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Author Topic: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism  (Read 68784 times)
JDN
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« Reply #100 on: August 09, 2008, 10:00:29 AM »

What do I say?  Actually, yesterday morning after a great deal of time I had just about finished composing and was about to post an eloquent  grin and thorough response to GM's request for further support (I usually write versus cut and paste) when I pushed the wrong button (I just bought a iMac) and it disappeared.   shocked

Not happy!  Had to go to work and again today, but I will try to give a brief summary of my position.

I suppose we could argue the legalities of the issue, but I am not an attorney.  Rather I tend to think/expect America to take the high road; I take pride that we are a moral country and try to do the right thing albeit not always "right". 

While I usually don't care what other's think, there is a limit.  When Germany terms our treatment at Guantanamo as "torture", when England's Parliament says "it is a monstrous failure of our times" and it has been called the "gulag of our times" I begin to wonder.

The impartial International Red Cross has stated that, "Every person in enemy hands MUST have some status under international law; he is either a POW and as such covered by the 3rd Convention.... or a civilian covered by the 4th convention..."  There is NO intermediate status; NOBODY in enemy hands can fall outside the law."  Doesn't this simply make common sense???

I am not defending these individuals.  If they are guilty of high crimes, string them up for all I care.  BUT, there should be presumption of innocence.  They should be given fair treatment, not tortured.  And frankly, if they are found innocent, let go in a reasonable amount of time - not when the war on terror is over.  I think even you, GM, given your writings might not think this will happen in our lifetime.  Yet at this time over 400 individuals are being held, yet only two or three have been tried.  I am willing to bet that less than 5% of those being held will be brought to trial and convicted of a serious crime.  The other 95% are wrongly and illegally being held in my opinion.

"Enemy Combatant", "Freedom Fighter", "American Revolutionary War Fighter"; I don't legally know exactly what's the difference.  And one dictionary's answer is different than another. But if it walks like duck, quacks like a duck, probably it is a POW duck   grin

Even our U.S. Supreme Court said enough is enough in the recent Boumedience v. Bush case stating that Guantanamo captives were entitled to the protection of the U.S. Constitution and described the CSR Tribunals as "inadequate" (legalize for wrong) and invoked the Geneva Convention.

Back to my Duck, I mean if you have to fly prisoners halfway around the world to a little piece of land in Cuba that most people had never heard of, doesn't that force you to ask the question, "Why?"  What are you hiding? I mean if it's legit, simply build a prison in CA, right?  And if they committed a crime, I have confident that my fellow Californians will quickly find them guilty and sentence them appropriately.  It's more honest than our military which hides evidence, acts as interrogators, prosecutors and defense counsel, judge, and jury and finally executioner.  This is not a fair trial; it is a travesty.

And torture, our treatment of these individuals is simply wrong.  And it's not the America I know and love.

I am passionate for our individual rights; they must be protected and applied to all.  England has  said, "one cannot fight violations of international law by committing further violations of international law."  Because al Qaeda et al are often inhumane does that justify our losing our freedoms and becoming inhumane?  I hope not.

I don't need to be a lawyer to know it's simply wrong.  In my opinion they should be given fair and humane (Geneva Convention) treatment.  Further, if innocent, let go.  If guilty, do as you will.  But be fair and just about it.
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G M
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« Reply #101 on: August 09, 2008, 03:30:39 PM »

What do I say?  Actually, yesterday morning after a great deal of time I had just about finished composing and was about to post an eloquent grin and thorough response to GM's request for further support (I usually write versus cut and paste) when I pushed the wrong button (I just bought a iMac) and it disappeared.   shocked

Not happy!  Had to go to work and again today, but I will try to give a brief summary of my position.

I suppose we could argue the legalities of the issue, but I am not an attorney.  Rather I tend to think/expect America to take the high road; I take pride that we are a moral country and try to do the right thing albeit not always "right". 

**Part of the right thing to do is to protect this nation against existential threats.**

While I usually don't care what other's think, there is a limit.  When Germany terms our treatment at Guantanamo as "torture", when England's Parliament says "it is a monstrous failure of our times" and it has been called the "gulag of our times" I begin to wonder.

**Did Germany as a nation say that, or was it a German politician? Was that from the British parliament or a member of parliament? Europeans love to sneer and condemn America, often while drinking a coke, eating a cheeseburger as they wait in line to see a Hollywood blockbuster. The only time their voices get louder is when they need us to rescue them. Give the Europeans the same moral status as you do a teenage kid that complains his dad is a fascist because he make him clean his room and mow the lawn.

Also, look up the statements from politicians that condemned the US to see if they've made any statement condemning North Korea, or China or Cuba. Amazing how the left seems not to be nearly as offended by real totalitarians that do real torture. Also vet them against the list of people implicated in the "oil for food scandal" the MSM declined to do much reporting on.**


The impartial International Red Cross has stated that, "Every person in enemy hands MUST have some status under international law; he is either a POW and as such covered by the 3rd Convention.... or a civilian covered by the 4th convention..."  There is NO intermediate status; NOBODY in enemy hands can fall outside the law."  Doesn't this simply make common sense???

**No, it doesn't. Law should be structured in such a manner as to reward lawful behavior and to punish unlawful behavior. Treating jihadists as if they were honorable enemy soldiers or run of the mill domestic criminals demeans both soldiers and ordinary domestic criminals as well as setting us up for failure. The enemy has studied us closely and anticipates using our cultural predilection for legal process as a weapon against us. I suggest you read some of their training manuals to see this for yourself.**

I am not defending these individuals.  If they are guilty of high crimes, string them up for all I care.  BUT, there should be presumption of innocence. 

**I think if you had any firsthand knowledge of the difficulties and expense of just putting one domestic criminal through the criminal justice system, you'd rethink your position. CSI: Fallujah isn't practical or realistic. Our troops operate under strict rules of engagement as it is, turning them in cops while operating under battlefield conditions is fantasy.**


They should be given fair treatment, not tortured. 

**Define "torture".**

 And frankly, if they are found innocent, let go in a reasonable amount of time - not when the war on terror is over. 

**Are you aware of those that we have released that have returned to the battlefield? Does returning captured enemies to fight again make any kind of sense?**

I think even you, GM, given your writings might not think this will happen in our lifetime.

**The war we are fighting originally started in the 7th century, the current portion started in 1979. So I indeed do not think we'll be seeing the end anytime soon.**

  Yet at this time over 400 individuals are being held, yet only two or three have been tried.  I am willing to bet that less than 5% of those being held will be brought to trial and convicted of a serious crime.  The other 95% are wrongly and illegally being held in my opinion.

**You opinion is based on what, exactly?**

"Enemy Combatant", "Freedom Fighter", "American Revolutionary War Fighter"; I don't legally know exactly what's the difference.  And one dictionary's answer is different than another. But if it walks like duck, quacks like a duck, probably it is a POW duck   grin

Even our U.S. Supreme Court said enough is enough in the recent Boumedience v. Bush case stating that Guantanamo captives were entitled to the protection of the U.S. Constitution and described the CSR Tribunals as "inadequate" (legalize for wrong) and invoked the Geneva Convention.

Back to my Duck, I mean if you have to fly prisoners halfway around the world to a little piece of land in Cuba that most people had never heard of, doesn't that force you to ask the question, "Why?"  What are you hiding? I mean if it's legit, simply build a prison in CA, right?  And if they committed a crime, I have confident that my fellow Californians will quickly find them guilty and sentence them appropriately. 

**Yeah, i'll be sure to ask OJ or Robert Blake how great California juries are.**

 It's more honest than our military which hides evidence, acts as interrogators, prosecutors and defense counsel, judge, and jury and finally executioner. 

**Really? What evidence has been hidden? Please cite your sources.**

This is not a fair trial; it is a travesty.

And torture, our treatment of these individuals is simply wrong.  And it's not the America I know and love.

**Again, define "torture". Who are you alleging was tortured, when and where?**

I am passionate for our individual rights; they must be protected and applied to all.  England has  said, "one cannot fight violations of international law by committing further violations of international law."  Because al Qaeda et al are often inhumane does that justify our losing our freedoms and becoming inhumane?  I hope not.

I don't need to be a lawyer to know it's simply wrong.  In my opinion they should be given fair and humane (Geneva Convention) treatment.  Further, if innocent, let go.  If guilty, do as you will.  But be fair and just about it.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2008, 04:23:28 PM by G M » Logged
G M
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« Reply #102 on: August 09, 2008, 04:17:32 PM »


Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
I’m born again, says freed Gitmo detainee
Posted in: Front Page
Written By: Nasser Arrabyee
Article Date: Oct 22, 2007 - 8:58:57 AM

Sadeq Mohammed Saeed returned home to Ibb after nearly 6 years.
“I’m still a stranger in this world, I’m a new born,” said the 23-year old Sadeq Mohammed Saeed when he arrived home after a long and torturous detainment in Guantanamo Bay detention center. Sadeq was one of four Yemeni men who were returned to their families on October 12, 2007, after spending about six years in the notorious detention camp.

Hours after arriving at his family home in Ibb city, Sadeq was in constant motion; moving about the house to welcome and hug the many visitors and relatives who came to greet him and show him respect. His visitors included ex-Guantanamo detainees, relatives of other detainees and young people who had been to Afghanistan for “Jihad”. Sadeq’s brothers made efforts to introduce him to those who he did not know or those who he no longer remembered.

As a journalist, Sadeq did not want to speak to me at first, but he eventually relented after encouragement from his brothers. With his long beard and smart Yemeni clothing, Sadeq spoke clearly and concisely, focusing on what he referred to as a “letter to the Americans and the world”. According to Sadeq since leaving their families he and his companions had been performing a holy duty, or Jihad, and he vowed that they would continue to do so for as long as they lived.

“I traveled to Pakistan and from there to Afghanistan where I joined one of the Taliban battle lines, May Allah support them to protect Islam, and then what happened, happened,” he said.  He did not speak about personal physical abuse in the detention center; instead he concentrated on the religious abuses, which he claims all detainees witnessed.

“The abuses were religious abuses, reviling God, the Prophet Mohammed and his companions and the believers. Some brothers were exposed to psychological and physical torture because they are Muslims. There were a lot of abuses and I don’t remember them but it is enough to say there were religious abuses and reviling Allah, his prophet and the believers,” he said. 

When asked what he plans to do now, he answered simply that he “does not know.”  “I can’t say anything right now. I’m still a stranger in this land, I’m a new-born, I can’t say I can do this or that,” said Sadeq who traveled to Afghanistan for Jihad before completing secondary school. However, one of Sadeq’s brothers, a former jihadist in Afghanistan and current Islamic activist, spoke on his brother behalf, clarifying his and his bother’s message to the “Americans and the world”. The brother, Rashad Mohammed Saeed (a.k.a. Abu al-Feda) said that all young people who went for “Jihad” in Afghanistan and elsewhere would continue to fight the “injustice” and they would achieve victory at the end like the prophet Joseph who was empowered and achieved victory after a series of sufferings.
 
“Let the Americans know that these [jihadists] are respected and highly welcomed in their nations and they are not killers or criminals,” Abu al-Feda addressed a crowd of people who came to celebrate the return of Sadeq. 

“I would say on behalf of my brother and all other brothers [detainees] that they have a message and the one who has a message has to fulfill it anywhere. The Prophet Joseph was put in prison and he was innocent, but he had a message,” said Abu al-Feda who is currently a mosque speaker in Ibb city. “Are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah, the One supreme and irresistible,” he recited from Quran. 

“They will be preachers, teaching those who do not know, giving clothes to naked, feeding the hungry, defending the underdogs, returning rights to the owners, protecting all young and old, men and women, and would keep so until victory comes,”  he said in reference to the returning detainees . 

Abu al-Feda, who does not hesitate to announce his support for the Taliban, Al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, advised the American people to revolt against the White House administration, which he said, “spends billions of dollars to destroy the Taliban and Al Qaeda while they are getting stronger and stronger.” 

“As the Taliban and Al Qaeda were the reason behind making an international alliance to topple the regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, the same two [Taliban and Al Qaeda] would be the main tool of disengagement from this alliance,” said Abu al-Feda who was a prominent politician with the Taliban before he returning to Yemen in 2000 where he was imprisoned for two years.  He was released on the condition that he does not participate in any armed activity. 

“The Taliban and Al Qaeda are not killers and bloodsuckers, they have a strategic project with long term goals,” he said. “But I’m also calling for dialogue and respect of rights and freedoms for all, and I’m against violence and coercion.” 

Saqed’s family said they are currently consulting with American lawyers and human rights activists to file a law suit against the American government to demand fair compensation for the damages inflicted on their son who lost one of his eyes because of inadequate treatment.   

Sadeq, who was detained in a hospital in Afghanistan after being injured in a battle after September 11th, said he did not know why the Americans arrested him and why they released him now. 

“The only reason I know for being detained is that I’m Muslim, and I do not know any other thing.  Now I do not know why they released me. This is at the hand of Allah.” He speculated.   

Sadeq said he has not forgotten to pray for the other inmates who are still languishing in Guantanamo. 

“I pray to Allah to make all my brothers in Guantanamo patient, they are always in our hearts, we will never forget them, they were arrested in the cause of Allah, and were looking for martyrdom and I pray to Allah to help them,” he said. 

According to official American and Yemeni documents about a third (94) of the 330 remaining detainees in Guantanamo are from Yemen. American authorities have released a further 13 Yemeni detainees. 

Three other detainees who were released on October 12th after three months in a Yemeni prison are: Fawaz Noman Hamoud Mahdi, Hani Abdu Mulah Shulan, and Ali Muhsen Saleh. 

The only detainee remaining in a Yemeni prison is Ali Ahmed Nasser al-Kazmi who was released by American authorities in September 2007. 

The Yemeni Minister of Human Rights, Dr. Huda Alban promised in an interview with Yemen Observer that he too would be released soon.   

“I contacted the security officials about al-Kazmi and they told me they would refer him to the prosecution soon for procedures. I will follow up the case until he is released,” said Dr. Alban whose office received an appeal from the family of al-Kazmi for the release of their son on Sunday.
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G M
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« Reply #103 on: August 09, 2008, 04:24:29 PM »

Pentagon: Ex-detainees returning to fight

Story Highlights
Pentagon: Man freed from Guantanamo was suicide bomber in Iraq last month
More than 10 ex-detainees have been killed or captured in fighting, officials say
More than 500 have been released from Guantanamo; about 270 still held
From Mike Mount
CNN Pentagon Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Kuwaiti man released from U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 2005 blew himself up in a suicide attack in Iraq last month, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.

Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi was one of two Kuwaitis who took part in a suicide attack in Mosul on April 26, the officials said. Records show that an attack in Mosul that day targeted an Iraqi police patrol and left six people dead, including two police officers.

An announcement on a jihadist Web site earlier this month declared that al-Ajmi was one of the "heroes" who carried out the Mosul operation. A second man from Kuwait also took part in the suicide attack, the Web site said.

Pentagon officials who had been keeping track of al-Ajmi said they were aware he had left Kuwait for Syria, a launching ground for terrorists into Iraq.

A video posted on various jihadist Web sites shows a number of images of al-Ajmi, followed by text reading, "May God have mercy on you Abdullah al-Ajmi. I send you a warm greeting O you martyr, O you hero, O you, a man in a time where only few men are left."

U.S. military records of Guantanamo detainees indicate that a man with the same name and nationality was held at the Cuban prison.

Those records said al-Ajmi, 29, was picked up in Afghanistan as he tried to enter Pakistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion. He claimed to have fought for the Taliban, the records show, and said he fought in a number of battles against the Northern Alliance. Watch a firefight in Afghanistan »

Though he was never charged with any crime, al-Ajmi was held at Guantanamo through 2005. Military documents show he later claimed that his statements about fighting for the Taliban were made after he was threatened while in U.S. custody. He asserted that he was in Afghanistan to study the Quran.

Al-Ajmi was transferred to the custody of Kuwaiti authorities in November 2005, with four other Kuwaitis, and was released after a trial there, according to Pentagon officials.

Al-Ajmi is not the first former Guantanamo detainee to reportedly return to the battlefield after being released. Pentagon officials say there are more than 10 people once held by the U.S. at Guantanamo who have been killed or captured in fighting after being released from the detention facility.

"Our reports indicate that a number of former [Guantanamo Bay] detainees have taken part in anti-coalition militant activities after leaving U.S. detention. Some have subsequently been killed in combat," said Cmdr. Jeff Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.

Documents provided by the Pentagon show other former detainees returning to the battlefield, including Abdullah Mahsud, who was released from Guantanamo in 2004. He returned to Afghanistan, where he became a militant leader in the Mahsud tribe in southern Waziristan, the documents said.

"We have since discovered that he had been associated with the Taliban since his teen years and has been described as an al Qaeda-linked facilitator.

"In mid-October 2004, Mahsud directed the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers in Pakistan. During rescue operations by Pakistani forces, a kidnapper shot one of the hostages. Five of the kidnappers were killed. Mahsud was not among them," the documents provided by the Pentagon said.

"As these facts illustrate, there is an implied future risk to U.S. and allied interests with every detainee who is released or transferred from Guantanamo," Gordon said.

Reports of former detainees returning to the battlefield show they are dedicated to their cause and have been trained to be deceptive, the Pentagon officials said, but such factors will not prevent the release of other detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

Of the more than 500 detainees released from Guantanamo since the detention camp was opened in 2002, 38 have been stripped of their "enemy combatant" status and determined to pose no future threat to the United States. The remaining 462 were repatriated to home countries or resettled to third-party countries and still considered a threat, Pentagon records show.

Some countries have since released those detainees back into the public, according to various reports.

The United States is still holding about 65 detainees scheduled to be released to their home governments. But before that can happen, the United States has to get assurances the detainees will not be persecuted or harmed when they arrive home, Pentagon officials have said.

"We have no desire to be the world's jailer, which is why the 500 were allowed to depart," Gordon said.

There are about 270 detainees still held at the U.S. prison camp in Cuba.
All AboutGuantanamo Bay • War and Conflict • Iraq • Afghanistan

 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/05/07/gitmo.bomber
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G M
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« Reply #104 on: August 09, 2008, 04:27:26 PM »

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16270

Al Qaeda Manual Drives Detainee Behavior at Guantanamo Bay

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2005 – If you're a Muslim extremist captured while fighting your holy war against "infidels," avoid revealing information at all costs, don't give your real name and claim that you were mistreated or tortured during your detention.
This instruction comes straight from the pages of an official al Qaeda training manual, and officials at the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they see clear evidence that detainees are well-versed in its contents.

Police in Manchester, England, discovered the manual, which has come to be known as the "Manchester document," in 2000 while searching computer files found in the home of a known al Qaeda member. The contents were introduced as evidence into the 2001 trial of terrorists who bombed the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

The FBI translated the document into English, and it is posted on the Justice Department's Web site.

The 18-chapter manual provides a detailed window into al Qaeda's network and its procedures for waging jihad - from conducting surveillance operations to carrying out assassinations to working with forged documents.

The closing chapter teaches al Qaeda operatives how to operate in a prison or detention center. It directs detainees to "insist on proving that torture was inflicted" and to "complain of mistreatment while in prison."

Chapter 17 instructs them to "be careful not to give the enemy any vital information" during interrogations.

Another section of the manual directs commanders to teach their operatives what to say if they're captured, and to explain it "more than once to ensure that they have assimilated it." To reinforce the message, it tells commanders to have operatives "explain it back to the commander."

And at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, detainees take this instruction to heart. Many of the more than 500 detainees are "uncooperative" in providing intelligence, Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, told military analysts who traveled to the facility June 24 and reiterated today during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.

Some detainees have never uttered a single word during more than three years of interrogation. Others give false names or refuse to offer their real names.

This can prove challenging for interrogators at the facility, because many detainees "follow the al Qaeda SOP (standard operating procedures) to the T," according to Army Col. John Hadjis, chief of staff for Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

Officials say they see evidence of the al Qaeda-directed misinformation campaign in allegations of detainee abuse and mishandling of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed frustration over this effort during a June 21 interview on the "Tony Snow Show."

"These detainees are trained to lie, they're trained to say they were tortured, and the minute we release them or the minute they get a lawyer, very frequently they'll go out and they will announce that they've been tortured," Rumsfeld said.

