United States by terrorists should not be blamed on President Obama, but instead on a reporter who revealed highly classified material regarding CIA counterterrorism programs beginning in 2004. I found the reporting of that classified material to be reckless and irresponsible. I also believe it compromised the CIA's ability to carry out its mission of defending our homeland while damaging relations with countries who dared to aid the United States in its war against al Qaeda.

Because I broadcast for five hours a day, five days a week, I sometimes phrase things in ways that I later regret. It is inevitable. Still, I have regularly used my TV and radio platforms to encourage members of both parties to tone down their rhetoric and speak responsibility.

For that reason, I feel a responsibility to correct my earlier statement.

If the United States is attacked in the future, it will be for a variety of reasons. Feckless politicians will share a greater responsibility for future loss of life due to terrorist strikes than a reporter who revealed the most sensitive of state secrets. After reading the statement I made earlier today, I realize it does not accurately reflect my feelings. I regret making that statement. Such are the dangers of discussing complex policies for five hours a day without the aid of a teleprompter.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

OHHHHH The Stupid It HURTS!!!!

MN Rep. Michelle Bachmann is at it again... Showing how really stupid she is. Either that or she is showing what a good soldier she is for what's left of the GOP.

Either way it is terrible. In an interview with PJTV she made a really idiotic statement today. Watch the video and we will talk after:

In 1976 the last time there were any cases of Swine Flu reported, the president at the time was a Republican named Gerald Ford, not a Democrat. The president she was talking about was Jimmy Carter.

Those cases of flu she was speaking of, were all located at Ft. Dix and were very localized.

Here is some information about that older outbreak:

"Human outbreaks of swine flu – an illness caused by types of viruses that are typically endemic to pigs (hence the name) – can occur, but are typically rare. The last time there was major public concern over swine flu in the United States was in 1976, when a soldier at Fort Dix died and millions of Americans were immunized as a precaution."

Things from Ms Bachmann have gotten so bad, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has set up a web site to watch her and keep track of her many fun things she does and says.. You can find it by going here, and you will see her greatest hits.

It's good to keep track of Michelle. She is a never ending font of knowledge and laughs. Of course most of the knowledge is false and wrong, but we can't let facts get in the way of a good story, now can we? Certainly not if we are a Republican or Michelle Bachmann for sure.

Blistering Piece About Palin and Her Chances for 2010 & 2012

This is a blistering review of Sarah Palin and her chances in getting re-elected next year or elected as President in 2012. Andrew Halcro has long been a critic of Palin's, but this time he really takes her on personally and in a way I have never seen before. It is just known as Andrew

He says he is retiring from his blog and from the radio show he does in Alaska, so maybe he wants to go out with a bang. He will be missed greatly. Here is part of what he has to say:

Polls have consistently showed that while Palin is popular among the Republican base, she has high negatives with everyone else. History shows that the race for President can't be won by appealing solely to the GOP base. Palin will need to attract independents as well as moderate Republicans; the same voters she chased away in 2008.

And unlike running for VP, Palin won't have the luxury of being shielded from the media and only having to prep for one debate.

The primary race will be grueling and the debates will be endless. With the Iowa caucus scheduled for the first week in January 2012, that doesn't leave Palin much time to get schooled. And since returning from the 2008 Presidential campaign trail, Palin has done little to improve herself or her image.

Last month I sat down with a former MSNBC reporter, Matt Berger, who is now writing a book on Palin's Vice Presidential campaign. Over coffee at a local Starbucks, he said that after the November election he sought the counsel of one of the GOP's top strategist.

"What does Sarah Palin have to do to be viable in 2012," he asked.

The consultant listed off three things: Return to Alaska and keep her head down. Show she can lead by bringing people together and scoring some policy wins. Educate herself on the issues to prove the media's portrayal of her was untrue.

Unfortunately for Palin, she has managed to accomplish none of the above.

Since her return in November, Palin has been in self destruct mode. While alternating between public pissing matches and public relation nightmares, Palin has done little more than reinforce skeptics claims that she lacks intelligence and diplomacy.

She picked fights with the media, where after saying she loved the media, wished she had more interaction with them and was completely prepped for the Couric interview to her interview two months later with the conservative version of Michael Moore, John Ziegler, where she chastised the media and said she pleaded with the McCain camp not to make her answer the bell and go a second round with Couric.

She picked fights with lawmakers during this years legislative session where her startling lack of leadership drew heated criticism from members of her own political party. The sordid affair culminated in Palin becoming the first governor in Alaska history to have her Attorney General nominee rejected.

She even picked fights with her own family members. In September when news broke about her pregnant teenage daughter, Palin paraded the father on stage to reinforce her family values to the nation while using the two as roll models for teen pregnancy. Seven months later, Palin was in the press calling the father a liar and saying her daughter made a mistake by hooking up with him.

In return, Palin can look forward to an inevitable tell all book penned by the young Mr. Levi Johnston about his relationship with the Palin's and all of the assorted details in order to monetize his fifteen minutes of fame.

However, regardless of Palin's challenges on the national stage, they pale in comparison to what she faces if she sticks around for another term as Alaska's Governor.

There is much more, and he really goes in depth as to what is wrong and what she faces in her up hill battle to try to get re-elected or try to run for President. It really is something to read and I think you might like it. I have read Andrew's blog since about the time Sarah was announced. He was one of the people who let me know exactly what she was.

He was also there when she debated VP Joe Biden and offered in depth analysis and stated she wasn't ready for prime time. Andrew has taken her on head to head and he was instrumental in exposing the "Troopergate" scandal.

Yes, Andrew was the blogger Walt Monegan went to and Andrew and Walt helped expose Sarah for what she really was and is. This piece is more of the same. It should be read and kept to help us all in a couple of years just in case she does decide to try to run for president.

I, for one, would be ready to leave this country if McCain had gotten elected and Palin was VP now. I think there would be lots of others who might feel the same way. It is a scary thought that this woman would be that close to the White House.

We have to make sure she doesn't get there EVER!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Must Read Today About Ali Soufan

Here is a Blog Post I got from Twitter that you must read today. I posted about Ali Soufan, the FBI agent who interrogated and obtained the information legally and without torture from Abu Zubayda.

Here is some background information on him from another blogger and a link to a story in Newsweek that is wonderful.

They are both MUST READS.

Here is the link to TAPPED by Adam Serwer

Here is the link to the Newsweek story, "We Could Have Done This The Right Way"

Like I said both very interesting and both must reads. This is a man who protested the torture tactics and said they weren't needed and would only harm the prisoners and our Country. In 2002, he said that. BEFORE THE MEMOS WERE WRITTEN!!!! That can't be stated enough. They knew what they were doing was wrong.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Iraqi Group FIles 200 Lawsuits Against Rumsfeld in JORDAN

If David Gregory was REALLY a journalist... He might ask King Abdullah about this:

Iraqi group files 200 lawsuits against Rumsfeld, US security firms for torture

12/15/2008 @ 11:52 am

Filed by Agence France-Presse

From Raw Story

AMMAN, Dec 15, 2008 (AFP) - A Jordan-based Iraqi rights group said on Monday it has filed 200 lawsuits against US former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and American security firms for their alleged role in torturing Iraqis.

Ali Qeisi, head of the group the "Society of Victims of the US Occupation in Iraq," said the cases, relating to torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, have been recently filed in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Maryland.

