CIA Acting General Counsel Accused Of Attempted Intimidation Of Staffers Investigating His Role in Alleged Torture Program

225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoCIAWe have previously discussed the irony of Senator Dianne Feinstein expressing outrage over the fact that her staff was subject to warrantless CIA surveillance. Feinstein’s outrage over the spying on her staff is only matched by her lack of outrage over the spying on the rest of America. However, she does have an good point to raise with regard to the role of one lawyer who seems to be dancing along the edge of both ethical and legal standards. He is the acting CIA general counsel Robert Eatinger who is believed to have played a large role in the programs and actions under investigation. Eatinger is well known to civil libertarians as someone involved in past abuses by the agency.

The CIA is accused of searching the computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate harsh interrogation techniques and removed previously available documents from the system. Almost a 1000 documents were deleted or removed in part from the computers. This obviously violated the separation of powers and core Article I authority. It also raises possible violations, as Feinstein states, under Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Executive Order 12333.

Eatinger is specifically accused of “a potential effort to intimidate” staffers. Eatinger’s role is particularly problematic because he has been the subject of congressional investigation over a variety of abuses and, as Feinstein notes, “[h]e is mentioned by name more than 1,600 times in our study.” She raises a good point of the obvious conflict of interest for Eatinger: “And now this individual is sending a crimes report to the Department of Justice on the actions of the same congressional staff who researched and drafted a report—which details how CIA officers, including the acting general counsel himself, provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice about the program.” Of course, if Eatinger is ok with destroying evidence and violating human rights, the ethics rules may not offer much of a barrier for him.

Eatinger holds an infamous position for civil libertarians and many lawyers in these scandals. He was a lawyer in the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center when the agency was running the detention and interrogation program that is the subject of alleged human rights and international law violations. In 2005, the CIA destroyed videotapes of brutal interrogations of detainees. Eatinger had been one of two lawyers to approve their destruction. As I expressed at the time, it was astonishing that no one was disciplined let alone prosecuted for the destruction of the evidence. One official admitted that the CIA wanted to destroy evidence that could be used in their own criminal prosecution. Instead of being prosecuted, people like Eatinger were promoted.

John Rizzo, former acting CIA general counsel, has defended Eatinger. In Rizzo’s 2013 memoir, “Company Man,” he recounts how Eatinger learned that Jose Rodriguez, head of the Counterterrorism Center, had ordered the destruction of videotapes of torture over the objections of senior CIA officials and the George W. Bush White House. Eatinger was upset but Rodriguez was citing Eatinger’s legal advice. The book says that Eatinger and another lawyer had told Rodriguez he was not barred from destroying evidence, but he never expressly authorized it. I fail to see the distinction since I view the destruction as raising serious questions of criminal conduct.

In 2009, Judge Royce C. Lamberth issued an opinion that accused Eatinger, Rizzo, Radsan and other CIA employees of fraud for allegedly withholding information on a CIA operative accused in a civil case. Now his name has come up again with regard to spying on Congress and an effort to intimidate staffers investigating, among other people, Eatinger himself.

Eatinger’s career speaks volumes about the lack of serious deterrent or accountability among intelligence officials. He is the very personification of an intelligence community that has become dangerously independent and unchecked. It was only a matter of time before that sense of impunity would result in the agency defying Congress itself.

The latest scandal shows the sense of absolute immunity enjoyed by intelligence officials — that sense is the result of years of acquiescence and passivity by Congress and the courts. If Eatinger is denounced as the manifestation of the arrogance in the intelligence community, Congress has been the enabler of such attitudes. Even in the face of perjury, Congress (and specifically Feinstein’s committee) has looked the other way and scrupled efforts to investigate.

Ironically, civil libertarians have not been particularly hopeful about the report from a committee long viewed as a rubber stamp for the intelligence agencies. Yet, the very fact that we are debating how this is going to turn out shows the degree to which the “fourth branch” now challenges our constitutional system, as discussed in an earlier column. The CIA is pushing back on this scandal and defending Eatinger’s role combating an investigation into his own conduct and those of his colleagues. This is after the agency has delayed the release of a report on these programs by controlling classified material and witnesses.

The ethics rules allow government lawyers to continue to work in areas of conflicts as long as they have a waiver from their agency — an often meaningless distinction in small legal shops like the CIA General Counsel’s office. Yet, it will be interesting to see if Eatinger received such a written waiver from the CIA director. In this case, it is highly troubling to have Eatinger involved in any aspect of the investigation when he could face personal repercussions from the conclusions of the Committee. If a waiver was given, it was a poor decision by the CIA director that itself raises questions over his judgment and commitment to the resolution of these serious allegations.

I have litigated the issue of such conflicts of interest by agency lawyers, including the ongoing controversy in the World Bank case. In this case, Eatinger is involved in seeking a criminal investigation of investigators who have been questioning his role in not just an alleged torture program but the destruction of evidence of torture. To ask for a waiver in such a case would show a lack of professional judgment. To sign such a waiver would show an equal lack of judgment.

CIA Director John Brennan scoffed at the notion that the agency would commit such actions as “beyond the scope” of reason. He insists that they would just not do such a thing. Someone needs to remind him that the CIA is being investigated for torture, evidence destruction, and other major crimes. The “trust us we are the CIA” approach may not work particularly well in this case, even if it has apparently succeeded for years before this very Committee.

270 thoughts on “CIA Acting General Counsel Accused Of Attempted Intimidation Of Staffers Investigating His Role in Alleged Torture Program

  1. Truly the fox guarding the hen house situation. I recall certain countries were calling George Bush a war criminal for his torture policies, those tapes were destroyed for a reason.

  2. The one thing that amazes me is the total contempt for the law displayed by so many lawyers. I don’t know if this is because of the law students, their schools, or the disposition of criminals to go into the legal profession. I hope that Prof Turley’s students will never make the dishonors list since I am sure that he has drummed ethics into their heads on a daily basis.

  3. Interesting analysis, with an angle I haven’t seen elsewhere: the focus on the conflict of interest for Eatinger. I think this is more significant than the simple-minded “Feinstein is a hypocrite” reaction that seems to be predominant in much alternative media. Yes, Feinstein is a hypocrite, we’ve known that for years, but that’s not the real story here. There is a significant fissure developing in the Washington elite involved with surveillance, and it’s a potential game-changer that in this instance, Feinstein has made public the lengths to which the CIA goes in “disappearing” inconvenient evidence and threatening people who attempt to expose CIA wrongdoing.

  4. In all of this confusion about 4th amendment violations of these agencies…it would be interesting to see Prof. Turley give us an overview of major 4th amendment cases and how they relate to todays fbi, cia, nsa…actions in surveillance of Amerikan citizens…an interesting case in… Katz v. United States…
    where the Supreme Court ruled that the fbi conducted an illegal search
    when they installed a bug on a public payphone…but these Orwellian PeepingToms have the ability to store all phone conversations and emails on their super computers?!?!

  5. First, those tapes are still somewhere and I hope they get leaked. It can’t be more clear that we have a shadow government who is really in charge in the US. I am wondering about Feinstein’s interest in this. Why does she suddenly give a crap?

    Obama should fire Eatinger and Brennan. It is beyond reason to say the CIA is not engaging in things which they clearly are engaging in. I am glad this is coming out. I hope some good comes of it for our nation as a whole.

    The requirement to prosecute for the war crime of torture is mandatory. It is shameful and destructive to our own and other nation’s people that this nation has not done so.

  6. This is NOT about partisan politics. This is about the CONSTITUTION. If people can’t see the bitter irony in all this then they’re blind or impaired intellectually.

  7. It’s a snake…. So long as it promises not to bite me…. I will play with it….. If it’s good enough for Moses…. It’s good enough for me…. How do you like that surveillance Dianne…. Makes you feel warm and comfortable.. I am sure…. I’m just surprised you were smart enough to realize that the computer security had been breached….

