From Pine View Farm

Moral Low Ground 0

From Phillipe Sands in The Guardian:

. . . I learnt that the concerns of FBI personnel at Guantanamo were communicated directly to Mr Haynes’ office, in telephone conversations in November and December 2002 between Mr Bowman and, first, Mr Bob Dietz; second, Mr Dan Dell’Orto (who was then Mr Haynes’ deputy and is now his acting successor); and third, Mr Haynes himself. Mr Bowman told me it was “a very short conversation , he did not want to talk about it all, he just stiff-armed me”. My conclusion, taking into account my conversations with Mr Haynes, is that he was able to adopt that approach because by then – contrary to the impression he sought to create when he appeared before this committee – he had knowledge of the contents of the DOJ legal memos written by Jay Bybee and John Yoo on 1 August 2002.

On the basis of these conversations I believe that the administration has spun a false narrative. It claims that the impetus for the new interrogation techniques came from the bottom-up. That is not true: the abuse was a result of pressures driven from the highest levels of government. It claims the so-called Torture Memo of August 1, 2002 had no connection with policies adopted by the administration: that too is false, as the memo provided cover for Mr Haynes. It claims that in its actions it simply followed the law. To the contrary, the administration consciously sought legal advice to set aside international constraints on detainee interrogations, without apparently turning its mind to the consequences of its actions. In this regard, the position adopted by the Pentagon’s head of policy at the time, [Douglas] Feith, appears most striking.

As result, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions was violated, along with provisions of the 1984 Convention prohibiting torture. The spectre of war crimes was raised by US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the 2006 judgment in Hamdan v Rumsfeld. That judgment corrected the illegality of President Bush’s determination that none of the detainees at Guantanamo had any rights under Geneva.

Torture was their pornography.


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