Sunday, May 10, 2009

Torture News Roundup: Breaking: al-Libi Found Dead in Libyan Prison

Also posted now at Daily Kos and Antemedius

This just in from Andy Worthington (H/T Barb):
The Arabic media is ablaze with the news that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the emir of an Afghan training camp — whose claim that Saddam Hussein had been involved in training al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons was used to justify the invasion of Iraq — has died in a Libyan jail. So far, however, the only English language report is on the Algerian website Ennahar Online, which reported that the Libyan newspaper Oea stated that al-Libi (aka Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) “was found dead of suicide in his cell,” and noted that the newspaper had reported the story “without specifying the date or method of suicide.”
It was al-Libi who was tortured by the CIA, subjected to mock burial in a box 20 inches high, in order to "confess" to a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, just days after the start of the Iraq War. Al-Libi later recanted. Afterwards, he was disappeared.
This news resolves, in the grimmest way possible, questions that have long been asked about the whereabouts of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, perhaps the most famous of “America’s Disappeared” — prisoners seized in the “War on Terror,” who were rendered not to Guantánamo but to secret prisons run by the CIA or to the custody of governments in third countries — often their own — where, it was presumed, they would never be seen or heard from again.
Top Story

Holder cautious on U.S. interrogations probes
Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday vowed to move cautiously and avoid partisan politics in deciding whether any Bush-era officials should be prosecuted for justifying harsh interrogation techniques.

Holder said he had not yet read the draft report from a review by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility conducted during the previous administration of lawyers who wrote the Bush-era interrogation legal opinions.

"I have not reviewed it. It is not in final form yet," Holder said. "It deals, I suspect, not only with the attorneys but the people that they interacted with, so I think we'll gain some insights by reviewing that report."

He said the review could lead to probes of other officials.
See also, Republicans Warn Holder on Torture.
This is an ongoing weekly series with editors Valtin, Meteor Blades and Patriot Daily. If you have not signed the petition for a special prosecutor to investigate Bush, Cheney et al, you’re just one click away!
(Those who read all the way through this diary will be rewarded by a real treat: a long suppressed U.S. document made public here for the first time on the Internet!)

ALSO BREAKING: Memos shed light on CIA use of sleep deprivation
As President Obama prepared last month to release secret memos on the CIA's use of severe interrogation methods, the White House fielded a flurry of last-minute appeals.

One came from former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden, who expressed disbelief that the administration was prepared to expose methods it might later decide it needed....

"Are you telling me that under all conditions of threat, you will never interfere with the sleep cycle of a detainee?" Hayden asked a top White House official, according to sources familiar with the exchange....

A CIA inspector general's report issued in 2004 was more critical of the agency's use of sleep deprivation than it was of any other method besides waterboarding, according to officials familiar with the document, because of how the technique was applied.

The prisoners had their feet shackled to the floor and their hands cuffed close to their chins, according to the Justice Department memos.

Detainees were clad only in diapers and not allowed to feed themselves. A prisoner who started to drift off to sleep would tilt over and be caught by his chains....

When detainees could no longer stand, they could be laid on the prison floor with their limbs "anchored to a far point on the floor in such a manner that the arms cannot be bent or used for balance or comfort," a May 10, 2005, memo said.

"The position is sufficiently uncomfortable to detainees to deprive them of unbroken sleep, while allowing their lower limbs to recover from the effects of standing," it said.

In the Red Cross report, prisoners said they were also subjected to loud music and repetitive noise.
What this L.A. Times story demonstrates is the proclivity of the CIA and other government torturing agencies to twist the meaning of words, and stuff into the nomenclature of one "technique" or procedures a veritable cornucopia of different torture methods. In this "enhanced interrogation" version of sleep deprivation, forced sleep deficit was combined, as we can see, with shackling, forced positions and forced standing, humiliation, manipulation of diet, sensory overload, and possibly other torture procedures.

So this is what the CIA and U.S. government has been selling as "sleep deprivation"! The situation is reminiscent of the Army Field Manual's use of the "Separation" technique in its Appendix M. It, too, is really an omnibus set of procedures, including solitary confinement, restriction of sleep (not using the term "sleep deprivation" here in order to avoid confusion), partial sensory or perceptual deprivation, use of fear, and likely use of sensory overload, and manipulation of environment, among other possible variations.