  8. Eatinger’s career speaks volumes about the lack of serious deterrent or accountability among intelligence officials. He is the very personification of an intelligence community that has become dangerously independent and unchecked. It was only a matter of time before that sense of impunity would result in the agency defying Congress itself.” – JT

    The ship of state is missing, like Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, but notice that the press, media, “5th Estate” has always given conflicting and contradictory information about both missing “ships.”

    Like the Titanic and Air France flight 447, there were dual control devices which were used in a struggle of opposing forces, to gain control of the “ship.”

    They went down fighting each other for control.

    We have all gone to look for America and for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

  9. From page 10

    I should note that for most, if not all, of the CIA’s Detention and InterrogationProgram, the now acting general counsel was a lawyer in the CIA’sCounterterrorism Center—the unit within which the CIA managed and carriedout this program. From mid-2004 until the official termination of the detentionand interrogation program in January 2009, he was the unit’s chief lawyer. He is mentioned by name more than 1,600 times in our study.

    And now this individual is sending a crimes report to the Department of Justice on the actions of congressional staff—the same congressional staff who researched and drafted a report that details how CIA officers—includingthe acting general counsel himself—provided inaccurate information to theDepartment of Justice about the program

  10. I.m confused… The CIA website clearly names David B. Buckley as acting Inspector General of the CIA.
    From Feinstein:
    “And now this individual is sending a crimes report to the Department of Justice on the actions of congressional staff”

  11. Why is the White House withholding the documents? Didnt the White House say they would work with the Senate Intelligence Committee? Didn’t the abuses in enhanced interrogation happen under the Bush administration? What good would suppressing the truth do for the current administration? Jill, I believe in one of the threads, mentioned that there were suspicions that the Obama administration continues the abuses in enhanced interrogation, or in other words, torture. What if anything did Obama learn after he took office that convinced him to keep on some of Bush’s appointees to these agencies? Are we in continual danger from terrorists? Or has Obama decided to use fear as a way of convincing Americans that intrusions upon their privacy is for their own good, as Bush did? So many secrets, so much to hide, not something that promotes confidence in the leadership, any leadership, of our country.

    So what is the solution? Or will there ever be a solution and Americans will have to figure out ways to work around intrusive policies, such as other countries’ citizens have?

  12. annieofwi:

    “over the top” good way to put it. I wish I could tell you differently, but it is the price we are going to have to pay for our security. It’s the struggle between liberty v. security. It’s a fine line. Even a casual review will reveal that the United States’ policy in the Middle East has been an abject failure. Marry that with the fact that we are fighting an enemy who claims to speak for their God; there is no one more dangerous. This enemy does not think in terms of months and years. They think in terms of decades and centuries.

  13. From emptywheel: “If Democrats lose the Senate, you can be sure that newly ascendant Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr would be all too happy to bury the Torture Report, just for starters. Earlier today, after all, he scolded Feinstein for airing this fight.

    “I personally don’t believe that anything that goes on in the intelligence committee should ever be discussed publicly,”

    Burr’s a guy who has joked about waterboarding in the past. Burying the Torture Report would be just the start of things, I fear.”

  14. annie, Obama is required by law to prosecute for the war crime of torture. It isn’t optional. JT wrote about this early on during Obama’s first term. It is a violation of the Constitution and his oath of office not to prosecute. It is an impeachable offense. Of course, Democrats took the impeachment of Bush “off the table” and they most certainly will not impeach one of their own. So we need to ask the question of why Democrats took impeachment off the table for their supposed enemy, GWB. What we find is that those who took impeachment off the table, were themselves fully aware of torture as it was happening. Instead of speaking out, they shut up and approved it themselves.

    Part of your question assumes Obama was a different person before he became president. He was not. Remember that he had been a FIRE industry guy. His job there was to throw the poor under the bus on behalf of his rich patrons. He voted for retroactive immunity for the telecoms. He lobbied Congress along with Bush on behalf of the banking industry bailout. These things occurred before he became president. What really changed is not Obama, but the ability of some actual information about Obama’s actions to reach the public. Obama has an amazing PR machine. His propaganda is excellent but there is the reality of his actions which is knowable. I believe that reality is difficult for people who voted for him to face. Most people who voted for Obama, at least the first time, wanted the best for our nation. They thought they were doing the right thing. They were proud to have participated in electing a black man to the presidency, something which was long past due, along with electing a female some day. The problem was, any black man won’t do any more than any woman will do (say, Hillary or Elizabeth for example).

    When people think they have done something really good and important it is difficult to face the fact that these well motivated actions did not turn out as planned. There is also a real tribalism in the Democratic party. This keeps people from facing uncomfortable truths and taking actions to remedy terrible crimes. Thus, people cling to the idea that Obama couldn’t possibly be doing anything wrong. Clearly, this is not the case.

    Upon assuming the throne, conditions in Gitmo actually worsened. To this day, torture continues there. The dark prison in Bagram is another torture site. There are others. The US still engages in extraordinary rendition for the purpose of torture. I would recommend reading Scahill, Andy Worthington and Scott Horton for information about the continuation of torture. You can also read up on some things put together by Seton Hall’s law school. They have been keep track of detainees at Gitmo.

    So Obama is not going to cooperate with a real investigation into torture. Cheney flat out admitted to ordering waterboarding. That’s certainly an easy place to start if one was serious about prosecution. To investigate torture would bring down the truly powerful and rather powerful minions in this society. That’s why there will be no cooperation forthcoming unless we the people are somehow able to force it into the open with the help of courageous whistleblowers.

  15. Swarthmoremom,

    From your link.

    “I personally don’t believe that anything that goes on in the intelligence committee should ever be discussed publicly,”

    Senate Intelligence Chair, Richard Burr.

    How likely is it that this information will be buried even deeper if Republicans take the Senate in 2014?

  16. Justin L. Petaccio

    annieofwi: “Are we in continual danger from terrorists?” YES, and America is going to be in continual danger from terrorist for decades to come.
    And the terrorist group’s name is Oil-Qaeda. The rest is bull.

  17. Emptywheel ( Marcy Wheeler) who is in Glen Greenwald’s new media group seems to think so, Annie She has been covering these issues since Bush and is also highly critical of Obama. McCain gets the Armed Services Committee. I think a republican takeover of the Senate is quite likely.

  18. Annie,

    Let’s take a look at your argument. First, when Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they took the impeachment of a Republican president off the table. That has to tell you something. It’s already been shown that high ranking Democrats were fully aware of torture and approved it. So, why is there suddenly a concern that Republicans will bury things when clearly, Democrats had a chance to expose everything, but did not? There is much more going on here than evil Republicans verses the need to elect good, decent, Democrats. Both parties’ leadership are implicated. Torture would have stopped long ago had Democrats not been implicated in its approval.

    Again, prosecution for torture is not optional under our law. It is mandatory. It does not matter what Richard Burr believes, it only matters what our law requires. That law is not being enforced by the Obama administration. That may be a painful fact to realize, but it is still a fact.

  19. O.K. Is there terrorism? Yes, there is terrorism. Do terror attacks mean that we should suspend the rule of law? No, they do not. Suspension of the rule of law will break down any society far more effectively than any terrorist attack could ever do. There is no sense in having a Constitution if one will break faith with it because one is scared. It is the time one is most scared that one needs to keep faith with the rule of law.

    Terrorism should be dealt with in a court of law. It does not require the suspension of the Constitution, in fact, that suspension has put all our citizens and people of other nations in great danger. There needs to be some things citizens won’t accept from their government. The breakdown of the rule of law is one of those things.

  20. Jill, I agree and understand that both sides are complicit in these illegal activities. However I still think that Republicans are more likely to engage in the continuation of these policies of secrecy and intrusiveness. Senator Feinstein is a Democrat and the only Democrat who voted against such intrusions and practices. If I am to be forced to trust one side over the other, my instincts will push me to place trust in Democrats above Republicans. At this stage, it appears trust in either side should be withheld.