The media jumps on these claims, reporting them as "another example of torture," the secretary said, "when in fact, (terrorists have) been trained to do that, and their training manual says so."

During a February 2004 Pentagon news conference, a DoD official said new information provided by detainees during questioning is analyzed to determine its reliability.

"Unfortunately, many detainees are deceptive and prefer to conceal their identifies and their actions," said Paul Butler, principal deputy assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Butler said the Manchester document includes "a large section which teaches al Qaeda operatives counterinterrogation techniques: how to lie, how to minimize your role."

The document, he said, has surfaced in various locations, including Afghanistan.

The manual's preface offers a chilling reminder of the mentality that drives al Qaeda disciples and the lengths they will go to for their cause.

"The confrontation that we are calling for ... does not know Socratic debates, ... Platonic ideals ... nor Aristotelian diplomacy," its opening pages read. "But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun."

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G M
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« Reply #105 on: August 09, 2008, 04:31:55 PM »

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/network/alqaeda/manual.html

Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages: Religious scholars have permitted beating. They use a tradition explained in Imam Mosallem's manuscript, who quotes Thabit Ibn Ans that Allah's prophet - Allah bless and keep him - sought counsel when he was informed about Abou Soufian's arrival. Abou Bakr and Omar spoke, yet he [the prophet] did not listen. Saad Ibn Ibada said, "Do you want us, O Allah's prophet, who controls my life? If you order us to subdue the camel we would do it, or beat and follow them to Al-Ghimad lakes (5-day trip beyond Mecca), we would do it, too. "The prophet - Allah bless and keep him - called on the people, who then descended on Badr. They were met by Kureish camels carrying water. Among their takers was a young black [slave] man belonging to the Al-Hajjaj clan. They took him [as hostage]. The companions of the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - started asking him about Abou Sofian and his companions. He first said, "I know nothing about Abou Soufian but I know about Abou Jahl, Atba, Sheiba, and Omaya Ibn Khalaf. "But when they beat him he said, "O yes, I will tell you. This is the news of Abou Soufian..." Meanwhile, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him -, who was praying, started to depart saying, "Strike him if he tells you the truth and release him if he lies." Then he said, "That is the death of someone [the hostage]." He said that in the presence of his companions and while moving his hand on the ground.

In this tradition, we find permission to interrogate the hostage for the purpose of obtaining information. It is permitted to strike the nonbeliever who has no covenant until he reveals the news, information, and secrets of his people.

The religious scholars have also permitted the killing of a hostage if he insists on withholding information from Moslems. They permitted his killing so that he would not inform his people of what he learned about the Muslim condition, number, and secrets. In the Honein attack, after one of the spies learned about the Muslims kindness and weakness then fled, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - permitted [shedding] his blood and said, "Find and kill him." Salma Ibn Al-Akwaa followed, caught, and killed him.

The scholars have also permitted the exchange of hostages for money, services, and expertise, as well as secrets of the enemy 's army, plans, and numbers. After the Badr attack, the prophet - Allah bless and keep him - showed favor to some hostages, like the poet Abou Izza, by exchanging most of them for money. The rest were released for providing services and expertise to the Muslims.

...


PRISONS AND DETENTION CENTERS

IF AN INDICTMENT IS ISSUED AND THE TRIAL BEGINS, THE BROTHER HAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING:

At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.
Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.
Make arrangements for the brother's defense with the attorney, whether he was retained by the brother 's family or court-appointed.
The brother has to do his best to know the names of the state security officers, who participated in his torture and mention their names to the judge. [These names may be obtained from brothers who had to deal with those officers in previous cases.]
Some brothers may tell and may be lured by the state security investigators to testify against the brothers [i.e. affirmation witness], either by not keeping them together in the same prison during the trials, or by letting them talk to the media. In this case, they have to be treated gently, and should be offered good advice, good treatment, and pray that God may guide them.
During the trial, the court has to be notified of any mistreatment of the brothers inside the prison.
It is possible to resort to a hunger strike, but it is a tactic that can either succeed or fail.
Take advantage of visits to communicate with brothers outside prison and exchange information that may be helpful to them in their work outside prison [according to what occurred during the investigations]. The importance of mastering the art of hiding messages is self evident here.
- When the brothers are transported from and to the prison [on their way to the court] they should shout Islamic slogans out loud from inside the prison cars to impress upon the people and their family the need to support Islam.
- Inside the prison, the brother should not accept any work that may belittle or demean him or his brothers, such as the cleaning of the prison bathrooms or hallways.
- The brothers should create an Islamic program for themselves inside the prison, as well as recreational and educational ones, etc.
- The brother in prison should be a role model in selflessness. Brothers should also pay attention to each others needs and should help each other and unite vis a vis the prison officers.
- The brothers must take advantage of their presence in prison for obeying and worshiping [God] and memorizing the Qora'an, etc. This is in addition to all guidelines and procedures that were contained in the lesson on interrogation and investigation. Lastly, each of us has to understand that we don't achieve victory against our enemies through these actions and security procedures. Rather, victory is achieved by obeying Almighty and Glorious God and because of their many sins. Every brother has to be careful so as not to commit sins and everyone of us has to do his best in obeying Almighty God, Who said in his Holy Book: "We will, without doubt. help Our messengers and those who believe (both) in this world's life and the one Day when the Witnesses will stand forth." May God guide us.

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G M
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« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2008, 09:19:42 PM »

http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp508.htm

Jerusalem Viewpoints

No. 508     6 Kislev 5764 / 1 December 2003

AL-QAEDA'S INTELLECTUAL LEGACY:
NEW RADICAL ISLAMIC THINKING
JUSTIFYING THE GENOCIDE OF INFIDELS

Jonathan D. Halevi


The Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that from the radical Islamist perspective may lead to the restoration of Islam as the world's most dominant power.

In this emerging world order, Christians and Jews are no longer protected minorities under Islam. As a result, there is a dangerous trend among militant Islamist clerical authorities, especially from Saudi Arabia, justifying not only acts of terrorism against individuals, but also mass murder against whole groups of people regarded as infidels. Their call for the complete extermination of peoples means they have moved ideologically toward the justification of genocide.

Jihad against America is the realization of "the right of self-defense" in retaliation for the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam. Based on the Islamic principle, one al-Qaeda leader argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, while a Saudi scholar argues for killing ten million.

The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants." Democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion.

An official al-Qaeda publication presents a new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies. Al-Qaeda's Saudi clerics are also having a growing influence on other militant groups, from Hamas to Chechen groups to the mujahideen in western Iraq: their legal rulings appear on the websites of these organizations in Arabic.

There has only been a partial moderation of these trends as a byproduct of Saudi Arabia's internal struggle with al-Qaeda since May 12, 2003; some clerics have called for discontinuing the practice of takfir - branding Muslims as infidels worthy of destruction. But they have not altered their harsh doctrine against Christians and Jews.


Seeing the West as "God's Enemy"

Global terrorism sprouted and thrived in the strongholds of radical Islam. Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis, in "The Roots of Muslim Rage,"1 explains the rise of Islamic radicalism and the increasing hatred of the West as a response to Western superiority and to the undermining of Islam's authority by Western culture. The Islamic hatred is, according to Lewis, an outcome of the collision between the Western and Islamic civilizations and "an Islamic historical response to secularism and the Jewish-Christian heritage." Lewis' approach provides an essential interpretation of the roots of the current clash of civilizations, but it lacks a reference to the implications of the accumulating hatred for the West, which is viewed by many Muslims as "God's enemy."

The present-day radical Islamic outburst against Western civilization's hegemony emanates from a perception of achievement: the Islamic victory over the USSR in Afghanistan, the establishment of Taliban rule, the creation of the al-Qaeda global network, and the spread of Islam in many Western countries. These are seen as signs of an Islamic awakening that may lead in the twenty-first century to the restoration of the glory of Islam as the world's most dominant power.

In this context, the radical Islamic struggle against "God's enemies" has brought about a significant change in traditional Islamic attitudes toward the protected religions - Christianity and Judaism. During the golden age of Islam, in most cases Islamic regimes treated Christians and Jews with tolerance for being monotheists like themselves. They were considered ahl al-dhimma, non-Muslim monotheistic believers who had the privilege to be under the protection of Islamic rule, although some humiliating laws were imposed on them (payment of a head tax; synagogues and churches had to be built lower than mosques, etc.). The destiny of infidels and polytheists (those who attribute associates to God) under Islamic rule, however, was either conversion to Islam or execution.


The End of Protected Status for Christians and Jews

In recent years, radical Islamic scholars have renounced the privileges that Christians and Jews had enjoyed under Islamic rule and denied their status as ahl al-dhimma, accusing them of crimes against Islam and deviation of faith in God by attributing associates to God. This opened the way to justifying mass killing of Christians and Jews under the flag of jihad for the sake of Allah.

The roots of radical Islam's denial of protected status for Christians may be found in the long-standing, accumulated hatred of the U.S. and other Western countries as leaders of the Christian world. The U.S. is viewed as a global infidel force menacing Islam with its ideology, social and economic values, and hostile policy, seen in terms of a modern Crusader war against Islam. Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', a prominent radical Saudi scholar, lashed out at the U.S. in his book The Foundations of the Legality of the Destruction That Befell America, presenting a thesis that was publicly lauded by many Saudi scholars, headed by Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir. Describing the U.S. as "the source of evil, moral corruption, oppression, despotism, and aggression," al-Jarbou' explained that the U.S. "spreads abomination and corruption in the world," "is the biggest source heretical movies," "has more sex channels and wine and cigarette companies than any other country," "wages war against Allah's religion...and strives to impose its heresy and values out of arrogance and a desire to dominate." "Even Satan does not behave like America does," he wrote.2

On May 6, 2002, fourteen Saudi scholars published a special announcement claiming that the escalation in tensions between Islam and the West stemmed from American and European foreign and economic policies reflected in their siding with Israel, supporting globalization, and waging war on global terrorism. They asserted that, "observing this conflict...between Islam and the Muslims who follow righteousness, on one side, and heresy and its forces, on the other side, will expose the identity of the enemy and its flag [ideology], which developed after the rise of what is called the new world order, the Madrid and Oslo conventions, other conventions held in America and Sharm Al-Sheik [Egypt], and the criminal war against Muslims called the war on terror. Thus, the genuine hatred and the nature of this conflict between the camp of Islam and the camp of ahl al-dhimma - the Jews and Christian Crusaders, and the hypocrites who follow them [Arab leaders] - becomes clear."3

The confrontation between Islam and the West is considered a zero-sum game, the outcome of which is to be the absolute and total victory of Islam in the twenty-first century. In his public message to the Muslim world on the occasion of the holiday of Eid al-Adha (February 19, 2002), Hamas leader Ahmad Yassin clearly justified the jihad against the U.S. in Muslim and Arab countries on the basis of Islamic law. Jihad against America is a positive commandment in every respect and is the realization of "the right of self-defense" against "the Crusaders' war" and the terrorist war waged by the United States against the nation of Islam in Afghanistan and against the Islamic jihad movements in the world. Yassin emphasized that jihad has a defined goal, which is to "bring Islam to a dominant global position and release it from the hegemony of America and its Zionist allies." He encouraged Muslims to perform jihad and to prepare for an extended battle against the U.S., promising that the current century, the twenty-first, is the "Islamic century, the century of liberation, victory, and the fulfillment of potential."4


The Future Conquest of Rome and All of Europe

Similarly, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Qatari-based spiritual authority for the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood, issued an Islamic ruling that, despite the pessimism among Muslims, Islam will definitely prevail and eventually become master of the entire world.5 One of the signs of Islamic victory will be the conquest of the Italian capital, Rome, by the Muslims. Occupying Europe and defeating Christianity will become possible, according to al- Qaradawi, with the spread of Islam inside Europe until it becomes strong enough to take over the whole continent. Al-Qaradawi asserts that "the signs of salvation are absolute, numerous, and as plain as day, indicating that the future belongs to Islam and that Allah's religion will defeat all other religions." He relies on ancient Islamic traditions quoting the Prophet Muhammad, who allegedly argued that the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and then Romia (Rome) are considered signs of the victory of Islam. Al-Qaradawi wrote:

And Romia is the city we name Rome, the capital of Italy. The city of Herqel [Constantinople] was conquered in 1453 by the young Ottoman, aged 23, Muhammad Ibn Mourad, known by his nickname Muhammad the Conqueror. Nowadays, the conquest of the other city Romia [Rome] remains unfulfilled. Namely, Islam will return once more to Europe as a conqueror and as a victorious power after it was expelled twice from the continent....I assume that next time the conquest [of Europe] will not be achieved by the sword [i.e., war] but by preaching (daawa) and spreading the ideology [of Islam]....The conquest of Romia [Rome] and the expansion of Islam will reach all the areas where the sun shines and the moon appears [i.e., the entire world]....That will be the result of a planted seed and the beginning of the righteous Caliphate's return....[The Islamic Caliphate] deserves to lead the nation to the plains of victory.6

Al-Qaradawi's influence, it should be stressed, is widespread. His religious rulings not only appear on the websites of Muslim Brotherhood subsidiaries, like Hamas, but also on the websites of Saudi-inspired groups fighting the U.S. in western Iraq and on the websites of Chechen Islamists.


The State of Confrontation with the West

The state of confrontation with the West is considered by radical Muslim scholars not as something predestined from God, which Muslims have to endure until salvation, but as an opportunity to promote Islamic awareness and to release themselves from Western dominance and values. The first step to be taken from a religious perspective is to define the United States, the leader of the free world, as an "enemy" that is waging a "religious war" against Islam, and on this basis to issue Islamic rulings that the U.S. and its allies belong to dar al-harb (the realm of war). The command of jihad applies not only to Muslims on the confrontation lines in the Muslim and Arab worlds, but to all Muslims living in the areas of the enemy as well. Al-Jarbou' has ruled that the current state of relations between Islam and the West is to be expressed as one of total war against the infidels. America, according his viewpoint, is not a regime with which Islam can maintain normal relations until Islam becomes strong enough to launch a jihad against it. Nor is it a regime that deserves the tolerant and peaceful attitude from Islam accorded to Christians and Jews as protected minorities under Islamic rule (ahl al-dhimma). Criticizing other Muslim scholars who "neglected their duty" to define the state of relations with America as one of all-out war, al-Jarbou' unequivocally ruled that the definition of the U.S. as dar al-harb obliges all Muslims to prepare in practice for the war against the infidels.7

Another Saudi scholar, Salman bin Fahed al-'Auda, in his book The End of History, asserts that the solution to Islamic distress - that may bring about the fall of America and the Western world - "exists in one word which is Jihad" (emphasis in original). According to al-'Auda, the meaning of jihad is much broader than fighting with a sword (the Islamic symbol of jihad). Appealing to Muslims throughout the world, he wrote: "We should not simplify this issue and narrow its meaning to a restricted military battle in one of the Islamic regions or even to an all-out war against the West, which is possible and predicted and we assume is arriving [emphasis added]." He continues: "Life as a whole is a battlefield. The weapons are not only the rifle, the bullet, the airplane, the tank, and the cannon. Not at all! Thinking is a weapon, the economy is a weapon, money is a weapon, water is a weapon, planning is a weapon, unity is a weapon, and so there are many types of weapons."8 In The End of History, al-'Auda concluded that the West by itself was already in an advanced state of decay: "The West, and above all the United States, and Western culture, in general are undergoing a historical process that is deterministic. This process leads to its total collapse, sooner or later." His jihad was intended to accelerate that collapse. During the 1990s, he was regarded as the most influential preacher in Saudi Arabia.9


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« Reply #107 on: August 09, 2008, 09:20:34 PM »

Civilians in Infidel States Deserve to Die

Islamic law concerning the state of war between Islam and the West also requires Islamic scholars to deal with issues regarding the laws of war and the definition of "combatants" and "non-combatants." The innovation observed in Islamic religious rulings issued by radical Muslim scholars in recent years refers to a broadening of the definition of "combatants" who deserve death in jihad to all residents living in infidel states. The laws of war are considered to apply to all civilians and they are perceived in the same way as soldiers fighting on the battlefield. Such a position cancels the right of Jews and Christians to receive protection under Islam and from a religious perspective turns all Western civilians into "combatants." It relies on various religious arguments: Imitating the way of life and behavior of the Prophet Muhammad in his policy toward ahl al-dhimma, reacting on the basis of retaliation, and excluding Jews and Christians from the definition of monotheism and re-defining them as polytheists.

On June 28, 2002, 28 scholars from the Al-Azhar Institute in Egypt determined that killing large numbers of Israeli civilians in Palestinian suicide bombing attacks was the "noblest act of jihad." They justified killing Jews by arguing that Israel is a racist, military state that took Muslim land illegally by force. Muslims have, therefore, the right under Islamic law to rise up in jihad against the occupation in order to liberate their lands. The Al-Azhar scholars argued that in conducting jihad there is no need to make any distinction between soldiers and civilians. The correct distinction has to be made between peace-seekers (Muslims) and warmongers (Jews), and between the attackers (Jews) and the attacked (Muslims). Following this religious outlook, the Jews are robbers of Islamic land who contaminate the sacred sites of Islam and, therefore, they have been defined as "combatants, no matter what kind of clothes they wear."10

In April 2002, Sheikh Hamed al-Ali, a lecturer on Islamic culture in Kuwait and one of the leaders of the radical Salafi stream,11 clarified in a religious ruling the circumstances in which it is permitted to kill civilians in the cause of jihad without violating the Prophet Muhammad's command prohibiting the murder of women and children. These include:

Participation in war - For civilians "who knowingly take part in combat or advise and encourage others to do so, etc., the prohibition against killing them does not apply and it is permitted to kill them in war....It should be noted that an army involved in modern warfare also includes soldiers who are non-combatants, some of whom serve in combat support roles and without whom conducting a war would not be possible. For example there are those who operate computers which manage military activities; military personnel involved in strategic planning; reserve forces who supervise mobilization of soldiers and prepare them for battle, if only on an administrative level; intelligence personnel, etc. All are included in the fate of those who encourage war against Muslims, and it is permitted to intentionally kill them in battle." According to al-Ali, all citizens of Israel are to be considered combatants because of Israel's compulsory military service law, which includes women, in addition to the fact that its general population is party to government policy due to the taxes it pays and its participation in elections.

Collateral damage to civilians during attacks on military targets - "When Muslims are forced to launch an all-out attack on enemies or bomb them from a distance and this may cause the death of women, children, and other civilians, it is imperative to ensure that they are not killed intentionally. However, if they are killed during such attacks, killing them does not constitute a sin."12

In a similar vein, Sheikh Suliman bin Nasser al-Ulwan, a Saudi scholar, issued a ruling on May 18, 2001, which defined the suicide attacks against the "exploitive Jews" in "Palestine" and against the "aggressive Christians" in Chechnya as "acts of self-sacrifice according to the way of Allah," and are therefore legitimate means of warfare from a religious perspective." He is cited in a December 2001, al-Qaeda videotape when a visiting Saudi tells Osama bin Laden that he is bringing "a beautiful fatwa" from al-Ulwan.

Sheikh al-Ulwan argued that it is not prohibited to kill children as a consequence of suicide actions if the perpetrator of such an action had no premeditative intent to kill them. Nevertheless, al-Ulwan includes "all the Jews in Palestine" in his definition of "combatants," adding that, "If jihad fighters are not able to kill combatants [only] without [also] killing children [who are with them], there is no problem in such cases if they [the children] are killed." In this context, al-Ulwan provides religious legitimacy for blowing up buildings "on the Jews' heads" indiscriminately and permitting the murder of Jewish women, who serve in the military and take part in the "aggression" by the very fact of being part of the "plundering" of Muslim lands, and because of their "moral corruption."13 His impact has reached beyond the borders of Saudi Arabia. For example, al-Ulwan's writings have been found in schools belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Thus, one of the major al-Qaeda spiritual leaders has been influencing the development of religious and political thinking of the Palestinians as well.