The Bush Administration Homicides

An important piece by John Sifton at The Daily Beast:
For five years as a researcher for Human Rights Watch and reporter, John Sifton helped investigate homicides resulting from the Bush administration's torture policy. His findings include:

An estimated 100 detainees have died during interrogations, some who were clearly tortured to death.

• The Bush Justice Department failed to investigate and prosecute alleged murders even when the CIA inspector general referred a case.

• Sifton’s request for specific information on cases was rebuffed by the Bush Justice Department, though it was “familiar with the cases.”

• Attorney General Eric Holder must now decide whether to investigate and prosecute homicides, not just cases of torture.
Cheney tried to revive torture after Hamdan decision
From a New York Times article (H/T indiemcemopants):
The real trouble began on May 7, 2004, the day the C.I.A. inspector general, John L. Helgerson, completed a devastating report. In thousands of pages, it challenged the legality of some interrogation methods, found that interrogators were exceeding the rules imposed by the Justice Department and questioned the effectiveness of the entire program....

Nobody knew it then, but the C.I.A.’s fateful experiment in harsh interrogation was over. The “enhanced” interrogation, already scaled back, would not be used again....

Still, Mr. Cheney and top C.I.A. officials fought to revive the program. Steven G. Bradbury... began drafting another memorandum in late 2006 to restore legal approval for harsh interrogation....

Early drafts of the memorandum, circulated through the White House, the C.I.A. and the State Department, shocked some officials. Just months after the Supreme Court had declared that the Geneva Convention applied to Al Qaeda, the new Bradbury memorandum gave its blessing to almost every technique, except waterboarding, that the C.I.A. had used since 2002.
Meanwhile, Cheney appeared today on CBS Face the Nation, and did not rule out testifying under oath to Congress about the Bush administration use of coercive interrogations (he'd never call it "torture"), or did he simply artfully dodge the question? You be the judge.

Psychologists, the APA, and the Torture Scandal

Psychologists Complicit in Torture, Physicians’ Group Charges

Bill Fisher of Inter Press Service describes how, in 2005, Department of Defense officials monopolized an ethics review by the American Psychological Association (APA) on national security and psychological ethics (PENS). They they were able to do this with connivance of top APA officers.
Nathaniel Raymond, director of PHR's Campaign Against Torture, told us, “The APA’s ethics task force on national security interrogations produced a report that was rushed, secret, and being driven to already-reached conclusions – conclusions that violated the Geneva Convention.”

“The APA made ethics subservient to law by following guidelines set out by the Pentagon. Members of the task force had long-standing ties to the Pentagon, and the task force was stacked with Defense Department and Bush Administration officials. There were clear conflicts of interest,” he said, adding, “The APA needs to explain how that happened. And the Pentagon’s Inspector General needs to look into how this was allowed to happen.”
The scandal over the APA's role in legitimating psychologists participation in torture was explored in an article by Sheri Fink published at both ProPublica and The APA's Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) Task Force report "'found it to be "consistent with the APA Ethics Code' for psychologists to consult with interrogators in the interests of national security."
While noting that psychologists do not participate in torture and have a responsibility to report it, and should be committed to the APA ethics code whenever they "encounter conflicts between ethics and law," the task force decided that "if the conflict cannot be resolved ... psychologists may adhere to the requirements of the law."
The controversy over APA and the DoD has simmered for some time, and has erupted again with the publication of the private email listserv (PDF) between the participants at the APA PENS Task Force, including the top military figures involved.

The Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, Psychologists for Social Responsibility, and Physicians for Human Rights, among others, have called for an independent investigation of the ties between the American Psychological Association and the Defense-Intelligence Establishments.

Meanwhile, one psychologist has been doggedly trying to pursue APA members who have been implicated in torture.
Lawsuit seeks board action -- Psychologist demands censure
A Louisiana-licensed psychologist played a key role in harsh Army interrogations at U.S. prisons in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq, according to a lawsuit filed in state district court in Baton Rouge.