Vanity Fair article says Torture does't work, by David Rose

Tortured Reasoning
Part 1

George W. Bush defended harsh interrogations by pointing to intelligence breakthroughs, but a surprising number of counterterrorist officials say that, apart from being wrong, torture just doesn’t work. Delving into two high-profile cases, the author exposes the tactical costs of prisoner abuse.

by David Rose WEB EXCLUSIVE December 16, 2008

This is from the online article that was published by Vanity Fair. You can read it in it's entirety by clicking the title above. It is very detailed and very well done at debunking the entire story Darth has been spinning this week about all the intell we supposedly got from the torture he ordered.

By the last days of March 2002, more than six months after 9/11, President George W. Bush’s promise “to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act” was starting to sound a little hollow. True, Afghanistan had been invaded and the Taliban toppled from power. But Osama bin Laden had vanished from the caves of Tora Bora, and none of his key al-Qaeda lieutenants were in U.S. captivity. Intelligence about what the terrorists might be planning next was almost nonexistent. “The panic in the executive branch was palpable,” recalls Mike Scheuer, the former C.I.A. official who set up and ran the agency’s Alec Station, the unit devoted to tracking bin Laden.

Early in the morning of March 28, in the moonlit police-barracks yard in Faisalabad, Pakistan, hopes were high that this worrisome intelligence deficit was about to be corrected. Some 300 armed personnel waited in silence: 10 three-man teams of Americans, drawn equally from the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., together with much greater numbers from Pakistan’s police force and Inter-services Intelligence (ISI). In order to maximize their chances of surprise, they planned to hit 10 addresses simultaneously. One of them, they believed, was a safe house containing a man whose name had been familiar to U.S. analysts for years: Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Hussein, a 30-year-old Saudi Arabian better known as Abu Zubaydah. “I’d followed him for a decade,” Scheuer says. “If there was one guy you could call a ‘hub,’ he was it.”

The plan called for the police to go in first, followed by the Americans and ISI men, whose job would be to gather laptops, documents, and other physical evidence. A few moments before three a.m., the crackle of gunfire erupted. Abu Zubaydah had been shot and wounded, but was alive and in custody. As those who had planned it had hoped, his capture was to prove an epochal event—but in ways they had not envisaged.

Four months after Abu Zubaydah’s capture, two lawyers from the Department of Justice, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, delivered their notorious memo on torture, which stated that coercive treatment that fell short of causing suffering equivalent to the pain of organ failure or death was not legally torture, an analysis that—as far as the U.S. government was concerned—sanctioned the abusive treatment of detainees at the C.I.A.’s secret prisons and at Guantánamo Bay. But, as Jane Mayer writes in her recent book, The Dark Side (Doubleday), Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to coercive interrogation techniques well before that, becoming the first U.S. prisoner in the Global War on Terror to undergo waterboarding.

Here is where we start the first questions being asked. They had him in custody, long before the memos were ever written. So did the torture start then? Now we know it didn't really, we have it from the FBI interrogator who interviewed him, that all the information that was received was from normal interrogation practices not their so called enhanced interrogation or torture.

David Rose goes on to say:

Really? In researching this article, I spoke to numerous counterterrorist officials from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts—with Abu Zubaydah’s case one of the most glaring examples.

far from exposing a deadly plot, all torture did was lead to more torture of his supposed accomplices while also providing some misleading “information” that boosted the administration’s argument for invading Iraq.

“a senior terrorist leader and a trusted associate of Osama bin Laden.” Instead, Scheuer says, he was “the main cog in the way they organized,” a point of contact for Islamists from many parts of the globe seeking combat training in the Afghan camps. However, only a tiny percentage would ever be tapped for recruitment by al-Qaeda.

According to Scheuer, Abu Zubaydah “never swore bayat [al-Qaeda’s oath of allegiance] to bin Laden,” and the enemy he focused on was Israel, not the U.S. After Abu Zubaydah’s capture, Dan Coleman, an F.B.I. counterterrorist veteran, had the job of combing through Abu Zubaydah’s journals and other documents seized from his Faisalabad safe house. He confirms Scheuer’s assessment. “Abu Zubaydah was like a receptionist, like the guy at the front desk here,” says Coleman, gesturing toward the desk clerk in the lobby of the Virginia hotel where we have met. “He takes their papers, he sends them out. It’s an important position, but he’s not recruiting or planning.” It was also significant that he was not well versed in al-Qaeda’s tight internal-security methods: “That was why his name had been cropping up for years.”

Declassified reports of legal interviews with Abu Zubaydah at his current residence, Guantánamo Bay, suggest that he lacked the capacity to do much more. In the early 1990s, fighting in the Afghan civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal, he was injured so badly that he could not speak for almost two years. “I tried to become al-Qaeda,” Abu Zubaydah told his lawyer, Brent Mickum, “but they said, ‘No, you are illiterate and can’t even remember how to shoot.’” Coleman found Abu Zubaydah’s diary to be startlingly useless. “There’s nothing in there that refers to anything outside his head, not even when he saw something on the news, not about any al-Qaeda attack, not even 9/11,” he says. “All it does is reveal someone in torment. Based on what I saw of his personality, he could not be what they say he was.”

Really bad character wasn't he...we caught a good one there.. sounds like a really dangerous guy.. with brain damage and all. This next part reiterates exactly what the FBI agent stated in the NY Times and I referenced above about the information gathered from Abu Zubaydah. They say it was "within a few days", I think that may be debatable.

In May 2008, a report by Glenn Fine, the Department of Justice inspector general, stated that, as he recovered in the hospital from the bullet wounds sustained when he was captured, Abu Zubaydah began to cooperate with two F.B.I. agents. It was a promising start, but “within a few days,” wrote Fine, he was handed over to the C.I.A., whose agents soon reported that he was providing only “throw-away information” and that, according to Fine, they “needed to diminish his capacity to resist.” His new interrogators continued to question him by very different means at so-called black-site prisons in Thailand and Eastern Europe. They were determined to prove he was much more important than the innkeeper of a safe house.

Bush discussed Abu Zubaydah’s treatment in his 2006 announcement. “As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so the C.I.A. used an alternative set of procedures…. The procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.” Soon, Bush went on, Abu Zubaydah “began to provide information on key al-Qaeda operatives, including information that helped us find and capture more of those responsible for the attacks on September 11.” Among them, Bush said, were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, and his fellow conspirator Ramzi Binalshibh. In fact, Binalshibh was not arrested for another six months and K.S.M. not for another year. In K.S.M.’s case, the lead came from an informant motivated by a $25 million reward.

Now, we know they waterboarded him 83 times to help "soften him up" so to speak. This is a man who they have already stated was brain damaged and now they waterboarded him 83 times. His brain must be nearly mush by now. I am not sure how the man is even alive or breathing. No wonder he says he pees himself.

Then we get into the famous or infamous Khalid Sheik Mahommed or KSM and his story. David Rose really got into this. This story was written and researched so throughly that I had to make it in two parts so it wouldn't be so long. If you want to read the entire article you will have to click the link.

As for K.S.M. himself, who (as Jane Mayer writes) was waterboarded, reportedly hung for hours on end from his wrists, beaten, and subjected to other agonies for weeks, Bush said he provided “many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans.” K.S.M. was certainly knowledgeable. It would be surprising if he gave up nothing of value. But according to a former senior C.I.A. official, who read all the interrogation reports on K.S.M., “90 percent of it was total f**king bulls**t.” A former Pentagon analyst adds: “K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were.”

It is, perhaps, a little late, more than six years after detainees began to be interrogated at Guantánamo Bay and at the C.I.A.’s black-site prisons, to be asking whether torture works. Yet according to numerous C.I.A. and F.B.I. officials interviewed for this article, at the time this question really mattered, in the months after 9/11, no one seriously addressed it. Those who advocated a policy that would lead America to deploy methods it had always previously abhorred simply assumed they would be worthwhile. Non-governmental advocates of torture, such as the Harvard legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, have emphasized the “ticking bomb” scenario: the hypothetical circumstance when only torture will make the captured terrorist reveal where he—or his colleagues—has planted the timed nuclear device. Inside the C.I.A., says a retired senior officer who was privy to the agency’s internal debate, there was hardly any argument about the value of coercive methods: “Nobody in intelligence believes in the ticking bomb. It’s just a way of framing the debate for public consumption. That is not an intelligence reality.”