A more decisive approach to ordering the indiscriminate killing of Jews is presented by the learned Saudi cleric Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid in a fatwa issued in April 2003: "The Jews distorted the religion of Allah...murdered the prophets and denied the existence of Allah; they are intriguers, frauds, and traitors...bringing corruption to Muslim communities...set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque...desecrated the Quran...committed massacres; so how is it possible for Muslims not to rejoice at murdering the infidel, thieving Jews? Moreover, Allah will satisfy his believers by destroying and exterminating them all. This is our right as Muslims as was promised by our Prophet....Allah will bring us to defeat and master them according to the Islamic tradition: Fight the Jews and defeat them until the rock says: 'O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'"14

All those involved in fighting Muslims, both Christians and Jews, are regarded as "combatants" in Muslim eyes. However, a particularly negative status is reserved for Jews, who are regarded as the source of all evil not only in the context of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict but due to their "inherent characteristics" and the "danger they embody to mankind." In a statement issued in December 2002 to "enlighten young Muslims," the Hamas movement describes Jews in wholly anti-Semitic terms in a way that divests them of any vestige of humanity. Jews are described as a nation of "despicable lowlifes," "traitors," and "liars" who are "arrogant," "corrupt," and "cursed," who include other gods in their beliefs and distort the Holy Scriptures." The Jews are accused of attempting to murder the prophet Muhammad, of seditiously creating the religious conflict that resulted in the split between the Shia and the Sunni, of the murder of Ali (founder of the Shia), and of supporting the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate. The document ends with an appeal to Muslim youth warning that "the Jews control the centers of power in the world," "spread lechery and abomination," "are behind all current and past wars," and are responsible for "almost all corruption and perversion that occurs in the Muslim world."15

A similar description of the characteristics of the Jewish nation can be found in a sermon given by the imam of the central mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudays, in May 2002, describing the Jews as "infidels," "calf-worshippers," "prophet-murderers," who even "tried to kill the prophet Muhammad," "distorters of prophecies," the "scum of humanity," "corrupt," 'treacherous," and "conniving." He prayed to God saying: "I wish the enemies of Islam and Muslims, the Jews, the pagans and other corrupted people, will be humiliated....Allah, exercise your power against the Jews. Allah, destroy them with sharpened tools and take them out of Al-Aqsa Mosque."16

One of al-Qaeda's leaders, identified by his nickname, Abu Ayman al-Hilali, in an article published in the periodical Al-Ansar, defined the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, and Australia as "enemies," while praising the mass-murder attacks committed by al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S., Tunisia, Yemen, Bali, Moscow, and elsewhere. He justified killing Western civilians in these attacks for the following reasons:

The citizens in democratic Western countries become full participants in governmental decision-making by voting in elections and therefore they are no longer considered "non-combatants" as in past wars.

The citizens in Western countries are full participants in the war their governments are waging against Islam. Their designation by al-Qaeda as "targets" was a reaction to the aggressive policies of their governments. Al-Hilali asserted that even those in the West who oppose their governments' policies have no immunity from al-Qaeda's jihad since they are a small minority without real influence and cannot be distinguished during the commission of attacks.17

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« Reply #108 on: August 09, 2008, 09:22:25 PM »

Democracy: The Religion of the Infidels

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, leader of the Bayat al-Imam extremist group whose operatives were arrested in Jordan in 1995, takes a further step in his book Democracy is a Religion in denying the traditional protection given by Islam to Jews and Christians. They become "combatants" and infidels and lose their status of ahl al-dhimma not only because of their participation in elections, but as a result of their endorsement of democracy and its values. For al-Maqdisi, democracy is a prohibited innovation that contradicts Islamic values and embodies a new heretical religion. Its followers are "infidels" and "polytheists," even if they consider themselves as Jews or Christians by religion. Al-Maqdisi based his claim on the following arguments:

"Democracy gives legitimacy to the legislation of the masses or to the despotic regime. It is not [the expression of] the rule of Allah....Allah ordered his Prophet to execute the commands given to him and forbade him to follow the emotions of the nation, the masses, and the people."

"Democracy is the rule of the masses or the rule of paganism, which is conducted according to a constitution [written by humans] and not according Allah's laws....It [democracy] has become the mother of laws and is considered [by the masses] as a holy book. The religion of democracy has no relation to Quranic verses or the Prophet's way of life and it is not possible to legislate according to them unless they are compatible with the holy book [the constitution]."

"Democracy is an outcome of despicable secularism and its illegitimate daughter, since secularism is a heretical school striving to separate religion from state and government."

Al-Maqdisi concludes: "Democracy is a religion that is not Allah's religion....It is the rule of paganism...it is a religion which includes other gods in its belief...the people represented in the religion of democracy by its delegates in the parliament...who are actually standing idols and false gods placed in their chapels and their pagan fortresses, namely, their legislative councils. They and their followers rule according to the religion of democracy and the constitution's laws upon which the government is based, and according to the paragraphs of their legislation....Their master is their God, their big idols who approve or reject legislation. He is their emir, their king, or their president."18


Debating Islamic Retaliation: 4 Million or 10 Million American Deaths?

As noted, radical Islamic scholars rely in their rulings on the principle of retaliation while justifying indiscriminate mass murder of Christians. Suliman Abu Ghaith, a prominent al-Qaeda leader, in his famous series of public letters entitled Under the Shade of the Lances and directed at Muslim youth, listed the crimes of the U.S. against the Arab and Muslim world. He argued that the U.S. is responsible directly and indirectly, in its long-lasting war on Islam, for the death of four million Muslims, including 1.2 million Iraqis, 260,000 Palestinians (as a result of its support for Israel), 12,000 Afghans and Arab fighters, 13,000 Somalis, and millions more throughout the world. From his perspective, al-Qaeda's attacks in Washington and New York in September 2001 are not enough to balance the equation of killing. Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S.19

Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, another prominent Saudi Salafi scholar, in an Islamic ruling published in May 2003, approved the use of weapons of mass destruction against America. He also based his indictment on the principle of retaliation, but argued that Muslims have the right to kill ten million Americans in response to the crimes of their government against the Muslim nation. Al-Fahd elaborated the circumstances under which it is religiously permitted to kill non-combatant Americans: During a military operation when it is hard to distinguish between soldiers and civilians and according to military needs or considerations. Ascribing great importance to the military considerations, he asserted that the military leaders who are responsible for the execution of jihad have the authority to make the decisions concerning what types of weapons to use against the infidels. If they decided to use weapons of mass destruction based on military need, it would be an obligation under Islamic law.20

Similarly, radical Muslim scholars have justified the killing of 2,750 civilians in al-Qaeda's September 2001 attacks. A senior al-Qaeda operative named Saif al-Din al-Ansari argued in his book The September 11th Attack that the killing of thousands of civilians in the suicide attacks did not go beyond the "special circumstances" in which Muslims are religiously permitted to kill infidel civilians. These attacks were justified because they were conducted according to the principle of retaliation as well as the Islamic religious principle that permits the killing of civilians when necessary in order to destroy the enemy's fortresses, when it is impossible to differentiate between military and civilians.21 Support for this position has also been expressed by Saudi Islamic scholars Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi and Ali al-Khudeir.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi referred to the September attacks in his Islamic ruling as follows: "Any decisions taken by the American infidel state, particularly those dealing with war and other critical decisions, are taken based upon public opinion surveys or representatives' voting in their infidel legislatures. These legislatures represent primarily the people's opinion....Therefore, any American citizen who voted for the war is considered a combatant or at least an accessory [to the war]."22

The Saudi Sheikh Ali al-Khudier wrote in another Islamic ruling: "We should not regret the deaths of civilians in the Twin Towers attack since the American is an infidel because of his connection to his government. He fights for it, supports it with money, opinions or advice, and this is the type of their political regime. Therefore, they deserved what they experienced, since their fighting, support, and opinions deserve punishment."23


Advocating Total Extermination of Islam's Enemies

Al-Qaeda has adopted a broader interpretation of the religious command concerning the killing of infidels. It is considered an absolute command that does not depend on political circumstances, the need or will to take revenge, or a wish to liberate Muslim lands from infidel rule. Saif al-Din al-Ansari, in an article in al-Qaeda's official periodical, presented the new, comprehensive concept of total extermination of Islam's enemies based on the Quranic verse: "And that He may purge those who believe and deprive the unbelievers of blessings" (Al-Imran, 142). According to al-Ansari, this is the way Allah deals with infidels, who are doomed throughout history to total extermination through various types of death, as was the fate of the people of Noah, Hod, Saleh, Lot, Midian, and Pharaoh. Al-Ansari asserted that the extermination of infidels is a permanent Islamic law and unchangeable fate for infidels that is as relevant today as it was in past generations. According to al-Ansari, "Just as the law of extermination was applied to the infidel forces among the nations in previous days and no one could escape it, so it will be applied to the infidel forces in our day and no one will escape it. Namely, similar to the fate of the Thamoud and 'Ad peoples [two pagan Arab peoples which, according to Islamic tradition, were exterminated due to their rejection of the words of the Prophet], so the American state, the Jewish state, and all other infidel countries will certainly be destroyed."24

Al-Ansari further developed his concept of total extermination in a subsequent article. First, he firmly criticized the Islamic movements that raise the banner of daawa (Islamic preaching) and support the gradual spread of Islam through education, social organizations, and the economy as the preferred means to bring about the victory of Islam over other religions. He asserts that Allah has the power and might to subdue the infidels and to exterminate them by his will. However, He has not done so because of His wish to designate this task to Muslims.

Al-Ansari relies on the Quranic verse: "Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace [meaning that Allah will kill the infidels], and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people" (Al-Tawba, 14). The key word in this verse is "by your hands," which indicates the great importance Allah attributes to the physical action of the infidels' extermination. This is even more substantial than the daawa in executing the command of jihad, since the daawa, as important as it might be, could not fulfill God's commandment for extermination.

Al-Ansari wrote: "Allah is capable of exterminating his enemies with no need for intermediaries or the help of anyone. His might is infinite...therefore, when He [Allah] designates the task of extermination of infidels to his believers, He does so as a hidden expression of His power...the infidels' extermination is part of Islamic law, which is operative until the Day of Judgment. Its principal element will be fulfilled only at the hands of the believers, meaning through jihad, which is also to be operative until the Day of Judgment.25

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« Reply #109 on: August 09, 2008, 09:23:45 PM »

Notes

1.   http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/90sep/rage.htm
2.   Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil li-Mashrou'iyah Ma Hasals Li-Amrica Min Tadmir, Nov. 2001, p. 19-22 ("The Eighth Foundation" chapter). See also Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Al-Harb Al-Mu'asirah, January 2002.
3.   http://www.saaid.net/fatwa/f23.htm
4.   http://www.palestine-info.info/arabic/palestoday/dailynews/2002/feb02/19_2/detail.htm#1
5.   For background on Qaradawi, see Reuven Paz, "Sheikh Dr. Yousef al-Qaradawi: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Policywatch, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, October 18, 2001.
6.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=2042
7.   Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou', Al-Ta'asil, p. 72-73.
8.   http://66.34.76.88/SalmanAldah/NihayetTareekh1.htm
9.   Mamoun Fandy, Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent (New York: Palgrave, 1999).
10.   http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/28-06-2002/Q.htm
11.   Salafi - A follower of the Prophet Muhammad's immediate successors, the pious ancestors (al-salaf al-salihin). Salafi movements have sought to restore Islam on the basis of its seventh-century teachings - that is, Islam as it was under the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors. Salafis usually belong to one of several groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis.
12.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=67739
13.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=35806
14.   http://www.islamonline.net/fatwaapplication/arabic/display.asp?hFatwaID=96437.
In this context, see also http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=31548;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=71076;
http://islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=48811;
http://www.qassam.org/hamas_fire.htm
15.   http://www.kataeb-ezzeldeen.com/Taqrer02_12_02.htm
16.   http://www.alshaab.com/GIF/03-05-2002/Palestine%204.htm 17.   Abu Ayman al-Hilali, "Risalah Al-Imam Wa-Malamih Al-Khuttah Al-Mustaqbalia," Al-Ansar, vol. 21, Nov. 20, 2002, pp. 17-22.
18.   Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Al-Dimouqratia Din. http://almaqdese.com/c?c=1.1 Ali al-Khudeir defined secularism as "shirk" (polytheism). Ali bin Khudeir al-Khudeir, Al-Qawa'id Al-'Arba' Al-lati Tufariq Bayna Al-Muslimin Wa-Din Al-'ilmiyeen, al-Quaim, Saudi Arabia. http://www.saaid.net/Warathah/khudier/kh3.zip. See also Abu al-Saed al-'amili, "Al-Dimoqratia: wsilah Li-'ihtiwa Al-Tayyar Al-'islami," Al-Ansar, Vol. 23, December 19, 2002, pp. 25-30.
19.   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/780; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/abubanan/message/790.
20.   Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd, Risalah Fi 'istikhdam 'asliha Al-Dammar Al-Shamil Did Al-Kuffar, May 2003.
21.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, Ghazwa 11 Sebtenber, September 2002, pp. 10-12.
22.   http://saaid.net/Warathah/hmood/h40.htm
23.   http://alarabnews.com/alshaab/GIF/26-10-2001/fatwa2.htm
24.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Wa-Yimhaq Al-kafirin," Al-Ansar, vol. 15, Aug. 10, 2002, pp. 4-8.
25.   Saif al-Din al-Ansari, "Yi'adhibuhoum Allah Bi-'aydikum," Al-Ansar, vol. 16, Aug. 24, 2002, pp. 4-9.

*     *     *

Who's Who Among Radical Islamic Thinkers

- A Glossary

Hamed al-Ali - Kuwaiti scholar (in his 40s). Serves as lecturer and preacher. Graduated al-Madina University in Saudi Arabia. Published Islamic verdicts justifying suicide attacks committed by Palestinians against Israelis.

Saif al-Din al-Ansari (nom de guerre) - Senior al-Qaeda leader and ideologist. Expresses support for total extermination of infidels through jihad for the sake of Allah.

Salman bin Fahed al-'Auda - Prominent Saudi scholar. Born in Baser (Buraida, Saudi Arabia) in 1956. Serves as Islamic researcher, lecturer and preacher. Runs the Islamic website www.islamtoday.net. Arrested by Saudi security services in 1994 for his radical views and jailed until 1999. Al-'Auda considers jihad against the U.S. in Muslim countries as justified self-defense in reaction to American occupation. He attributes great importance to the daawa (spreading Islam by education and preaching).

Nasser bin Hamed al-Fahd - Saudi scholar. Born in 1968 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Graduated Al-Imam University in Riyadh. Served as lecturer in Islamic affairs. Jailed by Saudis 1994-1997. Al-Fahd published articles and religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and denouncing Muslims who cooperated with the U.S. In May 2003 he justified use of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. as a retaliatory measure. Along with Ali al-Khudeir and Ahmed al-Khaldi, he incited to commit attacks against Westerners and openly supported the Riyadh bombings. In May 2003 he was rearrested by the Saudi security services and charged with advocating violence in sermons in mosques and on the Internet. Under pressure by Saudi authorities, which began cracking down on militants believed responsible for a string of attacks in Saudi Arabia, al-Fahd renounced militancy and attacks against innocent people inside Saudi Arabia in an interview on Saudi TV (November 2003). He focused on the past tendency of clerics to widely use the doctrine of takfir, charging that Muslims have become infidels and should be treated accordingly.

Suliman Abu Ghaith - Born in the 1970s in Kuwait. Former religious studies teacher. Serves as al-Qaeda's spokesperson. He left Kuwait in 2000. Abu Ghaith was stripped of his citizenship after he called for retaliation against the U.S. during the war in Afghanistan. He is considered as one of Osama bin Laden's closest associates.

Abu Ayman al-Hilali (nom de guerre) - Senior al-Qaeda leader and ideologist. Supports uncompromising jihad against infidels and religiously justifies mass killings of Western civilians.

Abd al-Aziz al-Jarbou' - Saudi scholar. Published religious edicts justifying jihad against the U.S. and al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001. Considered a supporter of al-Qaeda's terrorist global network. Arrested in 2003 by Saudi security services.

Ali al-Khudeir - Saudi scholar. Born in 1954 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). Graduated Al-Imam University in Qusaim. Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi, one of his teachers (see below), had great influence on shaping his Islamic views. Al-Khudeir published articles and religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afganistan including the destruction of the Hindu statues, as a part of jihad against the infidels. He religiously justified al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001. Along with Nasser al-Fahd and Ahmed al-Khaldi, he incited to commit attacks against Westerners and openly supported the Riyadh bombings. He was arrested by the Saudi security services and charged with advocating violence in sermons in mosques and on the Internet. Under pressure from Saudi authorities, which began cracking down on militants believed responsible for a string of attacks in Saudi Arabia, in an interview on Saudi TV (November 2003), al-Khudeir reversed his religious edicts justifying attacks against innocent people including Westerners under regime protection inside Saudi Arabia and encouraging Saudi youth to join the jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Nasser al-Fahd, he focused on limiting the application of takfir, which had largely internal implications.

Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi - Palestinian scholar (born in Nablus), living in Jordan. Al-Maqdisi was involved in directing Islamist terrorist groups in Jordan under various names - Bay'at al-Imam, Jaysh Muhammad, Al-Islah wal-Tahaddi - along with the Islamic Movement for Change, which carried out the terrorist attack in Riyadh in November 1995 in which five American officials were killed. He was imprisoned between 1995 and 1999 and detained again in the recent wave of arrests of Islamists in Jordan.

Muhammad Saleh al-Munajjid - Saudi scholar. Born in 1961. Graduated Saudi University in Dhahran. The late grand mufti, Abd al-Aziz al-Baz, was one of his teachers, who had great influence in shaping his views. Serves as Islamic researcher and preacher.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi - Prominent Islamic scholar and well-known preacher. Born in Egypt (1926), lives in Qatar. Known as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi heads the Sunni studies department at Qatar University. He was the first Sunni Muslim scholar to give religious legitimacy to the suicide operations of Hamas (1995), and to the participation of women in suicide attacks. Qaradawi has generally defended bin Laden as a representative and defender of oppressed Muslims against the "American and Zionist evilness," even though he condemned the attacks on American soil against innocent civilians.

Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi - Prominent and influential Saudi scholar. Born in 1927 in al-Shiqqa (Buraida, Saudi Arabia), died in 2001. Lost his eyesight in the age of 9 as a result of disease. Learned Islamic studies and law. Served as teacher of Islamic affairs. His students included a number of important Saudi religious leaders, including the current grand mufti. Al-Shuaibi published religious edicts supporting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan including the destruction of the Hindu statues, as part of jihad against the infidels. He religiously justified al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. in September 2001 and gave religious legitimacy to the suicide attacks against Israel carried out by Palestinians. In October 2001, bin Laden cited al-Shuaibi when he spoke of his justification for killing Jews and Christians.

Abd al-Rahman al-Sudays - Imam of the central mosque in Mecca. Well-known for his radical Islamic views and ardent preaching against the infidels.

Suliman bin Nasser al-Ulwan - Saudi scholar. Born in 1969 in Buraida. Serves as lecturer and preacher. Published religious edict justifying the Palestinian suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. In 2001 he stated that the attacks on the World Trade Center were an act of jihad.

Ahmad Yassin - Palestinian religious leader; born in 1937 in Ashkelon (today in southern Israel); worked as teacher, preacher, and community worker; completely paralyzed following an accident in his youth; founder of the Islamic Center in Gaza in 1973, which soon controlled all religious institutions; founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, and its military wing, Izz al-Dinn al-Qassam, which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis in terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, since the 1990s. An Israeli court convicted Yassin in 1989 of ordering Hamas members to kidnap and kill two Israeli soldiers. He was released from jail in 1997 to appease Jordan after Israel's failed attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Amman. Yassin opposed the previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and maintains that eliminating Israel and the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine is a religious duty.

*     *     *
Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi is a researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam and an advisor on Arab affairs in the Israeli Foreign Minister's office. His previous writings include "Understanding the Breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations," Jerusalem Viewpoints #486 (September 15, 2002) and "Who is Taking Credit for Attacks on the U.S. Army in Western Iraq? Al-Jama'a al-Salafiya al-Mujahida" Jerusalem Issue Brief #3-3 (August 5, 2003). The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the IDF or the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Jerusalem Letter and Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints are published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 13 Tel-Hai St., Jerusalem, Israel; Tel. 972-2-5619281, Fax. 972-2-5619112, Internet: jcpa@netvision.net.il. In U.S.A.: Center for Jewish Community Studies, 5800 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 USA, Tel. (410) 664-5222; Fax. (410) 664-1228. © Copyright. All rights reserved. ISSN: 0792-7304.

