The CIA Destroyed Evidence..So Why Shouldn’t They Be Held in Contempt?

Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

 

Since we have been all so absorbed by the ongoing political saga involving the imaginary debt ceiling crisis, I thought it would be therapeutic to discuss something totally unrelated to that nonsense.  As you will recall, the CIA destroyed hundreds of hours of video tape documentation of the infamous CIA Torture Program during the last Administration.  “Despite a court order, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) destroyed hundreds of hours of video tape showing the alleged torture of two terror detainees, and now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking a New York judge to punish them for it.  In a case being heard Monday, attorneys for the ACLU will argue that the agency, and former deputy director Jose Rodriguez in particular, should be held in contempt of an order to preserve records responsive to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in 2004.

“The record indicates that far from an innocent mistake, Rodriguez ordered the tapes destroyed to cover up evidence that ‘would make us look terrible’ and be ‘devastating’ to the CIA,” the ACLU’s filing (PDF) argues, quoting Rodriguez emails obtained through FOIA requests. “Indeed, Rodriguez weighed the ‘heat’ that would come from destroying the documents and concluded that it ‘is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes ever go into public domain.'”

As many as 92 tapes of terror war captives being tortured by CIA operatives were allegedly destroyed. Officials suggested these recordings depicted torture sessions with terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri.  Along with the tapes, detailed records of the CIA’s so-called “torture flights,” showing the planes, destinations and even the passengers, were also said destroyed.” Raw Story

Now, I may be a little slow, but I hardly think that the CIA “accidentally” destroyed a treasure trove of incriminating evidence after being ordered to protect all evidence by a Federal Judge.  Here is a link to the full ACLU contempt filing:   ACLU   As the quoted CIA emails state, the former Deputy Director was obviously worried about what would happen if the American public ever saw the damaging evidence that the judge had ordered to be preserved. It sounds logical that Mr. Rodriguez and the CIA made a “Ford Pinto” type of decision that they would rather deal with the courts than the American public.

What does this situation tell us about the state of our Democracy, when an agency of the Federal Government appears to have intentionally disobeyed a court order, just to save their own skin? What does it tell us about our Democracy when the Justice Department refuses to hold anyone responsible for torture that has been illegal for decades?

It has been almost seven (7) years since this FOIA request and almost four (4) years since the CIA admitted to destroying the protected records.  Should the former Deputy Director be held responsible and should higher-ups be included to deter law breaking in the future? If the court doesn’t order the CIA and its officials to pay damages, will any agency ever fear a court decision or order again?  I know what you may be thinking.  A lot of questions, but no answers.    Let’s hear your answers!

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

 

107 thoughts on “The CIA Destroyed Evidence..So Why Shouldn’t They Be Held in Contempt?

  1. Hey Raff,

    Hate to give you the big news, but I think their above the law… NO?
    If the President orders them to kill someone, I think they pretty much have to do it… I don’t think they let pesky details like destroying evidence get in the way… And if some other agency comes after one of them, they just disappear quietly and safely and have the protection of that agency to keep them hidden.

  2. In a Fascist country, agencies like the CIA ,NSA,TSA and FBI are above the law. They are accountable to no one.

  3. Bud,

    You got that exactly right.

    Since they don’t get to enforce any laws I guess they figure they don’t have to obey any either.

  4. Blouise,

    In absolute all fairness to them – They do have one wicked job to do. I would never want to ever be any part of that organization. Can you honestly imagine what they must be told to do on a daily basis??? How about a president that does send them out to assassinate someone. What if that person turned out to be like (just for example only) Julian Assange…
    They have to obey… period..
    Makes me sick to think about it.

  5. rafflaw,

    Remember the 18 ½ minute gap in one of the Nixon tapes? Do you remember Nixon’s secretary Rosemary Woods who supposedly “mistakenly erased” a segment of that tape? It was all her fault, doncha know!

    Bill Horwitz – If I Had a Friend Like Rosemary Woods

  6. Bud,

    They’ve only been in existence since WW II (I think I’m right about that) and look at what they’ve done to us.

    With all their so called skills … 9/11 still happened … they talk a good game but when it really counted, they were nowhere to be found.

  7. The folks in charge of the illegal destruction should be in jail, sharing a cell with the traitorous bastard Ollie North. Oh, wait…. never mind.

    What Kenergy599 said.

    Bud: “They have to obey… period..”
    No they don’t. No one has to obey, one only has to be prepared to pay the price of their refusal. Being a “good German” as a moral or practical defense went out with the Nuremberg Trials.

