Tag: CIA

May 17, 2018

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel, Despite Her Facilitation of Torture

The Senate voted 55-45 to confirm Gina Haspel as CIA director on May 17, despite the fact that her facilitation of torture should disqualify her from assuming the role. In her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 9, Haspel insisted that the CIA’s interrogation program during the Bush administration was legal. Haspel, a 33-year… Read more »

November 18, 2017

US Military and CIA Leaders May Be Investigated for War Crimes

On November 3, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, “[T]here is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.” In what Amnesty International’s Solomon Sacco called a “seminal moment for the ICC,”… Read more »

January 25, 2017

State-Sanctioned Torture in the Age of Trump

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump declared he would “immediately” resume waterboarding and would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” because the United States is facing a “barbaric” enemy. He labeled waterboarding a “minor form” of interrogation. Waterboarding, which involves pouring water into the nose and mouth to make victims feel… Read more »

December 17, 2014

Torture Report Confirms Team Bush War Crimes

Reading the 499-page torture report just released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was a disgusting experience. Even after many years of writing books and articles about the Bush torture policy, I was unprepared for the atrocious pattern of crimes our government committed against other human beings in our name. One of the most… Read more »

July 8, 2011

A Free Pass for Torturers

“Nobody’s above the law,” President Barack Obama declared in 2009, as Congress contemplated an investigation of torture authorized by the Bush administration. But Mr. Obama has failed to honor those words. His Justice Department proclaimed its intention to grant a free pass to Bush officials and their lawyers who constructed a regime of torture and… Read more »

February 17, 2011

Law professor says Egypt was a common destination for torture of detainees sent by U.S.

National Law Journal interview of Marjorie Cohn by Amanda Bronstad: On Feb. 11, outgoing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned, leaving the country’s government under military rule and its hopes for democracy uncertain. Also unclear is whether the country’s history of human rights abuses and torture will continue in Egypt, according to Marjorie Cohn, editor and… Read more »

April 22, 2009

Bush Memos Reveal Policy of Cruelty; Obama Refuses to Enforce the Law

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU, President Obama released four Bush-era memos that describe unimaginably brutal techniques and provide “legal” justification for clearly illegal acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In the face of monumental pressure from the CIA to keep them secret, Obama demonstrated great… Read more »

March 4, 2009

Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State

Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide “legal” rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the… Read more »

March 11, 2008

National Lawyers Guild Calls on Congress to Override Bush Veto of Intelligence Authorization Bill

New York. The National Lawyers Guild calls on Congress to override George W. Bush’s veto—in direct contravention of the advice of military commanders—of the Intelligence Authorization Bill that contained a provision limiting the Central Intelligence Agency’s ability to engage in the torture technique known as waterboarding. The practice is currently prohibited by both military and… Read more »

February 15, 2008

Injustice at Guantanamo: Torture Evidence and the Military Commissions Act

The Bush administration has announced its intention to try six alleged al Qaeda members at Guantánamo under the Military Commissions Act. That Act forbids the admission of evidence extracted by torture, although it permits evidence obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment if it was secured before December 30, 2005. Thus, the administration would be… Read more »