There is, alas, no shortage of evidence from earlier times that torture produces bad intelligence. “It is incredible what people say under the compulsion of torture,” wrote the German Jesuit Friedrich von Spee in 1631, “and how many lies they will tell about themselves and about others; in the end, whatever the torturers want to be true, is true.”

Right there states they knew they would be getting bad intelligence from KSM and others with torture, but they went right on, because Bush & Cheney ordered it. However I think again it is worth noting that it has since been discovered that MOST of the regular CIA agents would not go along with this and they had to bring in contractors to do the bidding.

The unreliability of intelligence acquired by torture was taken as a given in the early years of the C.I.A., whose 1963 kubark interrogation manual stated: “Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions, concocted as a means of escaping from distress. A time-consuming delay results, while investigation is conducted and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite the interrogatee can pull himself together. He may even use the time to think up new, more complex ‘admissions’ that take still longer to disprove.”

A 1957 study by Albert Biderman, an Air Force sociologist, described how brainwashing had been achieved by depriving prisoners of sleep, exposing them to cold, and forcing them into agonizing “stress positions” for long periods. In July 2008, The New York Times reported that Biderman’s work formed the basis of a 2002 interrogators’ training class at Guantánamo Bay. That the methods it described had once been used to generate Communist propaganda had apparently been forgotten.

Experience derived from 1990s terrorism cases also casts doubt on torture’s value. For example, in March 1993, F.B.I. agents flew to Cairo to take charge of an Egyptian named Mahmud Abouhalima, who would be convicted for having bombed the World Trade Center a month earlier. Abouhalima had already been tortured by Egyptian intelligence agents for 10 days, and had the wounds to prove it. As U.S. investigators should have swiftly realized, his statements in Egypt were worthless, among them claims that the bombing was sponsored by Iranian businessmen, although, apparently, their sworn enemy, Iraq, had also played a part.


A computer seized in Murad’s apartment held details of the flights he planned to attack, detonator-timer settings, and photos of some of his co-conspirators, together with their aliases, so enabling their subsequent arrest. It was this, Mike Scheuer says, not Murad’s interrogation, that provided more useful intelligence.
Equally significant was what Murad didn’t give up under torture. Bojinka was partly the brainchild of none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, later alleged to be the chief planner of 9/11. He had been living in the Philippines, but apparently Murad said nothing that might have helped his interrogators find him: he was not captured until 2003.
On April 10, 2002, 13 days after Abu Zubaydah’s capture, in Faisalabad, a 23-year-old Ethiopian named Binyam Mohamed was detained at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, attempting to board a flight to London, where he had been living for seven years. Information about the case drawn up by the British security service M.I.5, and obtained by Vanity Fair, suggests that if Mohamed was a terrorist his tradecraft was unimpressive: he was stopped because he was using a passport that obviously belonged to someone else, his friend Fouad Zouaoui—the second time that Mohamed had tried to leave Pakistan on Zouaoui’s papers. He also had a heroin problem.
In any event, there is no dispute that he fled across the border into Pakistan as soon as he could after 9/11.
The first 10 days of Mohamed’s detention, at Landi prison, near Karachi, were not, on his account, comfortable, but he was not tortured or abused. But after he was moved to a Pakistani security jail, around April 20, he began to be abused. A few days later, when he was questioned for the first time by U.S. agents, his treatment worsened dramatically.
“They seemed to think I was some kind of top al-Qaeda person,” Mohamed said. “How? It was less than six months since I converted to Islam, and before that I was using drugs!” After the Americans’ visit, Mohamed said, he was hung by his wrists for hours on end, so that his feet barely touched the ground. Suspended thus, he said, he was beaten regularly by Pakistani guards. He said he was also threatened with a gun.
U.S. interest in Mohamed appears to have been triggered by an unlucky coincidence. It so happened that in the period in early April before Abu Zubaydah’s torture began, when he was starting to cooperate with the F.B.I., he gave up the name of one of those who had passed through his safe house en route to an Afghan camp—that of Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member. “He probably remembered Padilla because he was a U.S. citizen, and that was rare,” says the former F.B.I. al-Qaeda specialist Dan Coleman.
Mohamed has maintained that if he had ever met Padilla it would have been a fleeting, chance encounter, perhaps when they both fled Afghanistan, and he has no memory of it. But the first time Mohamed tried to fly to London via Zurich, around April 4, Padilla was booked on the same flight. Their ultimate destinations were different: Padilla planned to spend time in Egypt before returning to Chicago. But the fact they were starting their journeys together, says an F.B.I. agent who attended official briefings about the case, convinced American agencies that they shared some joint purpose. “It was simply that—flight coincidence,” he says. “I never saw any evidence that Padilla and Mohamed met.”
By late April, Abu Zubaydah was being tortured and giving up details of a plot that sounded truly terrifying: a plan for Padilla to build and detonate a radioactive dirty bomb in America. But even at the outset, some who worked in U.S. counterterrorism were skeptical. “If there is a dirty bomb, you’d better take it seriously, because as bad as 9/11 was, a dirty bomb would be a hundred times worse,” says the former F.B.I. agent who attended the case briefings. “It was clear that Padilla had some form of training, that he was a sympathizer. But to claim he really had a plan to do a dirty bomb? That’s tough. You show me he knew how to go and get it. That he knew how to make it. They never had that.”
Convinced that the dirty-bomb plot was real, those interrogating Binyam Mohamed assumed that he must be part of it, and if he could not fill in missing details, he must have been covering up. Agents such as the F.B.I.’s Jack Cloonan, who spent years fighting al-Qaeda before his retirement in 2002, had learned that it had an impressive “quality-control system,” which meant “they looked for people with the right makeup, they did their own due diligence, and they would not pick weak guys”—not, typically, heroin addicts. But no one was listening to these agents.

Vanity Fair article says Torture does't work, by David Rose

Tortured Reasoning

Part 2

As you can see reading this second part of this, there were concerns about the information they were getting, but it was full steam ahead. Even other agencies had concerns.

M.I.5 seems to have shared the C.I.A.’s groupthink. Sources in London say that its agents also assumed that anything Mohamed said to try to defend himself must be a lie. One admission he did make was that he had seen a Web site with instructions on how to make a hydrogen bomb, but he was apparently claiming it was a joke. The intelligence agencies believed this was a smoking gun, notwithstanding Mohamed’s bizarre statement that the instructions included mixing bleach with uranium-238 in a bucket and rotating it around one’s head for 45 minutes. Neither the British nor the Americans thought Mohamed’s claim that the Web site was a joke was credible: his “confession” to reading instructions about building nuclear weapons on the Internet was cited in Mohamed’s Guantánamo charge sheet. Yet it was a joke: such a Web site, with instructions about how to refine bomb-grade uranium with bleach and a bucket, has been doing the rounds on the World Wide Web since at least 1994. In 2005, the conservative columnist Michelle Malkin cited it in her blog as evidence of al-Qaeda’s deadly intentions. She was swiftly disabused by readers, who, unlike the C.I.A. and M.I.5, immediately recognized it as satire.
But even M.I.5 couldn’t help but notice “glaring inconsistencies” among the different accounts of the plot being given by those getting interrogated. And instead of asking whether the plot was real, the investigators seem to have assumed that the different accounts of those being interrogated were merely an attempt to protect al-Qaeda operations.