  21. Justin, I would ask you to read JT’s entries on what constitutes torture in our law and how it applies to mandatory prosecution. You could also look up Ronald Reagan, flaming liberal, about the US treaty forbidding torture under all circumstances. Once you look these up, if you can point to specific questions about what JT wrote or about the wording of the treaty, I will try my best to help you with answers.

  22. Swarthmoremom,

    Regarding Republicans getting Senate majority. “McCain gets the Armed Services Commitee.”


  23. Justin, you still talk of terrorism as war. It is not war. It is a criminal matter. The US has dealt with terrorists as criminals for years. If you support the rule of law, you will support criminal prosecutions of terrorists and of those who committed war crimes in our own government.

  24. Please do not forget that the people are the sovereign. The people have the power to force the government to do whatever it is you want them to do. But the people have a proclivity for apathy and complacency. That is the real problem.

  25. Annie,

    Why is McCain chilling but you aren’t chilled by lack of prosecutions of war crimes by Obama. Why is one terrible but the other not even worth a mention? Does that make sense?

  26. Finally something the Democrats and Republicans can run on, a unified platform: :the other guys lie more.”

    Yes America, you should be so proud.

  27. Don’t you think all of these incumbents have served the American public on its knees long enough?

    Do you think Obama ever gets tired of being a bottom?

    I think the American public should know…..

  28. Jill, is there a person out there who you think would push back against the Fourth Branch? Someone who you think would be Presidential material?

  29. Annie,

    I think it is a mistake to look for one person to solve this problem. This is an APB for every American citizen to stand up and demand the rule of law. JT is pointing out that we have been abandoned by all branches of govt. That leaves the people, as Justin pointed out.

    There are no saviors, only each of us, working together for the common good. We may not succeed but it is a worthy goal to try.

  30. There has always been a threat of terrorism…
    … Why do our lawmakers now insist we relinquish OUR Rights to be “secure” from a noun?

    Weren’t the Founders under threat of terrorism from King George? When did they advocate gutting the Bill of Rights?

    Our Lawmakers are cowards owned by military contractor and lobbyist money! Bought and sold us out!

  31. Jill, I am chilled by the lack of prosecutions for war crimes. I am chilled the fact that Obama used so many of Bush’s appointees. I am chilled b he fact he kept troops in Afghanistan so long. I am chilled by the fact that Obama capitualed so many times in negotiations with Republicans. I am chilled that there is no Public Option in the ACA. The very things that chill me and lost Obama a big chunk of his base, are being pushed yet further by Republicans, at least Democrats are not completely nuts on social issues, as are Republicans and the Religious Right that drives them.

  32. Jill, I don’t look for a savior in a President, but we do have an Executive and someone will fill that role. Who would be least harmful in your opinion?

  33. Max, precisely.

    How does Citizens United help? Conservatives, anyone want to address this? How does the influence of the extremely wealthy few benefit the majority workin class? Why have we allowed our government to be bought and sold? An abuses that are happening now will only get worse, with the ever increasing power of the purse. Most chilling of all.

  34. It is intellectually dishonest to assert corporate money only goes to Republicans. Wall Street was one of Obama’s biggest contributors. Congress members who leave to become fat cat lobbyist are mostly Dems. So, there’s that.

  35. Who makes any such claim Spinelli? Anyone who thinks its only Democrats who become lobbyists are ill informed to say the least. I would ask you prove your allegation with some citations, but that would be fruitless.

  36. annie, Not so much for me Annie….been there done that for two election cycles….2010 and 2012. Now, that I don’t live in the hopeless state of Texas I am getting involved in actual campaigns. Plenty of work to be done in your state, too.

  37. Psychopaths usually overstay their welcome. I think all are welcome to comment here. It’s the “reality” that some cannot take, so they resort to personal attacks rather than defend the liars in office.

  38. Wow, please reread my comments and then ask me a cogent question, if capable. I will respond to a question that reflects what I said, not something that is in your mindset. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

  39. Wall St was for Obama in 2008 but switched to Romney in 2012. Look it up. He did found Bain Capital

  40. Well, the “mostly Dems” is a somewhat adequate fix to the flawed question. please go to There are currently 415, that’s right people, 415 former members of Congress as registered lobbyists. They average an almost 1500% pay increase by becoming lobbyists. 58% of those 415 are Dems.

  41. SWM, Wall Street sways back and forth. I can have an intellectually honest debate w/ you and I’m glad to see you commentoing. As you know, they ALWAYS hedge their bets in recent years. They liked Bubba and probably will hedge on the heavy side w/ your girl, Hillary.

  42. nick, Probably you are right…. especially if the republican nominee is Cruz or Paul. Can’t see Goldman going there.. Jeb Bush, maybe. They would have loved Christie but that’s not going anywhere.

  43. It must be so hard to have a quality of life when you live with one big resentment. I don’t know if you’re male or female but you sure sound very unhappy. Did life pass you by and you are angry about being old? You know if your are happy inside everything is beautiful. If you are unhappy inside, everything and everyone is just as you see it. Live in the moment, not the past or the future. Be all you can be, just this very moment.

  44. SWM, I agree w/ everything you say except about Christie. I don’t think they would have gone w/ him. He eviscerated a member of the Wall St. Club, Corzine. Who is now a lobbyist!

  45. He was one of many sockpuppets that a certain poster had. He focused on my comments. You could find him in the archives.

  46. Nick,

    I think she’s trying to say its me….. But I don’t recall that name being used…. I’m sure she can find you all the so called sockpuppets I’ve been accused of using…. When she was outted after denying that she used a sockpuppet alternative…. They even caught her using a male Hispanic sir name…. Her excuse was Mexican males were under represented on this site…. I kd you not…. I had to laugh….

  47. nick, We all know who fear mongering is. It’s a beautiful day and my dogs are waiting for a long walk. The “Grand Budapest Hotel” looks good if you are a Wes Anderson fan.

  48. I don’t know who fear mongering as a poster name is but I do know that fear mongering is a a form of propaganda. Fear stops people from thinking, reflecting and seeing reality accurately.

    Thinking, reflecting and seeing reality accurately are essential at this time.

    Personal accusations are also effective at deflecting thought. I said this a long time ago, but will say it again. I don’t like the pope but if he has something truthful to say, I am honor bound to go with the truth whether I personally like the pope or not. What I have seen on this blog is Democrats worrying about everyone being a tea party member, a libertarian or whatever as a way of deflecting accurate criticism of their party. Democrats must stop worrying so much about the affiliations of others (or affiliations they attribute to others) and start worrying about seeing the truth. Even if a member of the evil tea party says something truthful, it can’t honorably be dismissed because it was said by that person. We should have more honor inside ourselves and towards others. We need honor and truth to have justice.

  49. But Jill, the problem is that the “Truth” is so elusive. Where can this truth be found? We all are privy to the multitude of information out there and not privy obviously, to things that are essential to know. How can anyone have determined at this point what the Truth truly is? How can we as Americans get to the truth?

  50. Annie,

    Everyone’s truth is different…. But I will say that most folks truths are heart based…. Not based upon fear of something. Sure, being afraid of a bully or batterer is probably a persons truth… But it does not make it right…. When that happens it’s time to change dance partners…..

  51. Elaine M
    Thanks for the link.
    Been reading Marcy Wheeler for a long time now.

    Do you suppose the White House has those torture video tapes hidden away, or were they really erased?

    Why is the White House obstructing Justice?

  52. Reckless?? NO ONE has ever called me reckless. I’ve been called MANY things, but reckless ain’t one of them. I am the ANTITHESIS of reckless. Reckless people do not get hired by high powered attorneys and corporations.

  53. Annie, there is a way to know what is true and what is false. We have documents explaining what happened to people who were tortured. We have actual statements by principles involved in ordering, “legally” justifying, engaging in and being the victim of torture. We do understand and can read what the law is regarding torture. We can understand and know what the president and Congress as well as the courts should be doing about torture. These are known knowns!