The opinions expressed by the authors of Viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
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JDN
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« Reply #110 on: August 09, 2008, 10:52:02 PM »

GM, you said, "Again, define torture"...

GM; you seem to have a hard time with the word "torture"

Water boarding?  Would you like to try it???
We used to think (we prosecuted) water boarding was torture; now
when we do it, it's OK?  A near death experience, but it's not torture??? 

Or according to an FBI report;

captives were chained hand and fist in a fetal position for 18+ hours a day
subjected to extreme temperatures close to freezing
gaged with duck tape
threatened with death and kept in small (think very very small) solitary confinement cells
forced feeding with a tube bigger than your finger without anesthesia
Men were forced to urinate on each other
electric shock until near death
sleep deprivation
and on and on and on and on......................and this is just what we know!

And I like the quote, "Gitomo is a holiday camp compared to Abu Garaib where prison guards raped children
and beat detainees to death"

Or that our military lawyers warned the Pentagon "that some of the methods used to interrogate and hold detainees
after 9/11 violated military, U.S. and International Law.

Or, as I quote/mentioned above, our own Supreme Court said we are WRONG.

Are you blind???  Do a Google search; you end up with almost 300,000 hits on GUANTANAMO + TORTURE

Everyone KNOWS and admits we torture; the question is how much, how often, and is it justified.  It's not!

I say it's just sad.  As for them going back and fighting us; wouldn't you if you were tortured and saw
everyone around you being tortured???  I too would join in the opposition.  America is suppose to be
the land of justice and fairness; what happened???  They  are not eligible for POW treatment??? What? 
They don't wear uniforms, line up in a straight line, and blow a bugle?  Neither did my forefathers in
the Revolutionary War or for that matter did the Jews in their fight for Israel.  Nor did it happen in
Vietnam!  Now suddenly they are "enemy combatants".  And shipped off to torture chambers in far
off lands???  WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!

Yet you/America has no shame.  You quote Webster and justify not following the
Geneva Convention?  That's pretty silly.  Look in another dictionary. 
I think you are just kidding me; of course you know we
are committing torture but you just want to egg me on.  I hope you are kidding...

I suggest common sense.  Common decency.  Ask yourself, how you would want to be treated if you
were innocent???  And most of the people in Guantanamo will be found guilty of nothing!  It is
simply inhumane.  Remember; there is a presumption of innocence? 

You know, GM, I don't think you like Muslims - period.  But the same could be said about people who
don't like Asians, or Jews, or Blacks, or Mexicans......  All have been persecuted; and it's not right.

james

ps GM; We've been fighting the Muslims since the 7th century???  Gosh, I bet if you ask most American since
our founding 500+ years ago no one gives a rat's $%^& about the Muslims.   Recently sure; as for Iraq we invaded them,
remember?  We are the occupying army.  America should be more concerned about China or Russia; they could make
a serious difference one day.  I asked my Dad (a former Naval Officer and War Veteran) if he is worried about the Muslims?
 He said, "Who?" And "why?"  "They are not a military threat to America's heartland!". 

pps In a separate post, Crafty criticized the ACLU; I agree, they have their faults, but without them who would fight
for our Civil Rights?  Perhaps today you don't like them; they are not popular, but they will be there for you too and have
been in the past.  Today it's the Muslims (yes GM I know you don't like them) but tomorrow it could be another
minority.  Civil Rights, humane decency for ALL people is the foundation of our country.  Fighting for human rights
is never popular, but it's the moral thing to do.

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« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2008, 09:07:27 AM »

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/11/exclusive-only-.html

ABC News: The Blotter
Exclusive: Only Three Have Been Waterboarded by CIA

November 02, 2007 1:25 PM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

For all the debate over waterboarding, it has been used on only three al Qaeda figures, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials.

As ABC News first reported in September, waterboarding has not been used since 2003 and has been specifically prohibited since Gen. Michael Hayden took over as CIA director.

Officials told ABC News on Sept. 14 that the controversial interrogation technique, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex as shown in the above demonstration, had been banned by the CIA director at the recommendation of his deputy, Steve Kappes.

Hayden sought and received approval from the White House to remove waterboarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques first authorized by a presidential finding in 2002.

The officials say the decision was made sometime last year but has never been publicly disclosed by the CIA.

THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS

Blotter CIA Bans Waterboarding in Terror Interrogations
Blotter How the CIA Broke the 9/11 Attacks Mastermind
Blotter Investigator: 'High-Value Targets' Imprisoned by High-Level 'Cover-up'
Exclusive: Sources Tell ABC News Top Al Qaeda Figures Held in Secret CIA Prisons
CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described
Full Blotter Coverage CIA Secret Prisons
One U.S. intelligence official said, "It would be wrong to assume that the program of the past moved into the future unchanged."

A CIA spokesman said, as a matter of policy, he would decline to comment on interrogation techniques, "which have been and continue to be lawful," he said.

The practice of waterboarding has been branded as "torture" by human rights groups and a number of leading U.S. officials, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., because it amounted to a "mock execution."

It has been at the center of the debate that threatens to derail the confirmation of President George Bush's attorney general nominee, Michael Mukasey.

As a result of Hayden's decision, officials say, the most extreme technique left available to CIA interrogators would be what is termed "longtime standing," which includes exhaustion and sleep deprivation with prisoners forced to stand handcuffed, with their feet shackled to the floor.

The most effective use of waterboarding, according to current and former CIA officials, was in breaking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM, who subsequently confessed to a number of ongoing plots against the United States.

A senior CIA official said KSM later admitted it was only because of the waterboarding that he talked.

Ultimately, KSM took responsibility for the 9/ll attacks and virtually all other al Qaeda terror strikes, including the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

"KSM lasted the longest under waterboarding, about a minute and a half, but once he broke, it never had to be used again," said a former CIA official familiar with KSM's case.

ABC News first reported on waterboarding in November 2005 as part of a George Polk Award-winning series of reports on the agency and its practices. In that report, CIA sources outlined for ABC News a list of harsh interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration in a "Presidential Finding," which authorized the use of the techniques on a narrow range of "high-value" targets.

The CIA sources described the list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. The Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Longtime Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Waterboarding (as demonstrated in the picture above): The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the waterboarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

Contacted after the completion of the ABC News investigation, CIA officials would neither confirm nor deny the accounts. They simply declined to comment.
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« Reply #112 on: August 10, 2008, 10:30:58 AM »

GM, you said, "Again, define torture"...

GM; you seem to have a hard time with the word "torture"

Water boarding?  Would you like to try it???

**Yeah, I'm curious to see exactly how long I could stand it.**

We used to think (we prosecuted) water boarding was torture; now
when we do it, it's OK?  A near death experience, but it's not torture??? 

**It's not a near death experience, and it's done to every member of the US military that attends SERE school.**

Or according to an FBI report;

captives were chained hand and fist in a fetal position for 18+ hours a day
subjected to extreme temperatures close to freezing
gaged with duck tape
threatened with death and kept in small (think very very small) solitary confinement cells
forced feeding with a tube bigger than your finger without anesthesia
Men were forced to urinate on each other
electric shock until near death
sleep deprivation
and on and on and on and on......................and this is just what we know!

**Please post that FBI report, I'd like to read it myself. **

And I like the quote, "Gitomo is a holiday camp compared to Abu Garaib where prison guards raped children
and beat detainees to death"

**Really? Whom are you quoting? Please cite the source.**

Or that our military lawyers warned the Pentagon "that some of the methods used to interrogate and hold detainees
after 9/11 violated military, U.S. and International Law.

**Get 3 lawyers in a room and you'll get at least 4 opinions.**

Or, as I quote/mentioned above, our own Supreme Court said we are WRONG.

**The majority did, 4 dissented. I agree with the dissenters.**

Are you blind???  Do a Google search; you end up with almost 300,000 hits on GUANTANAMO + TORTURE

**This is proof of what, exactly? I googled Alien Abduction and got 2,150,000 hits. Using your logic, I guess this means alien abductions are real, right?**

Everyone KNOWS and admits we torture; the question is how much, how often, and is it justified.  It's not!

**Everyone? Wow, that's a big survey sample. Care to cite that source?**

I say it's just sad.  As for them going back and fighting us; wouldn't you if you were tortured and saw
everyone around you being tortured??? 

**Well, according to ABC news, a whopping total of THREE detainees were waterboarded, so I'm pretty sure your above statement isn't correct. If you have an alternate number, please post it.**

I too would join in the opposition.  America is suppose to be
the land of justice and fairness; what happened???  They  are not eligible for POW treatment??? What? 
They don't wear uniforms, line up in a straight line, and blow a bugle?  Neither did my forefathers in
the Revolutionary War or for that matter did the Jews in their fight for Israel. 

**So, If I understand you correctly, you are asserting that al qaeda is the moral equivalent of the American Revolution and the founders of Israel? Really?**

Nor did it happen in
Vietnam!  Now suddenly they are "enemy combatants".  And shipped off to torture chambers in far
off lands???  WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!

Yet you/America has no shame.  You quote Webster and justify not following the
Geneva Convention?  That's pretty silly.  Look in another dictionary. 
I think you are just kidding me; of course you know we
are committing torture but you just want to egg me on.  I hope you are kidding...

I suggest common sense.  Common decency.  Ask yourself, how you would want to be treated if you
were innocent???  And most of the people in Guantanamo will be found guilty of nothing! 

**Really? You know this how?**

It is
simply inhumane.  Remember; there is a presumption of innocence? 

You know, GM, I don't think you like Muslims - period.  But the same could be said about people who
don't like Asians, or Jews, or Blacks, or Mexicans......  All have been persecuted; and it's not right.

**Ah, so the war against the global jihad is just the persecution of muslims?**

james

ps GM; We've been fighting the Muslims since the 7th century??? 

**The global jihad started in earnest with the battle of Badr, you might want to look it up. No "we" weren't fighting there, but this was the first battle of the global jihad.**


Gosh, I bet if you ask most American since
our founding 500+ years ago

**America was founded 500+ years ago?Huh?**

no one gives a rat's $%^& about the Muslims.   Recently sure; as for Iraq we invaded them,
remember? 

**Wasn't there a little something that happened back in late 2001? Ya know, pre-Iraq? I think it was somewhere on the east coast....**

 We are the occupying army.  America should be more concerned about China or Russia; they could make
a serious difference one day. 

**As of today, how many US civilians have died at the hands of the Chinese or Russian military forces? Just give me a ballpark figure.**

 I asked my Dad (a former Naval Officer and War Veteran) if he is worried about the Muslims?
 He said, "Who?" And "why?"  "They are not a military threat to America's heartland!". 

**I'd disagree with your father's assessment.**

pps In a separate post, Crafty criticized the ACLU; I agree, they have their faults, but without them who would fight
for our Civil Rights?  Perhaps today you don't like them; they are not popular, but they will be there for you too and have
been in the past.  Today it's the Muslims (yes GM I know you don't like them) but tomorrow it could be another
minority.  Civil Rights, humane decency for ALL people is the foundation of our country.  Fighting for human rights
is never popular, but it's the moral thing to do.


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« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2008, 10:57:04 AM »

http://www.fdnylodd.com/9-11-Never-Forget/Memorials/Blood-Of-Heroes.html

A little refresher for your memory, JDN. About 3000 people had their civil rights permanently violated in the span of about 2 hours.
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« Reply #114 on: August 10, 2008, 12:08:30 PM »

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020472.php

Fitna. You'll see actual torture here.
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« Reply #115 on: August 11, 2008, 12:59:15 AM »

GM; if you want to see "actual torture" terrible torture just look at Guantanamo and Abu Garaib and numerous other CIA locations in Europe; it is all very sad. It's seems we seem to want to live in the same sewer as them.  But does that make it right???

As for Muslims/Islam I had dinner with my father tonight.  He conceded (I do too) your point; 9/11 was terrible, albeit lucky (what
are the odds of both building falling) however his point (my point) as terrible as it was, it was an abberation.  Muslims/Islam
do not threaten core American and simply cannot.  Another terror attack yes, but core America; no.  They do not have the means; intent is one thing, evil is evil, but means, i.e. nuclear weapons, a significant army, navy, delivery systems, etc. is another.    So I sleep well, as do most Americans and frankly I/Americans don't worry about Muslims/Islam attacking the Santa Monica Shore, or invading Los Angeles.  I assure you, we have enough problems to worry about, but worrying about Muslims invading America is very low our my list.  Actually, I know quite a few; they are doctors and attorneys and they are all wonderful people.  Unlike you, I don't think think they are all evil and a threat to America.  I think you will find every race has good and bad; it is too bad you focus and seem to hate minorities; Muslims and Asians in particular, yet you are a minority.  Rather odd...?

As for "facts and proof" interesting how you ignore the ones you can't (torture) contest, but manage to find (you must have lots of time) an article (I suppose I could find an article or source to support that the world is still flat; ahhh the beauty of cut and paste) to support your biased minority opinion.   I suppose if I had time (I don't) I could cut and paste articles to match your prolific articles one to one, but the overwhelming evidence contradicts you!  Our own government acknowledges torture!  Good grief man, wake up!  We've done wrong!  It's a given.  And basic Civil Rights have been denied; it might be you and me next time if we don't speak up.  Accept it and please don't cut and paste absurdly biased articles.  Open your eyes; the world is not us against Muslims and Asians (Brown People) etc.  The world is getting smaller and we need to learn to live together.  Most of my friends are very successful and work for large international corporations; they are not just American companies, but global companies and the world (Muslims, Asians, etc.) is their marketplace.  No one seems to share you belief that a boogie man (Muslims) lives and threatens us behind every tree...
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« Reply #116 on: August 11, 2008, 08:04:06 AM »

"9/11 was terrible, albeit lucky"

Here we have a profound difference of opinion.  911 was quite on purpose, and a continuation of the previous attacks on the WTC.  The luck on that day was not theirs that the WTC collapsed, the luck that day was ours that their attack succeeded only partially.  My understanding is that the plane that hit the Pentagon did so because of the minimal flying skills of the jihadi pilot.  He missed the White House and therefor continued on to the Pentagon as the previously worked out Plan B.  Then there is the matter of Flight 93.  What was its intended target?  The Capitol Building?  The nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island-- in which case a goodly % of Pennsylvania would have been left glowing for a very long time.

"(A)s terrible as it was, it was an abberation."

Here too we disagree.  It was not an abberation.  It is part of a world wide pattern.

"Muslims/Islam do not threaten core American and simply cannot.  Another terror attack yes, but core America; no.  They do not have the means; intent is one thing, evil is evil, but means, i.e. nuclear weapons, a significant army, navy, delivery systems, etc. is another."

I am glad we agree about the evil and its intent, but we do not when it comes to the matter of means.

Of course there is no issue of a frontal military invasion, but IMHO the unfortunate reality is that the nature of 4th Generation Warfare is that if we do nothing they will have the means in addition to already having the intent.    I mentioned a moment ago the possibility of Flight 93 having been intended for the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island.  Whether that particular hijacking did have such a target or not, other ones in the future can. 

There is also the matter of the spread of nuclear technology.  Of course you know about Iran disrespecting its obligations under international treaty about allowing its nuclear program to be supervised to ensure that it does not develop the bomb.  Please correct me if I am wrong, but you read to me as caring not at all or very little about this.  Please tell us what, if anything, you think should be done about this.

Iran is already in a position to hand off radioactive materials -- something of which Israel, a goodly portion of which is in reach of over 20,000 Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, is acutely aware.  Iran's theocratic state has already expressed the desire and intention to wipe out Israel-- which continues to exist so far only because it is a nuclear power.  What happens when Iran gets the bomb?

As far as delivery capability goes, Iran, in preparation for the day that it will have the bomb, has already developed missiles capable of carrying nukes that can reach the eastern half of Europe.  Is this a matter of indifference to you?  I doubt it is to the Euros?  It is why we are having to establish anti missile missiles in eastern Europe, much to the irriation of the Russians, who as I type are invading Georgia in retaliation for our doing so (as well as our stupid support of separating Kosovo).   At what point do you think we need to act?  Only when it becomes even more difficult to do something about it?

I think it was in the Iran thread that I posted that Iran has tested launching from boats.  What this means is that with one speacially prepared tramp steamer, one nuclear bomb, and their existing missiles, that Iran could deniably hand off and launch a nuclear bomb and explode it high over the continental US and the EMP (electric magnetic pulse) could/would wipe out a very large percentage of our internet, computers, the records stored thereon etc.

"I assure you, we have enough problems to worry about, but worrying about Muslims invading America is very low our my list.  Actually, I know quite a few; they are doctors and attorneys and they are all wonderful people.  Unlike you, I don't think think they are all evil and a threat to America.  I think you will find every race has good and bad; it is too bad you focus and seem to hate minorities; Muslims and Asians in particular, yet you are a minority.  Rather odd...?"

As discussed the frontal military invasion is not the issue.  The invidious and vicious logic of 4th Gen Warfare is the issue. 

But let us turn to Islam itself.  As I hope you have already noticed, quite a few threads on this forun are dedicated to exploring the question of the nature of Islam here and around the world.  Have you read them?  I know that they are quite long but I encourage you to put aside the time to go back and read through them-- it is way this forum organizes the content of threads the way it does; so that readers such as you can study a particular theme.  Yes the investment of your time will be substantial, but I think you will come away with your opinion evolved from where it is now.

OF COURSE many Muslims are fine and wonderful people.  Unfortunately there seems to be SOMETHING going on on a world-wide basis.  IMHO actions such blowing up Buddhist statues in Afg (the act which first put the Taliban on the international radar screen) or beheading Buddhist monks and school teachers in Thailand, the Paristinian Revolt in France and so forth show that this is not a matter of blowback as the liberal guilt school of analysis would have it. We have seen the world-wide riots and the killings in response to the Danish cartoons.  Iran issued a death sentence on Rushdie for writing a book and has had people involved in publishing the book killed even though they have not yet gotten to him. Just this past week we saw a US publishing company back off from publishing a novel about Mohammed's nine year old bride for fear of the same-- does it not give you a sense of the phenomenon of Islamic Fascism already beginning to reach into your life when certain books are not published here in America for fear???

My approach is this.  The creed upon which this country is founded holds in part that our rights come from the Creator and amongst them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  That includes Freedom of Choice, informed by Free Speech, which is insured in part by Separation of Church and State.  In my opinion, to be a good American one must believe in these things. 

Because as good Americans we believe in tolerance and freedom of religion IMHO it becomes important to understand that if one believes in theocracy, and the right to silence by any means necessary those who mock or criticize. then we have a real problem.  To the extent that a follower of Islam believes in theocracy, Islam becomes a political ideology as well as religion and that political ideology is seditious and as such the danger is proportionate to the numbers of the followers of this political ideology.

"As for "facts and proof" interesting how you ignore the ones you can't (torture) contest, but manage to find (you must have lots of time) an article (I suppose I could find an article or source to support that the world is still flat; ahhh the beauty of cut and paste) to support your biased minority opinion.   I suppose if I had time (I don't) I could cut and paste articles to match your prolific articles one to one, but the overwhelming evidence contradicts you!  Our own government acknowledges torture!  Good grief man, wake up!  We've done wrong!  It's a given."

1) Four posts ago GM specifically responded you various assertions you made and I invite you to respond specfically to them.

2) For the second, and hopefully last, time I address this matter of pasting articles.  GM has posted articles which are specifically responsive to the assertions and points you make.  It doesn't take him a long time to find these articles precisely because he has run into the assertions you make many times before and simply already has them at hand and simply calling them "biased, minority opinion" simply does not engage with their content.

3) This matter of when interrogation techniques become torture and what we have or havent' actually done IS a difficult one.  As I have previously stated here, I think the Bush-Rumbo team has committed some real errors here and in some respects gone places which I think we shouldn't have gone too. 