Clive Stafford Smith believes that the weakness of the dirty-bomb charge against Padilla may well explain what happened to Binyam Mohamed: “Maybe what they were trying to do was turn him into a prosecution witness.” After all, he had already confessed in Pakistan, under torture that had been, in comparison with what was to come, relatively mild. But on July 21, 2002, as the plane’s flight log later confirmed, he was flown aboard a Gulfstream V jet chartered by the C.I.A. to Rabat, in Morocco. There he was to spend the next 18 months.

With the help of Stafford Smith, he later assembled a diary describing his treatment there. Amid numerous beatings in Rabat, Mohamed wrote, “They’d ask me a question. I’d say one thing. They’d say it was a lie. I’d say another. They’d say it was a lie. I could not work out what they wanted to hear.” He also said the Moroccans repeatedly cut his chest and genitals with a razor. Finally he was subjected to further harsh treatment in the “Dark Prison” near Kabul, Afghanistan, after being spirited away on another C.I.A. flight in January 2004.

After another nine months, he was brought to Guantánamo, where he remains. He filed a habeas corpus lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia, a claim that there was no credible reason for his continued detention, and in its attempt to defend this, the administration in October 2008 dropped all mention of the dirty-bomb plot. In Guantánamo’s parallel quasi-legal world of military commissions, where the rules make it much harder to exclude evidence derived from torture, the Pentagon in May 2008 issued a charge sheet against Mohamed. It said that having trained in various al-Qaeda camps and taken instruction from bin Laden, Mohamed “reviewed technical information concerning the construction of an improvised radioactive bomb” with K.S.M. and decided with Padilla to detonate one in America.

In October, the charges were withdrawn, after the prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld, resigned. Later he told the BBC he had concerns at the repeated suppression of evidence that could prove prisoners’ innocence. Meanwhile, as of December 2008, Mohamed’s lawyers were fighting separate court cases to force the U.S. government in Washington and the British government in London to disclose all the information they have about Mohamed’s treatment. (Coincidentally, my sister, Dinah Rose, Q.C., is representing Mohamed in the London case.) Stafford Smith is bound by Draconian restrictions that prevent him from offering any but the blandest comments about the evidence in his client’s case. He says, “I know of no evidence against him other than his own confessions, all of which are the bitter fruit of his abuse.”

This is one of the cases the ACLU has been fighting I believe. This is a sad case. It needs to just go away. This poor man was just made a target for nothing it sounds like. All because he happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Note the first line I put in bold in this next section.

“There was no dirty-bomb plot. I’m sure it was just Abu Zubaydah trying to get them excited,” says the F.B.I.’s Dan Coleman. “There’s never been any corroboration except the confessions of Binyam Mohamed under torture. No one was willing to take their time.” But, in the words of the former C.I.A. official Mike Scheuer, “That dirty-bomb business put the fear of God into these people in the administration.” As a result, he says, “they may well have sent Binyam Mohamed somewhere where the authorities would do things we wouldn’t—or couldn’t.”

That is my bold...note the date.. that is before the dates of the memo which authorizes torture. June 10, 2002.

On June 10, 2002, then attorney general John Ashcroft interrupted a visit to Moscow to speak to reporters: “I am pleased to announce today a significant step forward in the war on terrorism. We have captured a known terrorist who was exploring a plan to build and explode a radiological dispersion device, or ‘dirty bomb,’ in the United States.” He meant Jose Padilla, who had been arrested as he flew into Chicago on May 8. The president, Ashcroft said, had designated Padilla an “enemy combatant,” and he had been removed from civilian custody to a navy brig. In due course, Ashcroft said, he would be tried by a military commission.
“Let me be clear: we know from multiple independent and corroborating sources that Abdullah Al Mujahir [Padilla’s nom de guerre] was closely associated with al-Qaeda and that … he was involved in planning future terrorist attacks on innocent American civilians in the United States,” Ashcroft said. Had his dirty bomb gone off, it could have caused “mass death and injury.”
The shakiness of Ashcroft’s “multiple independent and corroborating sources” claim was demonstrated by an affidavit from an F.B.I. agent, Joe Ennis, in support of Padilla’s detention. Referring to Binyam Mohamed as “Subject-1,” it said that his “wife” had told law-enforcement authorities that he “would often become emotional and cry when he discussed his willingness to die for his God.” Strangely enough, Mohamed was and remains unmarried.
Mohamed, the affidavit said, “has not been completely candid about his association with Al Qaeda, and his own terrorist activities,” and was trying to “mislead or confuse U.S. law enforcement.” But it was clear that after weeks of abuse he had started to crack. According to Ennis, he had already told his interrogators that he and Padilla had “researched the construction of a uranium-enhanced explosive device”; that Padilla had been to meetings with al-Qaeda officials; and that he believed Padilla had been ordered to return to America.

Well why would Padilla be any different than anyone else. Just because he was an American citizen living in Chicago.

In the brig, Padilla’s attorneys claimed, he too was tortured. He was deprived of all contact with the outside world for two and a half years, and, according to one court filing, “He would be shackled and manacled, with a belly chain, for hours in his cell. Noxious fumes would be introduced to his room causing his eyes and nose to run. The temperature of his cell would be manipulated, making the cell extremely cold for long stretches of time.” Chained in agonizing “stress positions” repeatedly, he was also allegedly “threatened with imminent execution.… Often he had to endure multiple interrogators who would scream, shake, and otherwise assault [him].”
The government did not deny these assertions, only the claim that they amounted to torture. Donna Newman, Padilla’s attorney before he was taken to the brig, says that afterward “he was not the same person. Beforehand, he was engaged in his case; he asked pertinent questions. When I saw him again, he hardly said a word. He had no interest in what was happening, even though his case was nearing the Supreme Court.”
Under this pressure, Padilla produced ever more elaborate confessions. Former deputy attorney general James Comey said in June 2004 that Padilla spoke of discussing the dirty bomb with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, of an instruction from K.S.M. to blow up apartments by filling them with gas and igniting it, and of a dinner party with Binyam Mohamed, K.S.M., and al-Qaeda bigwigs the night before he left Pakistan.
Very senior officials had a lot invested in Padilla. But in November 2005, three days before the Justice Department was to file a brief before the Supreme Court in response to his lawyers’ claim that his treatment was unconstitutional, the administration returned him to civilian custody. With all mention of the dirty-bomb plot deleted, he stood trial in Florida on far less serious charges of conspiracy to murder, maim, and kidnap, and providing material support to terrorist organizations, and in January 2008 he was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison. “The dirty-bomb plot was simply not credible,” Jack Cloonan says. “The government would never have given up that case if there was any hint of credibility to it. Padilla didn’t stand trial for it, because there was no evidence to support it.”

Here is a statement from Zubaydah himself. Even with the broken English it really makes little sense. You can really tell he is suffering from some kind of brain damage. You cannot convince me he isn't.

On March 27, 2007,at a “Combatant Status-Review Tribunal” at Guantánamo—a military hearing convened to determine whether he should continue to be detained. Everything he said about the details of his treatment was redacted from the unclassified record. But a few relevant remarks remain: “I was nearly before half die plus [because] what they do [to] torture me. There I was not afraid from die because I do believe I will be shahid [martyr], but as God make me as a human and I weak, so they say yes, I say okay, I do I do, but leave me. They say no, we don’t want to. You to admit you do this, we want you to give us more information … they want what’s after more information about more operations, so I can’t. They keep torturing me.”