  8. Blouise,

    You’re right.
    They are either the solution or the problem..
    When these people are so powerful and they are the problem,
    the question is how do you rid the country of them??
    Impossible..

  9. lottakatz 1, August 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Good point. They don’t have to obey.
    I don’t agree that being a good German went out the window with Nuremberg…

    It is alive and well right here.
    It only went out the window for those that got caught.
    Karl Rove is till walking around. Same with Bush and Cheney.

  10. It’s not the first time that the CIA has purposely destroyed evidence. That’s what they do with evidence that is damning. They have a rich history of covering up their dirty work and there seems to be a lot of it.

    There are some terrible things going on domestically (though the CIA is not supposed to be involved in domestic operations)…, but these operations are covert, for now, and many good Americans have no idea… (There is multi-agency involvement in the activities to which I’m alluding.)

    We need to hold these people accountable. Destroy evidence? Go to jail. Hide evidence? Go to jail. Participate in state-sanctioned, intelligence agency-directed activities that runs counter to the rule of law and the Constitution. Go to jail. Fail to report wrongdoing. Go to jail. Participate in covering up these activities. Go directly to jail.

    I’m so sick of what I know is going on in America… Every day, it sucks a little more life out of me.

    Here’s a past example of the CIA’s duplicity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA

    “In 1973 CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed. Pursuant to this order, most CIA documents regarding the project were destroyed, making a full investigation of MKULTRA impossible. A cache of some 20,000 documents survived Helms’ purge, as they had been incorrectly stored in a financial record building and were discovered following a FOIA request in 1977. These documents were fully investigated during the Senate Hearings of 1977.[2]”

    “Because most MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then CIA director Richard Helms, it has been difficult, if not impossible, for investigators to gain a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research sub-projects sponsored by MKULTRA and related CIA programs.[19]”

    Some say that MKULTRA continues to this day. The Senate hearing documents are available for anyone who cares to read them, but many Americans have never even heard of MKULTRA.

    ———————-

    Thanks for this article, rafflaw. Coincidentally, I spent the better part of the day working on FOIA requests. Answers to your questions:

    Should the former Deputy Director be held responsible and should higher-ups be included to deter law breaking in the future?

    Yes.

    If the court doesn’t order the CIA and its officials to pay damages, will any agency ever fear a court decision or order again?

    No.

    The CIA should be held in contempt. There were Senate hearings regarding MKULTRA, but there was little accountability and look where we are today.

    Nothing will happen, of course.

    If the American public only knew… If only…

  11. Bud,

    You’re right … it would take one very determined and powerful Executive to bring the CIA back into line. What are the odds of that happening?

    I’ve often wondered what goes through a new president’s mind when he realizes that the CIA is not a tool on his belt but rather, he is one on theirs? Gotta be a pretty scary wake-up call.

  12. What we have today is what happens when we don’t hold those in government accountable. MKULTRA was never fully investigated. The agency was never held accountable in any substantial way. We know only a fraction of what transpired, because documents were destroyed.

    Covert and unlawful activities continue to this day. On American soil. Fact.

    The 178 page report is an eye-opener:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/ProjectMKULTRA_Senate_Report.pdf

    Project MKULTRA was first brought to wide public attention in 1975 by the U.S. Congress, through investigations by the Church Committee, and by a presidential commission known as the Rockefeller Commission.

    Investigative efforts were hampered by the fact that CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms’ destruction order.[6]

    In 1977, a FOIA request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents[7] relating to project MKULTRA, which led to the Senate Hearings of 1977.[2] In recent times most information regarding MKULTRA has been officially declassified.
    Although the CIA insists that MKULTRA-type experiments have been abandoned, 14-year CIA veteran Victor Marchetti has stated in various interviews that the CIA routinely conducts disinformation campaigns and that CIA mind control research continued. In a 1977 interview, Marchetti specifically called the CIA claim that MKULTRA was abandoned a “cover story.”[8][9]

    On the Senate floor in 1977, Senator Ted Kennedy said:
    The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” At least one death, that of Dr. Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.[10]

  13. :-) Thanks for the needed laugh, rafflaw. (Whitey Bulger “signed up” when he was in prison years ago, I believe… )

  14. anon nurse,

    I agree that the CIA should be reeled in. I agree.

    But like Blouise says… Who is strong enough
    or what politician has the will to do it?