The suit pits Ohio psychologist Trudy Bond against the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and accuses retired Army Col. Larry C. James of professional and ethical violations in his former role as chief psychologist at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

Bond, who filed a complaint against James with the Baton Rouge-based LSBEP in February 2008, sued the board in July after it dismissed her complaint and rejected her request for an investigation of James.

Bond wants a 19th Judicial District Court judge to send the case back to the board “for a full and complete investigation and hearing,’’ according to her petition for judicial review of the board’s actions.

James, a former New Orleanian who has been licensed in Louisiana since 1990, became dean of Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 1.
Noted bioethicist Steven Miles, author of Oath Betrayed: America's Torture Doctors, discusses implications of the APA/PENS scandal and other aspects of medical complicity with the U.S.'s torture program on Jon Elliott's "This is America" show on Air America (H/T Ms Grin).

Bloggers Against Torture listserve
Bloggers Against Torture oppose torture and cruel, inhuman & degrading treatment of all persons, whether they be prisoners at Guantanamo, Bagram or CIA black sites; immigrants; civilians, or prisoners in civilian prison systems. Most members support investigation & prosecution of Bush officials for war crimes & torture.
The Pelosi Scandal: Did She or Didn't She?

Records suggest Pelosi, others were told of harsh interrogations
A chart compiled by the CIA indicates that Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was briefed on Sept. 4, 2002, on the agency's interrogation of alleged Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, and that the session covered "the particular [enhanced interrogation techniques] that had been employed." The chart does not list the specific methods covered during the briefing. But during the preceding month, the CIA had used the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times, according to a Justice Department memo released last month.

Pelosi has acknowledged being briefed on the CIA's interrogation program, but said she was told only about methods the agency was considering, not about techniques it had actually employed.

As recently as a week ago, Pelosi said, "We were not -- I repeat were not -- told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used."
Marcy Wheeler (Emptywheel) at Firedoglake led a host of bloggers who shot holes in the press story.
We knew that CIA was playing around with its obligation to inform the intelligence committees before it starts any big new projects--like opening torture factories around the world.

But that's the real story of this briefing list--aside from what a bunch right wingers are claiming it says, the actual details of the briefing list notwithstanding. The real story is that the CIA was playing a bunch of games to be able to claim it had informed Congress, even while only informing some of Congress some things.

First, CIA has officially confirmed what I have been saying for weeks. The CIA first briefed Congress on torture on September 4, 2002, 35 days after CIA purportedly began waterboarding and much longer after we know CIA started torturing Abu Zubaydah. Moreover, we have on the record statements from Pelosi and Goss (and I've had even stronger assurances elsewhere) that CIA did not tell Congress they were already in the business of torture.
Meanwhile, Greg Sargent at The Plum Line is reporting that there are more docs to follow:
GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra is upping the stakes of the torture fight in response to Nancy Pelosi’s claims that she wasn’t briefed on the use of waterboarding.

His office tells me that he’s seen documents that will prove this isn’t true.
Meanwhile, EW counters that with the fact that there are discrepancies between the CIA timeline and that found in the recently released Senate Armed Services Committee narrative released last month.

Meanwhile, a new wrinkle from Saturday's Washington Post: Top Pelosi Aide Learned Of Waterboarding in 2003
Pelosi has insisted that she was not directly briefed by Bush administration officials that the practice was being actively employed. But Michael Sheehy, a top Pelosi aide, was present for a classified briefing that included Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), then the ranking minority member of the House intelligence committee, at which agency officials discussed the use of waterboarding on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaida.

A Democratic source acknowledged yesterday that it is almost certain that Pelosi would have learned about the use of waterboarding from Sheehy. Pelosi herself acknowledged in a December 2007 statement that she was aware that Harman had learned of the waterboarding and had objected in a letter to the CIA's top counsel.
Glenn Greenwald concludes (emphasis in original):
But what's the point of all of this? Secretly telling Nancy Pelosi that you're committing crimes doesn't mean that you have the right to do so. And the profound failures of the other institutions that are supposed to check executive lawbreaking during the Bush era -- principally Congress and the "opposition party" -- is a vital issue that demands serious examination. This dispute over what Pelosi (and Jay Rockefeller and others) knew highlights, rather than negates, the need for a meaningful investigation into what took place.
Torture and the CIA

Two from Jason Leopold, who continues to keep a close eye on developments in the torture scandal. Patriot Daily posted the first one in Friday night's Overnight News Digest:

CIA Refuses to Turn Over Torture Tape Documents to ACLU
The CIA claims the integrity of a special prosecutor’s criminal investigation into the destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes will be compromised if the agency if forced to turn over to the American Civil Liberties Union detailed documents identifying the individuals responsible for destroying the material, the reasons for the purge, and the torturous tactics depicted on the tapes, according to newly released court documents....

Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney, said the move is “a classic CIA delay tactic.”

In court papers, she said the government is using the criminal investigation “as a pretext for indefinitely postponing” its obligation to produce documents related to the destruction of the videotapes.
Top CIA Officials Were Given Daily Torture Updates of Zubaydah

Leopold's second article looks at how the hunt for records of the CIA's torture as turned up some new evidence.
The first set of indexes contains information about cables sent on Aug. 1, 2002 and ends on Aug. 7, 2002. The second set of indexes begins on Aug. 8, 2002 and ends on Aug. 18, 2002 but does not contain an entry for correspondence sent back to the CIA on Aug. 13, 2002 describing the status of interrogations.

The indexes were turned over as part of a contempt lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the Department of Defense related to 92 interrogation videotapes that were destroyed by the agency in 2005 as public attention began focusing on allegations that the Bush administration had subjected “war on terror” detainees to brutal interrogations that crossed the line into torture....

Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney, said, “it’s disappointing that the Obama administration is continuing to withhold the text of these cables despite the promise of transparency"....

“I think the frequency of the cables showed that CIA headquarters and senior officials had sanctioned interrogation methods that were illegal,” she said. “We see no basis for continuing to withhold this information.”
The OLC Memos on Torture

Another round of scandal and speculation was generated by a New York Times report that an internal Justice Department inquiry into the memos written by John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Stephen Bradley and others to justify Bush administration torture would censure the attorneys but not call for prosecutions.

Interrogation Memos: Inquiry Suggests No Charges
An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings.

The report by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal ethics unit within the Justice Department, is also likely to ask state bar associations to consider possible disciplinary action, which could include reprimands or even disbarment, for some of the lawyers involved in writing the legal opinions, the officials said.

The conclusions of the 220-page draft report are not final and have not yet been approved by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
According to an Huffington Post report:
The Washington Post reports that former Bush administration officials are "launching a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign" to urge Obama Justice officials to "soften" the ethics report on the torture memo authors.
Israel/Palestine: Facility 1391

UN committee charges Israel with maintaining secret jail
GENEVA, (PIC)-- The UN committee against torture has denounced the Israeli general security apparatus for using a secret detention center for interrogation that could not be visited by the Red Cross, lawyers or relatives of those detainees.

The ten independent experts, members of the committee, said that the installation "1391" was located in an unspecified area in Israel. They added that the committee received complaints on torture, maltreatment and inappropriate detention conditions in this installation....

Such practices include severe beating, forcing detainees to sit in awkward positions for long period, tightening the handcuffs, violently shaking the detainee and turning his head suddenly and violently, the committee elaborated....

It asked Israel on the measures taken in response to the UNHCR call for an immediate end to the siege on Gaza Strip, which deprives one and a half million Palestinians from the simplest human rights.

The committee is expected to hear answers from Israel before issuing its report at the end of its current session on 15th May.
The story was further reported in the Jerusalem Post:
The Jewish state is one of seven countries under period review this year by the committee, which has received reports on Israeli violations of the UN Convention Against Torture from at least eight NGOs, including B'Tselem, Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual, Physicians for Human Rights and Amnesty International.

In a report submitted to the committee in late 2007, Israel said it had made improvements in a number of areas relating to that convention since it last submitted a report in 2001....

The committee also said it was concerned about allegations that the Shin Bet was operating a secret detention and interrogation facility known as Facility 1391, where detainees had no access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

It asked Israel to explain allegations that Palestinian detainees were beaten, bound, denied sleep and placed in odd positions such as crouching in a frog position or bending their backs in a banana position.

