Monday, December 29, 2008

"we want these detainees broken"

  • Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora: “there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq – as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat – are, respectively the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo."
  • Jonathan Fredman, chief counsel to the CIA’s CounterTerrorist Center: "If the detainee dies you’re doing it wrong."
  • In mid-August 2003, an email from staff at Combined Joint Task Force 7 headquarters in Iraq requested that subordinate units provide input for a “wish list” of interrogation techniques, stated that “the gloves are coming off,” and said “we want these detainees broken.”
  • JPRA Commander Colonel Randy Moulton’s authorization of SERE instructors, who had no experience in detainee interrogations, to actively participate in Task Force interrogations using SERE resistance training techniques was a serious failure in judgment.
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there.
I think at this point I'm just sick of all the damage that has been done to my country by Bush and his team.  I doubt that throwing many of them in jail will do much to improve the behavior of similarly-minded people, but I'm all for prosecutions so long as they don't shift attention from the job at hand, which is to fix the economy.


  1. But please see the following links for more on the SASC report and its methodology:

  2. It doesn't look to me that SASC methodology was all that bad. They should have included Mr. Fredman's denial of what the notes recorded him saying. But those notes stand. At least the person writing them understood Mr. Fredman in a way that he now repudiates. How many other people in the room heard what the note-taker heard?

    To my mind, the question is whether airing these issues in public, and prosecuting the perpetrators, will help fix the terrible perception problem we face now. My guess is that it will take a generation to fix. And so, my question is really: what do we need to do to ensure that the next ten presidents remember Guantanamo better than the Arabs do?