Rotten to the Core

Senator Carl Levin:

Today we’re releasing the declassified report of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s investigation into the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. […] In my judgment, the report represents a condemnation of both the Bush administration’s interrogation policies and of senior administration officials who attempted to shift the blame for abuse – such as that seen at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan – to low ranking soldiers. Claims, such as that made by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz that detainee abuses could be chalked up to the unauthorized acts of a “few bad apples,” were simply false.

Original DVD cover.

(ChattahBox)—The Senate Armed Services Committee released a blistering report on Tuesday, condemning senior level Bush administration officials who either authorized or created “the legal and operational framework” for their shameful, harsh interrogation abuses of detainees.


The report points to culpability at the highest levels of the Bush administration, including President Bush himself, who set the climate for abuse by claiming the Geneva Conventions did not apply to terrorist detainees. Next in line is former Vice President Cheney who implored the administration to turn to the “dark side” to deal with terrorists after 9/11.

White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales referred to the Geneva Conventions as “quaint,” as well as providing legal cover for Bush administration officials and CIA agents to sanction torture.


[Former defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s] written authorization of 15 interrogation techniques used by the military in its SERE training, to prepare soldiers for harsh interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions, was used to sanction detainee abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo.

Some of these SERE techniques authorized by Rumsfeld, included keeping detainees naked, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, face and body slaps, sleep deprivation, slamming them against a wall, confinement in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, exposure to extreme temperatures and until just recently, waterboarding.


The disgusting trail of Rumsfeld’s memo is as follows, first it was used to sanction abuses at Gitmo, next a special-operations military lawyer in Afghanistan used it to approve detainee abuse, next the depraved memo was delivered into the hands of an officer of a special-operations unit in Iraq who changed the letterhead and proceeded to employ the SERE interrogation techniques.

Rumsfeld’s memo was then delivered to the head interrogation officer at Abu Ghraib prison, where stress positions, sleep management and military dogs were used to abuse prisoners.

Senator Levin is formally recommending Attorney General Holder pursue investigations of detainee abuses, by appointing an independent investigator to “establish accountability of high-level officials–including lawyers.”

From the Kansas City Star (McClatchy):

A newly declassified narrative of the Bush administration’s advice to the CIA on harsh interrogations shows that the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing controversial interrogation techniques were operating not on their own but with direction from top administration officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

At the same time, the narrative suggests that then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell were largely left out of the decision-making process.


The drafting of the narrative began last summer, at the prompting of [Senate Intelligence Committee’s former chairman, Sen. Jay] Rockefeller. The Senate Intelligence Committee staff drafted the document, with heavy input from the Bush administration, in a multi-department effort largely coordinated through the Director of National Intelligence’s office.

Bush’s National Security Council, however, refused to declassify it.

Obama’s national security adviser, James L. Jones, signed off on its release last week and the Senate panel cleared it Tuesday.

Among other details, the narrative shows that:

    1. -The CIA thought al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaydah was withholding information about an imminent threat as of April 2002, but it didn’t get authorization to use various interrogation techniques on him until more than three months later.

-Key Senate Intelligence Committee members were briefed on the techniques used on Zubaydah and Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2002 and 2003.

-The director of central intelligence in the spring of 2003 sought a reaffirmation of the legality of the interrogation methods. Cheney, Rice, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales were among those at a meeting where it was decided that the policies would continue. Rumsfeld and Powell weren’t.

-The CIA briefed […] Rumsfeld and Powell on interrogation techniques in September 2003.

-Administration officials had ongoing concerns about the legality of waterboarding as they continued to justify its legitimacy.


Meanwhile, Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut wrote to Obama urging him not to prosecute Bush officials who offered legal advice about CIA interrogations.

While the senators deemed some of the legal analyses “deeply flawed,” they said that criminalizing bad legal opinions “would have a deeply chilling effect on the ability of lawyers in any administration to provide their client – the U.S. government – with their best legal advice.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday reiterated his call for an independent “truth commission” to examine the interrogations, and said that if Republicans wouldn’t go along with the bipartisan commission, he’d seek an investigation through the Senate.