OTOH I think there has been a tremendous amount of disingenuous and non-factual hypeventilating in the MSM e.g. when the NY Times reports Gitmo prisoners accusations as fact.  Forgive me, but I think this misreportage has infected your perception of reality with a "There's so much smoke! Everyone knows there must be fire!" state of mind wherein it has become difficult for you to emotionally enagage with the very specific information which GM has put in your path.

"And basic Civil Rights have been denied; it might be you and me next time if we don't speak up.  Accept it and please don't cut and paste absurdly biased articles.  Open your eyes; the world is not us against Muslims and Asians (Brown People) etc. 

The crack about Asians/Brown People reads to me as a smear.  Unless you can point to something specific that GM has said, you should withdraw this comment.

"The world is getting smaller and we need to learn to live together."

Exactly.  Not killing people for writing books, drawing cartoons, not believing in Islam would be a good idea, not killing school teachers for teachng girls, not beating up women for not wearing a potato sack from head to toe when its 120 degrees out would be a good start-- yes?.

"Most of my friends are very successful and work for large international corporations; they are not just American companies, but global companies and the world (Muslims, Asians, etc.) is their marketplace.  No one seems to share you belief that a boogie man (Muslims) lives and threatens us behind every tree..."

You mischaracterize. Anyway, I'm hungry and go upstairs to make some breakfast.

IMHO the question presented is whether Muslims see this as a religious war with them against us, or whether they see this as a war between civilization and barbarism with them on the same side as us.



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« Reply #117 on: August 11, 2008, 09:30:24 AM »

Marc,

A short response; I think Iran should be stopped at all costs from developing a nuclear weapon (as should North Korea or others like them).  While I prefer deplomacy, military action may be necessary.  They simply must be stopped; period.

As for the "crack" "Asians/Brown People" in another post GM himself specifically referred to Asians as "Brown People"; that term seems to be his preference; my preferred term happens to be "Asians".  Therefore my comment is not a smear, but simply a quote of his words.

Gotta go to work.  I enjoyed yesterday, and I noticed you are not bad on the drums!   grin

James
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« Reply #118 on: August 11, 2008, 10:19:20 AM »

To provide context, I was pointing out how the so-called "peace movement" feigned concern for the Vietnamese when there was political  advantage, but once the democrats cut off funding to South Vietnam and the communists had free hand to torture and fill the ground with mass graves, then the American/international left gave a big collective yawn and moved onto other things.

This is somewhat akin to today, where JDN is sooooooo concerned about the jihadists in gitmo, but little girls getting their genitals mutilated before being sold off in "marriage" to adult males decades older, the oppression, and sometimes wholesale murder of religious minorities, or reformers from within islam don't seem to merit his concern. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji, and Dr. Wafa Sultan are a few people who's voices JDN should listen to. Funny, the reformers for islam do exist, but usually only behind bullet resistant glass. Why is that? Why does 9/11 seem so distant to you, JDN? How many more 9/11s will it take for you to take it seriously?

Here is a clue about al qaeda's m.o., once they select a target they'll return until they are successful. Los Angeles has been targeted and they'll keep trying until they succeed.

What's the acceptable number of US civilian casualties for you, JDN? Give me a better alternative for protecting this country, or how you're going to get the global jihad movement to sit in a big circle, hold hands and sing "kumbayah" with everyone else.

If you'd actually bother to read what i've posted, you'd understand that there are islamic religious scholars that issued religious rulings such as this: "Basing his claims on the Islamic principle of retaliation, Abu Ghaith argues that Muslims have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, to displace eight million Americans, and to cripple hundreds of thousands more. Moreover, Abu Ghaith asserts that Muslims are religiously entitled to use chemical and biological weapons in their war against the U.S."

Your solution is?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #119 on: August 11, 2008, 11:46:01 AM »

James:

A pleasant surprise that you are willing to entertain military action against Iran.

If I understand correctly GM was mocking the liberal left with his use of "brown people", not advocating it as his own preferred term.

Tail wags for the kind words on my drumming-- I was worse than usual yesterday, my efforts at groove disrupted by trying to get the "chain of challenge" going.  I wish you had introduced yourself personally so that I would have a face to put with our conversation here.

Marc
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« Reply #120 on: August 11, 2008, 05:34:33 PM »

Actually, I thought you did quite well at the drumming (the whole day went well); and while your replacement was much more attractive  grin your technique stood up.  And yes I understand you were busy, that is why I didn't introduce myself.  I was a spectator near the front row in jeans and a blue stripped dress shirt.  But perhaps I should have; I think having a face behind the words is often helpful.
I did train knife for a while with Felix and have done some stick and I do enjoy watching. I miss the park, but I understand business.

Iran?  Don't be surprised.  No question, I am a big fan of the carrot, I like and prefer diplomacy, but if that doesn't work, use a big stick.  The job needs to get done.  Frankly, if we could put nuclear weapons back in the bottle, I would be all for it, but that is not going to happen.  Therefore, limiting them is our only choice by whatever means is necessary.  And that includes N. Korea, etc.

My comments, concerns on most of these forums is Civil Rights.  Somehow, I think we need to accomplish our goal(s) without sacrificing our Civil Rights otherwise we are no better than they are - and I hate to see the erosion of our Civil Rights, basic human decency justified as being necessary to beat the enemy.   History has shown us that road is fraught with danger.  But within the law, if someone does wrong, punish them to the max for all I care and if I am on the jury I will vote to hang them if the crime is appropriate (you see there can be some tough California jurors)  smiley

As for GM, his specific quote was "masses of brown people in mass graves."  (not Asian, not Vietnamese, but BROWN PEOPLE in mass graves".  It was his chosen preferred term; the term itself in it's context did not mock the the left, he easily could have used the word "Asian" or a specific group and accomplished the same point yet GM specifically chose "brown people" therefore I stand by my comment; I felt "brown people" to be derogatory, but perhaps others do not.  If GM prefers to defend it or excuse his usage of the words, that is his prerogative.  Although I decided not test the question by calling a few of the Asian fighters on Sunday "brown people".  Don't know the reaction, but I do know I am getting older and I don't run that fast anymore.   grin
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« Reply #121 on: November 21, 2008, 11:40:45 AM »

Last June in Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled for the first time in our history that aliens captured and held as enemy combatants abroad (in this case, at the Guantanamo Bay military base) had a constitutional right to challenge their detentions by filing petitions for habeas corpus in federal court. The Court recognized that its holding was unprecedented. Yet it said that it was not deciding how such proceedings should be conducted, or even what the government must show to prevail.

 
David KleinYesterday, the federal district court in Washington concluded the first such habeas proceeding for six detainees. It held that the government had established a basis for holding only one of them as an enemy combatant. The court acknowledged that the evidence the detainees were planning to travel to Afghanistan to join the fight was perfectly appropriate for use as intelligence (the purpose for which it was collected) -- but that such evidence was not sufficient to carry the government's burden of proving in court that the detainees were enemy combatants.

Of course, we believe that the court should have reached a different conclusion with respect to the five detainees. But on a more general level, the court's order highlights the challenges that inhere in applying a civil litigation framework to wartime decisions that often must be made on the basis of the best available intelligence.

Other federal courts hearing the approximately 250 Gitmo habeas cases have sought to answer similar questions. But as different judges reach different answers -- and as some of those answers, I fear, create risks for our national security -- there remains a pressing need for Congress, working with the administration, to establish one set of rules that is both consistent with the Supreme Court's decision and recognizes the important national security and intelligence interests of the United States.

The questions with which courts have grappled are of critical importance. They include foundational issues: How should we define an "enemy combatant" during a conflict with a nontraditional enemy like al Qaeda? They include trial issues: What evidence may the government rely on when making that determination? And they include practical issues: What does it mean to order a detainee "released"? Can a court order release into the U.S. if a detainee cannot be transferred to his home country, either because it won't accept him or because we fear he might be mistreated upon his return?

In July, I urged Congress to work with the administration to fashion a uniform set of rules for these cases, expressing two basic concerns with leaving these matters to the courts. The first was that the courts would reach inconsistent decisions, leading to protracted litigation and the likelihood of different procedures in different cases.

The second was that the courts would not be well-positioned to address fully our national security and intelligence interests. As a former federal judge, I know well the constraints on federal courts. They cannot find facts on their own and are limited to the evidence presented by the parties before them. By contrast, Congress and the executive branch are well equipped to learn and evaluate facts, and skilled in balancing the difficult policy choices at stake.

In the absence of legislation, however, the courts have proceeded with these cases. I appreciate the difficulty of the task that these judges were given, and I believe they have done an admirable job under the circumstances. Nevertheless, we have seen courts diverging on key issues, meaning that the rules in each case will likely vary significantly and will likely be finally resolved only after multiple appeals.

More importantly, in many cases, the government has faced great difficulty in collecting and presenting evidence in a manner that protects the vital sources and methods upon which our national security depends. Indeed, lacking clear protections for classified information, we have found at times that we are simply unable to provide our best evidence to the court. Our national security framework, in short, is not -- and should not be -- designed primarily to handle the burdens of discovery accompanying ordinary civil litigation.

Although a new president comes to office in January, these cases are moving forward quickly and the need for legislation is urgent. It is not yet too late for Congress, working with both this administration, and members of the incoming administration, to come together to fix this problem and to develop a sensible framework. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I believe that Americans agree more than they disagree about the principles that should govern this process.

First, Congress must make clear that release from the Guantanamo Bay military base does not mean that a detainee is entitled to enter the United States. Where a court finds that a detainee cannot be held as an enemy combatant, he should be returned to his home country or another country willing to receive him. He should not be permitted to jump the immigration line and enter this country.

Second, habeas corpus proceedings must protect the integrity of classified information and prevent disclosing that information to our enemies. Simply put, Congress should devise rules that allow the government to present the most highly classified information to the courts for their sole review.

We should not be forced to choose between continuing to hold a dangerous detainee and jeopardizing the intelligence sources and methods that Americans have risked their lives to obtain, and which our enemies may then render useless.

In today's Opinion Journal
REVIEW & OUTLOOK

The Waxman DemocratsAl Franken's MinnesotaAmerica the Popular

TODAY'S COLUMNISTS

Declarations: Keep Gates
– Peggy NoonanPotomac Watch: Obama's Senate Play
– Kimberley A. Strassel

COMMENTARY

Al Qaeda Detainees and Congress's Duty
– Michael B. MukaseyThe Auto Makers Are Already Bankrupt
– Paul IngrassiaLessons in Gross National Happiness
– Emily ParkerWhat Do We Really Know About the Uninsured?
– William SnyderThird, Congress should establish sensible and uniform procedures that will eliminate the risk of duplicative efforts and inconsistent rulings, and strike a reasonable balance between the detainees' right to a hearing and our national security needs. Such practical rules must assure that court proceedings do not interfere with the mission of our armed forces.

Federal courts have never before treated habeas corpus as requiring full-dress trials, even in ordinary criminal cases. It would be unwise to do so here, given the grave national security concerns at issue.

Devising a legal framework to review our military's detention decisions is an unprecedented challenge. It should not be left to the courts alone.

I firmly believe that Congress, the administration, and the incoming administration can work together to establish rules that at once provide a fair hearing and are respectful of the nation's security interests. It is not yet too late, and it certainly is worth the effort to try.

Mr. Mukasey is the attorney general of the United States.
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G M
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« Reply #122 on: November 21, 2008, 11:48:04 AM »

So, now the question is: Will Obama retain some or all of Bush's policies in protecting the nation, or will he "take the high road" and risk mass casualties on his watch?
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« Reply #123 on: December 05, 2008, 05:16:07 PM »

Piracy Is Terrorism
By DOUGLAS R. BURGESS Jr.
Published: December 5, 2008
NYT

THE golden age of piracy has returned. Just as Henry Every and William Kidd once made their fortunes in the Red Sea, a new generation has emerged, armed with grenade launchers and assault rifles, to threaten trade and distract the world’s navies. With the recent capture of the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star, a crime that once seemed remote and archaic has again claimed center stage.

And yet the world’s legal apparatus is woefully confused as to how to respond to piracy. Are the Somali pirates ordinary criminals, or a quasi-military force?

The question is not insignificant. It has virtually paralyzed the navies called to police the Gulf of Aden. The German Navy frigate Emden, on patrol this spring to intercept Qaeda vessels off the Somali coast, encountered pirate vessels attacking a Japanese tanker. But since it was allowed to intervene only if the pirates were defined as “terrorists,” the Emden had no choice but to let the pirates go. Currently, 13 vessels are held by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, while the navies of a dozen nations circle almost helplessly.

The legal confusion extends to what happens once pirates have been caught. In theory, any nation can shoulder the burden of prosecution. In fact, few are eager to do so.

Prosecuting pirates puts enormous strain on a country’s legal system. A state whose ship was not attacked, and whose only involvement with the incident was as rescuer, might balk at being asked to foot the bill for lengthy and costly proceedings. Yet it might find itself forced to do so, if neither the victim’s nor the pirates’ state is willing. As Somalia has not had a recognized government since the early 1990s, the situation is all the more precarious for would-be capturers. The result is that ship owners, knowing that no rescue is imminent, pay the ransom. This emboldens the pirates further, and the problem worsens.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this legal morass. Indeed, the law is very clear — we just seem to have forgotten about it.

The solution to piracy lies in the very nature of piracy itself. The Roman lawmaker Cicero defined piracy as a crime against civilization itself, which English jurist Edward Coke famously rephrased as “hostis humani generis” — enemies of the human race. As such, they were enemies not of one state but of all states, and correspondingly all states shared in the burden of capturing them.

From this precept came the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, meaning that pirates — unlike any other criminals — could be captured wherever they were found, by anyone who found them. This recognition of piracy’s unique threat was the cornerstone of international law for more than 2,000 years.

Though you wouldn’t guess it from the current situation, the law is surprisingly clear. The definition of pirates as enemies of the human race is reaffirmed in British and American trial law and in numerous treaties.

As a customary international law (albeit one that has fallen out of use since the decline of traditional piracy) it cuts through the Gordian knot of individual states’ engagement rules. Pirates are not ordinary criminals. They are not enemy combatants. They are a hybrid, recognized as such for thousands of years, and can be seized at will by anyone, at any time, anywhere they are found.

And what of the Emden’s problem? Are pirates a species of terrorist? In short, yes. The same definition of pirates as hostis humani generis could also be applied to international organized terrorism. Both crimes involve bands of brigands that divorce themselves from their nation-states and form extraterritorial enclaves; both aim at civilians; both involve acts of homicide and destruction, as the United Nations Convention on the High Seas stipulates, “for private ends.”

For this reason, it seems sensible that the United States and the international community adopt a new, shared legal definition that would recognize the link between piracy and terrorism. This could take the form of an act of Congress or, more broadly, a new jurisdiction for piracy and terrorism cases at the International Criminal Court.

There is ample precedent. In the 1970s, the hijacking of airliners was defined by the United Nations as “aerial piracy.” In 1985, when Palestinian terrorists seized the cruise ship Achille Lauro and held its passengers hostage, President Ronald Reagan called the hijackers “pirates.” Recent evidence also indicates that the Somali pirates hand over a part of their millions in ransom money to Al Shabaab, the Somali rebel group that has been linked to Al Qaeda.

The similarities and overlaps between the two crimes have prompted some jurists to advocate abandoning the term piracy altogether in favor of “maritime terrorism.” By reasserting the traditional definition of pirates as hostis humani generis, and linking it to terrorism, the United States and other nations will not only gain a powerful tool in fighting the Somali pirates, but other incidents of terrorism around the world as well.

Recognizing piracy as an international crime will do something else: It will give individual states that don’t want to prosecute pirates an alternative — the international court. If pirates are recognized under their traditional international legal status — as neither ordinary criminals nor combatants, but enemies of the human race — states will have a much freer hand in capturing them. If piracy falls within the jurisdiction of the international court, states will not need to shoulder the burden of prosecution alone.

Today the world’s navies are hamstrung by conflicting laws and the absence of an international code. A comprehensive legal framework is the only way to break the stalemate off Somalia. In a trial before the Old Bailey in 1696, Dr. Henry Newton, the Admiralty advocate, declared, “Suffer pirates and the commerce of the world must cease.”

More than 300 years later, the world is suffering again. Fortunately, this time we have the answer.

Douglas R. Burgess Jr. is the author of “The Pirates’ Pact: The Secret Alliances Between History’s Most Notorious Buccaneers and Colonial America.”

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« Reply #124 on: December 08, 2008, 11:59:00 PM »

A funny thing happened on the road to Barack Obama's inaugural: America became open to rational debate on Guantanamo.

 
AP
What should we do with people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
Not all that long ago, Guantanamo was simply one more manifestation of the wickedness of George W. Bush. Back then, the operating assumption appeared to be that the only people being held at Guantanamo were innocent goat herders whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result, the focus was on detainee abuse and their lack of rights, as witness an Associated Press headline from last December: "Lawyers complain iguanas at Guantanamo get more legal protection than detainees."

One year later, we now have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 plotters at Gitmo saying they want to plead guilty. And the headlines have begun to concede that closing the detention center will not be as easy as the critics suggested. "Closing detainee camp a minefield of critical steps," notes the Miami Herald. "Closing it may be the easy part; With Guantanamo, the issue for Obama will be deciding what to do with the 250 prisoners, experts say" reports the L.A. Times. "Close Guantanamo prison? Sure. But that's the easy part," says USA Today.

What unites all these stories is the acknowledgment of the basic fact of Guantanamo: The problem is the people, not the place.

As evidence of this new openness, the New York Times recently ran a piece reporting that "even some liberals are arguing that to deal realistically with terrorism, the new administration should seek Congressional authority for preventive detention of terrorism suspects deemed too dangerous to release even if they cannot be successfully prosecuted."

Exactly. The real issue isn't even so much the idea of trying these men in federal courts, which has already been done with Zacarias Moussaoui. The real issues for the president-elect are as follows: Where in America would you put these men? Would you release them on American soil if they are found not guilty? What about those whose home countries will not take them back? And what do you do with the toughest cases: those for whom the evidence is insufficient for a trial, but sufficient to tell us they are far too dangerous to release?

During the campaign, of course, both John McCain and Barack Obama vowed to close Gitmo down. But a President Obama will likely find it easier to do the prudent thing. As a Republican hawk charged by his opponent with representing a third Bush term, Mr. McCain would have been under immense pressure to prove that he wasn't George W. Bush. And a hasty closing of Guantanamo would have been a high-profile way to do it.

Fortunately, Mr. Obama is under no such pressure. For one thing, his opposition to the war gives him better credentials to do the wise thing here. For another, at least during his "honeymoon" period, the press is likely to give him a pass for whatever he comes up with -- even if the substance of what he decides seems to echo his predecessor.

In today's Opinion Journal
 

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

The Obama Health-Care ExpressFight Racism, U.N.-StyleLet Ford Save Ford

TODAY'S COLUMNISTS

Main Street: Now for an Honest Debate on Gitmo
– William McGurnGlobal View: Obama's Team of Conformists
– Bret Stephens

COMMENTARY

Getting Out of the Credit Mess
– Harvey GolubRestore the Uptick Rule, Restore Confidence
– Charles R. SchwabHolding CEOs Accountable
– Jonathan MaceyYes, it's a double standard. But it could turn out to be a good thing for the nation. What the American people need today is a sensible policy that recognizes three facts: that terrorists present a unique challenge to our rules of war; that capturing and holding terrorists is different from capturing and holding criminals or prisoners of war; and that the men and women who set up Guantanamo did so not because they were out to shred the Constitution but because, faced with some very imperfect choices, this was thought to be the best way to protect the American people.

It's true that Mr. Obama repeated his pledge to close Guantanamo during his recent "60 Minutes" interview. But he also declined to set a date. No doubt he is now realizing a hard truth. While senators can say what they please and go to sleep untroubled, presidents cannot escape the consequences of their decisions.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who served as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, hopes we might finally be getting a real debate. Though he has criticized some of the legal reasoning behind the Bush administration's terror policies, he says the animus against President Bush has corrupted our public discourse by making the issue the character of the good men and women trying to protect us rather than the enemy they were trying to stop.

Mr. Goldsmith notes that Mr. Obama is in a position to end the acrimony and strike a prudent way forward. "The single best thing about the election of Obama," he says, "may be that we now have a chance to view the terror threat without the distorting lens of Bush hatred."