The tribunal president, a colonel whose name is redacted, asked him: “So I understand that during this treatment, you said things to make them stop and then those statements were actually untrue, is that correct?” Abu Zubaydah replied: “Yes.”
Some of those statements, say two senior intelligence analysts who worked on them at the time, concerned the issue that in the spring of 2002 interested the Bush administration more than almost any other—the supposed operational relationship between al-Qaeda and Iraq. Given his true position in the jihadist hierarchy, Abu Zubaydah “would not have known that if it was true,” says Coleman. “But you can lead people down a course and make them say anything.”
Some of what he did say was leaked by the administration: for example, the claim that bin Laden and his ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were working directly with Saddam Hussein to destabilize the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. There was much more, says the analyst who worked at the Pentagon: “I first saw the reports soon after Abu Zubaydah’s capture. There was a lot of stuff about the nuts and bolts of al-Qaeda’s supposed relationship with the Iraqi Intelligence Service. The intelligence community was lapping this up, and so was the administration, obviously. Abu Zubaydah was saying Iraq and al-Qaeda had an operational relationship. It was everything the administration hoped it would be.”
Within the administration, Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation was “an important chapter,” the second analyst says: overall, his interrogation “product” was deemed to be more significant than the claims made by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, another al-Qaeda captive, who in early 2002 was tortured in Egypt at the C.I.A.’s behest. After all, Abu Zubaydah was being interviewed by Americans. Like the former Pentagon official, this official had no idea that Abu Zubaydah had been tortured.

This is when the fallout started. People began to realize what had happened and were starting to cover their butts.

One result of Abu Zubaydah’s torture was that the F.B.I.’s assistant director for counterterrorism, Pasquale D’Amuro, persuaded Director Robert Mueller that the bureau should play no part in future C.I.A. interrogations that used extreme techniques forbidden by the F.B.I. The Justice Department’s Glenn Fine indicated in a statement before the U.S. Senate that the main reason was that the agency’s techniques would “not be effective in obtaining accurate information.”

If torture doesn’t work, what does? The evidence suggests that when the Bush administration decided to ignore many of America’s most experienced counterterrorist agents and go for torture in 2001 and 2002, it shut down rich sources of intelligence. In the biggest terrorist case of the 1990s, the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that killed more than 220 people, the F.B.I.’s Cloonan and his colleagues were able to persuade three of the main conspirators not only to talk to them but also to give prosecution testimony in court. Here Morocco, the U.S. ally where Binyam Mohamed was sent to be tortured in 2002, provided assistance of a very different order. Eighteen months after the attacks, Cloonan traced L’Houssaine Kherchtou, also known as Joe the Moroccan, an al-Qaeda operative who had played a key role, to his hiding place, in Sudan. The Moroccans concocted a story to lure him home, and when he arrived in Rabat he was arrested.

After reports of Abu Zubaydah’s torture, F.B.I. director Robert Mueller agreed that the bureau should play no part in future C.I.A. interrogations that use extreme techniques. Cloonan says, “We all went to a beautiful safe house outside of town, with gazelles bouncing around in the grounds and three solid meals fit for a king each day. We all sat on sofas in a big room—me, Ali Soufan [an F.B.I. colleague], Pat Fitzgerald [the U.S. attorney then in charge of a special counterterrorist section in New York], a C.I.A. guy, and two Moroccan colonels. The Moroccans said he’d never talk. He never shut up for 10 days.” Cloonan had done his homework: “His wife needed money for medical treatment in Khartoum, and al-Qaeda had failed to provide it.” That gave Cloonan his “in.”
The intelligence Kherchtou provided, at a time when U.S. knowledge about al-Qaeda was still perfunctory, was invaluable. “He told us about a lot of things,” says Cloonan. “We learned how they recruited people, their front organizations, how they used NGOs, false passports, what they thought about kidnapping, how they developed targets, did their surveillance, a day in the life of Osama bin Laden, what weapons they used, what vehicles they drove, who was the principal liaison with the Sudanese government, that there was a relationship between al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, how they did their training exercises, their finances, and their membership.”
Finally Fitzgerald offered Kherchtou a deal: if he came to New York, pleaded guilty, and testified against the bombers, Fitzgerald would ask the judge to treat him leniently. At first, it looked as if he was going to turn it down. Then, Cloonan says, “I said, ‘Joe, you understand English, so I’d like you to go out and pray on this with your two Moroccan brothers.’ I thought Fitzy was going to give birth. Joe went out and prayed and came back and said yes.” Kherchtou is now in the federal witness-protection program. Thanks in part to his testimony, four of his onetime associates are serving life.

This next section, David Rose makes a statement which is being now proven wrong, I believe. We are now in the beginnings of the final calculus.

To reach a final calculus of the Bush administration’s use of torture will take years. It will require access to a large body of material that for now remains classified, and the weighing not just of information gained against false or missed leads but of the wider consequences: of the damage done to America’s influence with its friends, and of the encouragement provided to its enemies. Even harder to quantify is the damage done to institutions and their morale, especially the C.I.A.
“We were done a tremendous disservice by the administration,” one official says. “We had no background in this; it’s not something we do. They stuck us with a totally unwelcome job and left us hanging out to dry. I’m worried that the next administration is going to prosecute the guys who got involved, and there won’t be any presidential pardons at the end of it. It would be O.K. if it were John Ashcroft or Alberto Gonzales. But it won’t be. It’ll be some poor G.S.-13 who was just trying to do his job.”

Here the FBI really bemoans the work they had to do running down the false leads the torture produced. While they were doing that, instead of being safer, we were probably less safe. Because their eyes were really off the ball so to speak. Maybe that's why the Anthrax got through, and all the other things, like the D.C. Sniper.. of course, Bush doesn't consider that when he says he kept us safe all those years.

At the F.B.I., says a seasoned counterterrorist agent, following false leads generated through torture has caused waste and exhaustion. “At least 30 percent of the F.B.I.’s time, maybe 50 percent, in counterterrorism has been spent chasing leads that were bullshit. There are ‘lead squads’ in every office trying to filter them. But that’s ineffective, because there’s always that ‘What if?’ syndrome. I remember a claim that there was a plot to poison candy bought in bulk from Costco. You follow it because someone wants to cover himself. It has a chilling effect. You get burned out, you get jaded. And you think, Why am I chasing all this stuff that isn’t true? That leads to a greater problem—that you’ll miss the one that is true. The job is 24-7 anyway. It’s not like a bank job. But torture has made it harder.”

Several of those I interviewed point out the dearth of specific claims the administration has proffered. “The proponents of torture say, ‘Look at the body of information that has been obtained by these methods.’ But if K.S.M. and Abu Zubaydah did give up stuff, we would have heard the details,” says Cloonan. “What we got was pabulum.” A former C.I.A. officer adds: “Why can’t they say what the good stuff from Abu Zubaydah or K.S.M. is? It’s not as if this is sensitive material from a secret, vulnerable source. You’re not blowing your source but validating your program. They say they can’t do this, even though five or six years have passed, because it’s a ‘continuing operation.’ But has it really taken so long to check it all out?”

Officials who analyzed Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation reports say that the reports were afforded the highest value within the Bush administration not because of the many American lives they were going to save but because they could be cited repeatedly against those who doubted the wisdom of ousting Saddam by force.

“We didn’t know he’d been waterboarded and tortured when we did that analysis, and the reports were marked as credible as they could be,” the former Pentagon analyst tells me. “The White House knew he’d been tortured. I didn’t, though I was supposed to be evaluating that intelligence.” To draw conclusions about the importance of what Abu Zubaydah said without knowing this crucial piece of the background nullified the value of his work. “It seems to me they were using torture to achieve a political objective. I cannot believe that the president and vice president did not know who was being waterboarded, and what was being given up.”

