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November 04, 2006

No non-disclosure forms in torture chambers


interrogation room, originally uploaded by shatneresque.

The Bush administration told a federal court last month that the 14 high value detainees transferred to Guantanamo must not be allowed to talk to lawyers because they've been tortured in CIA prisons. [WaPo]

According to the government, these detainees have been subjected to ordeals so exquisite and ingenious that they count as state secrets.

The state's chilling logic is as follows: If you were tortured in a CIA prison, then you can't have a lawyer because you might tell your lawyer how they tortured you.

If the judge accepts this reasoning, getting tortured by the USA will carry an automatic life sentence. After all, if these techniques are too secret for a client to share with an attorney in preparation for a secret trial, then it follows that torture victims must never be released for security reasons. They know too much.



It's a clever way to neutralize military tribunals, isn't it? It will cease to matter whether the detainee is guilty of the charges against him. If he's already been tortured, he'll never go free.

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Comments

I think Kafka needs to be re-animated so he can get an injunction against the adjective "Kafkaesque" being used, or at least make some money off of it.

If this is actually coming from the interrogators and not the administration, then I suspect the secrets they're concerned about have little to do with torture and a lot more to do with deception.

If they've got these guys isolated for months or years, they can tell them an amazing story: The steady destruction of the resistance movement in Iraq, the capture of Osama bin Laden and his return to New York to stand trial, the Israeli nuclear attack on Iran...look, you lost and we already know everything, just make it official so we can finish our paperwork and let you go...

That sort of thing won't work if they know it's coming.

Or, maybe in the course of their interrogations they've revealed a lot of intelligence, played them communication intercepts, or told them information that came from informants. Now, just like an FBI organized crime bust, they're trying to avoid revealing the secrets for as long as possible.

You wish the the President would help us out by dribbling his lip as he invents this stuff, "b-b-b-b-b-b-bee," so that even his lickspittles would know he had lost his mind. During his 2000 campaign, I was alarmed at reports that he'd had, I think it was, over 150 people executed during his tenure as Texas governor, without ever caring to review or give attention to any of the cases. Salon.com opined that he apparently felt that if you were unlucky enough to be caught in the wheels of justice, you were to be considered guilty and punished. For human rights, this must be one of the worst presidents we've ever had.

>If they've got these guys isolated for months or years, they can tell them an amazing story:

>Or, maybe in the course of their interrogations they've revealed a lot of intelligence, played them communication intercepts, or told them information that came from informants. Now, just like an FBI organized crime bust, they're trying to avoid revealing the secrets for as long as possible.

Windypundit, that makes sense. I do feel that in a lot of cases, decisions made that seem crazy to us are part of a war of intelligence, and a lot of intelligence is deception. The thread Majikthise had a couple of months back, about Homeland Security forbidding the photographing of sensitive sites or buildings, seemed a crazy case of government going too far, but of course was an everyday concern for our intelligence agencies.

In that case, I actually wasn't too quick to reach a judgment, but in this case, it seems clear that the prosecution's President is simply doing an experiment in whether we can do away entirely with any legal protections for the defendant, down to the basic idea that the defendant is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. I don't remember why, but I seem to recall that there was some reason why those protections are needed. I guess we'll find out at some point.

If another nation consider a US citizen a terrorist, is it also OK for that nation to imprison him as long as he lives without trial?

As long as he's not related to someone important, who gives a fuck?

Slightly OT, but related to the topic at hand: A 60 year old educational film simply titled "Despotism". Watch it and honestly tell me that we don't live toward the despotic end of the scale. Habeas corpus is gone for all practical purposes if the President says you are an enemy of the state. Our little oubliette in Gitmo is the envy of totalitarian regimes around the world.

I don't think even Bill Scher can convince me to stay here much longer

This really is the ultimate in horrible jokes. More than a catch 22, this is totally impractical.

How in the hell is the CIA going to keep former detainees from talking? Hell, I saw one on TV last night telling about how he was sleep deprived, etc. So the damn thing is already out there anyway.

One more ridiculous example of how this admin thinks itself above the Constitution.

Neil asks how the hell they can keep their victims from ever telling what was done to them. Funny thing, the answer occurred to me this morning upon reading a headline, without even seeing the story above. It's the old "I could tell you, but..." Namely,

"Well, now that you know how we interrogate you, we're going to have to kill you."

I am trying not to get to far OT, but the so called "reasoning" of depriving detainees of the simplest rights that all US prisoners get really pisses me off. Completely reminds me of Straight, Inc. as well.

"The state's chilling logic is as follows: If you were tortured in a CIA prison, then you can't have a lawyer because you might tell your lawyer how they tortured you."

In Straight, it was ---If you are tortured, mistreated, or see it done to others, you must not tell anyone because revealing such abuse amounts to a violation of our confidentiality rules. No we were not told this in those exact words but that "rule" was nevertheless effectively enforced. The actual spoken & written rule "Confidentiality" ---what you see here, say here, and hear here, remains here. Which meant if we tried to tell parents about anything happening at Straight, even abuse, that was a violation of "confidentiality."

Notice the parallels? Its not exactly the same but damn close...and that is how kids in treatment programs are also currently being treated.

So....my point is that our lovely govt. not only condones torturing detainees suspected of terrorism, thinks it is worthy of "protection" in the name of "state secrets," it also denies detainess the simplest rights that US criminals are entitled to. This idea goes well beyond terrorism suspects and reaches into every American's home that considers or has already placed their child in certain "treatment centers." Our children sometimes are treated the same way as terrorist suspects.

When are Americans going to wake up and realize that by allowing torture and the denial of rights such as access to an attorney, etc. for terrorist suspects, these same detestable practices can eventually effect all of us once the same "logic" spills over into our criminal justice system. It already affects many kids.

Not to mention...There is never a valid justification for torturing another human being...period.

Even if I they have a reason, that doesn't give them a right. There has to be a moral code that takes precedence over a particular strategy. If you can't honour the moral code, then you have to change the strategy.

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