Write to MainStreet@wsj.com
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« Reply #125 on: December 09, 2008, 06:21:04 PM »

http://counterterrorismblog.org/2008/12/print/guantanamos_jihad_the_show_beg.php

Counterterrorism Blog

Guantanamo’s Jihad: The Show Begins…

By Walid Phares

Al Qaeda’s great moment for propaganda has arrived, just as I predicted it would when I wrote about this in June. The Guantanamo trials will provide leading figures in the 9/11 massacre their “moment” to deliver a blow to America’s psyche, image and legal system.

As predicted, almost to the letter in my analysis in June, the men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks have declared their readiness to make confessions. According to Associated Press the military judge assigned to their war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay read aloud a letter in which the five co-defendants said they request an immediate hearing session “to announce our confessions.” The AP report added that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (aka KSM) has already told interrogators he was the mastermind of the attacks. “Now he’s telling the judge that he and the others want to make confessions at the trial.” The judge at the pre-trial hearing, Army Col. Stephen Henley, is asking each defendant if they are prepared to enter a plea. Three have agreed to do so.

So, is there an Al Qaeda plan being put into motion on the inside? Most likely there is as our knowledge of Al Qaeda training instructions has shown. -Both the government and media of the United States are ill-prepared for this type of jihadi propaganda warfare. Seven years after the beginning of the so-called “War on Terror,” the enemy’s ideology, strategies and methods still haven’t been officially identified. It is like using a Word War I mind set to fight World War II terror strategies.

Here is what the jihadists, both on the inside and the outside of the Guantanamo detention center are planning for:

First, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his comrades will use the so-called confessions deal to build a psychological environment for a martyrdom case: “istishaad.” They aren’t interested in saving their lives (at first, although they think they could) but in providing a maximum damage to their enemy through the tribunal proceedings. They will claim the court is not legitimate, the entire Guantanamo process as illegal and that they are ready to die as Jihadis in the path to Allah. Their first target is to grant themselves, in the eyes of millions of militants around the world the status of “Shuhada,” martyrs, even though they could survive it.

The “confessions” turned declaration of victory will be picked up by Al Qaeda and other jihadi groups and transformed into vital material for propaganda: videos, audio and texts. The “show” inside court will be used for indoctrination purpose around the world. A myth will be set in motion and emotional reactions to the “story” will be mutated into future revenge operations.

From there on, leave it to the architects of jihadi propaganda: statements made by the defendants will be used by operatives online, in the chat rooms but also on Al Jazeera (by callers and guests), and in other medium to widen the radicalization of youth in the Arab and Muslim world and within the West as well. An Al Qaeda “control room” will use the feed from the Guantanamo trials to produce a victory in their war of ideas against democracies. The fate of the 9/11 detainees isn’t the issue to Al Qaeda. By pledging loyalty to the “mission” through the so-called “confessions” or statements they have already sacrificed themselves ideologically. What KSM and his comrades are offering to their “brothers” around the world is an unbeatable series of images, footage and audio — pure gold for Al Qaeda propagandists and ideologues.

Ironically, during this time of transition between the two administrations in both the Bush and Obama teams may find they overlook the direct goals of Al Qaeda’s plan. As national security teams meet and wrestle over future options in the War on Terror (will some possibly end up just calling it a “war”?) the other side is waging its own war methodically, relentlessly and unstoppably. Every inch of room to maneuver is used to the maximum to weaken the enemy, even from within the walls of the detention centers. And that is only at Guantanamo that the defendants are openly admitting their responsibilities in spreading terror. Wait until the processing of jihadists hits our U.S. courts here on the mainland. What we see now is just the beginning.

Dr. Walid Phares is Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

By Walid Phares on December 8, 2008 11:27 PM
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« Reply #126 on: January 08, 2009, 01:33:01 AM »

Judge orders 17 Guantanamo detainees released to U.S.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marisa Taylor
- McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — In a dramatic setback for the Bush administration, a federal judge ordered the U.S. government Tuesday to immediately release and transfer to the United States 17 Chinese-born Muslims detained for almost seven years at Guantanamo.

The decision marked the first time a court has ordered the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. and could prompt the release of dozens of other Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release by the military but who can’t leave because the government hasn’t found a country to send them to.

Judge Ricardo Urbina declared the continued detention of the group from the ethnic Uighur minority to be “unlawful” and ordered the government to bring the detainees to the U.S. by Friday.

Reading his decision from the bench, Urbina said the government could no longer detain the Uighurs after conceding they weren’t enemy combatants. The judge also agreed with the Uighurs’ lawyers, who’ve argued the group can’t be returned to China because they could be tortured.

Urbina warned the government not to attempt to circumvent the group’s release by detaining them on immigration holds once they reach the U.S., saying “no one is to bother these people until I see them.”

Administration officials said they intend to file an "emergency motion" Tuesday night with the federal appeals court in Washington to block the ruling.
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"This decision, we believe, is contrary to our laws, including federal immigration statutes passed by Congress," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. "The district court’s ruling, if allowed to stand, could be used as precedent for other detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, including sworn enemies of the United States suspected of planning the attacks of 9/11, who may also seek release into our country."

Urbina, who at times during the hearing appeared to scold Justice Department lawyers, noted the government hadn’t charged the detainees with any crime, revealed any evidence justifying their detention and then “stymied” their release by continuing to assert erroneously that they were enemy combatants.

When government lawyers started to raise security concerns, the judge challenged them to specify what they were, chiding them that “you’ve had seven years to study this.”

He described the government’s use of certain legal jargon as “Kafkaesque,” saying it “begs the question of whether they ever were enemy combatants.”

Supporters from the Uighur-American community who attended the hearing reacted to his ruling with loud applause and cheers.

“The American system has given us justice,” said Rebia Kadeer, president of the World Uighur Congress.

Citing “serious separation-of-power issues,” Justice Department lawyers immediately requested a delay to allow the government time to consider whether to appeal. The judge, however, refused and instead set a hearing to determine the conditions of release.

Despite the prospect of the government’s appeal, Kadeer said: “I believe they will be released.” Kadeer, a leader of the expatriate Uighur community, was once detained for several years in a Chinese prison as a political dissident, but released and sent to the U.S. after the State Department pressured the Chinese government.

Urbina, a Clinton appointee, said the men will be permitted to stay with Uighur families in the Washington area, but will be expected to check in with the court on a regular basis. Next week, the court will consider whether to impose other conditions of their release.

The Uighurs were first shipped to Guantanamo from Afghanistan after their capture by U.S. troops at a weapons training camp. The military accused the group of being members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and said the camp in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains was run by the Taliban. But the Uighurs denied being members of the group and receiving support from the Taliban.

The Uighurs also have insisted that they consider the U.S. to be an ally in their fight for more political freedom in China. Declassified documents turned over to their lawyers showed that as early as 2003 government officials had concluded they were not enemy combatants and had recommended releasing them.

Attorneys representing the group hailed the ruling as landmark and predicted it could lead to other releases.

“The decision is extraordinary,” said Neil McGaraghan, one of the attorneys. “This is finally a step toward justice.”

The decision comes after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned as “invalid” a military tribunal's conclusion that one of the prisoners, Huzaifa Parhat, is an enemy combatant. The court, the same one that could hear the department's appeal, directed the Pentagon either to release or transfer Parhat or to hold a new tribunal hearing “consistent with the court's opinion.”

After the appellate ruling, the government conceded that it no longer considered any of the Uighurs enemy combatants.

However, Justice Department lawyers continued to argue Tuesday that the release of the group into the U.S. could pose a security risk and warned that the decision could harm international relations with China. The judge dismissed both arguments. Justice Department lawyer John O’Quinn said he did not mean to suggest that the government would immediately move to detain the group once they were in the U.S.
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« Reply #127 on: January 12, 2009, 08:16:21 AM »

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/11/obama-gee-this-gitmo-thing-is-more-complicated-than-i-thought/

Obama: Gee, this Gitmo thing is more complicated than I thought
By Michelle Malkin  •  January 11, 2009 12:00 PM

I razzed Team Obama over their newfound appreciation of the nuances of closing Gitmo back in November. Now, we are hearing it from the Messiah directly.
This morning on ABC’s Sunday show, he admitted that his recklessly simplistic promise to the nutroots to shut down the detention facility had run into some barriers.
Namely: Reality.
When he says “a lot of people,” he means himself.
President-elect Barack Obama said this weekend that he does not expect to close Guantanamo Bay in his first 100 days in office.
“I think it’s going to take some time and our legal teams are working in consultation with our national security apparatus as we speak to help design exactly what we need to do,” Obama said in an exclusive “This Week” interview with George Stephanopoulos, his first since arriving in Washington.
“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the president-elect explained. “Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it’s true. And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo-American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.”

Like I said two months ago: Nothing clarifies the mind like a jihadi boomerang.
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« Reply #128 on: January 12, 2009, 09:33:52 AM »

As usual, GM makes many powerful points and I agree with most of them.  As usual JDN is often , , , imprecise, specious and excessive in making his points (said with love JDN).  That said, I find myself at odds with some of our practices.  Leaving somebody naked and wet in 50 degrees?  What is the point?  Is there a ticking bomb scenario?  My understanding is no there is not, so I find no justification for this sort of practice.  Likewise the extended standing and sleep deprivation leaves me wondering.

The readings I have done (e.g. The Interrogator's War by someone who interrogated in the early days of Afg) persuade me that this sort of methodology simply is not very effective.  Nor does it leave me proud as an American.
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« Reply #129 on: January 12, 2009, 10:17:45 AM »

I think that is a good Litmus Test; "does it leave me proud as an American".

Good men often disagree, but if one's answer is an emphatic "yes" to that question,
other issues are of secondary importance and can usually be worked out.
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« Reply #130 on: January 12, 2009, 11:45:22 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67L35y77cWQ&feature=related

"Torture victims"

If not, why not?
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« Reply #131 on: January 12, 2009, 12:02:47 PM »

Ummm, , , because any of them can choose to leave?
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« Reply #132 on: January 12, 2009, 12:12:30 PM »

**So, what our military faces in training is torture when applied to al qaeda terrorists? Give me your interrogation methods that will work while meeting your standard.**

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16270

Al Qaeda Manual Drives Detainee Behavior at Guantanamo Bay

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2005 – If you're a Muslim extremist captured while fighting your holy war against "infidels," avoid revealing information at all costs, don't give your real name and claim that you were mistreated or tortured during your detention.
This instruction comes straight from the pages of an official al Qaeda training manual, and officials at the detention facility at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they see clear evidence that detainees are well-versed in its contents.

Police in Manchester, England, discovered the manual, which has come to be known as the "Manchester document," in 2000 while searching computer files found in the home of a known al Qaeda member. The contents were introduced as evidence into the 2001 trial of terrorists who bombed the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998.

The FBI translated the document into English, and it is posted on the Justice Department's Web site.

The 18-chapter manual provides a detailed window into al Qaeda's network and its procedures for waging jihad - from conducting surveillance operations to carrying out assassinations to working with forged documents.

The closing chapter teaches al Qaeda operatives how to operate in a prison or detention center. It directs detainees to "insist on proving that torture was inflicted" and to "complain of mistreatment while in prison."

Chapter 17 instructs them to "be careful not to give the enemy any vital information" during interrogations.

Another section of the manual directs commanders to teach their operatives what to say if they're captured, and to explain it "more than once to ensure that they have assimilated it." To reinforce the message, it tells commanders to have operatives "explain it back to the commander."

And at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, detainees take this instruction to heart. Many of the more than 500 detainees are "uncooperative" in providing intelligence, Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, told military analysts who traveled to the facility June 24 and reiterated today during a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee.

Some detainees have never uttered a single word during more than three years of interrogation. Others give false names or refuse to offer their real names.

This can prove challenging for interrogators at the facility, because many detainees "follow the al Qaeda SOP (standard operating procedures) to the T," according to Army Col. John Hadjis, chief of staff for Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

Officials say they see evidence of the al Qaeda-directed misinformation campaign in allegations of detainee abuse and mishandling of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld expressed frustration over this effort during a June 21 interview on the "Tony Snow Show."

"These detainees are trained to lie, they're trained to say they were tortured, and the minute we release them or the minute they get a lawyer, very frequently they'll go out and they will announce that they've been tortured," Rumsfeld said.

The media jumps on these claims, reporting them as "another example of torture," the secretary said, "when in fact, (terrorists have) been trained to do that, and their training manual says so."

During a February 2004 Pentagon news conference, a DoD official said new information provided by detainees during questioning is analyzed to determine its reliability.

"Unfortunately, many detainees are deceptive and prefer to conceal their identifies and their actions," said Paul Butler, principal deputy assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Butler said the Manchester document includes "a large section which teaches al Qaeda operatives counterinterrogation techniques: how to lie, how to minimize your role."

The document, he said, has surfaced in various locations, including Afghanistan.

The manual's preface offers a chilling reminder of the mentality that drives al Qaeda disciples and the lengths they will go to for their cause.

"The confrontation that we are calling for ... does not know Socratic debates, ... Platonic ideals ... nor Aristotelian diplomacy," its opening pages read. "But it knows the dialogue of bullets, the ideals of assassination, bombing and destruction, and the diplomacy of the cannon and machine gun."

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« Reply #133 on: January 12, 2009, 04:39:35 PM »

"So, what our military faces in training is torture when applied to al qaeda terrorists? Give me your interrogation methods that will work while meeting your standard."

Jumping in (the question was aimed at Crafty), I had a toothache over the holiday which is unpleasant while it is happening.  The thought crossed my mind that morally IMO we perhaps could inflict pain up to the level of the common toothache, no worse than what a terrorist might experience naturally in the course of his life, to someone who is already guilty and captured in the interest of preventing a mass murder.  I'm not suggesting it's a good idea, just saying it's okay with me to leave it on the table for those responsible for our security.

Waterboarding as I understand it is more a matter of tricking them than inflicting harm or pain.

To understand torture better, look closely at the facilities and evidence uncovered from Saddam's regime.  Let's resolve to not be like them.
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« Reply #134 on: January 12, 2009, 06:09:54 PM »

Israel uses "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Ok for them?
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« Reply #135 on: January 12, 2009, 06:28:14 PM »



http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Law/Legal%20Issues%20and%20Rulings/Israel-s%20Interrogation%20Policies%20and%20Practices%20-%20De


Israel-s Interrogation Policies and Practices - Dec-96
 
1 Dec 1996
 

 
Israel's Interrogation Policies and Practices
STATE OF ISRAEL
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
TAMAR GAULAN, Adv.
Director, Human Rights and International Relations Dept.

December 1996


Israeli law strictly forbids all forms of torture or maltreatment. The Israeli Penal Code (1977) prohibits the use of force or violence against a person for the purpose of extorting from him a confession to an offense or information relating to an offense. Israel signed and ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Humiliating Treatment.

The State of Israel maintains that the basic human rights of all persons under its jurisdiction must never be violated, regardless of the crimes that the individual may have committed. Israel recognizes, however, its responsibility to protect the lives of both Jews and Arabs from harm at the hands of Palestinian terrorist organizations active throughout the world. To prevent terrorism effectively while ensuring that the basic human rights of even the most dangerous of criminals are protected, the Israeli authorities have adopted strict rules for the handling of interrogations. These guidelines are designed to enable investigators to obtain crucial information on terrorist activities or organizations from suspects who, for obvious reasons, would not volunteer information on their activities, while ensuring that the suspects are not maltreated.

The Landau Commission

The basic guidelines on interrogation were set by the Landau Commission of Inquiry. The Commission, headed by former Supreme Court President, Justice Moshe Landau, was appointed following a decision of the Israeli government in 1987 to examine the General Security Service's (GSS) methods of interrogation of terrorist suspects. In order to compile its recommendations, the Landau Commission examined international human rights law standards, existing Israeli legislation prohibiting torture and maltreatment, and guidelines of other democracies confronted with the threat of terrorism.

The Landau Commission envisioned its task as defining "with as much precision as possible, the boundaries of what is permitted to the interrogator and mainly what is prohibited to him." The Commission determined that in dealing with dangerous terrorists who represent a grave threat to the State of Israel and its citizens, the use of a moderate degree of pressure, including physical pressure, in order to obtain crucial information, is unavoidable under certain circumstances. Such circumstances include situations in which information which an interrogator can obtain from the suspect can prevent imminent murder, or where the suspect possesses vital information on a terrorist organization which could not be uncovered by any other source (e.g., locations of arms or explosive caches or planned acts of terrorism).

The Landau Commission recognized the danger posed to the democratic values of the State of Israel should its agents abuse their power by using unnecessary or unduly harsh forms of pressure. As a result, the Commission recommended that psychological forms of pressure be used predominantly and that only "moderate physical pressure" (not unknown in other democratic countries) be sanctioned in limited cases where the degree of anticipated danger is considerable.

It should be noted that the use of such moderate pressure is in accordance with international law. For example, when asked to examine certain methods of interrogation used by Northern Ireland police against IRA terrorists, the European Human Rights Court ruled that "ll-treatment must reach a certain severe level in order to be included in the ban [of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment] contained in Article 3 [of the European Convention of Human Rights]." In its ruling, that Court disagreed with the view of the Commission that the above mentioned methods could be construed as torture, though it ruled that their application in combination amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment. The question whether each of these measures separately would amount to inhuman and degrading treatment was therefore left open by the Court.

The Landau Commission was aware that the issue of moderate pressure during interrogation is both a serious and sensitive one. The guidelines regarding interrogation provide for limited forms of pressure under very specific circumstances, to be determined on a case by case basis. They by no means authorize indiscriminate use of force. Rather, specific circumstances have been identified and interrogation practices have been strictly defined in a manner that, in the opinion of the Landau Commission, "if these boundaries are maintained exactly in letter and in spirit, the effectiveness of the interrogation will be assured, while at the same time it will be far from the use of physical or mental torture, maltreatment of the person being interrogated, or the degradation of his human dignity. "

To ensure that disproportionate pressure is not used, the Landau Commission identified several measures, which have been adopted and are now in force, namely:

1. Disproportionate exertion of pressure on the suspect is not permissible pressure must never reach the level of physical torture or maltreatment of the suspect, or grievous harm to his honor which deprives him of his human dignity.

2. The use of less serious measures must be weighed against the degree of anticipated danger, according to the information in the possession of the interrogator.

3. The physical and psychological means of pressure permitted for use by an interrogator must be defined and limited in advance, by issuing binding directives.

4. There must be strict supervision of the implementation in practice of the directives given to GSS interrogators.

5. The interrogators' supervisors must react firmly and without hesitation to every deviation from the permissible, imposing disciplinary punishment, and in serious cases, causing criminal proceedings to be instituted against the offending interrogator.

Once these measures were set down, the Landau Commission went on, in a second section of its report, to precisely detail the exact forms of pressure permissible to the GSS interrogators. This section has been kept secret out of concern that, should the narrow restrictions binding the interrogators be known to the suspects undergoing questioning, the interrogation would be less effective. Palestinian terrorist organizations commonly instruct their members, and have even printed a manual, on techniques of withstanding GSS questioning without disclosing any information. It stands to reason that publishing GSS guidelines would not only enable the organizations to prepare their members better for questioning, but would reassure the suspect as to his ability to undergo interrogation methods without exposing vital information, thus depriving the GSS of the psychological tool of uncertainty.

Safeguards

Since the interrogation guidelines are secret, the Israeli government recognized the importance of establishing safeguards and a system of review of interrogation practices in order to insure that GSS investigators do not violate the guidelines. As a result, the GSS Comptroller was instructed to check every claim of torture or maltreatment during interrogation. From 1987 until the beginning of 1994, the Comptroller carried out this responsibility, initiating disciplinary or legal action against interrogators in cases where they have been found to have deviated from the legal guidelines. Early in 1994, in accordance with the recommendations of the Landau Commission, responsibility for investigation of claims of maltreatment was transferred to the Division for the Investigation of Police Misconduct in the Ministry of Justice under the direct supervision of the State Attorney.