    I’m not certain why you think it is impossible to know the truth in these matters. In many ways, we know exactly what happened in certain cases, although we do not know all of what happened. I’m not sure why this evidence should be discounted. If you are discounting all the evidence we do have, would you tell me why you have chosen to do so?

  54. O.K. trying to post this again! Annie, there is a way to know the truth. We have documents describing what happened. We have the statements of the principles who ordered, “legally justified”, engaged in and were the victims of torture. We can read and understand the law regarding torture. We can know what the legal duty of the president, Congress and the courts are in the case of torture.

    That’s a great deal of evidence. We do not know everything that happened but we do know a lot of what happened. If you think it is important to disregard this evidence, would you tell me why?

  55. No Jill, I’m not discounting the info in evidence, what gives me pause is that there seems to be missing info that could possibly explain why the decision was made to not proceed in publishing this info. Is it because there are continuing threats and continuing covert operations included in that info? If no adequate explanation is forthcoming, well let the chips fall where they may. It’s very disconcerting that this administration is protecting people who engaged in crimes. So what can be done? I’m a a loss here, still trying to wrap my head around this stuff.

  56. Jill,
    Do you feel that the President is wrong in continuing to fight a covert “war on terrorism”? in quotes because I’m no sure what to call it anymore.

  57. Also, why were there no Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee involved in the investigation? According to Senator Saxby Chambliss none were.

  58. As someone who deals with gov’t officials daily, Eatinger’s behavior is the RULE, not the exception. This doesn’t mean they are bad people, but there is a serious lack of respect for the rule of law in gov’t that leads to de-facto “conspiracies to win”. In many instances, there are systemic issues in administrations that exacerbate these issues (i.e. IRS employees advance by bringing in the $). Judges have only made it worse by deferring to and giving every benefit to gov’t officials. This can actually encourage the poor behavior that the judges purport to be so rare, because bad actors know they can get away with it if they have the cover of the gov’t.

  59. Annie,

    Obama promised to not prosecute anyone for torture before he became president. He has continued the torture program. He has continued to assassinate people on his own say so. (Please see Elaine’s link.)

    The threat you fear should be a president who does these things, helped by a willing Congress and compliant judiciary. Your nation is not a democracy. It is run by thugs. There is no terrorist threat that can do worse to your society and its people than what I just described.

    No terrorist threat justifies torture and assassination. We are lost as a people once we trade out the lives of others for the false belief that we will be saved by those who think nothing of killing or torture. Please, think what you are saying! Why do you believe people who torture and murder others have a good will towards you and your nation. Why?

  60. “Your nation is not a democracy. It is run by thugs. There is no terrorist threat that can do worse to your society and its people than what I just described.” -Jill

    Bears repeating.

    “Campaign created by Daniel Ellsberg”:

    “Tell Congress: Investigate NSA abuses and protect our constitutional rights”

    “We need a new Church Committee that is fully empowered to investigate the abuses of the NSA and make public its findings, and that is charged with recommending new laws to ensure the U.S. government does not violate our constitutional rights.
    Why is this important?

    In 1975, Senator Frank Church, who led a committee charged with investigating and making public the abuses of American intelligence agencies, spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

    “I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

    The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence-gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left.”

    That has now happened. And so we need a new congressional committee like the one Senator Church led to investigate the revelations by Edward Snowden. The existing Intelligence Committees in House and Senate, gagged by secrecy and co-opted by the intelligence community they supposedly oversee, have failed to check dangerously excessive surveillance of Americans’ communications.

    Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate these revelations might lead us to bring the NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the Bill of Rights.” -Daniel Ellsberg

  61. I’ve tried to post three very similar comments.

    “Your nation is not a democracy. It is run by thugs.”

    True and true.

  62. Anonymously Posted

    I retrieved those comments out of the WordPress Vortex of Doom™

    Folks, refer above for his comments.

  63. I understand and appreciate the concern of some about torture used by our government. But I want to ask those who get exercised over the use of torture on animals (terrorist) who would not hesitate to sever our head from our body, why they don’t get equally exercised over the tragic loss of 3000 Americans on 9/11 or the loss of 5000 brave Americans who sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our liberties. And for those who would condemn President G.W. Bush for using waterboarding, President Obama is conducting his quiet drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan killing terrorist but also killing innocent men, women and children. President Obama DOES NOT torture anyone, he just kills them.

  64. Whereas animals walk on four legs and humans on two…
    … Read Animal Farm.

    To dehumanize a person… That’s how evil justifies itself.

    Are we a Nation of Laws or are we a Nation of men?
    Or are we animals?

  65. p.s.
    Isn’t it a well known and documented FACT that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and the ties to AQ were fronted by the US and GB? So if our troops were in Iraq defending what, again? Who’s Liberty did our “shock and awe” terrorize?

  66. Justin,
    Call the Humane Society.

    We’re trying to get the wo/men who craft Law to understand their Oath is binding.

    Whereas some prefer to follow the Law of the Land…
    … Others prefer to shirk the law and follow the wo/men who make up Law at their whim.


  67. Four legs good, two legs better! All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.

    All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.

  68. Jill:
    Why do you believe people who torture and murder others have a good will towards you and your nation. Why?

    Very good question.
    Bears repeating…

    I’ve been calling my House Rep. who, during the Bush Administration, enjoined former Congressman, Dennis Kuchinich in the 35 articles of Impeachment. Some of those articles repeat in the Obama Administration and now, it appears, there may be obstruction to add to the list. Spying, torture, murder (aka assassinations sans due process). I’m asking of him to drop the idea that because a Democrat from his does it, it still is illegal and until he acts, I will not re elect him to represent me and instead, elect someone willing to defend and support ALL of our Rights, not just the ones a Republican Administration violates.

  69. Justin L. Petaccio
    a bear can walk on two legs, a kangaroo can walk on two legs, ducks, geese, birds walk on two legs.

    Oedipus solved the riddle by answering: Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then uses a walking stick in old age.

  70. Most intelligence personnel are probably very good people but these subordinates take orders from their superiors – if their superiors violate their oath of office (their supreme loyalty oath) then the subordinates and private contractors follow those orders.

    The Founding Fathers, who dealt with greater threats than any of these inteligence personnel, knew that “human nature” over thousands of years never changes – so they created an “indirect” loyalty oath to the constitutional rule of law.

    This “indirect” loyalty oath is not to the nation directly and not to the people directly – and it is designed for wartime and even terrorism, without a Patriot Act and without secret courts.

    The Supremacy Clause and the Ninth Amendment were the supreme law of the land when all these agencies were created and they should have been built on a constitutional “foundation” when they were created.

    The question is: How do we return these agencies to their proper role of operating within the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution if the agency leadership has no allegiance to their own supreme loyalty oath? Shouldn’t loyalty be the top attribute for any intelligence leadership wielding so much power with so much secrecy – we have had intelligence leaders with almost contempt for the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution giving orders to subordinates!

  71. Max-1

    Ok, I’ll concede that you established that you are fluent in Animal Farmology. As far as animals having four legs, did you loose a pet when you were a child and never got over it or something? You take umbrage at my use of the word animal to describe the terrorist, but say nary a word of compassion/concern for the 3000 who died on 9/11 and the 5000 who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ummm. Interesting.

  72. Accuracy is a big part of the equation, punishing the wrong people may make Americans feel better but it is counter-productive and creates even more enemies which makes us less safe. It also increases the risk of a future attack from groups that were not real enemies to the United States.

    Using the government’s own records, the ACLU compared “terrorism” investigations vs. “terrorism” prosecutions during the Bush years and the rate is less than 10%. Over 90% of the “terrorism” laws are being used on “non-terrorism” and even “non-criminal” investigations and searches. The U.S. Government is even attacking the free press that try to educate American voters.

