General Petraeus continues with Bush Spin & insists US military was not involved in systematic torture
The Torture Myth exposed once again
Torture of Abu Zubaida by Bush Regime provided no worthwhile Intelligence
Will the pro-torture lobby accept this fact or just ignore it
Once again we get another revelation that a supposedly important key member of Al Qaeda held at Guantanamo wasn't so important after all. The Washington Post writes that Abu Zubaida who was held at Gunatanamo " within weeks of his capture, US officials had gained evidence that made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. President Bush had publicly described him as "Al Qaeda's chief of operations," and other top officials called him a "trusted associate" of Osama bin Laden and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.
and in fact :
Abu Zubaida was not even an official member of Al Qaeda, according to a portrait of the man that emerges from court documents and interviews with current and former intelligence, law enforcement, and military sources. Rather, he was a "fixer" for radical Muslim ideologues, and he ended up working directly with Al Qaeda only after Sept. 11 - and that was because the United States stood ready to invade Afghanistan. "
It was in part because of the questionable intel he gave while being tortured which many in the Bush Regime pointed to as evidence that torture was effective and an important tool in the fight against Terrorists but as it turns out "... In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida - chiefly names of Al Qaeda members and associates - was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said."
"Officials: Torture Confessions Not Proven Useful: White House pressured CIA to extract plots "
By Peter Finn and Joby Warrick Washington Post Monday 30 March 2009
When CIA officials subjected their first high-value captive, Abu Zubaida, to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, they were convinced that they had in their custody an Al Qaeda leader who knew details of operations yet to be unleashed, and they were facing increasing pressure from the White House to get those secrets out of him.
The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of Al Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.
In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida - chiefly names of Al Qaeda members and associates - was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.
Moreover, within weeks of his capture, US officials had gained evidence that made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. President Bush had publicly described him as "Al Qaeda's chief of operations," and other top officials called him a "trusted associate" of Osama bin Laden and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.
Abu Zubaida was not even an official member of Al Qaeda, according to a portrait of the man that emerges from court documents and interviews with current and former intelligence, law enforcement, and military sources. Rather, he was a "fixer" for radical Muslim ideologues, and he ended up working directly with Al Qaeda only after Sept. 11 - and that was because the United States stood ready to invade Afghanistan.
Abu Zubaida's case presents the Obama administration with one of its most difficult decisions as it reviews the files of the 241 detainees still held in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Abu Zubaida - a nom de guerre for the man born Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein - was never charged in a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, but some US officials are pushing to have him charged now with conspiracy.
While General Petraeus denies use of torture the Spanish government is launching investigations into the use of torture by members of the Bush Regime.
" 'Torture' Could Haunt Bush Officials :Spanish Judge Who Went After Pinochet Considers Charges for Gonzales, Others " By HILARY BROWN ABC News" -- -March 29, 2009
— In what may turn out to be a landmark case, a Spanish court has started a criminal investigation into allegations that six former officials in the Bush administration violated international law by creating the legal justification for torture in Guantanamo Bay.
The officials named in the 98-page complaint include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who once famously described the Geneva Conventions as "quaint" and "obsolete."
Others include John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who wrote the so-called "torture memo" that justified waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods for terror suspects.
Also named are: former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith; former General Counsel for the Department of Defense William Haynes II; Jay S. Bybee, formerly of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, former chief of staff and legal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
" Gen. Petraeus Denies U.S. Torture; Meanwhile Pinochet Judge Launches Criminal Probe of Bush Attorneys " by Liliana Segura, AlterNet March 30, 2009.
The six targets named include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who cold face "immediate arrest" upon entering Spain.
This weekend found General David Petraeus on CNN denying that the U.S. military engaged in systematic torture. The military "learned hard lessons from Abu Ghraib," Petraeus told CNN's John King on Sunday, "and we believe we took corrective measures in the wake of that."
But along with a growing number of Americans, people the world over disagree. Now, a Spanish court has launched a criminal probe into six Bush administration attorneys who created the legal architecture for the of torture at Guantanamo Bay.
As Scott Horton reported last week, the targets of the probe are "University of California law professor John Yoo, former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron), former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington, former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith."
The criminal investigation is not symbolic. According to Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, "If you're any of those six at this point, you don't want to go to the twenty-five countries that make up the European Union, because you may be subject to immediate arrest."
" What will happen next is this investigation will most likely continue in a very vigorous form. It will look at those six, and it also has the possibility of going up the chain of command, not just to Rumsfeld, but all the way up to Cheney and Bush. So it's a serious investigation. It's one that the Obama administration has to take very seriously. And it means, for them, that the pressure is increasing really in this country to open its own criminal investigation."
As Democracy Now!reported this morning ,"Spain's law allows it to claim jurisdiction in the case because five Spanish citizens or residents who were prisoners at Guantanamo Bay say they were tortured there. The case was sent to the Spanish prosecutor's office for review by Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who ordered the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998."
Obama' s Nominee Dawn Johnsen to the justice Department is seen by Republicans and Conservative Democrats as a threat since she may rule against Torture and warrantless wire tapping and might begin exposing some of the legal chicanery of the Bush Regime. The over ruling of such actions instituted by the Bush regime would be a repudiation of the Bush Regime's policies and therefore a slap in the face of all those who still defend those policies as being legal and morally defensible. By shinning a light on these issues this may lead to even more public support for going ahead with taking legal actions against members of the former Bush administration.
The Woman Who Could Nail Bush: Are the Worst of the Torture Memos Still to Come? By Scott Horton, The Daily Beast. Posted March 30, 2009.
The GOP is threatening an ugly fight over an Obama Justice Department appointee who wants to disclose more Bush-era torture memos.
Until recently, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, often considered the “brains” of the department, has been known mostly to legal experts. But for the past eight years, it was the epicenter of allegations of political manipulation and, worse, the source of infamous memoranda on torture. In tapping Eric Holder as attorney general, President Obama has promised to restore standards of professionalism to the department. For Republicans, this is tantamount to a declaration of partisan war.
On March 19, the nomination of Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen to head the OLC was endorsed by the Judiciary Committee with every Republican voting against her and Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) abstaining. The nomination was to have been brought to the Senate floor for a vote on Monday and then again on Wednesday, but it has been held back. Republican leaders, it appears, are playing with the notion of making Johnsen the target of their first filibuster.
...The real reason for their vehement opposition is that Johnsen is committed to overturning the Bush administration’s policies on torture and warrantless surveillance, which would clip the wings of the imperial presidency. Even more menacingly (from their perspective), she is committed to shining a light on some of the darkest skeletons of the Bush years. Already, publication of OLC memoranda authorizing torture, approving warrantless surveillance, and pronouncing the First and Fourth Amendments a dead letter in connection with domestic military operations has rocked the public. More memos, potentially even more disturbing, I have learned, are about to be made public soon. Yet these are difficult issues on which to attack Johnsen, other than through vague suggestions that she is “weak on national security.” Hence the steady stream of accusations linked to her largely irrelevant views about abortion rights.
Will the Republicans attempt to filibuster the Johnsen nomination? The threat is sufficiently serious to have provoked the editors of the New York Times to editorialize in support of Johnsen on Thursday. Calling the operation of OLC in the Bush era “lawless,” the editors wrote, “Ms. Johnsen is superbly qualified and has fought for just the sort of change the office needs.”
and so it goes,