    I honestly don’t think with the direction this country
    is going — I mean full Fascism, that anyone in their
    right mind would even attempt it…

  15. Bud 1, August 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Blouise,

    Sort of like. He serves at their pleasure.

    ==============

    That he does, it would seem.

    Bud 1, August 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Blouise,

    When these people are so powerful and they are the problem,
    the question is how do you rid the country of them??
    Impossible..

    ==============

    Maybe, but what’s the alternative… Should we just throw in the towel?

    (There’s an interesting BBC documentary streaming on Netflix: Italian Fascism in Color… Ought to be mandatory in our schools…)

  16. Where’s Robespierre when you need him?

    Power must always be exorcised by equal amounts of power. There is no persuading them…look to Egypt or Syria. It would be exactly the same here.

  17. anon nurse,

    No, we should never throw the towel.
    But, we do not have a strong principled
    leader that would take up this cause.

    And even the strong leaders can only
    do so much…

    Thank you for the tip on Italian Fascism.
    Should be interesting

  18. anon nurse 1, August 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I don’t know, Bud, but I know this: Somebody has to do it, or it’s over.

    You’re absolutely right..
    That’s why I said that the direction the country is going, it
    looks irreversible to me.

    If Obama is the best that we have, we have been deceived.
    In this deception, everything is possible.

  19. Should the former Deputy Director be held responsible and should higher-ups be included to deter law breaking in the future?

    Damn Straight….This is not unlike the 17 or so minutes that got erased under the tricky uncle dick watch….

  20. It would be great fun to make the CIA an election issue.

    Question: Do you believe the CIA has usurped the power of the Presidency?

    Question: Do you have the strength to say no to the CIA?

    Question: Will you instruct your Attorney General to prosecute any CIA employee who is suspected of breaking the law?

    Ask all candidates variations on those questions over and over again … set up hypothetical questions … make it an issue. Shine a light on their crappy little black ops. After their monumental failure on 9/11, they deserve nothing less.

  21. Apparently she did not know how to run the reel to reel…..It was easy to screw those mini ones up…

  22. rafflaw,

    I vividly remember her giving that demonstration … Nixon let her do it … I think that was the highlight of his caddishness.

  23. Blouise,

    You did not hear me say that the circus was not in town that day….She was only doing what she was trained to do….

  24. Blouise,

    It is a greater chance I have a contract on me than either of you fine ladies…I can assure you of that..

  25. Well you did hear that Nixon had to see deep throat 12 times before he could get it down Pat right?

  26. No I do not speak Romanian….I could learn….But I do see that they have mail order brides for sell in the Ukraine….maybe just maybe…I could see if one of them wanted to shelter me there…..In Texas we have an Odessa and they do too…It would be kinda of like being home….but then my ear burn when I think of what I read in the Odessa Files….But then Midland is probably sheltering Bush….

  27. http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2011/08/01/judge-sanctions-cia-for-destruction-of-interrogation-tapes/

    Judge Sanctions CIA for Destruction of Interrogation Tapes
    By: Kevin Gosztola Monday August 1, 2011 6:48 pm

    “A judge has sanctioned the CIA for the destruction of interrogation tapes but rejected a renewed motion from the ACLU to have the court hold the CIA and other individual officials like Jose Rodriguez in contempt. The ACLU considers the outcome a fairly significant success, despite the fact the CIA was not found to be in contempt by Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

    Staff attorney at the National Security Project of the ACLU, Alex Abdo, reports Hellerstein awarded attorney fees for their efforts to expose the CIA’s destruction of the tapes. He did not think destruction of the tapes should have taken place. The CIA had violated his order, however, he would not hold the CIA or any individual officials in contempt.”

  28. Elaine M.,

    I can get the volume to work….Hmmmmmm……The Ghost of Nixon past again I am sure….

  29. AY,

    The CIA is not going to give you a mail order bride

    I know only one phrase in Polish … dupe jestes (sp?) which means “you are an asshole” which isn’t going to help me one little bit. I’m doomed.

  30. anon nurse,

    A small step … did the Judge offer an explanation as to why he did not hold anyone in contempt for violating his order?

  31. anon nure,

    I read the article but can’t find his reason. So you think the ACLU will file additional things tomorrow?

  32. Hmmm, that would definetly be a new cover….think it would be best to ask Mitt about his daddy’s experience?

  33. Blouise,

    The judge was Alvin Hellerstein.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Hellerstein

    As to why Judge Hellerstein didn’t hold the CIA in contempt? My guess would be cowardice. But what do I know…

    As rafflaw says, it’s “a mild slap” and nothing more, but instead of a “kick in the pants”… it’s more like a kick in the gut… or worse.