Filed under 9/11, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan, Alberto Gonzales, Barack Obama, Carl Levin, Chimpy, CIA, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Defense Department, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Geneva Conventions, George W. Bush, Guantanamo, humor, Iraq War, Joe Lieberman, John Ashcroft, John McCain, Justice Department, Lindsey Graham, movies, parody, Patrick Leahy, Paul Wolfowitz, politics, Republicans, Scandals, Senate Armed Services Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee, September 11, snark, State Department, Torture, waterboarding, White House scandals, Wordpress Political Blogs

26 responses to “Rotten to the Core

  1. Let’s go surfin’ now
    Everybody’s learnin’ how
    Do some waterboardin’ with me!

  2. Michael Hart

    Tisk, tisk, nonnie.
    calling foxwood an asshole is inappropriate.
    Technically, only moral people can be assholes; just a cursory view of foxwood’s site shows he’s still an animal, incapable of knowing the
    meaning of life, with no capacity for the recognition
    of values, or the comprehension of meanings.
    That makes him, essentially, just a monkey—
    that has learned to use a computer.

    And it’s never a good idea to allow munkees on a people forum. Just sayin’. 😎

    • michael,
      i was hoping that foxwood was being snarky. then i checked his site, and i knew that he was just auditioning to be capt underpants’s opening act when he sings bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb iran.

      i will consider myself chastised and remorseful. 😥

  3. jeb

    Ah, the three stooges, CU, LindseyPoo and Droopy strike again with their unassailable logic.

    Actually, to not prosecute would provide recognition that our laws don’t matter. To say that it would stifle future legal advice is specious and criminal in itself. This was not legal advice, it was a temporary respite from the moral and legal authorities that underpin our nation. Anyone who believes that any administration has the right to do that should at a minimum be required to repeat high school civics. Idiots!

  4. Friend of the court

    “the best legal advise….”, is to obey the law. Lawyers, who tell clients how to do something illegal, are breaking the law. It is conspiracy and it is bad. IANAL

    • that’s why you’re not a lawyer, fotc. nowadays, the best legal advice seems to be to make sure you have plausible deniability, look for the loopholes, and hire the best p.r. people. at least that were the rules under chimpy’s justice department.

  5. Ha ha ha ha!!! Great work on the poster, nonnie. That’s brilliant. I think the monsters have got to be held accountable and I love the work that they are doing on Countdown and Rachel Maddow. I found the interview with Karpinsky especially powerful.

    As the GOP sinks into irrelevance, I guess this is all they have – to embrace torture, failure, and fear. It’s obvious from idiots like Foxwood that there are still “true believers” who love the idea of harming others. It’s a part of society that we’ll always have (e.g., the bigots, homophobes, misogynists, etc.). What a great thing they are no longer in power.

    Foxwood is a typical coward, much like Sean Hannity, making light of waterboarding when they know they themselves will never be subject to it. And neither of them would ever last a microsecond before crying. Typical and sad.

    • i think it’s getting to the point where faux news is still trying to skew what’s happening to fit their agenda, but it is no longer believable to even their viewers (save the true shithea….i mean believers like foxwood). just like the rethugs are becoming more and more irrelevant and ridiculous, so are their cheerleaders.

  6. I wish douchebags like Foxwood who think waterboarding is just a minor thing would volunteer to be waterboarded. Then let them come back with their moronic Beach Boys ditties.
    What a fuckin’ creep.

  7. Your posters are hysterical! Too funny.

  8. On second glance, Dick and Rummy look very natural wearing those old geezer hats.
    Plus you could always use Rummy’s magnifying eyeglasses as a fire starter out on the prairie.

    • deadeye dick likes his hat, because it came from halliburton. it cost the government $3 million. it was a no-bid contract. rummy likes his hat, because it covers his horns.

  9. again — i know exactly where to go to be entertained! LOL

    your commenters are the best, excluding Foxwood, who isnt even an animal – an animal has a soul – Foxwood is a republican – a soulless cretin