One of the most specific claims Bush made in 2006 was that secret black-site C.I.A. interrogations “helped foil a plot to hijack passenger planes and fly them into Heathrow [airport] and London’s Canary Wharf.” Could that be true?

One man who knows is Peter Clarke, head of Scotland Yard’s Anti-terrorist Branch from the spring of 2002 until May 2008, and as such the U.K.’s chief counterterrorist official, who succeeded in stopping several jihadist attacks that were in advanced stages of planning. Clarke, who has not publicly discussed this issue before, says it is possible that al-Qaeda had considered some project along the lines suggested by Bush, but if so it was nowhere near fruition. “It wasn’t at an advanced stage in the sense that there were people here in the U.K. doing it. If they had been, I’d have arrested them.”

Perhaps the most dangerous of the plots disrupted on Clarke’s watch was through Operation Crevice, the 2004 bust of a gang of seven who had 1.3 tons of homemade explosive material, with which they had intended to blow up targets including a nightclub and a shopping mall. But the lead that led to Crevice came not from torture, Clarke says, but an electronic intercept. He says he can think of only one arrest made by his team that could be said to have been partly the result of C.I.A. interrogations—that of Dhiren Barot, sentenced to life, in 2006, for conspiracy to murder stemming from his plan to attack a range of British targets. But even here, the original lead, reportedly given up by K.S.M., was vague. “All we had was a nom de guerre, Esa al-Hindi, and the claim that he was a serious player and a Brit,” Clarke says. “We had no idea who he was. It took weeks and months of painstaking work to identify and find him.”

In an interview in London in April 2008, I remind F.B.I. director Robert Mueller of the attacks planned against targets on American soil since 9/11 that his agents have disrupted: for example, a plot to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and another to wreak mayhem at army recruiting centers and synagogues in and around Torrance, California. These and other homegrown conspiracies were foiled by regular police work. The F.B.I. learned of the Fort Dix plot from an informant at a local mosque, while the Torrance cell was rounded up when cops probed the backgrounds of two of its members after they allegedly robbed a local gas station.

I ask Mueller: So far as he is aware, have any attacks on America been disrupted thanks to intelligence obtained through what the administration still calls “enhanced techniques”?

“I’m really reluctant to answer that,” Mueller says. He pauses, looks at an aide, and then says quietly, declining to elaborate: “I don’t believe that has been the case.”

So there you have it.. Finally Robert Mueller says, Even he does't believe there were any threats disrupted. But then we knew that didn't we?

Cheney was key in clearing CIA interrogation tactics

Repost from an earlier date:

Cheney was key in clearing CIA interrogation tactics

From the LA Times

The vice president says that the use of waterboarding was appropriate and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should stay open until 'the end of the war on terror.'

By Greg Miller

December 16, 2008

Reporting from Washington -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he was directly involved in approving severe interrogation methods used by the CIA, and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should remain open indefinitely.

Cheney's remarks on Guantanamo appear to put him at odds with President Bush, who has expressed a desire to close the prison, although the decision is expected to be left to the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Cheney's comments also mark the first time that he has acknowledged playing a central role in clearing the CIA's use of an array of controversial interrogation tactics, including a simulated drowning method known as waterboarding.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared," Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.

Asked whether he still believes it was appropriate to use the waterboarding method on terrorism suspects, Cheney said: "I do."

His comments come on the heels of disclosures by a Senate committee showing that high-level officials in the Bush administration were intimately involved in reviewing and approving interrogation methods that have since been explicitly outlawed and that have been condemned internationally as torture.

Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, Cheney said, the CIA "in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it."

Waterboarding involves strapping a prisoner to a tilted surface, covering his face with a towel and dousing it to simulate the sensation of drowning.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has said that the agency used the technique on three Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003. But the practice was discontinued when lawyers from the Department of Justice and other agencies began backing away from their opinions endorsing its legality.

Cheney has long defended the technique. But he has not previously disclosed his role in pushing to give the CIA such authority.

Cheney's office is regarded as the most hawkish presence in the Bush administration, pushing the White House toward aggressive stances on the invasion of Iraq and the wiretapping of U.S. citizens.

Asked when the Guantanamo Bay prison would be shut down, Cheney said, "I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror." He went on to say that "nobody can specify" when that might occur, and likened the use of the detention facility to the imprisonment of Germans during World War II.

"We've always exercised the right to capture the enemy and hold them till the end of the conflict," Cheney said.

The administration's legal case for holding detainees indefinitely has been eroded by a series of court rulings. Obama has pledged to close the facility, which still holds 250 prisoners.

Cheney's remarks are the latest in a series of interviews granted by Bush and senior officials defending their decisions as they prepare to leave office. Bush recently said his main regret was that U.S. spy agencies had been so mistaken about Iraq's alleged weapons programs. Cheney and the Bush administration have been accused of "cherry-picking" intelligence to support going to war with Iraq.

Cheney said that those mistakes didn't matter, and that the U.S. invasion was justified by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's ability to reestablish destructive weapons programs. The vice president brushed off a series of findings questioning that view, including a 2006 Senate report concluding that Hussein lacked a "coherent effort" to develop nuclear weapons and had only a "limited capability" for chemical weapons.

"This was a bad actor and the country's better off, the world's better off, with Saddam gone, and I think we made the right decision in spite of the fact that the original [intelligence] was off in some of its major judgments," he said.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I got an award.. how blessed am I.. You will be too.

I have been granted this prestigious award from none other than Mauigirl @ Mauigirl's Meanderings. I am so blessed to be given this Honest Scrap award.

1.You must brag about the award 
2.You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger 
3.You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. 
4.Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog.
5.List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself.
Then pass it on with the instructions! 

1.)These are always so hard for me to do.. that's the most honest statement I can make. I love reading about others but really don't like talking about me.
2.)I haven't always been for same sex marriage. This is a fairly new conversion for me. I was for civil unions, but the marriage part I just hadn't committed myself to as of yet. Now I am 100%.
3.)I live very close to most of my family, however seldom see them, since we don't really get along. My sister and I barely speak, which suits me fine, and my brother and I tolerate each other. My mother is very partial to both of them and I was always closer to my dad. So, I stay by myself and am perfectly I do see my daughter and granddaughters and that is good enough for me.
4.)I am an alcoholic. I haven't had anything to drink in over 20 years, yet I still sometimes would love to have a drink. How's that for No, I don't go to meetings, I haven't in a number of years, in fact I didn't go to them very long, as I say I am a very private person and sharing is not my thing. I found though it was easier to quit drinking than it was to quit smoking..I have done that also in June of last year. All I can say so far is I am still waiting to see huge benefits. I do feel some better, but not a lot. I can't say that food tastes better, I don't think I breathe any better, but I do have more
5.)I really hate people who are mean to children and animals. I actually think I could kill either. I just get a rage when I read about the mistreatment of children. I mean young, unable to speak or fight back in any way children. Of course animals can never really fight back, unless they are big enough to bite, but most aren't. Notice I didn't say TORTURE.
6.)I really hate stupidity in politics. Whether it is Democrats or Republicans, and we have it both parties. Mild disagreements are one thing, questioning each other is okay, as in not just signing off on it because it is what they want, as the Republicans did for Bush the last 8 years, for the most part. But, being stupid as Ben Nelson or some of the Blue Dogs are to Pres. Obama is not good. That my friends is stupidity. Constantly saying NO to everything as the Republicans have is stupidity.
7.)My daughter and I fight about Bush if we talk about him. She is a supporter and of course you know how I feel about him. She was mad at me and walked out of my house one day when I mentioned us attacking Iraq being the same as Japan bombing Pearl Harbor. She didn't appreciate that.
8.)I love to read. My favorites are suspense types or mystery. Some of favorite authors are Nora Roberts who writes as JD Robb, Catherine Coulter, Margaret Truman Daniels (yes, that Margaret Truman), Tami Hoag, and the list goes on.
9.)I hate surprises. I mean I really HATE surprises. I get really angry if people try to surprise me with birthday parties and stuff like that. I just don't like it.
10.)I really miss traveling. Since I had to stop working and can't drive, it is very hard for me to deal with. I would love to be able to go to all the places I used to be able to see. That was always my dream, that when I finally retired to go back and see all the places I saw as I drove by in the truck and visit them in my car. Now, I will probably never get the chance to do that, and I really regret that. So, to all of you.. don't miss opportunities. You can't go back.. Take your chances NOW. .See the things you want, do the things you want. You don't get 2nd chances very often.

