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, [...]

The White Paper and the Classified Opinion

By: Thursday March 24, 2011 3:05 pm

As has often been noted, the White Paper the Bush Administration released on January 19, 2006 largely repeats the analysis Jack Goldsmith did in his May 6, 2004 OLC opinion on the warrantless wiretap program. So I decided to compare the two documents. Not only did such a comparison help me see things in both [...]

Nine Years of Nudity in American Detention

By: Thursday March 3, 2011 5:25 pm

It’s just like old times! … the CIA interrogators also announced they planned to become Zubaydah’s “God.” They reportedly took his clothing as punishment, and reduced his human interaction to a single daily visit in which they would say simply, “You know what I want,” and then leave. Jane Mayer, The Dark Side In addition [...]

Daniel Levin’s Last Minute “Combined” Memo

By: Tuesday April 13, 2010 3:07 pm

I’ve been looking through some old FOIA documents and noticed an interesting email exchange turned over in one of last August’s document dumps (PDF 21-22). It’s an email chain between a CTC lawyer (whose name we don’t know) and John Rizzo and others regarding a draft of the Combined OLC Memo. I’ve reversed the order [...]

Steven Bradbury Didn’t Disclose His Appendix M Opinion to Congress

By: Tuesday March 30, 2010 12:47 pm

As I posted a week ago, in April 2006 Steven Bradbury wrote one of the most egregious of all the egregious torture memos, one approving the new Army Field Manual, including its Appendix M laying out more intense interrogation methods. While the legal analysis of the memo was, itself, fairly nondescript, the analysis in the [...]

DOD’s Empty Vessel for Torture Authorization

By: Sunday March 21, 2010 1:24 pm

When I asked whether DOD had any authorization for torture after 2004, Jeff Kaye reminded me we just recently saw one new aspect of authorization: an April 2006 Steven Bradbury Opinion authorizing Appendix M of the new version of the Army Field Manual released on September 6, 2006. (As Jeff and Matthew Alexander have shown, [...]

Did DOD Have ANY Authorization for Torture after 2004?

By: Saturday March 20, 2010 4:04 pm

There are a couple of things that have been bugging me about the authorizations DOD got for interrogations.  It’s not clear what kind of authorization DOD used to justify detainee interrogations after the Yoo memo was withdrawn in 2003-2004–they had no overall interrogation approval from OLC. While it’s possible they were just relying on already-existing [...]

Steven Bradbury: Breaking His Own Rules Even as He Writes Them

By: Friday March 19, 2010 3:01 pm

I’m working on a big post on the May 2005 Bradbury Memos. But I wanted to point out this tidbit about them in the interim. As you might recall, the Jim Comey emails (probably leaked by the torture apologists last summer) provide a few clues about why Comey objected to the May 10, 2005 Combined [...]

Were the Torturers Bypassing OLC in July 2004?

By: Friday March 12, 2010 3:11 pm

Jay Bybee thinks it’s really damning that Jim Comey attended a July 2, 2004 Principals meeting at which the torture of one particular detainee (he says it was Janat Gul, though there are reasons to doubt it) was discussed. Comey joined Ashcroft at a NSC Principals Meeting on July 2, 2004 to discuss the possible [...]

Clarence Thomas’ Revenge

By: Sunday March 7, 2010 4:54 am

Rosalind linked to this LAT article describing Clarence Thomas’ pro-abuse views. According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a prisoner who was slammed to a concrete floor and punched and kicked by a guard after asking for a grievance form — but suffered neither serious nor permanent harm — has no claim that his constitutional [...]

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