Binyam Mohamed ruling: Judges will re-consider public disclosure of UK complicity in torture
The High Court has announced that it will re-open its original judgment that details of the torture of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed should remain secret in the interests of national security.

In February the High Court refused the application of Mr Mohamed and a coalition of media organisations seeking public disclosure of details of his ill-treatment at the hands of the CIA and Pakistani intelligence services. The Court had already found that the British Security Services had colluded in his illegal treatment. After the Foreign Secretary informed the Court that US had threatened to down-grade intelligence sharing with the UK if details were made public, the Court judged that it had no choice but to refrain from publishing details....

Mr Miliband is to be given a final opportunity to present evidence to the Court of the true situation if he wishes to continue to seek to suppress the details of Mr Mohamed's treatment. The Court will then reconsider the question of whether it will publish those details. It is anticipated that the issue will finally be determined in June.

Clive Stafford Smith, Director, of Reprieve, said: "It is long past time that this evidence was made public. How can it be that two governments that purport to uphold the rule of law be working together to cover up crimes committed against Binyam Mohamed?"
Royal Sheikh Detained by UAE Over Torture Tape Allegations

A member of the royal family in the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, has been "detained" in Abu Dhabi by authorities investigating a chilling videotape that shows him torturing an Afghan grain dealer, according to officials in Washington.
Religious leaders call for a commission of inquiry on torture by U.S.

Fiery Response to Pew's Torture Analysis
A firestorm erupted this week over an analysis from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showing that white evangelical Protestants are far more likely than those in other faith traditions to support the use of torture against suspected terrorists....

But the original analysis overlooked a centrally important piece of information: the big dividing line on public support for torture as a tool in terrorism investigations is along partisan lines, not religious ones.
Government Could Destroy Records in Hundreds of Guantanamo Cases

A stockpile of documents about hundreds of Guantanamo Bay detainees, some written by the prisoners themselves, could be destroyed under a little-known provision of a federal court order the Bush administration obtained in 2004.
Senators Urge Obama to Block Release of New Detainee Abuse Photos (article by William Fisher)
The plea to intervene to stop the expected May 28 release of the photos came in a letter Thursday to President Barack Obama from Senators Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham.

"The release of these old photographs of past behavior that has now been clearly prohibited will serve no public good, but will empower al-Qaeda propaganda operations, hurt our country's image, and endanger our men and women in uniform," the Senators wrote.

Release of the photos is expected in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

"We urge you in the strongest possible terms to fight the release of these old pictures of detainees in the war on terror, including appealing the decision of the Second Circuit in the ACLU lawsuit to the Supreme Court and pursuing all legal options to prevent the public disclosure of these pictures," the senators wrote.
If Lieberman and Graham aren't the slimiest, most unctuous creatures in Congress, then I don't know who would be.

The Bush Era Torture-Homicides, By Scott Horton
In a recent television appearance, one of the nation’s foremost retired military leaders, General Barry McCaffrey, said: “We should never, as a policy, maltreat people under our control, detainees. We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.” The fact of dozens of homicides is frankly acknowledged in discussions with military and intelligence experts, but the press seems to regard the subject as taboo.
Why is Condi Rice Joining the Torture Debate?

The NYT's definition of blinding American exceptionalism (Glenn Greenwald -- H/T Stephen Soldz)

Greenwald takes on the hypocrisy of how torture is covered by The Gray Lady, and the press in general, where it's torture if it's done to an American, and "harsh tactics some critics decry as torture" if done by Americans to other people.

Sleight of Hand: Obama's Military Commissions Redux
I don’t think, however, that the resurrection of the military commissions is a manifestation of laziness on Obama’s part. Nor is it a failure of leadership, per se. The Military Commissions are a constituent part of the torture program which, even now, is not dismantled, and continues in somewhat attenuated form as part of the Army Field Manual. It is also part of the cover-up of the previous torture program, allowing for the use of torture evidence without the political explosion that would take place by having to release or acquit “terrorists” (really “accused terrorists,” but who cavils about such things in our modern America anymore?) because the evidence was tainted by torture, and therefore inadmissible.