Now for the 7 blogs to send this too.. that's very hard for me also. So many have already done this. So many are busy with other things... but I will try... lets see...

Enigma4Ever @ WatergateSummer

Trish @ PurpleGranny

Zen @ ZenYenta 2.0

D.K.Raed @ Redheaded Wisdom (however she is on vacation, she may shoot me

Momma Politico @ The World According to Perry

Vast @ Vast Variety

Tango's Daddy @ Talking To Tango

Now if they all are still speaking to me after they get the message and don't shoot me we will be

Hope you enjoy reading about me and enjoy doing your Honest Award. It is fun and fun reading and learning about each other.

Amazing Mash-up Video from a Right Wingers

This was on a supposedly Right Wingers MySpace Page..Warning it is a live page, why they haven't taken it down I don't know.. but the link is still working. There are some different things on there... lol To say the least. I didn't see anything really offensive.

I found it funny, he was arrested just before TeaBaggers Day in Oklahoma City, for planning to kill himself and several others.

It was pointed out at Crooks & Liars on their "blog round up" they linked to and they were talking about how he had all this hate Obama stuff on his page. I really didn't see that much against Pres. Obama, it was more against Bush. So, I was scrolling down through the vids and I found this The title is "How to create an angry American". I would say that's

It really shows how we were lied to, pandered to, and manipulated over the years of the Bush fiasco. Why did Congress allow this to just keep going on. Why were the Republicans so stupid they couldn't stand up to him as some of the Democratic Party does now to Pres. Obama?

But they didn't. They blindly followed along with everything Bush did and wanted to do all along and for the 8 years, no matter what it was. Now, Pres. Obama comes along and has to fight them because still they are lock step, but against everything he wants to do to fix our country, and our own Democratic Party is fighting and questioning him too.

But that is ok, that is why we have separation of powers, that's why we have Congress and a President. They are supposed to question each other. But for the Republicans to vote against everything just to say NO to Pres. Obama just because they think that's the way to win back Congress and eventually the White House, I think they are fooling themselves.

So, what do you think? Let me hear from you.

New Rules.. by Bill Maher

I haven't posted these for a while.. He was off his feed or something for a while.. just wasn't worth posting.. but today, he is good. So I will post them. He also had an op-ed in the LA Times that was very similar to the same things.

Howard Dean was one of his guests.. I may try to find the segment with him speaking, I really like Dr. Dean. See if I can post it too.

Hope you all enjoy this... I do when Bill is on a roll as he seems to be this week.

A Voice of Reason For a Few Minutes

Here is Our President:

Friday, April 24, 2009

This is ONE Reason Why John McCain Would NEVER Be a Hero to ME

Someone took exception to my statement once for saying that John S. McCain was not a hero. Basically I told them I didn't care what they thought, I had my reasons that just because he had been in the military didn't automatically mean he was a hero. Just because he had been a POW didn't make him a hero.

Tweety gave him his Hardball award tonight..both for those reasons.. and hung that hero label on him.. Here we go again..

Well, here is another person's take on John S. McCain's status as a hero.. Listen to this short clip.. and thanks to Laffy from Political Carnival for pointing it out to me.

Now, read what else this young man had to say. He is an Iraq War Veteran. I would call him a hero before I would hang it on McCain.. trust me.

Here is a section that I found very chilling, from a young man who was in the middle of hero worship and was now having his hopes and dreams dashed. Put yourself in his shoes and know he was seeing that this man he had worshiped had now developed feet of clay after all those years.

“John McCain is here today because he had strong survival instinct,” explained Jerel Jones, a Forrestal sailor who produced a documentary about the disaster. As the fire raged, forklifts driven by enlisted men pushed burning planes overboard. Stunned and singed, you went below decks and helped jettison bombs. The ship reeled from explosions. You “thought it was going to sink.” But with the fire out and the crew in chaos, you left the Forrestal, catching a press helicopter and reporting for duty to a front-page celebrity interview with The New York Times—routine ejection, indeed!
“Hours after the fire that ravaged the flight deck and killed so many fellow crewmen,” the Times reported, “Commander McCain sat in Saigon and shook his head, ‘It was such a great ship.’ ”
When asked about the crewmen, 138 of whom would perish, you remarked that the enlisted men “certainly would have survived, had they not stayed to help the pilots fight the fire.”
Years ago, I marveled at your strong survival instinct. Today, after comparing the credible accounts of this apocalypse at sea with my own naval experience, I’m baffled that you left your shipmates behind to plant the seeds of your public image. Furthermore, it seems selfish that your words relegated the blue-shirts to being mere helpers, when they—not the pilots—saved the day. But strangest of all is that the accounts of the fire mention nothing of your mourning for the dead who once packed your parachute. While your shipmates were still grieving aboard the Forrestal in the Philippines, your autobiography implies that you grieved on vacation in the French Riviera and London before transferring off the Forrestal and lunging back to war in a matter of weeks.
Forgive me if you know something that the public doesn’t—I could understand if your grief was private—but what were your priorities as a leader? Where did the troops who sacrificed their lives under you fit into your celebrity lifestyle?

You can read the entire article here at The Daily Beast, and before you jump and say oh that's just a liberal rag.. No, remember it isn't. John McCain's own daughter writes

John Yoo, the prolific author of torture-policy memoranda, cast a harrowing glimpse into what Dick Cheney described on Meet the Press as America’s new “Dark Side.” When asked whether the president could “crush the testicles of a terror suspect’s child,” Yoo responded, “I suppose it depends on why the president thought he needed to do that.”
America needed John McCain to take a stand. By enduring torture, senator, you became a statesmanlike war hero, the lone American maverick who could champion the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and lasso the neck of an administration run amok. But there was a catch: The bill that passed unanimously on your moral authority concealed a secret compromise. The Graham-Levin Amendment made confessions obtained through torture admissible in military tribunals and precluded legal recourse for people tortured by our government.

Ironically, the same absurd logic transforms your forced-confessions from Vietnam into treason against America. Worse still, a shifting, legalistic definition of torture permitted abusive and unethical practices to continue under a darker shroud of secrecy. In 2006, the Military Commissions Act (recently declared unconstitutional) continued to hide the bodies in your closet, further limiting habeas corpus and granting outright immunity to the Bush administration. But this behavior shouldn’t surprise me, senator—back in your day, the Naval Academy’s unwritten rule was to protect the brethren who had done wrong, not to “bilge your classmates.”

The article is eye opening if you ever had any thoughts of supporting John McCain or thought he was a great hero and a champion of Veterans. He isn't. Never was, that was just his cover to make himself look good so he could get votes. But don't take my word for it. Read it. Then tell me how you feel.

