The Weird Circumstances Surrounding Hassan Ghul’s Interrogation

By: Thursday May 5, 2011 12:33 pm

As I noted earlier, the AP and other outlets have reported that Hassan Ghul was among the first to inform American interrogators of the importance of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Here’s what the AP reported. Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, [...]

In Re Sealed Case and the Goldsmith Memo

By: Monday March 28, 2011 12:55 pm

In addition to what I laid out here, comparing the 2006 White Paper with the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith memo on the warrantless wiretap program made me realize that the White Paper relies more frequently on In re: Sealed Case than Goldsmith does, at least in the unredacted portions. By my count, the White Paper [...]

In 2004, the White House Considered FISA’s Exclusivity Provision to Be Top Secret

By: Friday March 25, 2011 8:55 pm

As I have noted before, there are a number of paragraphs in the May 6, 2004 Goldsmith memo authorizing warrantless wiretapping that appear to be badly overclassified. Not only were many of the same paragraphs printed, almost verbatim, in unclassified fashion, in the White Paper released in January 2006. But many of those paragraphs contain [...]

John Yoo: Stupid Political Hack AND Craven Addington Disciple

By: Monday May 3, 2010 7:41 am

If ever there were a doubt that John Yoo was not just a craven lackey for David Addington, but also a stupid political hack, his op-ed today puts that doubt to rest. After whining about how mean the Senate Judiciary Committee was to Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas and John Roberts (!) and Sam Alito, [...]

Why Were the Torture Tapes Destroyed?

By: Thursday April 22, 2010 12:33 pm

Bob Baer has a column out stating that he can’t figure out why the torture tapes were destroyed–and repeating CIA spin claiming the torture depicted in the tapes should not, itself, be a legal problem, since it was approved by DOJ. (h/t cs) Did the CIA want to destroy graphic evidence of sleep-deprivation or waterboarding? [...]

The Timeline of Torture Tape Destruction in John Durham’s Documents

By: Sunday April 18, 2010 8:16 am

As I said the other day, most of the documents we received the other day are the 13 or so documents that CIA had cleared for FOIA release, but over which John Durham had declared a law enforcement privilege. This chart compares what we got with what had been declared in Vaughn Indices in November [...]

How John Yoo Negated the Mental Suffering of Death Threats in the Bybee Two Memo

By: Saturday April 3, 2010 1:25 pm

It’s time to read the Bybee Two memo again. Since the OPR Report came out, we’ve learned the following (some of it was already out there, but I, at least, hadn’t noticed it): After his 63rd interrogation session, Abu Zubaydah experienced what his torturers call “hard dislocation” An “issue arose” during the interrogation of Abu [...]

CIA Lawyers Were Discussing “Issue that Arose” Three Days Before July 13 Fax

By: Friday April 2, 2010 2:11 pm

My focus on the multiple versions of Abu Zubaydah’s psychological assessment led me to review the CIA OIG Vaughn Declaration from last August, and one document that was withheld caught my eye. The document strongly suggests that the July 13, 2002 John Yoo fax that appears to have been used as CIA’s general authorization for [...]

The Context of the July 13 Fax

By: Monday March 29, 2010 7:31 pm

As I pointed out in an earlier post, when Counterterrorism Center lawyer Jonathan Fredman sent the torturers in Thailand a green light for torture in August 2002, he relied on language about intent from a July 13, 2002 fax from John Yoo to John Rizzo rather than the finalized August 1 Bybee Memo. In a [...]

The Request for Reaffirmation of Torture

By: Wednesday March 17, 2010 2:52 pm

This is going to be another weedy post… I wanted to put two totally bureaucratic pages (PDF 23-24) from the recent FOIA dump into the context of the other known documents in the chronology. The first page is an “Executive Correspondence Routing Sheet,” sent from CIA General Counsel Scott Muller around top CIA management for [...]

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