Comments: A Light At The End Of The Torture Tunnel

The Kafkaesque persecution of Clive Stafford Smith and a Reprieve colleague has now been blogged twice on ATR, but it's worth repeating, as the link John provides is to my knowledge the first coverage in a U.S. newspaper.

Something that I didn't know when I wrote my post, but has come out since to reinforce the creepiness of the story: the members of the Pentagon review team are secret (H/t Scott Horton, who is seeking to discover the shadowy tribunal's members and determine what, if any, expertise and credentials they have).

Posted by Nell at April 20, 2009 05:10 PM

Paybacks, ain't they a bitch? Think the torturers won't fight back?

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 20, 2009 06:19 PM

I'm not worried about it. I just moved into a cabin in the woods, with no electricity. So no refrigerator. So bananas in the fridge is a non-issue. So I don't care.

Posted by roy belmont at April 20, 2009 08:03 PM

Our Kampf is great: hold that line! From whichever string universe it emerges!

Posted by Woodyeofalb at April 20, 2009 08:14 PM

”In 2003, an Organization of American States report showed that Chiquita's subsidiary in Colombia, Banadex, had helped divert weapons and ammunition, including thousands of AK-47s, from Nicaraguan government stocks to the AUC. The AUC – very often in collaboration with units of the U.S.-trained Armed Forces - is responsible for hundreds of massacres of primarily peasants throughout the Colombian countryside, including in the banana-growing region of Urabá, where it is believed that at least 4,000 people were killed. Their systematic use of violence resulted in the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of poor Colombians, a disproportionate amount of those people being black or indigenous. In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department for Chiquita that involved the fruit company's payment of "protection money" to the AUC, in direct violation of U.S. laws prohibiting this kind of transaction. In the agreement brokered by Holder, Chiquita officials pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a fine of $25 million, to be paid over a 5-year period. However, not one Chiquita official involved in the illegal transactions was forced to serve time for a crime that others have paid dearly for, mainly because they did not have the kind of legal backing that Holder's team provided. Holder continues to represent Chiquita in the civil action, which grew out of this criminal case.”

Posted by Rob Payne at April 21, 2009 12:20 AM

Call Nancy (1-202-225-0100) Pelosi about it because that always works.

Posted by AlanSmithee at April 21, 2009 02:18 PM

Pressure Grows to Investigate Interrogations

Advisers diverged, with some like Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. favoring the release of more information and others like Leon E. Panetta, the new C.I.A. director, urging that more be withheld. Aides said Mr. Obama worried about damaging morale at the C.I.A. and his own relationship with the agency.

So there's that, at least.

Posted by SteveB at April 22, 2009 09:19 AM

Mr. Obama worried about damaging morale at the C.I.A.

Frankly, I'd like to see morale at CIA go a whole lot lower.

Posted by NomadUK at April 22, 2009 09:57 AM

One idea completely unexplored in the NY Times story above is the possibility that there might have been people at the CIA who actually opposed torture. I know there was some strong resistance within the military to torture, both because at least some people within the military take the Geneva conventions seriously, and because some consider it a breach of their professional code of conduct. Isn't it possible that at least a few people in the CIA felt the same way? If so, the question is not "Should Obama support employees of the CIA?" but "Which employees of the CIA should Obama support?"

Posted by SteveB at April 22, 2009 12:58 PM

The torturers tortured and the shit hit the fan, go figure. NOW everybody is Vinnie Barbarino, Sargent Schultz, or "it wuddn't me".

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 22, 2009 06:37 PM

The torturers tortured and the shit hit the fan, go figure. NOW everybody is Vinnie Barbarino, Sargent Schultz, or "it wuddn't me".

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 22, 2009 06:37 PM

Troll takes two minutes to type something stupid, our host takes two seconds to delete it.

I like them odds.

Posted by SteveB at April 22, 2009 09:35 PM