    ==========================

    The closing of the Firedoglake article:

    “… a reminder of the dehumanization and torture of detainees that has become permissible and legitimate under the “war on terror.” Torture has been decriminalized. Impunity is normal. The CIA goes to court and escapes being held in contempt. The Justice Department under Obama refuses to fully investigate and prosecute former Bush Administration officials for torture or war crimes.

    That reality shouldn’t diminish the fact that the federal judge claimed to value the work the ACLU had done, however this outcome does further affirm the reality that there are limits in the legal system in America. Some officials are shielded because they are part of certain agencies or they are too high on the totem pole to be found guilty. So, authorizing policies that justify the use of torture or engaging in the destruction of evidence of torture or “harsh interrogations” will not land you in jail. It will get you a book deal, an invitation to the Aspen Security Forum and maybe an award or two later on for keeping the country “safe.””

  34. Excerpt from Reuter’s article:

    Although the CIA failed in not disclosing and preserving the tapes, Judge Hellerstein said: “The bottom line is we are in a dangerous world. We need our spies, we need surveillance, but we also need accountability.”

    As part of that accountability, the judge on Monday asked the CIA to detail the new policies it says it has implemented since the tapes were destroyed.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara La Morte, arguing for the CIA, said the CIA’s new policies were “above and beyond” what the court required and that the ACLU was “out to exact retribution on the CIA.”

    “I don’t think that’s correct,” the judge interrupted.

    Link and full article below:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/01/us-cia-idUSTRE77068O20110801

    CIA not in contempt over interrogation tapes, judge says

    By Basil Katz

    NEW YORK | Mon Aug 1, 2011 7:18pm EDT

    (Reuters) – A judge on Monday refused to find the CIA acted in contempt when it destroyed videotapes that showed harsh interrogations of two suspects.

    U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein told a Manhattan federal court hearing that efforts by the CIA to improve how it preserves documents was enough restitution, and that it should pay legal fees to the plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union.

    “I don’t think a citation of contempt will add to anything,” Hellerstein said.

    In December 2007, the CIA acknowledged destroying dozens of videotapes made under a detention program begun after the September 11 attacks. The interrogations, in 2002, were of alleged al Qaeda members Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

    Until 2007, the CIA had publicly denied the tapes ever existed. They were destroyed in 2005.

    A probe by a special federal prosecutor last year found that no CIA personnel should face criminal charges for destroying the videotapes.

    Monday’s decision came after years of legal battles between the CIA and the ACLU, which first sued the agency in 2004 to obtain documents on its treatment of prisoners.

    When news of the tapes surfaced, the ACLU said the CIA and its chief spy at the time had acted in contempt of court by trashing tapes that should have been preserved under a court order following the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    By destroying the tapes, the CIA showed disrespect for the court, said Lawrence Lustberg, an attorney for the ACLU.

    Although the CIA failed in not disclosing and preserving the tapes, Judge Hellerstein said: “The bottom line is we are in a dangerous world. We need our spies, we need surveillance, but we also need accountability.”

    As part of that accountability, the judge on Monday asked the CIA to detail the new policies it says it has implemented since the tapes were destroyed.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara La Morte, arguing for the CIA, said the CIA’s new policies were “above and beyond” what the court required and that the ACLU was “out to exact retribution on the CIA.”

    “I don’t think that’s correct,” the judge interrupted.

  35. rafflaw,

    Yes. Sad and sobering. Not one of America’s finest moments.

    Thanks again for highlighting the issue which, as you rightly said, almost got lost in the debt ceiling shuffle…

  36. anon nurse,

    This decision just reinforces in my mind that the CIA is above the law.

    Except now, Hellerstein has proven it.
    Judge Hellerstein said: “The bottom line is we are in a dangerous world.”
    YES. And it has just become a bit more dangerous…

    “We need our spies, we need surveillance, but we also need accountability.”
    Hellerstein had his opportunity to get some accountability and he kicked the can down the road. We need an honest agency, not a lecture.

  37. Bud,
    You and anon nurse are correct that even with sanctions ordered by the judge, the CIA and the individuals involved in intentionally destroying evidence of crimes got away with murder….literally.

  38. Rafflaw and anon nurse.

    That decision is a real shame.