The Landau Commission also recommended that there be external supervision of GSS activities. Since the Landau Commission issued its recommendations, the State Comptroller's Office has launched an examination of the GSS investigator's unit. Upon the completion of its inquiry, the State Comptroller's findings will be submitted to a special subcommittee of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) State Comptroller Committee. A further review procedure exists whereby the conclusions of the special ministerial committee, detailed below, as well as the annual reports of the investigators' unit are brought to the attention of the Sub-committee for Services of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

In addition, an agreement between the State of Israel and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides for the monitoring of conditions of detention. Delegates from the ICRC are permitted to meet with detainees in private within 14 days of the arrest. ICRC doctors may examine detainees who complain of improper treatment. All complaints made by the ICRC regarding treatment of prisoners are fully investigated by the relevant Israeli authorities and the findings are made known to the ICRC.

In May 1991, a special ad-hoc committee composed of members of the GSS and the Justice Ministry was appointed to review complaints against the conduct of GSS investigators during interrogation. The committee identified a number of cases in which investigators did not act in accordance with the guidelines for treatment of detainees. As a result of the Committee's findings, action has been taken against GSS investigators involved in these cases.

Review

As recommended by the Landau Commission, a special ministerial committee headed by the Prime Minister was established in 1988 under the previous government to review periodically the interrogation guidelines themselves. This committee held several sessions but its work was cut short by the national elections which were held in June, 1992. Following the establishment of the new government in July, 1992 a new ministerial sub-committee composed of the Ministers of Justice and Police was appointed in order to review the guidelines. On April 22, 1993, the Ministerial sub-committee detrmined that certain changes should be made in the General Security Service guidelines. On the basis of the sub-committee's recommendations, new guidelines were issued to General Security Service investigators. The new guidelines clearly stipulate that the need and justification for the use of limited pressure by investigators must be established in every case, according to its own special circumstances. The updated guidelines also point out that the use of exceptional methods was intended only for situations where vital information is being concealed and not in ordre to humiliate, harm or mistreat those under investigation. In addition, in the new guidelines, it is expressly stated that it is prohibited to deny a person under investigation food or drink, to refuse him permission to use a bathroom or to subject him to extreme temperatures.

In 1991, a petition was submitted to the Supreme Court of Israel sitting as the High Court of Justice by a detainee named Murad Adnan Salkhat and a private group named the Israel Public Committee Against Torture, challenging the legality of the guidelines and demanding that they be made public. The Court dismissed the petition and confirmed the necessity for secrecy.

Conclusion

The State of Israel prides itself on having an open society with a democratic legal system which is subject to public scrutiny and which respects human values. As a result, any allegations of maltreatment are taken seriously and are investigated on a case by case basis. However, it should be noted that individuals arrested, tried or convicted have both personal and political motives for fabricating claims of maltreatment during interrogation. Personal motives include the desire to have a confession ruled inadmissible at trial, to present oneself as a "martyr", or to escape retribution from Palestinian terrorist cells which have often assassinated or tortured individuals who have given information to the Israeli authorities. Political motives include the desire to spread anti-Israel disinformation in the form of unfounded human rights complaints, in order to undermine Israel's human rights image or discredit the Ggeneral Security Service.

It is the unfortunate reality that, during times of political unrest and violence, restrictions must be placed on individuals who threaten the welfare of the State and its citizens. This paper has been aimed at demonstrating that, despite the harsh reality of continuing terrorism faced by the State of Israel, we are doing everything in our power to uphold the rights of all persons under our jurisdiction while ensuring the safety of innocent individuals.

 
 
 
 
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« Reply #136 on: January 12, 2009, 07:05:51 PM »


 
December 21, 2007, 6:51 a.m.

The CIA Interrogation Tapes
Remember when this was a real war?

By Andrew C. McCarthy


The controversy over interrogation tapes destroyed by the CIA is a farce rich in high-dudgeon hypocrisy. It is the latest act in our square-peg, round-hole experiment in judicializing warfare — in intruding the non-political branch into the quintessentially political realm of national defense.

WAR FOOTING
Al-Qaeda’s air raid on 9/11 eclipsed Pearl Harbor in devastation and shock value. It exceeded anything ever accomplished by Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. It was a domestic military strike, wiping out thousands of American civilians. The enemy, in previous attacks, had already bombed a U.S. naval destroyer and two U.S. embassies.

As it happened, the suicide hijackings also violated several American criminal laws because the jihadist attackers were not privileged combatants — i.e., honorable enemy soldiers who conduct their operations within the laws and customs of war and who are therefore permitted to use lethal force. The civilian penal law, however, was a side issue. This was war, not law enforcement.

As a consequence, the nation assumed its war footing. For political reasons, the revisionist Left has referred to this effort as “the War on Terror of this administration” — to borrow the obnoxious phrase of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, the Jimmy Carter appointee who tried to invalidate the NSA’s terrorist-surveillance program. But this was never just President Bush’s war. It was — it is — our war. The country’s war. This may seem like ancient history, but in the months after 9/11, we were not in Iraq. We were in the “good” War on Terror — the one Democrats supported, in word and deed, because they damn well knew Americans would tolerate nothing less.

We no longer wanted the Trial on Terror. After eight years of that approach, the mass casualties, the hundreds of billions in wreckage, the smoldering Pentagon, the stunning canyon where twin towers once stretched to the sky, all of it convinced us that a different kind of response was in order. That nation made a political decision to go to war.

This wasn’t just George W. Bush. On September 14, 2001, the House of Representatives approved a sweeping authorization for the use of military force by a vote of 420-1 (Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.) was the lone naysayer). The vote in the Senate that day was 98-0. Six weeks later, the Patriot Act’s overhaul of intelligence tools for hunting down international terrorists was enacted in the upper and lower chambers by lop-sided margins of 98-1 and 357-66. America’s representatives were behind the war because the American people were behind the war. Even by 2004, when passions had cooled somewhat, John Kerry, the Democrats’ presidential nominee, promised Americans he would fight the war smarter than Bush, not that he wouldn’t fight it. Saying he wouldn’t fight it would have resulted in a walloping of McGovernite proportions.

The atmosphere of 2002 was one of forcible action. The American people demanded it. Our representatives in Congress were insistent that we would get it. Their own jobs hung in the balance. It was in that atmosphere that this military response, this war, began to result, as all wars do, in the capture of enemy operatives.

ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE BEING TOUGH ENOUGH?
Good intelligence is a premium in all wars but it was to be especially crucial in this one. Radical Islam does not have a territory to defend — we can’t bomb it into submission. It does not have a treasury we can seize to starve it out of existence. It is abetted by nation-states, but as a movement it is an illegitimate, non-state actor catalyzed by a supremacist ideology, meaning it is not the kind of enemy with which we could ever sign a treaty. There is no obvious scenario for when and how this war ends. The major asset we can acquire — the only one that will protect American lives — is intelligence: who the terrorists are, where they are hiding, and what they are planning to hit next.

Only by knowing and acting on such information can we hope to degrade radical Islam’s capacity to project the power of a belligerent rather than a criminal gang. A criminal gang, however fierce, can be brought to heel by prosecution. An incorrigible belligerent has to be vanquished, in war. And it is worth remembering, again, that we made the national decision to go to war, the object of which is to defeat the enemy by suppressing its capacity — not to convert the planet to our enlightened way of thinking.

Given the intelligence imperative, the CIA aptly commenced a special interrogation program. Here, I should stress which CIA we are talking about. This was not Langley’s secret-leaking, Plame-loving, analytical side — the one that seeks to control policy and throw presidential elections. This was the operations directorate: intelligence officers stationed in some of the planet’s worst hell-holes who, in courageous anonymity, put their lives on the line, day in and day out, to protect the United States.

The interrogation program was strictly for high-value al-Qaeda detainees, not the hundreds of other prisoners captured in the war, most of whom are low-level foot soldiers. The program was (and, one hopes, still is) aimed at the enemy’s top strategists, the jihadists who actually know about ongoing plots, secret cells, and efforts to use or acquire weapons of mass destruction — i.e., the features that enable radical Islam to project war-scale force.

The program pushed to the margins of the law. Regardless of what the revisionist Left is now saying, the only bright-line limit on the treatment of alien enemy combatants held outside the United States in 2002 was the federal law against torture. The United States did not outlaw cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment when it ratified the international anti-torture treaty in 1994 — it was not until 2005 that such treatment overseas was outlawed, and even then only ambiguously, no matter what Senators John McCain, Patrick Leahy, and others now claim. Congress could easily (and accountably) have made simulated drowning — waterboarding — unlawful. But it didn’t. It wouldn’t have dared done so in 2002; it didn’t do so in 2005 or 2006 despite specifically addressing war crimes; and it hasn’t done so to this day.



So the CIA used waterboarding. Not often (probably on only three top terrorists) and not frequently (it probably has not used the tactic since 2003). But agency interrogators used it — and other forcible methods too, methods that were even further removed than waterboarding from the heinous cruelty that is true torture.

The tactics worked. They resulted in the apprehension of other top jihadists, the mapping of terror cells, and the thwarting of plots. They saved lives. They degraded the enemy’s capacity.

The drivel that passes for argument about how forcible questioning doesn’t work wouldn’t pass the laugh test if we didn’t allow thought to be paralyzed by the demagogic invocation of “torture.” Think for a moment. The United States is not Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the mullahs’ Iran, Putin’s Russia, Red China, or one of several other thuggish regimes in that gorgeous mosaic known as the “international community” — the purported loss of whose esteem is, according to today’s Left, supposed to keep us awake at night. (Personally, I would sleep quite well even if I actually believed Hosni Mubarak and Saudi Wahhabists were fretting over America’s regard for human rights.)

The United States doesn’t do show-trials; we collect intelligence. We don’t want lies; we need the truth. We are not using torture to coerce phony confessions or intimidate dissenters; we are a besieged people using forcible methods — not torture — to cull from hardened terrorists, trained to resist interrogation, information that can be corroborated and used to defeat the enemy. We do it to protect American lives. We are not sadists. If forcible methods didn’t work, it would be pointless to use them, and we wouldn’t. Further, if there hadn’t been an imminent threat of more 9/11s — and recall that bin Laden, Zawahiri and their cohort have been promising a repeat performance ever since the first one — we’d have contented ourselves with more anodyne methods, for however many months it took, fully aware that these hardest cases would probably never talk.

We weren’t violating any treaty obligations, and we weren’t laying the groundwork for any other nation that actually cares about its obligations to violate theirs. Al-Qaeda is not going to reciprocate humane treatment; you haven’t heard of any jihadist Gitmo because this enemy tortures and kills its captives — believe it or not, they don’t even let the International Red Cross come visit. But if we were fighting a nation-state entitled to Geneva Convention prisoner-of-war provisions, we would honor those provisions, demand nothing beyond name, rank and serial number, and expect our foes to honor them as well. The Left’s charge that we are international outlaws is as vapid as it is slanderous.

And in 2002, when it was vigorously supporting a war — not an indictment — against radical Islam, Congress understood that perfectly.

Beginning in 2002, top lawmakers from both parties, started getting briefings on the CIA program: its tough tactics, like waterboarding; its use of prison facilities outside the United States — quite consciously outside the jurisdiction of the federal courts and the procedural mandates of the criminal-justice system. These congressional heavyweights included Nancy Pelosi, then the Democrats’ Minority Leader, now the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As the years went by and the war ensued, there may have been as many as 30 such briefings.

Far from indignation, the Washington Post reports that the reaction was one of encouragement. Consistent with their overwhelming authorization of both the use of force and the Patriot Act measures, congressional leadership’s only apparent question of the CIA was whether it was being tough enough on the jihadists — whether the agency was being sufficiently coercive to get whatever life-saving intelligence there was to get.

OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE … OR THE WAR EFFORT?
The CIA goofed. Back in 2002, at the apex of public and congressional support for its efforts, it foolishly tape-recorded some of the interrogations of two top terrorists, Abu Zubaydah (al-Abideen Mohamed Hussein) and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — respectively, a top bin Laden confidant (whose information led, among other things, to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11), and the commander responsible for the murder of seventeen American sailors in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

There was no legal requirement to make these tapes. The government generally does not tape-record interrogations. Even if that were not so, these jihadist leaders were not being interrogated to obtain confessions that could be used at trial. Coerced confessions are not admissible in American trials, and vainly trying to admit them would publicly expose classified tactics, allowing the enemy to train against them. We were not interested in trials. The nation had gone to war. We were interested in accurate, actionable intelligence that would help us win.

Once that information was preserved in reports or transcripts, the tapes were of no intelligence value. To the contrary, they were a liability because their exposure could have helped the enemy. Defeating the enemy being its priority, and the nation’s, the CIA destroyed the tapes in 2005.

When a nation goes to war — with the full-throated support of the public and a lopsided, authorization from the public’s representatives that is in every meaningful way a constitutional declaration of war — that war, that political act in furtherance of sovereign self-preservation, is paramount. It is more important than any criminal trial. It is more important than any investigation. It is more important than any civil litigation.

That is why, for example, the Supreme Court has repeatedly and recently reaffirmed the state secrets privilege, which grinds court cases to a halt when invoked. It is why an act of Congress, the Classified Information Procedures law, empowers the Attorney General to order federal judges not to disclose classified information, no matter how relevant it may be to the case at hand. The law has long recognized that the national defense trumps other considerations, no matter how significant. That is why the legendary Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote for the Supreme Court, in 1909, that in matters concerning the life of the State, “Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process.” The law, like common sense, says that if we can’t safeguard the nation, the right to seek relief in the nation’s courts is an illusion.



In 2005, the CIA’s operations directorate saw what happened with the Abu Ghraib photos. It saw how the mindless cruelty of a miscreant handful of soldiers was used by the jihadists and their supporters to libel the entire U.S. Defense Department — a libel from which the war effort in Iraq has never recovered. Unlike Abu Ghraib, the CIA’s interrogation program was a vital intelligence initiative — an unmatched asset according to George Tenet, the CIA director at the program’s inception (a Democrat holdover, initially installed by President Clinton, who clearly appreciated the qualitative difference between pre- and post-9/11 collection methods). Not only the interrogation program but the entire war effort — not just in Iraq but in the “good” War on Terror that everyone claims to support — would have been threatened by the leak of the interrogation tapes.

And the tapes would certainly have leaked. No one knows the CIA as well as the CIA’s operations directorate. They know anti-Bush, antiwar ideologues in their organization have strategically leaked national defense secrets for years. That, undoubtedly, is why these interrogation tapes were maintained outside the United States — they were safer there than at Langley.

But safer isn’t safe. The government had plenty of legal authority to deny disclosure of the tapes to courts and other investigations — just as it declined, for example, to make the high-level detainees themselves available for questioning by the 9/11 Commission and in the trial of 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui. But this government has shown itself impotent when it comes to leaks. It doesn’t do anything meaningful to investigate and punish them when they happen, so they keep happening. The only way of ensuring that the tapes were not lawlessly leaked was to destroy them. So that’s what the operations directorate did.

When an agency of government even contemplates doing such a thing, concerns about obstruction accusations are only natural. It should thus come as no surprise that lawyers in the Justice Department, the White House, and the CIA itself would counsel the operations directorate against spoliation. Same for members of Congress. Same even for CIA directors like Tenet and Porter Goss. None of them wanted the tapes to harm the war effort, and none of them wanted the tapes to be disclosed. But none of them wanted to be on the hook for a decision to destroy the tapes either — especially when there were other legal means to keep them under wraps.

The CIA operations officials, on the other hand, are the guys actually fighting the war. No one of them is going to come out and say, “Well, there are people in our own agency who are opposed to this war policy, whom we can’t trust to keep our secrets, and who would leak the existence of these tapes to the New York Times” — just like, in the same 2005, they leaked the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, and later leaked other top secrets, like overseas holding facilities and the program to track terrorist funds. Nevertheless, even if they can’t say it, it is the blunt, undeniable truth.

Better than anyone else, the CIA’s war fighters knew what to expect from its antiwar fighters. By 2005, the risks became intolerable. Here was the Abu Ghraib debacle. There was the hypocrisy of grandstanding lawmakers suddenly decrying the same interrogation methods over which they’d once swooned. The handwriting was on the wall: The tapes could be used to hang the war fighters out to dry in the mendacious “torture” circus. That hanging would be a propaganda coup for the enemy. So they destroyed the tapes.

And now, of course, the obstruction chorus is in crescendo: the 9/11 Commission, the Moussaoui trial, the Gitmo detainee cases, all supposedly tainted. In truth, the high likelihood is that justice in none of these proceedings has actually been obstructed. The 9/11 Commission investigation had nothing to do with interrogation tactics; the two jihadists in the tapes had nothing to add to the Moussaoui case; and the detainee litigation is about prisoners held by the military in Gitmo, not high-value detainees held by the CIA in secret locations. Yet, the destruction raises the specter of a government in the habit of making discomfiting evidence disappear. Such suspicions, however overblown, cast a pall on all the Justice Department’s antiterror efforts. And if government officials who knew about the existence of the tapes are shown to have lied to tribunals, that would be a grave matter. Thus, from a strict legal standpoint the destruction of the tapes is a galactic blunder — if we pretend, as we increasingly seem to do, that there isn’t a war going on.

But, you see, there is. And a war can’t be fought under the peacetime protocols of the civilian-justice system, where lawyers — just to be on the safe side — routinely tell clients not to purge any records that might conceivably be relevant to some pending or likely proceeding. If winning the war is more vital to the country than the outcome of any particular litigation or investigation — and that is what a real war-footing means — then tape recordings which would harm the war effort should certainly be destroyed if they merely depict forcible interrogation methods everyone already knows about. We don’t need pictures to debate tactics.

Committing the first grievous error, the decision to record the tapes, does not bind us to commit the next ruinous error: preserving them for propaganda use by the enemy. If it does, that’s not the rule of law; it’s suicide.

We ask our CIA operatives to protect us, and we tell them it’s now a war not an investigation. Congressional leaders admonish them to make certain they’re being tough enough on the enemy, and the Justice Department certifies their methods as within the bounds of the permissible. And now we’re going to stop the music, pull the chair out from under them, and tell them we’re in law-enforcement mode after all? That’s duplicity of a very high order.

Few in Congress and the commentariat complained when the mainstream media, reluctant to stoke public anger against Islamic radicals, made the video of the 9/11 attacks disappear. (When was the last time you saw it?) Why do so many insist on rousing anger against the people fighting to save our lives?

— Andrew C. McCarthy directs the Center for Law & Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
 
 

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National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NmQ5ZWVlNDUwMGU2NTNkYWVkNTk1MGUxNDIyYmQ5Yzg=
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« Reply #137 on: January 12, 2009, 07:46:07 PM »

Sent to me by a former Army man (Nuke, Bio, Chem stuff) who has followed this issue closely. 


=========
I might add that this is the interrogator that the US selected to aid in finding Zarqawi in Iraq, so not just any run of the mill interrogator I would imagine.

X.

I'm Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq
 
By Matthew Alexander
Sunday, November 30, 2008; Page B01

I should have felt triumphant when I returned from Iraq in August 2006. Instead, I was worried and exhausted. My team of interrogators had successfully hunted down one of the most notorious mass murderers of our generation, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the mastermind of the campaign of suicide bombings that had helped plunge Iraq into civil war. But instead of celebrating our success, my mind was consumed with the unfinished business of our mission: fixing the deeply flawed, ineffective and un-American way the U.S. military conducts interrogations in Iraq. I'm still alarmed about that today.

I'm not some ivory-tower type; I served for 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, began my career as a Special Operations pilot flying helicopters, saw combat in Bosnia and Kosovo, became an Air Force counterintelligence agent, then volunteered to go to Iraq to work as a senior interrogator. What I saw in Iraq still rattles me -- both because it betrays our traditions and because it just doesn't work.

Violence was at its peak during my five-month tour in Iraq. In February 2006, the month before I arrived, Zarqawi's forces (members of Iraq's Sunni minority) blew up the golden-domed Askariya mosque in Samarra, a shrine revered by Iraq's majority Shiites, and unleashed a wave of sectarian bloodshed. Reprisal killings became a daily occurrence, and suicide bombings were as common as car accidents. It felt as if the whole country was being blown to bits.