All signs point to the fact that when it comes to national security and military matters, Obama is compliant to the wishes of the Pentagon, that he has no real policy of his own.
A new Torture Evidence Database, collected by Edger at Antemedius

Andy Worthington on Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture

Among other things, Andy reports that Amnesty International (PDF) has picked up the campaign pushed by myself and others to expose the use of abusive interrogation techniques in the Army Field Manual, and that organization's "disappointment that the administration was 'endorsing without qualification' a document 'which permits prolonged sleep deprivation, isolation and manipulation of a detainee’s fears contrary to the international ban on torture.'"

Final Archival Treat: From the Pike Committee Report

The transcribed quote that follows is from the introduction to the suppressed 1975 Pike Committee Report, the product of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. This committee's report on CIA activities was never published by the government, as Congress backed down after the CIA protested any distribution, claiming national security would be harmed. Over 30 years later, I can't imagine why this report has not been made public.

This selection from Part One: The Select Committee's Oversight Experience has never been published in full on the Internet. In the future, I will post more from this extraordinary report, a copy of which I have secured.
If this Committee's recent experience is any test, intelligence agencies that are to be controlled by Congress are, today, beyond the lawmaker's scrutiny.

These secret agencies have interests that inherently conflict with the open accountability of a political body, and there are many tools and tactics to block and deceive conventional Congressional checks. Added to this are the unique attributes of intelligence -- notably, "national security," in its cloak of secrecy and mystery -- to intimidate Congress and erode fragile support for sensitive inquiries.

Wise and effective legislation cannot proceed in the absence of information respecting conditions to be affected or changed. Nevertheless, under present circumstances, inquiry into intelligence activities faces serious and fundamental shortcomings.

Even limited success in exercising future oversight requires a rethinking of the powers, procedures, and duties of the overseers. This Committee's path and policies, its pluses and minuses, may at least indicate where to begin.

Access to Information

The key to exercising oversight is knowledge. In the case of intelligence agencies, this translates into a need for access to information often held by the agencies themselves, about events in distant places.

It is an uncertain approach to gathering facts, given the best of circumstances. The best of circumstances thereby become a minimum condition.

The Select Committee's most important work may well have been its test of those circumstances, testing perhaps for the first time what happens when Congress unilaterally decides what it wants to know and how it wants to know it.

There were numerous public expressions by intelligence agencies and the Executive that full cooperation would be accorded. The credibility of such assurances was important, since almost all the necessary materials were classified and controlled by the executive branch. Despite these public representations, in practice most document access was preceded by lengthy negotiations. Almost without exception, these negotiations yielded something less than complete or timely access.

In short, the words were always words of cooperation; the reality was delay, refusal, missing information, asserted privileges, and on and on.

The Committee began by asserting that Congress alone must decide who, acting in its behalf, has a right to know secret information. This led to a rejection of Executive "clearances" or the "compartmentation" of our staff. The Committee refused, as matter of policy, to sign agreements. It refused to allow intelligence officials to read and review our investigators' notes, and avoided canned briefings in favor of primary source material. The Committee maintained that Congress has a right to all information short of direct communications with the President.

Our ability to abide by these policies has been a mixed record.

On the plus side, an aggressive pursuit of facts and a willingness to back up this pursuit with subpoenas produced some unprecedented results. As an example, never before had either the Executive or Congress put together a ten-year review of covert action projects. By subpoena -- which unfortunately, had to be taken to the brink of contempt enforcement -- the staff of the Committee analyzed all official covert action approvals since 1965, and reported its results to the Committee in a closed hearing. That presentation was one of the most interesting and accurate pictures of U.S. covert policies yet assembled, and was of no small value to our findings. Other examples appear throughout the remainder of this report.

Nevertheless, if that is the positive side, it was offset by the extraordinary efforts that were required, even in a climate favorable to reviewing past Executive conduct, to identify and obtain document.

It is a commentary in itself that subpoenas were necessary.

It is a further commentary that much of the time subpoenas were not enough, and only a determined threat of contempt proceedings brought grudging results.

In the future, I'll post more of this extraordinary document, a part of our history, suppressed by our own government.

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Thanks to Patriot Daily, Meteor Blades, and all those cited and uncited, all those hard workers in the cause of justice and against cruelty and inhumanity from whom I gathered these links, and to those who have survived unbelievable pain and mental anguish, I honor all of you.

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