    Remember yesterday or the day before we were talking about throwing the towel, and where does this stuff stop.

    It won’t stop until there is a real serious serious cause.

    I honestly believe at this time that the answer may lie with
    Julian Assange..

    He has the goods I am sure.. He is smart enough and young enough
    to be able to hold out.

    I don’t think anyone else (myself included) that has serious enough information and media access to do anything.

  39. Bud wrote:

    “It won’t stop until there is a real serious serious cause.”

    —-We’re generally a crisis-oriented bunch (sadly, even tragically)… so, if I had to bet, I’d say that Bud’s right…

    “I honestly believe at this time that the answer may lie with
    Julian Assange..”

    —-I, too, have thought so from the beginning but, to date, nothing to break the story…

    “He has the goods I am sure.. He is smart enough and young enough
    to be able to hold out.”

    —-I hope you’re right, Bud… I’m pretty certain that they would kill him, if they could.

    “I don’t think anyone else (myself included) that has serious enough information and media access to do anything.”

    —-Sadly, you’re probably right, but those who know shouldn’t stop trying… There’s a fairly recent book — the author’s name escapes me at the moment — about the “twists of fate” that have changed the course of history. We need a “twist of fate”… (http://jeffgreenfield.net/pdf/THEN-EVERYTHING-CHANGED-Preface.pdf — I looked it up…)

    With regards to FOIA requests, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack — a haystack that doesn’t want to give up the goods and/or has already eliminated the needle, so that it will never be found…, which leaves us reliant on whistleblowers and we know what happens to many of them…

  40. anon nurse,

    I think the country will unravel in the proper direction, after someone like Julian Assange, or someone else, that will be able to definitively shine light
    on what really happened on 911.

    Someone knows a lot and is being silenced out of fear. This one really bugs me… Why was WTC 7 purposely demolished. What was there? Who was there? Why was it demolished 30 minutes after BBC said it had been destroyed? That one just haunts me to hell…

    That to me is where all of the roads, and highways, rivers and air routes lead.

    That is the big bring down point.

    Looking in the haystack isn’t so bad, except it costs a fortune in cash and time… (LOL)

    Whistleblowers are a lot better. We can always back their stories with FOIA request too.

  41. We’re a country that’s very adept at covering up the truth — if the truth is inconvenient (or worse), to borrow from Al Gore…

    Bud,

    Regarding, ” Looking in the haystack isn’t so bad, except it costs a fortune in cash and time… (LOL)”

    No it’s not a problem, if you know that you’re eventually going to get the goods, so to speak.. But, if the needle’s been removed, what a waste of a life… :-)

    Blouise,

    As always, thanks… I’m hanging on those words… (hopefully, not literally… :-) )

  42. No it’s not a problem, if you know that you’re eventually going to get the goods, so to speak.. But, if the needle’s been removed, what a waste of a life… :-)

    Yes a waste. Especially if you believed that we are on a level playing field..

  43. Rafflaw,

    Regarding, “I hope someone who has the information will speak out and produce the torture version of the Pentagon Papers.”

    Yes… that’s my hope, as well.

  44. http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/waterboarding-redux-anthony-romero-takes-yoo-gonzales-over-bush-era

    Aug 3rd, 2011

    Posted by Tori Mends-Cole, Washington Legislative Office

    Excerpt:

    Right out of the gates, Romero threw down the gauntlet by saying the biggest threat to homeland security was America’s “willing abdication of her moral authority at home and abroad and the utter lawlessness of the Bush years.” That lawlessness included the “surveillance of U.S. citizens without Congressional approval or review of the judiciary; the detention of American citizens without charges or trial, apprehended on American soil as enemy combatants; the establishment of black sites where torture was committed … and the absence of ensuring accountability for crimes committed by Americans and authorized at our highest level.”

    Yoo immediately went on the defensive – after all, he was a chief architect behind quite a few of those (now illegal or retracted) policies. He accused the ACLU of “blurr[ing] the rules of war,” and said the end justified the means. He insisted that “waterboarding is enhanced interrogation, not torture.” Romero had little use for such euphemisms. He fired back that Japanese soldiers were prosecuted for waterboarding U.S. soldiers as torture. Yoo replied that waterboarding was approved because less than one percent of soldiers who had gone through training using waterboarding had suffered any psychological or physical reaction. Really?

