Tag Archives | Bush Adminstration

Bush’s CIA Torture Psychologists Sought To Use ‘Mock Burials’

abc_waterboarding_090430_mnDocuments reveal that burying detainees alive was sought as an interrogation method by the Bush’s torture psychologists, but rejected by the Department of Justice “in the rush to approve waterboarding”:

CIA’s torturers asked DOJ to let them use mock burials. But DOJ said no.

PDF page 42 of the OPR Report (searchable copy here) includes a list of the torture techniques that Mitchell and Jessen recommended be used with Abu Zubaydah. Whereas the Bybee Two Techniques memo approves ten techniques, Mitchell and Jessen recommended twelve. In other words, Mitchell and Jessen asked for two techniques to be approved that did not get specific approval.

The twelfth technique–which Mitchell and Jessen wanted approved but which Yoo excluded because of the rush to approve waterboarding–is mock burial.

There must have been significant discussion about the decision to exclude mock burial from the Bybee Two memo, because the reference to its exclusion in the report itself (PDF page 60 in the Final Report) includes a page and a half of redactions following the discussion of leaving it out.

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Pentagon Hired ‘Crackpot’ Conspiracy Theorist As Al Qaeda Specialist

Justin Elliott writes on TPM Muckraker:
Laurie Mylroie

When the Pentagon’s internal think tank decided in 2004 it needed a better understanding of Al Qaeda, it turned to an unlikely source: the terrorism analyst Laurie Mylroie, who was known as the chief purveyor of the discredited idea that Saddam Hussein was behind Sept. 11 and many other attacks carried out by Al Qaeda.

Mylroie was paid roughly $75,000 to produce a 300-page study, “The History of Al Qaida,” for the Defense Department think tank, known as the Office of Net Assessment, a DOD spokesman tells us. The study, which is dated September 2005, was posted on an intelligence blog last month.

It documents the development of Al Qaeda and spends many pages dancing around the theory that has defined Mylroie’s career — that key Qaeda leaders acted at the behest of the Iraqi regime. She also argues that group-think among U.S. analysts has obscured the true nature of the terrorist group.

Those who know Mylroie’s work are shocked that the Pentagon would hire her.

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The ’00s: Goodbye (at Last) to the Decade from Hell

Decade From HellAndy Serwer writes on TIME:

At exactly two minutes after midnight on Jan. 1, 2000, an alarm sounded at a nuclear power plant in Onagawa, Japan. Government officials and computer scientists around the globe held their breath. Was this the beginning of a massive Y2K computer meltdown? Actually, no. It was an isolated event, one of a handful of glitches to occur (including the failure of 500 slot machines at two racetracks in Delaware) as the sun rose on the new decade. The dreaded millennial meltdown never happened.

Instead, it was the American Dream that was about to dim. Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. We’re still weeks away from the end of ’09, but it’s not too early to pass judgment.

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Found! 22 Million Missing E-mails From Bush White House

BushComputerPETE YOST writes on Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Obama administration is searching for dozens more days’ worth of potentially lost e-mail from the Bush years, according to two groups that filed suit over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system.

The two private groups – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive – said Monday they were settling the lawsuits they filed against the Executive Office of the President in 2007.

It will be years before the public sees any of the recovered e-mails because they will now go through the National Archives’ process for releasing presidential and agency records. Presidential records of the Bush administration won’t be available until 2014 at the earliest.

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U.S. Imperialism, 9/11 and the Iraq War

On WSWS:

While the American corporate media has given little attention to it, an official British inquiry into the war with Iraq has brought to light damning testimony about the Bush administration’s deliberate launching of an invasion to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein and subjugate Iraq to American domination.

Former British diplomats and security officials from the 2001–2003 period began testifying this week under oath before a panel headed by Sir John Chilcot, charged with examining the entire course of the war, from its origins to the final British pullout in June 2009.

More than enough evidence has already been produced to indict top Bush administration leaders, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice, on the same charge for which Nazi leaders were convicted at the 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal — deliberately waging an aggressive war.

Jeremy Greenstock, British ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, described the Bush administration as “hell bent” for a war with Iraq for more than a year before the actual invasion in March 2003.

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J. K. Rowling Snubbed by Bush White House for Promoting Witchcraft

Think Progress reports:

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civil award, and is given to individuals who have contributed to: 1) the security or national interests of the United States, 2) world peace, or 3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

In his new book, Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer reveals how politicized the revered Presidential Medal of Freedom became during the Bush administration.

Latimer writes that administration officials objected to giving author J.K. Rowling the Presidential Medal of Freedom because her writing “encouraged witchcraft” (p. 201):

This was the same sort of narrow thinking that led people in the White House to actually object to giving the author J.K. Rowling a presidential medal because the Harry Potter books encouraged withcraft.

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