Keith Olbermann's Dare to Sean Hannity, From DailyKos

It's easily twenty years - thirty, more like - since I saw the late Dr. Albert Sabin burst into tears on television and beg for forgiveness. When I tell his story to friends of mine in medicine, they go silent, and some have experienced profound changes of perspective.

Let's help Sean Hannity turn into Dr. Albert Sabin, if only for a moment.

Dr. Sabin was leading the research on the "live" version of polio vaccine, and stood bitterly and condescendingly against Dr. Jonas Salk's less-tested, more-risky "killed" version. When the manufacture of some of Salk's vaccine was butchered by a pharmaceutical company, Sabin helped get its use stopped, for months. Unknown numbers of kids became victims of polio, in part because Sabin insisted the production mistakes meant the Salk vaccine itself wasn't safe.

Years later, Sabin awoke with body-wide, sometimes paralyzing, intense pain. There was no diagnosis and no relief. Only years later, as Sabin recounted through tears, did the searing pain abate. He had totally misunderstood his job, he said. He had wasted his gifts. He had forgotten that the first task of the doctor is relief of pain. Cure, restoration, research - each was vital. But only when his own pain became the only thing in his life, did he understand what it meant to be a patient, and how wrong he had been during the most dramatic medical events of his life.

I'm not kidding myself here. Hannity doesn't have the material to work with, to manage a full-scale epiphany. To use an unkind phrase we use to bat back and forth at ESPN: No pain, no gain; no brain, no pain.

But his offer the other night to Chuck Grodin to 'prove' that waterboardng isn't torture by allowing it to be done to him, is too important to pass up, because of the image it will certainly produce. No matter what he says afterwards or how he tries to laugh it off, Hannity's certitude will be smashed by Hannity's natural, human panic.

He doesn't have to become Dr. Sabin for more than ten seconds. And many, maybe most, of his viewers, will join him in the collective post-waterboarding lie that he never feared for his life. Regardless, the impact will be sufficient. If it changes the minds of one percent of his supporters, it will have been worth it. And think about the vast numbers of people who have no idea who he is, or who I am, or what this site is, who will know only that a boastful man literally had reality forced upon him.

Thus last night I made my offer to Hannity. He told Chuck he'd do it for families of the troops, and he'd let Chuck do it (Grodin demurred). Those were his only conditions. I'll add a few:

Hannity may be waterboarded live on his show. All I require is that a trustworthy outside observer be present to make sure the waterboarding is a legitimate recreation of what we did to detainees. Chuck Grodin is perfectly acceptable, or Hannity may nominate an alternate, but I must approve the identity of the observer.
Hannity may instead be waterboarded on tape if he prefers. In that event, I require that at least one non-Fox camera crew be permitted access to record all events, along with a trustworthy outside observer. Again, Grodin will be fine.
Hannity must identify the charity or charities, organization or organizations, to which he wants the donation made, so I can verify in advance that the money will indeed get to the families of American troops. The organization cannot be sponsored by, nor affiliated with, Hannity or his employers.
I will donate $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for every second of water-boarding Hannity endures. We will start the clock the moment the first water is poured on him. The clock will stop when Hannity confesses or begins to shout or scream on a prolonged basis, or the medical supervisor determines he is danger of organ failure.
If Hannity admits afterwards he was afraid for his life and that waterboarding is indeed torture, I will double my total contribution.
And I will repeat this offer each night on Countdown until he agrees or declines.

UPDATE, 12:54 PM EDT: I think we're going to have to have a simulated interrogator there. And yes, he's going to have to admit to something instead of just saying "stop."

A simulated interrogator will have to be present and vocal, insisting Hannity confesses.
Unlike those we waterboarded, Hannity need only admit to something factual to get the waterboarding to stop. He may choose among: "Obama is not a socialist," "Waterboarding is torture," or something else mutually agreeable between us.

This was posted at DailyKos

Lawernce O'Donnell Takes on Norah O'Donnell and Liz Cheney

After Norah O'Donnell let Liz Cheney spew for 30 minutes almost unchallenged about Torture and defending her father and the cabal he helped run for the last 8 years, Lawrence O'Donnell and Jonathon Capehart had their turn.

First Lawrence took Norah to task for not letting him in to refute her while she was on the air. Then he and Jonathon Capehart took everything she said apart.

Watch this from Media Matters it is great.

We Have to Change Our Name..

According to the RNC we need to change our name. We should change it from the Democratic Party to the DemocRAT Socialist Party.

RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.

Yep, that's according to RNC vice chair James Bopp, who spoke with Greg Sargent at the Plum Line about this. However Michael Steele RNC chairman refuses to use the term Socialist, and prefers to use the term “collectivists.”

But Sargent says, "Bobb claimed to me that Steele has privately told him “on several occasions that he agrees with the substance” of the resolution designating Dems socialists."

So, I guess the next question is, if we Democrats have to change our name, as part of the process, what should we ask the Republicans to change their name to?? Because it is only fair, a name change for a name change.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

FBI Interrogator Says Torture Doesn't Work

In a NY Times OP-Ed today former F.B.I. supervisory special agent Ali Soufan, tells what happened when he did the interrogation of one of the people who were later water boarded by the CIA contractors.

Note, CONTRACTORS... yes.. that is one reason why there will be no one at the CIA punished. No one there actually did anything wrong. We can be proud of our people, they actually refused to do anything wrong, because they knew it was wrong. So, Bush, Cheney, and the rest had to go find some of the Blackwater jerks to do the actual torture for them.

In the Op-Ed Soufan says he had all the information by the first of June, long before the Bush Administration started the water boarding. You can read the entire Op-Ed by clicking here.

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

This is from the Op-Ed, no matter how you spin that, it looks pretty clear, they got what they needed from him BEFORE he was water boarded 83 times. Yeah, 83 times. You have to wonder too, if they didn't get the information they needed the first couple of times, why did they continue that many times. Did it just become fun for them??

We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.

Again, it is clear to see the Bush Administration lied about everything we were told, and no one questioned them on these things. Once again the media let us down.

I still think the best thing that can be done is for this information to get out, then it to be turned over to the UN and send all of them to the World Court at The Hague.

That will be the only way I think it would guarantee a fair trial. There is no way there will ever be a fair trial in the United States. Most Republicans seem to think what they did was right, and it seems there are a lot of Democrats who agree with it too.

There were certainly a majority of people who thought anything was fine in the days soon after 9-11-01, when everyone was afraid of another attack. Maybe that's why no one has pushed this until now. I say go for it and let the chips fall where they may. If there are Democratic heads that fall, then they will just have to fall too.

To me this is not a Democratic or Republican issue, this is an American issue. This goes to the core of our being. It is like the video I posted of Shepard Smith..
This is AmericaWe don't FUCKING TORTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sometimes Even Fox News Gets It Right

Occasionally Shep Smith will say something that makes me wonder why he is on Fox News.. The only thing I can come up with is they pay him very well for his face and his voice.

Of course that doesn't say much for his ethics if that's how it is.. but he certainly isn't the only "journalist" that is only in it for the money and goes from network to network for that reason alone.

Recently he mocked Glen Beck, and was called on it by Chris Wallace.. not for what he said really, but just because Beck is so high in the ratings... It was over the big show he had to launch his 9-12 project a few weeks back..

But this video is going around now from just a day or two ago, when he was speaking with some others and the Bush Administration Torture policy.. Just watch...

Jon Stewart says Cheney and Rove have Balzheimers Disease

Jon Stewart finally figures out what is wrong with Cheney and Rove. They are suffering from the rare and incurable Balzheimers Disease. It is treatable however.

This was so funny... So was John Oliver's Bizarro Washington.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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Bizarro Washington... the only place where Karl Rove and Dick Cheney wanting transparency makes sense.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
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