    Yoo contended that the fight against terrorism should be framed as a war and that “different” rules apply during times of war, a notion Romero vehemently rejected. Romero said “this war is not like the civil war or the second World War, this war will never come to a public decisive end. We do not have established lines of the battlefield. This war will end only when we re-insert ourselves in a lawful approach to dealing with crime.”

  45. Who cares? Is anyone named? Is anyone going to jail for defying the judge’s orders? Nice black dress by the way your honor. Is the CIA going to pay a fine? No, the taxpayers are.

    This is just another continuing bit of ‘puppet theater the Parliament jesters foist on the somnambulant public’ by a bunch of pirates.

  46. rafflaw,

    If I had to guess, I’d say that it’s goin’ nowhere but, one of these days, the tide has to turn…

  47. Aug 25, 1:52 PM EDT

    NYPD confirms CIA officer works at department

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN
    Associated Press

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SEPT_11_NYPD_INTELLIGENCE?SITE=AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly confirms that a CIA officer is working out of police headquarters but says the spy agency’s role at the department is an advisory one.

    Kelly was responding Thursday in New York to questions about the NYPD’s unprecedented relationship with the CIA since the 9/11 attacks.

    An Associated Press investigation revealed that the NYPD, with help from the CIA, has become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies.

    Kelly says the CIA trains NYPD officials and provides information about what’s going on overseas. The CIA says it is not involved in domestic spying and says the collaboration is exactly what Americans want.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

    Even as the New York Police Department sent undercover officers into Muslim neighborhoods to detect possible terrorist activities in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, government officials there and elsewhere have sought to build relationships in Muslim communities and pledged to ensure that Muslims aren’t targeted for discrimination. (end of excerpt)

    “…and pledged to ensure that Muslims aren’t targeted for discrimination.”

    And that’s accurate. Technically. It’s not just Muslims… it could be anyone… The CIA’s psychologists have been “advising” in a myriad of ways. Many couldn’t even begin to “dream up” some of the tactics currently being employed domestically.

  48. From article above posted by anon nurse: “An Associated Press investigation revealed that the NYPD, with help from the CIA, has become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies.”
    —-

    I thought that was the FBI’s job. The lines are becoming so blurred they’re becoming nonexistent.

    Thanks for the timely update anon nurse.

  49. I suppose the truth may trickle out eventually, but I’m not holding my breath… As you rightly say, Lottakatz, “lines are becoming so blurred they’re becoming nonexistent.”

    F.B.I. Focusing on Security Over Ordinary Crime

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    Published: August 23, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/us/24fbi.html

    WASHINGTON — Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been more likely to be hunting for potential threats to national security than for ordinary criminals in recent years, but much of the time found neither, according to newly disclosed internal information.

    Data from a recent two-year period showed that the bureau opened 82,325 assessments of people and groups in search for signs of wrongdoing. Agents closed out most of the assessments, the lowest-level of F.B.I. investigation, without finding information that justified a more intensive inquiry.

    ========================================

    Q&A: Local Law Enforcement And Domestic Surveillance
    By Adam Serwer | Posted 08/24/2011 at 01:15 PM

    http://prospect.org/csnc/blogs/adam_serwer_archive?month=08&year=2011&base_name=qa_local_law_enforcement_and_d

  50. Let’s hope that some cracks are starting to form… Wicked things going on this country of ours… They have to be exposed and stopped…

    ACLU Lawsuit Seeks Information from FBI on Nationwide System for Collecting “Suspicious Activity” Information

    August 25, 2011

    System May be Used to Track and Store Information about Innocent Americans with No Evidence of Wrongdoing

    http://www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-lawsuit-seeks-information-fbi-nationwide-system-collecting-suspicious

    —————————-

    Published on Thursday, August 25, 2011 by The Progressive

    NYPD and CIA Need to Be Investigated
    by Matthew Rothschild

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/08/25-12

  51. We’ve let it get so far out of control… I’m not sure that there’s any way to pull out of what seems like a death-spiral, given my vantage point.

    Friday, Aug 26, 2011 07:27 ET
    Secrecy, leaks, and the real criminals
    By Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/26/secrecy/index.html

    Excerpt:

    Ali Soufan is a long-time FBI agent and interrogator who was at the center of the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism activities from 1997 through 2005, and became an outspoken critic of the government’s torture program. He has written a book exposing the abuses of the CIA’s interrogation program as well as pervasive ineptitude and corruption in the War on Terror. He is, however, encountering a significant problem: the CIA is barring the publication of vast amounts of information in his book including, as Scott Shane details in The New York Times today, many facts that are not remotely secret and others that have been publicly available for years, including ones featured in the 9/11 Report and even in Soufan’s own public Congressional testimony.