    Virginia lists African-American college students at all black colleges as a potential threat at their Fusion Center. Other state fusion centers list homosexuals, environmentalists, Quakers, Tea Party members, animal rights groups, etc. – using terrorism laws that violate the Bill of Rights.

    Imagine the treatment of foreign citizens if this is happening to Americans living inside the United States – we are making more enemies every day from people who supported us.

  73. Justin, what is separating you from a terrorist from another nation? What happened on 9/11 was horrific. I don’t think anyone here would deny that fact. So what is the response by this govt. and its owners to 9/11?

    The legal response would have been a criminal investigation, trials and punishment of the guilty. Instead, the govt. devised torture, Gitmo–a place to imprison people w/o trial or little hope of legal recourse, mass surveillance on our own population, and mass murder. Mass murder took place in Iraq, a war of aggression on a nation which had nothing to do with 9/11. The people responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 civilians and our soldiers were the people who went to war on false and illegal pretenses. Where is your outrage about that mass murder?

    Now you say, in contradiction to our law, that the US has every right to torture other people, to kill them to take revenge for 9/11. The people who committed 9/11 were acting in revenge on the people of the US. It seems to me that those terrorist and those American citizens that say we may torture and kill the innocent hold the very same mindset and values.

    US law says there may be no torture, even in extraordinary circumstances. US law says that you do not get to kill civilians in any way, not a war of aggression like Iraq and Afghanistan, nor a phony war on “terror”. Nor does a president, let alone his real boss, the shadow govt., get to target individuals on their say so for execution.

    Why are you willing to break faith with your own laws? How does you proclamation about your nation’s “right” to torture and assassinate others differ from the people who killed people on 9/11?

    It should disturb and scare you that intelligence officials are committing all kinds of lawless acts both in the US and abroad. What Ross pointed out is actually happening. The rights of US citizens are effectively abridged. The lives of others mean nothing to those who run things and their minions. Every time you side with their right to take away your rights and the lives of others, you aid in the destruction of your own society.

  74. Jill,

    I’m not quite to the point of “you aid in the destruction of your own society.” I’m not quite there, yet. But I will ask the same question I asked you yesterday, What is the definition of TORTURE?

  75. Jill,

    There is no question you are angry, and you have every right to be angry. I remember the context in which the United States went to war in Iraq. We can postulate after the fact of what could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve been done at that time, but taken in context, I believe the war in Iraq was justified.

  76. Justin, I asked that you read JT on this. He gives the law, the history, etc. One thing that is torture in our law is waterboarding. John Yoo claimed that crushing a man’s testicles and torturing the child of a detainee were permissible. Those are not legally permissible and that would also be an example of torture. If you are O.K. with those things which break the law and are extremely cruel, please explain why.

    Our society has only the protection of the rule of law. Thugs who order torture, mass murder and assassination do not care about your welfare.

  77. Justine, Many people believed the war in Iraq was justified because many people believe the lies of their government. We actually do know that the govt. falsified evidence and propagandized its citizens to go to war against Iraq. This knowingly false war of aggression caused the death of our soldiers and over 100,000 Iraq citizens. The “leaders” of this nation lied to you. That should bother you, not make you want to justify what happened.

  78. Naturally, I could not reasonably agree with “torturing the child of a detainee.” You and others give the terrorist too much latitude. These are not nice people who are committed to our destruction. War is dirty. I don’t feel any less free because of these actions. Actually, I feel much safer. Again, it bears repeating, I support the rule of law.

  79. Jill:

    It’s JUSTIN. I’m not a girl. It does bother me, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Humans are imperfect beings. I’m not justifying the act of war. And yes, we were lied to. But in context I believe the actions taken were necessary. I’m outraged over the loss of human life.

  80. Justin, First I will apologize for adding an e to your name. It was a typo, not an on purpose act, but it was my mistake.

    You write that people like me give a terrorist too much latitude. There are several problems with that statement. First, who is a terrorist? The president feels that he, the CIA, the NSA, JSOC and OGA along with their contractor overlords are the sole arbiter of who counts as a terrorist. That is not the law of the United States. This is an illegal usurpation of authority. The world is littered with the bodies of men, women and children whom this govt. claims were terrorists. In fact, the were civilians.

    There is nothing weak about bringing people to trial in a court of law. That is what our system requires from us. To uphold ones system of government is not weak, it is strong. It is not going easy on anyone. It is assuring justice.

    The first thing that people like me try to get to the truth behind this government’s lies. We try to hold morally consistent positions, not changing our ethical demands due to membership in a sporting team or religion (political party). I work to uphold the rule of law.

    I can understand why you believed the propaganda about Iraq but now that you know the truth, it is difficult for me to understand why you claim a war of aggression is justified. Wars of aggression are against the law of your own nation. When you say you support the rule of law but then justify wars of aggression, assassination and torture, that is a contradiction. To support the rule of law you would need to oppose all of these things.

    So, I just don’t know what else to say except what I have already pointed out.

  81. Justin L. Petaccio
    “but say nary a word of compassion/concern for the 3000 who died on 9/11 and the 5000 who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The topic of the thread concerns the living hand how they protect the 313.9 million Americans. Had those troops not been sent into a folly of war crimes, they too would be part of the living. My question to you is:
    Why must 313.9 million Americans give up their 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment Rights JUST because of 9/11 and the subsequent war crimes of aggression in Iraq? It’s as if YOU pitch their corps’ against the living exclaiming that the dead demand that we, the living, be damned.

    My point is this, cockroaches are bugs, not people. Hutu vs. Tutsi. HISTORY!
    Jews and gays and Gypsy’s weren’t human enough and thus, exterminated.
    Which side are your repeating?

  82. Justin, What does that mean? In reality, the assassination of civilians by an out of control executive and his actual order givers has resulted in more terrorism, not less. You are less safe from a terrorist attack. The word for this is blow-back. That’s as real as it gets.

    Another reality is this, once you have given up on the rule of law you have taken out the foundation of justice and problem solving in your own nation. I don’t know how you can’t see that has happened and what it means to your society. This society is in crisis. That’s a reality you are not accounting to.

    You are saying that being real requires giving assent to: 1. mass murder, 2. assassinations of civilians and 3. torture That strikes me as a very sad decision. Those actions all have terrible consequences in the real world.

  83. Max-1:

    “It’s as if YOU pitch their corps’ against the living exclaiming that the dead demand that we, the living, be damned.” Not really. As I read the posts, it sounds to me like there is more concern/compassion for those who are perceived to be tortured then for the Americans who sacrificed their lives. I just want to be like Fox News: Fair & Balanced.

  84. Jill:

    I asked this question in a previous post. You must have forgotten to reply.

    “Since you are so outraged with the actions of our government, what are you doing to correct the very things your are condemning?” Talk to me.

  85. How long is this Bush, Iraq, torturing drum going to be beaten, anyway? I respect everyone’s opinion no matter how much we disagree, but when do we say enough? There comes a point where we keep going in circles.

  86. Justin,

    I did answer you. Please reread. Thanks!

    A great deal of the damage being done to our nation is the failure to hold our leaders, past and present, accountable to the rule of law.

  87. Jill:

    “1. mass murder, 2. assassinations of civilians and 3. torture That strikes me as a very sad decision. Those actions all have terrible consequences in the real world.”

    I resent the fact that you would state that I would or could approve of such reprehensible acts. What particular incidents are you referring to when you cite the actions above? e.g. mass murder; assassinations; torture.

  88. The first thing that people like me try to get to the truth behind this government’s lies. We try to hold morally consistent positions, not changing our ethical demands due to membership in a sporting team or religion (political party). I work to uphold the rule of law.

  89. Anyone that has followed this issue closely, here is what the big picture looks like.

    In the 1950’s Senator Joseph McCarthy was running a quasi-OVERT inquisition – publicly accusing Americans throuh guilt by association. In the 1970’s McCarthyism essentially went underground through the COVERT programs like CoinTelPro, Operation Chaos, etc. at about the same time as the so-called War on Drugs.

