April 3rd, 2008

Chris Keeley

Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques

Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques



The White House

The Green Light

As the first anniversary of 9/11 approached, and a prized Guantánamo detainee wouldn’t talk, the Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques, circumventing international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the army’s own Field Manual. The attorneys would even fly to Guantánamo to ratchet up the pressure—then blame abuses on the military. Philippe Sands follows the torture trail, and holds out the possibility of war crimes charges.

by Phillippe Sands May 2008

Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, vice-presidential counsel and future chief of staff David S. Addington, White House counsel and future attorney general Alberto Gonzales, President George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney

Changing the long-accepted rules on interrogation required concerted action. From left: Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, then vice-presidential counsel David S. Addington, then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, President George W. Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney. Photo illustration by Chris Mueller.

The abuse, rising to the level of torture, of those captured and detained in the war on terror is a defining feature of the presidency of George W. Bush. Its military beginnings, however, lie not in Abu Ghraib, as is commonly thought, or in the “rendition” of prisoners to other countries for questioning, but in the treatment of the very first prisoners at Guantánamo. Starting in late 2002 a detainee bearing the number 063 was tortured over a period of more than seven weeks. In his story lies the answer to a crucial question: How was the decision made to let the U.S. military start using coercive interrogations at Guantánamo?

The Bush administration has always taken refuge behind a “trickle up” explanation: that is, the decision was generated by military commanders and interrogators on the ground. This explanation is false. The origins lie in actions taken at the very highest levels of the administration—by some of the most senior personal advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense. At the heart of the matter stand several political appointees—lawyers—who, it can be argued, broke their ethical codes of conduct and took themselves into a zone of international criminality, where formal investigation is now a very real option. This is the story of how the torture at Guantánamo began, and how it spread.

“Crying. Angry. Yelled for Allah.”

One day last summer I sat in a garden in London with Dr. Abigail Seltzer, a psychiatrist who specializes in trauma victims.

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Chris Keeley

Dunlavey described Feith to me as one of his main points of contact. Feith, for his part, had told m

Dunlavey described Feith to me as one of his main points of contact. Feith, for his part, had told me that he knew nothing about any specific interrogation issues until the Haynes Memo suddenly landed on his desk. But that couldn’t be right—in the memo itself Haynes had written, “I have discussed this with the Deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers.” I read the sentence aloud. Feith looked at me. His only response was to tell me that I had mispronounced his name. “It’s Fythe,” he said. “Not Faith.”

In June, the focus settled on Detainee 063, Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi national who had been refused entry to the United States just before 9/11 and was captured a few months later in Afghanistan. Dunlavey described to me the enormous pressure he came under—from Washington, from the top—to find out what al-Qahtani knew. The message, he said, was: “Are you doing everything humanly possible to get this information?” He received a famous Rumsfeld “snowflake,” a memo designed to prod the recipient into action. “I’ve got a short fuse on this to get it up the chain,” Dunlavey told me, “I was on a timeline.” Dunlavey held eye contact for more than a comfortable moment. He said, “This guy may have been the key to the survival of the U.S.”

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Chris Keeley

The list famously includes "Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil" and Robert Frank's "[Expletive]

You Just Keep Going, Baby'
Shining a Light on The Stones' Keith Richards

By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 3, 2008; C01


Keith Richards, distilled: iconic survivor, Mick Jagger foil, rhythm-guitar legend, Captain Jack Sparrow inspiration, Louis Vuitton model, co-author of some of the greatest songs in rock-and-roll, and the proud (if occasionally incomprehensible) owner of one of the genre's greatest speaking voices -- a whiskey-soaked, smoke-cured guttural slur.

The most mystical of all Rolling Stones, Richards, 64, is calling to discuss Martin Scorsese's "Shine a Light," a new concert documentary filmed at New York's Beacon Theatre in 2006. It is, Richards purrs, "a documentation of this band's career and the way it goes on."

It's gone on for so long -- 46 years -- that there are enough Stones films now to fill a festival lineup. The list famously includes "Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil" and Robert Frank's "[Expletive] Blues."

Why do another documentary?