Amid the chaos, four other Air Force criminal investigators and I joined an elite team of interrogators attempting to locate Zarqawi. What I soon discovered about our methods astonished me. The Army was still conducting interrogations according to the Guantanamo Bay model: Interrogators were nominally using the methods outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the interrogators' bible, but they were pushing in every way possible to bend the rules -- and often break them. I don't have to belabor the point; dozens of newspaper articles and books have been written about the misconduct that resulted. These interrogations were based on fear and control; they often resulted in torture and abuse.

I refused to participate in such practices, and a month later, I extended that prohibition to the team of interrogators I was assigned to lead. I taught the members of my unit a new methodology -- one based on building rapport with suspects, showing cultural understanding and using good old-fashioned brainpower to tease out information. I personally conducted more than 300 interrogations, and I supervised more than 1,000. The methods my team used are not classified (they're listed in the unclassified Field Manual), but the way we used them was, I like to think, unique. We got to know our enemies, we learned to negotiate with them, and we adapted criminal investigative techniques to our work (something that the Field Manual permits, under the concept of "ruses and trickery"). It worked. Our efforts started a chain of successes that ultimately led to Zarqawi.

Over the course of this renaissance in interrogation tactics, our attitudes changed. We no longer saw our prisoners as the stereotypical al-Qaeda evildoers we had been repeatedly briefed to expect; we saw them as Sunni Iraqis, often family men protecting themselves from Shiite militias and trying to ensure that their fellow Sunnis would still have some access to wealth and power in the new Iraq. Most surprisingly, they turned out to despise al-Qaeda in Iraq as much as they despised us, but Zarqawi and his thugs were willing to provide them with arms and money. I pointed this out to Gen. George Casey, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq, when he visited my prison in the summer of 2006. He did not respond.

Perhaps he should have. It turns out that my team was right to think that many disgruntled Sunnis could be peeled away from Zarqawi. A year later, Gen. David Petraeus helped boost the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and signed up with U.S. forces, cutting violence in the country dramatically.

Our new interrogation methods led to one of the war's biggest breakthroughs: We convinced one of Zarqawi's associates to give up the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader's location. On June 8, 2006, U.S. warplanes dropped two 500-pound bombs on a house where Zarqawi was meeting with other insurgent leaders.

But Zarqawi's death wasn't enough to convince the joint Special Operations task force for which I worked to change its attitude toward interrogations. The old methods continued. I came home from Iraq feeling as if my mission was far from accomplished. Soon after my return, the public learned that another part of our government, the CIA, had repeatedly used waterboarding to try to get information out of detainees.

I know the counter-argument well -- that we need the rough stuff for the truly hard cases, such as battle-hardened core leaders of al-Qaeda, not just run-of-the-mill Iraqi insurgents. But that's not always true: We turned several hard cases, including some foreign fighters, by using our new techniques. A few of them never abandoned the jihadist cause but still gave up critical information. One actually told me, "I thought you would torture me, and when you didn't, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That's why I decided to cooperate."

Torture and abuse are against my moral fabric. The cliche still bears repeating: Such outrages are inconsistent with American principles. And then there's the pragmatic side: Torture and abuse cost American lives.

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.

After my return from Iraq, I began to write about my experiences because I felt obliged, as a military officer, not only to point out the broken wheel but to try to fix it. When I submitted the manuscript of my book about my Iraq experiences to the Defense Department for a standard review to ensure that it did not contain classified information, I got a nasty shock. Pentagon officials delayed the review past the first printing date and then redacted an extraordinary amount of unclassified material -- including passages copied verbatim from the Army's unclassified Field Manual on interrogations and material vibrantly displayed on the Army's own Web site. I sued, first to get the review completed and later to appeal the redactions. Apparently, some members of the military command are not only unconvinced by the arguments against torture; they don't even want the public to hear them.

My experiences have landed me in the middle of another war -- one even more important than the Iraq conflict. The war after the war is a fight about who we are as Americans. Murderers like Zarqawi can kill us, but they can't force us to change who we are. We can only do that to ourselves. One day, when my grandkids sit on my knee and ask me about the war, I'll say to them, "Which one?"

Americans, including officers like myself, must fight to protect our values not only from al-Qaeda but also from those within our own country who would erode them. Other interrogators are also speaking out, including some former members of the military, the FBI and the CIA who met last summer to condemn torture and have spoken before Congress -- at considerable personal risk.

We're told that our only options are to persist in carrying out torture or to face another terrorist attack. But there truly is a better way to carry out interrogations -- and a way to get out of this false choice between torture and terror.

I'm actually quite optimistic these days, in no small measure because President-elect Barack Obama has promised to outlaw the practice of torture throughout our government. But until we renounce the sorts of abuses that have stained our national honor, al-Qaeda will be winning. Zarqawi is dead, but he has still forced us to show the world that we do not adhere to the principles we say we cherish. We're better than that. We're smarter, too.
 
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« Reply #138 on: January 12, 2009, 08:02:25 PM »

It appears his population of suspects were local Iraqi "AQ franchise" recruits rather than hard core AQ operatives. I suspect this was the biggest reason for his success.
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« Reply #139 on: January 12, 2009, 08:35:00 PM »

Does he make any points worthy of your consideration?
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« Reply #140 on: January 12, 2009, 08:55:51 PM »

Not really. The propaganda use of "torture" by the US is a bogus point. Having tracked the arab/muslim media for years, everything is a source of outrage for them. They are quite happy to invent lurid conspiracies when they have nothing else to incite the masses with. The frequently told story by the arab media of US Army combat surgical hospitals hosting Israeli surgeons that harvest the eyes of Iraqi children for Israelis needing corneas, springs to mind.
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« Reply #141 on: January 12, 2009, 09:54:44 PM »

Published on Sunday, October 21, 2001 by the Washington Post 
Silence of 4 Terror Probe Suspects Poses Dilemma 
by Walter Pincus
 
FBI and Justice Department investigators are increasingly frustrated by the silence of jailed suspected associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, and some are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract information about the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorist plans.
More than 150 people rounded up by law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the attacks remain in custody, but attention has focused on four suspects held in New York who the FBI believes are withholding valuable information.

FBI agents have offered the suspects the prospect of lighter sentences, money, jobs, and a new identity and life in the United States for them and their family members, but they have not succeeded in getting information from them, according to law enforcement sources.

"We're into this thing for 35 days and nobody is talking," a senior FBI official said, adding that "frustration has begun to appear."

Said one experienced FBI agent involved in the investigation: "We are known for humanitarian treatment, so basically we are stuck. . . . Usually there is some incentive, some angle to play, what you can do for them. But it could get to that spot where we could go to pressure . . . where we won't have a choice, and we are probably getting there."

Among the alternative strategies under discussion are using drugs or pressure tactics, such as those employed occasionally by Israeli interrogators, to extract information. Another idea is extraditing the suspects to allied countries where security services sometimes employ threats to family members or resort to torture.

Under U.S. law, interrogators in criminal cases can lie to suspects, but information obtained by physical pressure, inhumane treatment or torture cannot be used in a trial. In addition, the government interrogators who used such tactics could be sued by the victim or charged with battery by the government.

The four key suspects, held in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center, are Zacarias Moussaoui, a French Moroccan detained in August initially in Minnesota after he sought lessons on how to fly commercial jetliners but not how to take off or land them; Mohammed Jaweed Azmath and Ayub Ali Khan, Indians traveling with false passports who were detained the day after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks with box cutters, hair dye and $5,000 in cash; and Nabil Almarabh, a former Boston cabdriver with alleged links to al Qaeda.

Questioning of "the two with the box cutters and others have left us wondering what's the next phase," the FBI official said.

One former senior FBI official with a background in counterterrorism said recently, "You can't torture, you can't give drugs now, and there is logic, reason and humanity to back that." But, he added, "you could reach a point where they allow us to apply drugs to a guy. . . . But I don't think this country would ever permit torture, or beatings."

He said there was a difference in employing a "truth serum," such as sodium pentothal, "to try to get critical information when facing disaster, and beating a guy till he is senseless."

"If there is another major attack on U.S. soil, the American public could let it happen," he said. "Drugs might taint a prosecution, but it might be worth it."

Even some people who are firm supporters of civil liberties understand the pressures that are developing.

David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who obtained the release of Middle Eastern clients after they had been detained for years based on secret information, said that in the current crisis, "the use of force to extract information could happen" in cases where investigators believe suspects have information on an upcoming attack.

"If there is a ticking bomb, it is not an easy issue, it's tough," he said.

Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel during the Clinton administration, wrote recently that the Supreme Court distinguished terrorism cases from cases where lesser threats are involved. He noted that five justices in a recent deportation case recognized that the "genuine danger" represented by terrorism requires "heightened deference to the judgments of the political branches with respect to matters of national security."

Former attorney general Richard L. Thornburgh said, "We put emphasis on due process and sometimes it strangles us."

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, he said, "legally admissible evidence in court may not be the be-all and end-all." The country may compare the current search for information to brutal tactics in wartime used to gather intelligence overseas and even by U.S. troops from prisoners during military actions.

Extradition of Moussaoui to France or Morocco is a possibility, one law enforcement official said. The French security services were quick to leak to journalists in Paris that they had warned the CIA and FBI in early September, before the attacks, that Moussaoui was associated with al Qaeda and had pilot training.

The leak has irritated U.S. investigators in part because "it was so limited," one FBI official said. "Maybe we should give him [Moussaoui] to them," he said, noting that French security has a reputation for rough interrogations.

The threat of extradition to a country with harsh practices does not always work.

In 1997, Hani Abdel Rahim al-Sayegh, a Saudi citizen arrested in Canada and transferred to the United States under the promise that he would tell about the bombing of the Khobar Towers military barracks in Saudi Arabia, refused to cooperate in the investigation when he got here.

The FBI threatened to have al-Sayegh sent back to Saudi Arabia, where he could have faced beheading, thinking it would get him to talk. "He called their bluff and went back, was not executed and is in jail," a government official said.

Robert M. Blitzer, former chief of the FBI counterterrorism section, said offers of reduced sentences worked to get testimony in the cases of Ahmed Ressam, caught bringing explosives into the country for millennium attacks that never took place, and Ali Mohammed, the former U.S. Army Green Beret who pleaded guilty in the 1998 embassy bombings and provided valuable information about al Qaeda.

The two former al Qaeda members who testified publicly in the 1998 bombing trials were resettled with their families in the United States under the witness protection program and given either money or loans to restart their lives.

Torture "goes against every grain in my body," Blitzer said. "Chances are you are going to get the wrong person and risk damage or killing them." In the end, he said, there has to be another way.
 
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« Reply #142 on: January 12, 2009, 10:22:37 PM »

**A good example of the crazy antisemitism that fills the islamic psyche.**


Special Dispatch - No. 494
April 11, 2003 No. 494
 
Author of Saudi Blood Libel and Professor at King Faysal University Lectures at Arab League Think Tank: 'U.S. War on Iraq Timed To Coincide With Jewish Holiday Purim'

On April 9, 2003, Dr. Umayma Jalahmabriefed the Arab League's "Center for Coordination and Follow-Up"and claimed that the U.S. war in Iraq was timed to coincide with the Jewish holiday Purim. Dr. Jalahma, a professor of Islamic Studies at Saudi Arabia's King Faysal University, made headlines last year when she claimed that Jews use human blood to make pastries for the Purim holiday. In an article published in the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh on March 12, 2002,Dr. Jalahma wrote about "the Jewish holiday of Purim… for this holiday, the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare the holiday pastries… that affords the Jewish vampires great delight as they carefully monitor every detail of the blood-shedding with pleasure... After this barbaric display, the Jews take the spilled blood, in the bottle set in the bottom [of the needle-studded barrel], and the Jewish cleric makes his coreligionists completely happy on their holiday when he serves them the pastries in which human blood is mixed."[1]

Following MEMRI's release of a translation of this article, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, criticized the Saudi government and press. Subsequently, Dr. Jalahma was prevented from writing for Al-Riyadh, but began writing for Al-Watan, another Saudi daily.

The "Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up" was established by the Arab League in 1999. Notable speakers at the Center include former vice president Al Gore, former secretary of state James Baker, Professor Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland, former president of Austria and former UN secretary-general Kurt Waldheim, President of the Arab-American Institute James Zogby, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, former assistant secretary of state for the Middle East Richard Murphy, President of the Middle East Institute Edward Walker, and Lyndon Larouche. Recent events at the Center include a lecture by French intellectual Theirry Meyssan, author of "The Appalling Fraud," in which he accused the U.S. military of involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks; the Saudi Gazette quoted Meyssan as stating at the event, "...[Those] who masterminded the operations and led them were American terrorists."[2]

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter also lectured at the Center and, according to the Zayed Center's summary of the event, which took place on February 8, 2003, Ritter "concluded his lecture, saying that what is happening now in the United Sates [i.e. the planning of the war in Iraq] is due to the fact that this country [the U.S.] is administered by extremists, after the elections of 2000, describing this as a kind of coup d'etat against the American values and principles."

The following is the summary provided by the Zayed Center of Dr. Jalahma'slecture:




'The American War on Iraq Started in March to Concur with Purim'

"[Dr. Jalahma] said that the American war on Iraq started in March to concur with Purim Feast, often celebrated in this month, which symbolizes the Jewish victory over Haman in Babylon [sic]."

'Imminent' Civil War in Israel
"[Dr. Jalahma] indicated that some Zionist parties which believe that the oriental Jews (Sephardim) must stay within the Palestinian borders because, [like] the Arabs, are inferior to the Western Jews (Ashkenazim), according to their claims. She expected an imminent civil war, now under the make, in the Israeli society due to denominational, sectarian, and ethnic splits."

'Zionist Ambitions to Establish a World State'

"[Dr. Jalahma] stated the invading forces have begun to distribute the spoils and booties in Iraq, disregarding the painful cries and woes of the Iraqi children. She considered the Israeli plan to rehabilitate the oil pipeline that once linked Haifa to Mosul, in the north of Iraq, as a sound evidence of the greedy ambitions of these countries (the Zionist Anglo-Saxon alliance) in Iraq and the other Arab countries. She also indicated that no one can curb the Zionist ambitions to establish a world state whose economic and political aspirations have no limits."

On the Zionist and American Media Campaigns vs. the Arab and Muslim World

"[Dr. Jalahma] added that Zionism and some Western circles have been active to defame the Arab and Muslim image, and to conceal truth and facts relating to the Arab and Muslim history. She called for condensed efforts to counter this campaign and to improve the Arab and Muslim image in the West."

On the 'Exploitation of the Jewish Woman… She is Still Denied Her Rights as a Human Being… She is Even Deprived of Her Children'"In another context, [Dr. Jalahma] said that the Jewish woman is politically and socially oppressed by the Jewish fundamentalists and secularists alike, mentioning that the Jewish woman lives in a miserable condition that requires the intervention of the international humanitarian organization to protect her.
The Jewish woman, she said, has been exploited and used for political purposes, and despite her noticeable contribution to the building of the Zionist society, she is still denied her rights as a human being. Injustice and oppression weigh heavily on her everywhere in society, particularly the Kibbutz, or the collective farms where she is even deprived of her children and extensively indoctrinated the Zionist principles."[3]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1]See MEMRI past dispatches on this subject:
Special Dispatch Series - No. 357- March 21, 2002 - Editor of Saudi Government Daily Al-Riyadh: Statement on 'Purim' Blood Libel Articles.

Special Dispatch Series - No. 354- March 13, 2002 - Saudi Government Daily: Jews Use Teenagers' Blood for 'Purim' Pastries.

Press Release - No. 1- March 18, 2002, - Press Release on Article in Saudi Government Daily: Jews Use Teenagers' Blood for 'Purim' Pastries.

[2] MEMRI Special Dispatch - No. 383- May 23, 2002 Arab League Think Tank Hosts Event: U.S. Military behind September 11.

[3]http://www.zccf.org.ae/e_TitleDescription.asp?Tid=477, April 9, 2003.


 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #143 on: January 13, 2009, 10:57:27 AM »

A good article that has nothing to do with the subject matter of this thread  cheesy

Returning to the subject matter of this thread, here's this extended interview with interrogator "Mattthew Alexander."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg4iMWmkutM
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #144 on: January 14, 2009, 12:53:19 PM »

U.S. military tortured Guantanamo detainee, tribunal overseer says

It is the first time a senior Bush administration official with oversight of practices at the prison has publicly stated that an inmate was tortured.
By Bob Woodward
January 14, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."

"We tortured [Mohammed] Qahtani," said Susan J. Crawford in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that's why I did not refer the case" for prosecution.


Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of Defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.

Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani's health led to her conclusion. "The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that . . . hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge" to call it torture, she said.

Military prosecutors said in November that they would seek to refile charges against Qahtani, 30, based on subsequent interrogations that did not employ harsh techniques. But Crawford, who dismissed war-crimes charges against him in May, said in the interview that she would not allow the prosecution to go forward.


Qahtani was denied entry into the United States a month before the Sept. 11 attacks and was allegedly planning to be the plot's 20th hijacker. He was later captured in Afghanistan and transported to Guantanamo in January 2002. His interrogation took place over 50 days from November 2002 to January 2003, though he was held in isolation until April 2003.

"For 160 days his only contact was with the interrogators," said Crawford, who personally reviewed Qahtani's interrogation records and other military documents. "Forty-eight of 54 consecutive days of 18- to 20-hour interrogations. Standing naked in front of a female agent. Subject to strip searches. And insults to his mother and sister."

The interrogation, portions of which have been previously described in news reports, was so intense that Qahtani had to be hospitalized twice at Guantanamo with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart rate falls below 60 beats a minute and which in extreme cases can lead to heart failure and death. At one point Qahtani's heart rate dropped to 35 beats per minute, the record shows.

The Qahtani case underscores the challenges facing the incoming Obama administration as it seeks to close the controversial detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including the dilemmas posed by individuals considered too dangerous to release but whose legal status is uncertain.

FBI "clean teams," which gather evidence without using information gained during controversial interrogations, have established that Qahtani intended to join the 2001 hijackers. Mohamed Atta, the plot's leader, who died steering American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center, went to the airport in Orlando, Fla., to meet Qahtani on Aug. 4, 2001, but the young Saudi was denied entry by a suspicious immigration inspector.

"There's no doubt in my mind he would've been on one of those planes had he gained access to the country in August 2001," Crawford said of Qahtani, who remains detained at Guantanamo. "He's a muscle hijacker. . . . He's a very dangerous man. What do you do with him now if you don't charge him and try him? I would be hesitant to say, 'Let him go.' "

That, she said, is a decision that President-elect Barack Obama will have to make. Obama repeated Sunday that he intends to close the Guantanamo facility but acknowledged the challenges involved.

"It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize," Obama said on ABC's "This Week," "and we are going to get it done, but part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous, who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted, even though it's true."

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have said that interrogations never involved torture.

Crawford, a lifelong Republican, ordered the war-crimes charges against Qahtani dropped in May. But she did not state publicly that the harsh interrogations were the reason.

"It did shock me," she said. "I was upset by it. I was embarrassed by it. If we tolerate this and allow it, then how can we object when our servicemen and women, or others in foreign service, are captured and subjected to the same techniques? How can we complain? Where is our moral authority to complain? Well, we may have lost it."

Crawford said Bush was right to create a system to try unlawful enemy combatants captured in the war on terrorism, but the implementation was fatally flawed. "I think someone should acknowledge that mistakes were made, and that they hurt the effort, and take responsibility for it," she said. "We learn as children it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission. I think the buck stops in the Oval Office."

Woodward writes for the Washington Post.
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« Reply #145 on: January 14, 2009, 02:15:30 PM »

Were it up to me things would have been worse, and when he had no more to give he'd be fed to pigs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #146 on: January 14, 2009, 07:32:01 PM »

On this one we disagree.
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« Reply #147 on: January 14, 2009, 10:40:58 PM »

I'm not interested in trading the lives of innocents in order to treat the savages with kid gloves.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #148 on: January 15, 2009, 12:56:50 AM »

The counter argument by Matthew Alexander of course is that his approach works better AND it does not sap the American people's sense of who we are.

You may not agree, but IMHO the man certainly has a basis for his opinion.
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« Reply #149 on: January 15, 2009, 08:25:08 AM »

He has the right to his opinion. I see it as failing to recognize the dynamic of the threat and structuring a proper response to the threat. We can't teach the hajis to love us, we can teach them fear.
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