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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The NYT jumps on the context-free journalism bandwagon, this time on torture
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Thursday, October 04, 2007

The NYT jumps on the context-free journalism bandwagon, this time on torture

(see update below...)

i absolutely hate it when stuff comes out and the media makes it sound like it's SUCH a surprise... context-free journalism should be illegal...

When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

so, the nyt says that "explicit authorization" was obtained "for the first time", eh...? what a load of bollocks... donald rumsfeld authored a memorandum on 27 november 2002 "explicitly authorizing" the use of torture techniques, a memo that led directly to general ricardo sanchez "explicitly authorizing" torture techniques to be used in iraq, specifically abu ghraib, contained in a memo written on 14 september 2003... folks, i've tracked this like a bloodhound for over two and one half years and posted about it repeatedly... (go look the posts up for yourselves, i don't have the patience to dig out the links...)

one more time... here's the rumsfeld memo...

here's the authorization memo from general sanchez...

and here are the torture techniques that were authorized...

The use of techniques A-CC are subject to the general safeguards as provided below as well as specific implementation guidelines to be provided by the 205th MI BDE Commander. Specific implementation guidance with respect to techniques A-CC is provided in U.S. Army Field Manual 34-52. Further implementation guidance will be developed by the 205th MI BDE Commander.

Of the techniques set forth below, the policy aspects of certain techniques should be considered to the extent they reflect the views of other Coalition contributing nations. The description of the technique is annotated to include some policy issues that should be considered before application of the technique.

A. Direct: Asking straightforward questions.
*B. Incentive/Removal of Incentive: Providing a reward or removing a privilege above and beyond those that are required by the Geneva Convention from detainees. [Caution: Other nations that believe detainees are entitled to EPW protections may consider that provision and retention of religious items (e.g. the Koran) are protected under international law (see Geneva III, Article 34).]
C. Emotional Love: Playing on the love a detainee has for an individual or group.
D. Emotional Hate: Playing on the hatred a detainee has for an individual or group.
E. Fear Up Harsh: Significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee.
F. Fear Up Mild: Moderately increasing the fear level in a detainee.
G. Reduced Fear: Reducing the fear level in a detainee.
H. Pride and Ego Up: Boosting the ego of a detainee.
*I. Pride and Ego Down: Attacking or insulting the ego of a detainee not beyond the limits that would apply to an EPW. [Caution: Article 17 of Geneva III provides "Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." Other nations that believe detainees are entitled to EPW protections may consider this technique inconsistent with the provisions of Geneva.]
J. Futility: Invoking the feeling of futility of a detainee.
K. We Know All: Convincing the detainee that the interrogator already knows the answers to questions he asks the detainee.
L. Establish Your Identity: Convincing the detainee that the interrogator has mistaken the detainee for someone else.
M. Repetition: Continuously repeating the same question to the detainee within interrogaton periods of normal duration.
N. File and Dossier: Convincing detainee that the interrogator has a damning and inaccurate file which must be fixed.
*O. Mutt and Jeff: A team consisting of a friendly and harsh interrogator. The harsh interrogator might employ the Pride and Ego Down technique. [Caution: Other nations that believe that EPW protections apply to detainees may view this technique as inconsistent with Geneva III, Article 13 which provides that EPW's must be protected against acts of intimidation. Consideration should be given to these views prior to application of the technique.]
P. Rapid Fire: Questioning in rapid succession without allowing detainees to answer.
Q. Silence: Staring at the detainee to encourage discomfort.
R. Change of Scenery Up: Removing the detainee from the standard interrogaton setting (generally to a location more pleasant but no worse).
S. Change of Scenery Down: Removing the detainee from the standard interrogation setting and placing him in a setting that may be less comfortable; would not constitute a substantial change in environmental quality.
T. Dietary Manipulation: Changing the diet of a detainee; no intended deprivation of food or water; no adverse medical or cultural effect and without intent to deprive subject of food or water, e.g., hot rations to MREs.
*U. Environmental Manipulation: Allowing the environment to create moderate discomfort (e.g. adjusting temperatures or introducing an unpleasant smell). Conditions may not be such that they injure the detainee. Detainee is accompanied by interrogator at all times. [Caution: Based on court cases in other countries, some nations may view application of this technique in certain circumstances to be inhumane. Consideration of these views should be given prior to use of this technique.]
V. Sleep Adjustment: Adjustment of the sleeping times of the detainee (e.g. reversing sleep cycles from night to day). This technique is NOT sleep deprivation.
W. False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him.
*X. Isolation: Isolating the detainee from other detainees while still complying with basic standards of treatment. [Caution: the use of isolation as an interrogation technique requires detailed implementation instructions including specific guidelines regarding the length of isolation, medical and psychological review, and approval for extensions of the length of isolation by the 205th MI BDE Commander. Use of this technique for more than 30 days, whether continuous or not, must be briefed to 205th MI BDE Commander prior to implementation.]
Y. Presence of Military Working Dog: Exploits Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations. Dogs will be muzzled and under control of MWD handler at all times to prevent contact with detainee.
Z. Sleep Management: Detainee provided minimum 4 hours of sleep per 24 hour period not to exceed 72 continuous hours.
AA. Yelling, Loud Music, and Light Control: Used to create fear, disorient detainee and prolong capture shock. Volume controlled to prevent injury.
BB. Deception: Use of falsified representations including documents and reports.
*CC. Stress Positions: Use of physical postures (sitting, standing, kneeling, prone, etc.) for no more than 1 hour per use. Use of technique(s) will not exceed 4 hours and adequate rest between use of each position will be provided.

[Note: Red asterisks - * - indicate techniques which, as noted, may either be excessive or violate the geneva conventions.

The above interrogation techniques were transcribed from the original documents obtained by the ACLU and maintained in their archives which can be accessed here.]

it's worth noting YET AGAIN that general sanchez perjured himself before the senate armed services committee in testimony he provided on 19 may 2004...
On May 19, 2004, General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Iraq Prison Abuse.
U.S. SENATOR JACK REED (D-RI): General Sanchez, today's USA Today, sir, reported that you ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison.

REED: Is that correct?

LIEUTENANT GENERAL RICARDO SANCHEZ, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ : Sir, that may be correct that it's in a news article, but I never approved any of those measures to be used within CJTF-7 at any time in the last year.

torture has been used since the get-go, and has been "explicitly authorized" at the highest levels of our government... nothing has changed... it has never stopped and, you can bet, is still going on today...

The Bush administration on Thursday denied reports that a secret Justice Department opinion in 2005 cleared the way for the return of painful interrogation tactics or superseded U.S. anti-torture law.

"This country does not torture," White House press secretary Dana Perino told reporters. "It is a policy of the United States that we do not torture and we do not."

what the hell do you expect them to say...? "well, doggone it, you finally caught us... yep, we torture, and, by golly, we LIKE it..." when can we toss this bunch out on the street...? i'm free this afternoon...

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