Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Important Items: Jawad Freed, CIA IG Report Released

Time constraints for me have meant I have not been able to comment on the following important news items. But I want to place the links here for the sake of my readers.

First up, some good news. Mohammed Jawad was finally released, without charges, to his home in Afghanistan. Jawad was captured as a teen and tortured by U.S. military agents at Bagram and Guantanamo.
Mohammed Jawad, whose confession to throwing a hand grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers in 2002 was rejected as coerced by torture, was helicoptered into Kabul from Bagram Air Base and taken to the office of the Afghan attorney general....

Another of Jawad's defense attorneys, Air Force Reserve Maj. David Frakt, credited Montalvo's decision to travel to Afghanistan with ensuring that Jawad was freed and not imprisoned again.

"When Major Montalvo [another of Jawad's military attorneys] arrived this morning, he went straight to the Attorney General’s Office and learned that Jawad was being transported to an Afghan prison. Major Montalvo intervened and persuaded the AG to divert Jawad directly to the AG's office," Frakt said in a statement. "Jawad had a happy reunion with Eric, then Jawad's family was summoned and they all convened in the AG's office for a tearful and joyous reunion.

"Were it not for the presence of a member of the Jawad defense team, things might have gone very differently," Frakt said.

Jawad's journey home began last October, when a U.S. military judge in Guantanamo ruled that Afghan police had threatened to kill both Jawad and his family during his interrogation.
Meanwhile, on the same day as it released its Task Force recommendations on interrogation and detention, the government coughed up the CIA Office of Inspector General 2004 report on CIA abusive interrogations, courtesy of an ACLU FOIA suit. Marcy Wheeler has an interesting working thread on its contents, and Glenn Greenwald an excellent post on its import for the country. Wheeler also has posted links to other important documents just obtained by the ACLU as well, in what was one massive document dump. The IG report has some significant redactions, unfortunately, but still much to read there.

One of the most important revelations of the IG report, in my estimation, was the revelation that it was the CIA's Office of Technical Services (OTS) that vetted the legality of the torture "techniques," and along with the CIA's Counter-terrorism Center (CTC) proposed "certain more coercive physical techniques" for use in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.

OTS was renamed from the Technical Services Staff or Division (TSS/TSD), which was the division within the CIA involved with making assassination devices, and also was the center for the CIA's mind control program, MKULTRA.

More to come later...

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