    Shane notes that the government’s censorship effort “amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath,” particularly given the imminent publication of a book by CIA agent Jose Rodriguez — who destroyed the videotapes of CIA interrogations in violation of multiple court orders and subpoenas only to be protected by the Obama DOJ — that touts the benefits of the CIA’s “tough” actions, propagandistically entitled: “Hard Measures: How Aggressive C.I.A. Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.” Most striking about this event is the CIA’s defense of its censorship of information from Soufan’s book even though it has long been publicly reported and documented:

    A spokeswoman for the C.I.A., Jennifer Youngblood, said . . . .”Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean it’s been officially released or declassified by the U.S. government.”

    Just marvel at the Kafkaesque, authoritarian mentality that produces responses like that: someone can be censored, or even prosecuted and imprisoned, for discussing “classified” information that has long been documented in the public domain. But as absurd as it is, this deceitful scheme — suppressing embarrassing information or evidence of illegality by claiming that even public information is “classified” — is standard government practice for punishing whistleblowers and other critics and shielding high-level lawbreakers. (end excerpt)

  52. I usually have quite a bit of respect for what Greenwald writes. This is not one of those occassions.

    When it comes to classified material, there are occasional leaks. The proper response when items of national security are made public, without authorization, is to refuse to confirm or deny what has been leaked.

    “Just marvel at the Kafkaesque, authoritarian mentality that produces responses like that: someone can be censored, or even prosecuted and imprisoned, for discussing “classified” information that has long been documented in the public domain.”

    Mr. Greenwald does not seem to understand that the declassification of sensitive material does not occur because it is leaked. Using Mr. Greenwald’s standard, a lucky guess is all it would take to declasify. The alarm should sound, and the government agent should walk out and declare “You guessed correctly!!!” DING DING DING.

    Over the years, I have heard and seen many things that, to the best of my knowledge, remain classified. It never fails that someone at a party will tell me about something they heard about via a “special forces” guy. Only a fool would validate that information if accurate.

    Loose lips sink ships.

  53. Well NoWay…it appears that at least Greenwald has some respect for you….It is almost readily apparent that we have none for you….

  54. Can I convince the mountaintop removal folks there is more money to be made by mining diamonds there? We can only hope.

  55. OOPS, am in wrong post. Meant to post this comment to the diamond planet item. Oh well, it’s Friday and my brain is fried–I need a beer and wish Gyges lived close by.

  56. OS,

    I’m low these days. I’ve got one beer I’m not sharing (from New Glarius, which we can’t get here), the rest in the fridge are my wife’s IPAs, although I could probably get her to share.

    Oh and the stuff in my cellar, but that’s all spoken for by various special occasions.

    My suggestion, Weihenstephaner’s Hefeweissbier, but I’ve been craving a good German wheat beer recently.

  57. Anon,

    Regarding “Loose lips sink ships.”:

    They do, but so do lips that are indiscriminately sealed. What’s going on in America is treasonous, but I trust that “the truth will out”, at some point…. In the meantime, I trust that folks like Greenwald will keep pushing… Guys like Greenwald are the patriots… Those who are hiding behind phrases like “state secrets privilege”, “national security”, “we can neither confirm nor deny” disgust me, knowing what I know…. I’ll repost the following:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-are-we-subverting-the-constitution-in-the-name-of-security/2011/08/25/gIQANnrheJ_story.html

    Mayday.

  58. Ignore my last comment. Will just repost. (Anon should have been NoWay)

    NoWay,

    Regarding “Loose lips sink ships.”:

    They do, but so do lips that are indiscriminately sealed. What’s going on in America is treasonous, but I trust that “the truth will out”, at some point…. In the meantime, I trust that folks like Greenwald will keep pushing… Guys like Greenwald are the patriots… Those who are hiding behind phrases like “state secrets privilege”, “national security”, “we can neither confirm nor deny” disgust me, knowing what I know…. I’ll repost the following:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-are-we-subverting-the-constitution-in-the-name-of-security/2011/08/25/gIQANnrheJ_story.html

    Mayday.