If somebody says, "Hey, Martin Scorsese wants to point a camera at what you do," I'm not going to say no. Am I crazy? I might be stupid. (Laughs.) It's Martin Scorsese. The man has a vision.

Let's talk about your image.

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Chris Keeley

Zimbabwe's main tourist attraction, Victoria Falls. ''People are dying for change,'' said Mark Ticha

Zimbabwe's main tourist attraction, Victoria Falls. ''People are dying for change,'' said Mark Tichagarika, a driver in Harare. ''Everyone is talking about the election, at work, in the bus queues, in the shops. When will we finally get a change?'' He considered his own question. ''Only the old man knows.''

Photo: Christoph Bangert for The New York Times

Mugabe Foes Win Majority in Zimbabwe 


Chris Keeley

Leader: Hamas Would Accept State on ’67 Borders

Leader: Hamas Would Accept State on ’67 Borders

The exiled leader of Hamas has announced Hamas would agree to a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with Israel. In an interview with a Palestinian newspaper, Khaled Mashaal said Hamas has accepted the 2006 prisoners document drafted by members of different Palestinian factions. The agreement calls for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Earlier this week, the Arab League renewed a six-year old peace proposal based on similar terms. Successive Israeli governments have either ignored or rejected the offer, which would require the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

WHO: Dozens of Palestinians Die Awaiting Israeli Permission for Medical Treatment

Meanwhile the World Health Organization is reporting dozens of Palestinians have died while waiting for Israeli permission to receive medical care in Israel. The WHO says thirty-two Gaza residents have died awaiting treatment since October. The victims ranged from a one-year child to a seventy-seven-year old man. Six of the dead were waiting for the permits. Others were denied permits because Israeli officials labeled them a security risk. Others had received permits for themselves but had to await Israeli permission to admit Palestinian doctors. And others died while waiting to cross the Erez border crossing into Israel.

Opposition Party Wins Zimbabwe Parliament Vote

In Zimbabwe, final results show the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change has narrowly won parliamentary elections. The MDC won 99 seats while President Robert Mugabe’s party won ninety-seven. Presidential results have yet to be announced but Mugabe appears headed toward a run-off vote against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Chris Keeley

(no subject)

The Green Light: Attorney Philippe Sands Follows the Bush Administration Torture Trail

A new exposé in Vanity Fair by British attorney Philippe Sands reveals new details about how attorney John Yoo and other high-ranking administration lawyers helped design and implement the interrogation policies seen at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and secret CIA prisons. According to Vanity Fair, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and other top officials personally visited Guantanamo in 2002, discussed interrogation techniques and witnessed interrogations. Sands joins us in our firehouse studio.

Philippe Sands, international lawyer at the firm Matrix Chambers and a professor at University College London. His article “The Green Light” appears in the new issue of Vanity Fair. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values. His last book was titled Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules

JUAN GONZALEZ: The Bush administration’s treatment of prisoners

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Chris Keeley

Exposición de arte postal

Exposition d’art postal

Québec, le 21 février 2008. Nous vous invitons à participer à une exposition d’art postal sous le thème «La rencontre / 400e anniversaire de la ville de Québec». L’exposition d’art postal se tiendra du 1er mai au 28 mai 2008 à  la  bibliothèque Saint-Jean Baptiste de Québec, dans le cadre de la quatrième édition de  la Manif d’art, un événement présenté par le Collectif  Réparation de Poésie. Aucun cachet ne sera accordé. Les œuvres ne doivent parvenir que par la seule voie postale. Les œuvres ne seront pas retournées. Veuillez réaliser vos travaux dans les genres artistiques suivants : timbres d’artistes, poésie visuelle, collages, travail effectué avec l’aide de l’ordinateur, art brut (arte povera), œuvres graphiques, photographies, peinture. Format unique exigé : cartes postales, 4 x 6 pouces (10 x 15 cm). Nous n’acceptons que les travaux qui seront reliés à la thématique. Maximum 5 œuvres par personne.

Un site web sera réalisé pour l’occasion.

Date limite d’envoi : 21 avril (le sceau de la poste en faisant foi).

S.V.P. Faire suivre aux artistes et étudiants de votre réseau /

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