    Then in 2001, Bush launched a “Preemption Doctrine” was completely contrary to our Bill of Rights. Between 2001 and today a huge blacklisting and spying industry was created.

    Because the unconstitutional practices happened before 9/11 and are now established police and intel practices, it will be very difficult to make them follow their oath of office to uphold the Bill of Rights.

    Please submit ideas for fixing it but federal judges and Supreme Court justices will play a vital role in returning to rule of law nation. If this generation does not fix it, the next generation won’t know how to.

  90. Why We Need a New Church Committee to Fix Our Broken Intelligence System
    As Senator Feinstein has revealed, the CIA will not only stall but even spy on Congress to impede its investigation of wrongdoing.
    Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. March 12, 2014

    Almost forty years ago, a Senate select committee known as the Church Committee for its chair, Idaho Senator Frank Church, investigated America’s secret government. The committee’s investigation remains the most extensive of its kind in this nation’s history. Now it is time for a new committee to examine our secret government closely again, particularly for its actions in the post-9/11 period.

    This need is underscored by what has become a full-blown crisis, with Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein accusing the CIA of spying on the committee, possibly violating the Constitution’s separation-of-powers principles, the Fourth Amendment and other laws.

    It’s the only thing that will save DiFi and her team of yes men on the SSCI.

  91. “I just want to be like Fox News: Fair & Balanced.
    Well then, for balance… Iraq’s WMD’s much?

    You balance argument requires that we take on amnesia and forget Geneva Convention barring torture. And let’s not forget our history prosecuting US soldiers who engaged in water TORTURE during Nam. Oh, and a particular Texas Sherif that thought water TORTURE was a good thing until it landed him behind bars.

    None of that happened?

    When Saddam TORTURED… that was bad. Right?

  92. Justin,
    If it’s OK when the USA TORTURES…
    … Then it was OK when Saddam TORTURED!

    TORTURE is TORTURE. It isn’t any less illegal when the USA does it.
    To assume that mind frame begs to the question:
    What then, is exceptionalism?

  93. “I resent the fact that you would state that I would or could approve of such reprehensible acts. What particular incidents are you referring to when you cite the actions above? e.g. mass murder; assassinations; torture.

    “YES, and America is going to be in continual danger from terrorist for decades to come.

    “But, it begs the question: What is torture?

    “I understand and appreciate the concern of some about torture used by our government. But I want to ask those who get exercised over the use of torture on animals (terrorist) who would not hesitate to sever our head from our body, why they don’t get equally exercised over the tragic loss of 3000 Americans on 9/11 or the loss of 5000 brave Americans who sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our liberties.

    I quote only you Justin.
    I resent the fact that you pitch innocent victims at the feet of TORTURE to mollify perspective towards the need to target “ANIMALS”. Then you ducked and dodged me calling out your very purposeful use of dehumanizing language to solidify your point. THAT was the ‘tell’.

    IF you cared about the rule of law, you would already be aware of other people and nations that stoop to that mentality to ‘solidly argue’ their points of view as justified.

    IF we as a Nation are better than that, then why the need to throw the lost lives of terrorism at the base of your dehumanizing POV? It doesn’t correlate.

    I believe we, as a Nation, ARE better than resulting to stooping to low means to achieve a goal. BTW, what was the goal in Iraq? TORTURE!!!!

  94. Justin L. Petaccio
    It seems to me that Americans have their hands full with trying to stop this president from doing any further damage to our country. Can we agree on that?
    = = = = = =
    Imagine the National dialogue had the New York Times ran the headline:
    Kim Jun Un Deliberates Droning N.Korean Dissident Living in Boston, Ma.

    Would it be a provocation of war or would it be deemed a necessary targeted surgical strike? And what if they hit a wedding party, instead… For the third time?


  95. Justin L. Petaccio
    How long is this Bush, Iraq, torturing drum going to be beaten, anyway? I respect everyone’s opinion no matter how much we disagree, but when do we say enough? There comes a point where we keep going in circles.
    = = = =
    When the people who devised, authorized and covered it up are pacing in circles from behind bars in orange jumpers.

  96. How long is this Bush, Iraq, torturing drum going to be beaten, anyway? -Justin

    When the people who devised, authorized and covered it up are pacing in circles from behind bars in orange jumpers. -Max-1


  97. The CIA’s Excuse: Hiding the Double Agents
    Published March 14, 2014 | By emptywheel

    Adam Goldman and Greg Miller offer the CIA’s excuse for removing documents from the SCIF where they had been made available to Senate Intelligence Committee staffers: they had to hide their double agents.

  98. SECRET agents hiding…
    SECRET memos hidden…
    SECRET laptops skimmed…

    Can you almost see the transparency?

  99. In May of 2010, the committee staff noticed that [certain] documents that had been provided for the committee’s review were no longer accessible. Staff approached the CIA personnel at the offsite location, who initially denied that documents had been removed. CIA personnel then blamed information technology personnel, who were almost all contractors, for removing the documents themselves without direction or authority. And then the CIA stated that the removal of the documents was ordered by the White House. When the committee approached the White House, the White House denied giving the CIA any such order.
    (embolden mine)

    If true, Impeach Obama.

    How can the White House clear findings from Feinstein’s Committee if the WH is sitting on them to protect the identities of the perps?

  100. Max-1

    Well, I appreciate that took the time to read my post and give me your POV. I respect your position, but it has not changed my position one iota. You can continue to beat the drum and hopefully you will get tired enough to move on. Let me ask you the same question I asked Jill, but she did not answer: What is your definition of TORTURE. In my opinion torture is not the greatest threat to my country. Barack Obama is.

  101. I stated in a previous post that the United States’ policy in the Middle East has been an abject failure. I don’t know what else you want. Why aren’t you pounding the drum of Obama’s secret drone program that is killing innocent men, women, children and terrorist, a.k.a. animals in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Are you on a mission to beat Bush into the ground.

  102. I doubt very seriously that any action is going to be taken against an ex-president. I think your energy would be better invested in more pressing current problems. e.g. Banghazi, IRS, NSA, an out-of-control president.

  103. Check the record, when was the last time we had a terrorist attack on the homeland? My point exactly. When George W. Bush was in the White House, I felt safe when I went to bed at night. I don’t feel safe with Barack Obama. And we could be on the cusp of another war in the Ukraine.

  104. Max 1:

    “How long is this Bush, Iraq, torturing drum going to be beaten, anyway? -Justin

    When the people who devised, authorized and covered it up are pacing in circles from behind bars in orange jumpers. -Max-1


    Good Luck

  105. Justin
    So big of you to think I would be at home in Afghanistan.
    I’ll try to remember to act insulted like Diane is.

    I’m advocating FOR the preservation of our Rights.
    … So you tell me to go join AQ.

    It appears you just want to hand AQ a victory by advocating for the removal of basic and fundamental Rights America was founded on

  106. Justin
    What you find to a threat and what I find to be a threat aren’t that different. Interesting that your point is hinged on a definition that doesn’t relate to your POV, instead insisting on a false equivalency to ground you points in.

    What does it matter what my personal definition of torture is?
    If torture is illegal and the USA engaged in torture, would it be correct that you would advocate not prosecuting the perps?

    It just so happens the perps have been well rewarded by the very man you find a threat. Odd… We both agree. Yet, because I don’t fall on the graves of the dead of 9/11 to make my point, I’m off kilter in your mind.

    Interesting… How do you define criminal acts?

  107. Does “loyalty” matter in positions with great power done in great secrecy? Isn’t proper loyalty the top requirement for those with so much power?

    All inteligence personnel swear “supreme” loyalty to the U.S. Constitution which includes our Bill of Rights. This supreme oath of office supersedes all other loyalties in their job duties and authorities – they agree to this contract as a condition of employment.