  59. http://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights-national-security/appeals-court-says-cia-can-hide-torture-evidence-public

    05/25/2012

    Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

    By Alexander Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project

    “Earlier this week, a federal appeals court ruled that the CIA can effectively decide for itself what Americans are allowed to learn about the torture committed in their name. At issue in the ACLU’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was the agency’s right to withhold secret cables describing waterboarding; a photograph of a detainee, Abu Zubaydah, taken around the time that he was subjected to the “enhanced interrogation techniques”; and a short phrase that appears in several Justice Department memos referring to a “source of authority.”

    The CIA argued that the cables could be kept hidden because waterboarding is an “intelligence method” exempt from disclosure under FOIA; that the photograph should remain secret because it depicted a detainee in custody during the timeframe of his interrogation; and that the “source of authority” was in fact an “intelligence source or method.”
    Film and submit your reading of Khalid El-Masri’s statement, “Mistakenly Rendered to Torture,” for our Reckoning with Torture film project.

    A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the CIA on all three counts, allowing the CIA to keep secret precisely the sort of information that FOIA was designed to expose: evidence of illegal government conduct. The court also granted the government the Orwellian authority to censor a photograph of a detainee because the photograph might reveal the detainee’s “condition” after being tortured.

    Here’s the New York Times’s reaction to the decision in an editorial published today:

    The C.I.A. is, generally, entitled to shield legitimate intelligence sources and methods. But the public’s interest in disclosure in this case was especially strong. And, as the A.C.L.U. argued, unlawful waterboarding is not properly an intelligence method within the scope of the FOIA disclosure exemptions. The government argued, and the judges agreed, that the photo of Mr. Zubaydah would reveal the detainee’s condition after torture. That is a compelling argument for its release.

    The judges should have given the government’s overwrought claims of national security and secrecy special scrutiny, not extreme deference.

    We are particularly disheartened that an administration with a stated commitment to transparency has claimed the need to shield details about waterboarding despite publicly acknowledging that waterboarding is torture. Were any other country to claim that national security required the suppression of details of torture, Americans would be rightfully shocked and incredulous.”

    Bush and Obama vs Nuremberg » FNQhome.com Trackback on 1, September 6, 2011 at 8:12 am
    [In the news] No more empty promises – opinion.inquirer.net | Human Rights Online Philippines Trackback on 1, September 6, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Good Touch, Bad Touch, Revisited: Gaddafi Allowed the United States to Torture Men in Libya « pornalysis Trackback on 1, September 8, 2011 at 10:49 pm

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  60. http://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights-national-security/appeals-court-says-cia-can-hide-torture-evidence-public

    05/25/2012

    Appeals Court Says CIA Can Hide Torture Evidence from Public

    By Alexander Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project

    “Earlier this week, a federal appeals court ruled that the CIA can effectively decide for itself what Americans are allowed to learn about the torture committed in their name. At issue in the ACLU’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was the agency’s right to withhold secret cables describing waterboarding; a photograph of a detainee, Abu Zubaydah, taken around the time that he was subjected to the “enhanced interrogation techniques”; and a short phrase that appears in several Justice Department memos referring to a “source of authority.”

    The CIA argued that the cables could be kept hidden because waterboarding is an “intelligence method” exempt from disclosure under FOIA; that the photograph should remain secret because it depicted a detainee in custody during the timeframe of his interrogation; and that the “source of authority” was in fact an “intelligence source or method.”
    Film and submit your reading of Khalid El-Masri’s statement, “Mistakenly Rendered to Torture,” for our Reckoning with Torture film project.

    A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the CIA on all three counts, allowing the CIA to keep secret precisely the sort of information that FOIA was designed to expose: evidence of illegal government conduct. The court also granted the government the Orwellian authority to censor a photograph of a detainee because the photograph might reveal the detainee’s “condition” after being tortured.

    Here’s the New York Times’s reaction to the decision in an editorial published today:

    The C.I.A. is, generally, entitled to shield legitimate intelligence sources and methods. But the public’s interest in disclosure in this case was especially strong. And, as the A.C.L.U. argued, unlawful waterboarding is not properly an intelligence method within the scope of the FOIA disclosure exemptions. The government argued, and the judges agreed, that the photo of Mr. Zubaydah would reveal the detainee’s condition after torture. That is a compelling argument for its release.

    The judges should have given the government’s overwrought claims of national security and secrecy special scrutiny, not extreme deference.

    We are particularly disheartened that an administration with a stated commitment to transparency has claimed the need to shield details about waterboarding despite publicly acknowledging that waterboarding is torture. Were any other country to claim that national security required the suppression of details of torture, Americans would be rightfully shocked and incredulous.”

Comments are closed.