    They may be otherwise great people with great intentions but do they honor their loyalty contract? It starts with the agency leadership and governs the orders they issue to subordinates.

  108. Max-1:

    “What does it matter what my personal definition of torture is?”

    It matters because one person’s definition of torture is another person’s definition of interrogation. So, yes, it does matter to me. Who wrote the manual on the definition of torture? Torture is subjective. A terrorist will not hesitate to chop your head off and you are worried about giving him rights that he neither has nor deserves. As I stated previously, none of my rights have been abridged because we happened to rough up a few animals. Let me give you my definition of what I believe is an ANIMAL: someone who appears in human form but engages in constant pattern of heinous acts that only non-humans would commit. They live by the rule of the jungle, kill or be killed. They are not freedom fighters. They kill strictly for the purpose of killing.

  109. I watched your video. Very good video. But I keep coming back to my question: What is the definition of torture? I can’t make a valid determination unless and until I know what is defined as torture. So give me some place where I can go to get the definition of torture. I watch football because I know the rules of football. When someone violates the rule I know it. I need to know the definition of torture so I have a point of reference. Give me that information. Thanks.

  110. .anonymously posted

    Three words, Justin.

    Rule of law.

    (One day, perhaps you’ll understand.)

    Because I disagree with you one day perhaps I’ll understand. Maybe you are the one who needs to understand

  111. I’m directing my comments now specifically to ANONYMOUSLY YOURS.

    When I decided to become a community activist in 1989 I had a decision to make. I have a hard and fast rule: I would sign my name to any and all communications with public entities. If I said it, I wanted it to be know who said it. I did not hide behind the mask of anonymity. Because anyone who does not have the courage to stand behind their comments and identify themselves does not have any credibility with me.

  112. Dave Maass on the topic of anonymity:

    “Anonymity is important to anyone who doesn’t want every facet of their online life tied to a Google search of their name. It is important to anyone who is repulsed by the idea of an unrelenting data broker logging everything she has ever said, or shown interest in, in a permanent marketing profile. And more.

    Bazelon describes anonymous comments as “generally a big mistake” for free societies. I disagree and point to Common Sense by Thomas Paine, originally published under the anonymous byline, “an Englishman.” (Perhaps that could be Gabfest’s next Audible recommendation.)

    To suggest anonymity should be forbidden because of troll-noise is just as bad as suggesting a ban on protesting because the only demonstrators you have ever encountered are from the Westboro Baptist Church—the trolls of the picket world. People who say otherwise need to widen their experience and understanding of the online world. The online spaces we know and love would be doomed without anonymity, even if the security of that anonymity is far from absolute or impenetrable. The ability to explore other identities, to communicate incognito, to seek out communities and advice without revealing your identity is not only a net positive, but crucial to preserving a free and open Internet.”

  113. From the previous link:

    “A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

    “Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.”

    The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton James Madison and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym “Publius ” and “the Federal Farmer” spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.”

  114. Dave Maass: Ok, what does all this mean? ~~Justin L. Petaccio

    I think you’ll have to find him and ask the question again.

    “Spare me the preaching, will ya.” ~~Justin L. Petaccio

    Don’t confuse “preaching” with “rebuttal”.

  115. Justin, FYI. It’s a violation of Professor Turley’s civility rule to post another commenter’s real name. Why would you do such a thing? You don’t further any argument you make by stooping to such methods.

  116. Justin,

    The blog policy is to never out someone even if they may have outted themselves at some point. It’s a pretty simple rule of anonymous posting.

  117. “The blog policy is to never out someone even if they may have outted themselves at some point. It’s a pretty simple rule of anonymous posting.”

    I’ve been on this blog for about a month and have been referring to others by the name posted on the screen. This is the first time I’ve run into this problem. What is it that I’m not getting?

  118. Hi everyone. I have deleted a few comments on this thread that was getting highly personal despite what I considered an admirably restrained and civil discussion for the majority of the exchanges. Justin used what he believed was the real name of someone with an anonymous identification. He says that the name appears on the screen. I am not able to see that screen right now but I deleted the references. I certainly appreciate folks writing under their own names and all of our weekend bloggers gave up anonymity. We do however respect anonymity as a free speech value. If someone prefers to use an anonymous title, it should not matter if he or she is identified elsewhere. That is the identification that is preferred and basic civility should militate against the use of a person’s name. I very much appreciate the different views expressed on this thread on national security, torture and other issues. Our effort to maintain a highly civil forum has been ridiculed by other blogs that askew civility rules. Nevertheless, the success of this site is due largely to the fact that we have passionate discussions and disagreements without it becoming personal. If someone is using an anonymous moniker, please use it even if his or her identity can be deduced from another site or on available information.

    Once again, I commend everyone for a fascinating discussion on this thread and we are delighted to have everyone as part of this and other discussions. I appreciate your help on maintaining the civility rules.


  119. Well Justin…. It appears the blog police did in fact show up…. It’s all fairly logical rules of decorum….just treat people like you’d like to be treated….

  120. Justin, Hang in their dude. If you would like to get info on the trapping techniques, contact me @ I put my email out there w/ some trepidations, but I don’t want to see you get snookered by folks w/ an agenda and no integrity. I welcome NO OTHER contact except for Jason.

  121. Seems like you have an agenda nick, I don’t think anyone is trying to trap anyone on here….. Now if that’s your game, I understand why people misunderstand your pure and simple motives….

    I will say you single handily cause more current that an undertow in a tidal wave……. There were some changes that needed to occur, but you have caused more disruption with your trapping stragety….. Than needs to occur…. You must live a very lonely life….

  122. “Who Is Robert Eatinger?”

    Mar 12 2014 @ 1:22pm

    “A lawyer dogged by scandal, already deemed by a federal judge to have withheld evidence in order to protect a CIA agent from scrutiny, and deeply embedded in the torture program itself, should never in a million years have risen to the top legal post at the CIA. 128 pages of the Senate report are reportedly concerned with false CIA representations to the Office of Legal Counsel. I wonder how many times Eatinger appears in them. Yesterday, DiFi said it was 1600 times in the full report.

    The conflict of interest is so massive and obvious here that one has to wonder if anyone at the White House knew what Eatinger’s past was, when he ascended to the job. But it sure seems obvious Brennan did. Which is why, yesterday, he seemed so unsettled. The gig may soon be up – unless the CIA manages to suppress the Senate report past the coming elections. Haste, Mr President. Haste.

    (Photos from Abu Ghraib prison, documenting torture techniques authorized by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, as a mild and distant adjunct to the torture program legally defended by Robert Eatinger.)”


    “This was predictable. As I pointed out the other day, the alternative to quickly confirming Krass was leaving Robert Eatinger — the guy who launched a witch hunt into Committee staffers — Acting Counsel at CIA. Even a mediocre candidate would be preferable to that, for Committee Democrats, and by all reports and appearances Krass is a very sharp and candid lawyer.

    That said, in addition to seeking leverage over the Torture Report dispute, Committee members had expressed concern that Krass explicitly endorsed withholding privileged documents from the oversight Committee. So by rushing through Krass’ nomination, the Senate waived any opportunity to obtain some commitment for greater sharing with the Senate.”

  124. So when it’s declassified and published, what happens next? Are Bush/Cheney subject to criminal charges? Will we be seeing them in the Hague anytime soon?

  125. Oh, did Nicky get his shorts in a knot? He’s not only a dick in private, but where ever he goes.

  126. Anonymous Posted:

    Returning to our discussion, your diatribe is no more than an exercise in futility. Nothing is going to be accomplished other than to satisfy your own personal unresolved issues. The nation has moved on and so should you.

  127. Peter Van Buren:

    March 13th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    “You want to know about torture? Come with me– I’ve met two men who were tortured. They told me what happened:”,_torture_superpower/

    “Brandon Neely, a U.S. military policeman and former Guantanamo guard, watched a medic there beat an inmate he was supposed to treat. CIA agents tortured a German citizen, a car salesman named Khaled el-Masri, who was picked up in a case of mistaken identity, sodomizing, shackling, and beating him, holding him in total sensory deprivation, as Macedonian state police looked on, so the European Court of Human Rights found last week.

    Others, such as the Court of Human Rights or the Senate Intelligence Committee, may give us glimpses into the nightmare of official American policy in the first years of this century. Still, our president refuses to look backward and fully expose the deeds of that near-decade to sunlight; he refuses to truly look forward and unambiguously renounce forever the use of anything that could be seen as an “enhanced interrogation technique.” Since he also continues to support robustly the precursors to torture — the “extraordinary rendition” of captured terror suspects to allied countries that are perfectly happy to torture them and indefinite detention by decree — we cannot fully understand what men like the Korean poet and the Iraqi tribal leader already know on our behalf: we are torturers and unless we awaken to confront the nightmare of what we are continuing to become, it will eventually transform and so consume us.”

  128. Nick said, “Justin, Hang in their dude. If you would like to get info on the trapping techniques, contact me [………]. […] but I don’t want to see you get snookered by folks w/ an agenda and no integrity. I welcome NO OTHER contact except for Jason.”

    About those “trapping techniques”:

    Nick, this is a blog, not some war zone with scattered, randomly placed snares.

  129. Nick,

    I think your basic premise is faulty…. If you treat this site as a place of hostility maybe your best efforts could be utilized elsewhere…. This is no more trench warfare than learning how be reasonable with people you disagree with.

    If your thinking is, that this is a place where everyone’s opinion is valued then stay….

    You’re still trying to insult Elaine to where she goes away ….. I promise you…. She is stronger than your best effort….

    Good luck insulting….. You do that well….

  130. Wait, is this a blog with a secret agenda? You mean they have paid trolls to go after people? I want a piece of this action, where do I sign up?

  131. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m having trouble relating to, You Don’t Say My Name, Anonymously Yours, Could be anyone, anonyone, anonymously posted, anonymous, etc. Maybe that’s the whole point, you think? Is this some kind of secret club you have to be member of, kinda like the Skulls.

  132. If you say so justin or Jason or whatever non de plume….. I’m pretty distinct in writing style….

  133. And justin that’s all that matters in reality….. I’ve never heard anyone refer to this blog as gurellia warfare….. That says something about someone’s reality….

  134. Justin L. Petaccio

    Does Professor Turley approve of that?


    What does “that” refer to in your question?

    BTW, I am one of the weekend contributors.

  135. Elaine Magliaro, a graduate of Salem State College, worked as an elementary school teacher for more than three decades and as a school librarian for three years. She taught a children’s literature course at Boston University from 2002-2008.

    Your conduct is reprehensible. You should be ashamed of yourself. With teachers like you, it’s no wonder the elementary schools are failing. Where’s your John Stewart videos?

  136. Justin, if you think that commenters are “hate mongers” and “reprehensible” for expressing opposing views you have very thin skin. Last weekend you called people hate mongers who were with you about Fox news, what is it this weekend, are you angry that Professor Turley had to remind everyone about the civility rule and anonominity? You join Nick Spinelli in waging some sort of “trench warfare” on commenters here? Do you think that engenders?

  137. Correction: Who were disagreeing with you. I really don’t like being called a “hate monger and reprehensible”. Perhaps you could drop some of the animosity and start over?

  138. Professor Turley,

    I was living a nice peaceful, quiet life watching the civil, constructive, intelligent discussion on Fox News, when you came over to Fox News. It was good seeing you again after almost 15 years. I enjoyed watching you on CNN and learned much from you. You inspired me to become the political junkie I am today. I got the web address of your blog after your interview with Megan Kelly.

    I’ve been on your blog now a little over a month and this thing is a zoo. I’ve never seen or heard anything like it before. Is this the way progressives/Democrats/libertarians conduct their discussions? On Sunday, March 9, 2014 I was viciously attacked by one of your weekly contributors, Elaine MagIiaro, just for having the temerity to compliment Fox News and Sean Hannity. Ms. Magliaro, along with another blogger, anniofwi, came after me like a pack of wolves. And Ms. Magliaro was a teacher and is one of your weekend contributors. What is that all about? Do you approve of this type of behavior? I hope not. I always viewed you as a person of high moral distinction. I can’t believe you would approve of this kind of behavior. I would have never gotten involved in this except for you.

    Justin L. Petaccio

  139. Justin,
    Please describe HOW you were attacked. I don’t recall anyone attacking you personally. Disagreement with your opinion is not attack. Grow a thicker skin and drop some of the animosity and your voice here won’t be so discordant. I’m pretty sure Professor Turley doesn’t wan is blog turned into an echo chamber , NOR a battlefield, with combatants engaged in trench warfare. Just my opinion.

    Elaine can defend herself, but you do her an injustice.

  140. Annieof wi wrote:

    “So when it’s declassified and published, what happens next? Are Bush/Cheney subject to criminal charges? Will we be seeing them in the Hague anytime soon?”
    Unfortunately the US is not a signatory nation to the treaty accepting jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Though it acts to assist in the arrest of individuals who comment war crimes. The premise that various administrations have used is that it would subject American generals and soldiers to arbitrary charges by third world regimes bent on simply political reasons. Well that might be one reason but I don’t believe it is enough since the ICC can dismiss a charge for lack of evidence before trial. To me it is that the administrations and leadership fears it will be sitting in a cell in The Hague and they want immunity.

  141. Justin or Jason as you were referred to by Nick… The only game that’s being played is your disruption of this site…. Elaine is well qualified to take care of herself…. Annie has been attacked by another poster here… One of Gene attackers seems to think once a mea culpa is hailed then everyone should forget….

    As you started off or nick did…. This is not gurellia warfare… This is not the trenches…. Most of the folks try and have reasonable discussions…. You’ve tried to bait me…. I very seldom go for the shinny objects in the water… Enjoy your stay here as long as you want…. But we have long memories….

  142. Serenity now, serenity now, serenity now. This has devolved into “I know you are but what am I.” Can, “I’m rubber, you’re glue,” be far behind. Running a guy outta here just because he watches Fox News is close minded, echo chamber horseshit. Our host appears on Fox and I know that frosts some of your asses. Get over it, and grow the f@ck up.

  143. Nick,

    No one is trying to run anyone away from here….. Except sans you to Elaine….. You’re gonna start something you’re not gonna like the end of….. Promise….

  144. Justin,

    I think you should email your complaint directly to Jonathan. He doesn’t have time to read all the comments on all of the posts on this blog–nor does he have time to “check the record.” I’d suggest you compile all the evidence you have of my reprehensible behavior and send it to him.

    Have a nice day!

  145. CIA Spies and Tortured Lies

    by Amy Goodman


    Ray McGovern is a former top-level CIA analyst who publicly criticized the intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq. He told me: “This goes back to the key question of supervising the intelligence community. … People always say, ‘After 9/11, everything changed.’ Well, it did change. The president, on the evening of 9/11, said, ‘I don’t care what the international lawyers say. We’re going to kick some ass.’ … Well, they took some prisoners in Afghanistan, and the first person tortured was John Walker Lindh, an American citizen.”

    The torture was widespread, vicious and conducted in secret “black sites” around the globe. This is what is being lost in the Beltway power struggle between Sen. Feinstein and the CIA. Lives have been ruined; some in U.S. detention died violent deaths at the hands of their captors. In the grim American gulag at Guantanamo Bay, hunger-striking prisoners charged with no crime, some of whom have been cleared for release for more than a decade, are subjected to vicious force-feeding and torture techniques that date back to the Spanish Inquisition.

    Let’s hope Feinstein’s indignation is not quickly salved, and that the Intelligence Committee’s oversight of the sprawling U.S. intelligence agencies is invigorated, with real teeth. NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden weighed in from political asylum in Russia, saying, “We’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

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