Democrats were routinely briefed on Bush torture techniques, document
By John Byrne
May 8, 2009
The CIA has leaked a devastating document detailing the dates and explicit details
of secret Congressional briefings in which members of Congress were told of the
Bush administration’s torture techniques and when they had been used.
The document is explicit (PDF here). Most damningly, perhaps, is its description
of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was
briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture techniques in 2002 —
even though she’s publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, are the volume of the briefings that have been conducted
on the CIA’s interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten
pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party
has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration’s torture practices.
Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least
19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding in 2002, despite saying she wasn’t:
May 7, 2009
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture
techniques in 2002 — even though she’s publicly said she was never
told about the use of waterboarding, according to a new report.
ABC News’ Rick Klein revealed Thursday evening that a report from the
Director of National Intelligence fingered Pelosi as having been briefed in
2002, even though she denied last month ever having knowledge of the Bush administration’s
so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other
Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi’s statement
last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special
interrogation tactics,” Klein writes.…
April 22, 2009
By Chris Floyd
With the release of the U.S. Senate’s report on the Bush Administration torture
program, it is now incontrovertibly clear — and officially established
by the highest, most respectable Establishment institutions — that George
W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and a host of other top officials deliberately,
willingly, and with malice aforethought, established a system of interrogation
using brutal techniques that they knew were against the law. Hence the need
for the torture memos that attempted to give retroactive legal cover for atrocities
that were already taking place at the orders of the White House and the Pentagon.
They were also told repeatedly that these tortures were ineffective at producing
What’s more, it is now undeniable that they began this program long before
they had captured even one "high-profile al Qaeda detainee," and that
they were using these heinous techniques not in a desperate bid to save the
nation from further attacks — which has long been their preening, self-serving
claim — but instead to produce spurious data about the non-existent link
between Iraq and al Qaeda. In other words, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald
Rumsfeld ordered their minions to beat and torment captives in order to get
them to say something a — anything — that could then be used to
"justify" a war of aggression that these grand statesmen had been
planning long before the September 11 attacks.
You cannot disentangle the torture program from the war… Continue reading
by Dave Lindorff
For some time now, many Americans have wondered how Congress, the elected body that the nation’s Founding Fathers saw as the bulwark of liberty, could have been so thoroughly unwilling to, or incapable of challenging the dictatorial power-grabs and the eight-year Constitution wrecking campaign of the Bush/Cheney administration.
There has been speculation on both the far left and the far right, and even among some in the apolitical, cynical middle of the political spectrum, that somehow the Bush/Cheney administration must have been blackmailing at least the key members of the Congressional leadership, most likely through the use of electronic monitoring by the National Security Agency (NSA).
I’ll admit that I considered the idea of blackmail a bit far out. But now suddenly there is at least some evidence that such seemingly wild speculation may not have been off the mark, with reports that the NSA was indeed monitoring Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), and that the Bush Administration used the evidence it had obtained of her improper conversations with and promises to assist agents of the Israeli government and its lobby here in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to blackmail her into supporting the NSA’s warrantless spying program–the very kind of spying that led to her being caught on tape plotting with an agent of a foreign power.
At the time of the taping of Harman’s incriminating phone conversations, the administration was trying desperately (and ultimately successfully) to get the New York Times to hold off on publishing a shocking investigative report by journalist James Risen about a massive campaign of warrantless tapping of Americans’ phone and internet communications.…Continue reading
April 1, 2009
By Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque – Chris-floyd.com
Here’s a purely hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you were a dedicated imperial militarist who believed that your country’s security, prestige and financial interests could best be served by war and the ever-present threat of war. Let’s say you had some really hot and juicy operations going on, endless deadly conflicts that were pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into your war machine and entrenching national policy even more deeply in the militarist philosophy — the machtpolitik – that you believe in.
But there’s a problem. The general public — the cow-like herd out there that doesn’t understand grand strategy the way you and your fellow elites do — is growing weary, and wary, of your Long War. The national treasury is bankrupt, the national infrastructure is rotting, the nation’s communities are dying; millions of people are out of work, losing their homes, losing their dreams, spiraling down into want, privation and despair. Yet you have big plans to escalate the war, expand your war machine, and maintain the global dominance that you believe is the right and natural role for your special nation — and its elites. What to do? How to galvanize the truculent, self-absorbed herd into enthusiastically supporting your vital agenda once more?
Well, here’s one purely hypothetical approach you might try. You goad and provoke violent extremist groups into retaliating against your attacks, your civilian-slaughtering invasions and incursions into their territory. Being unable to confront directly your… Continue reading
By Matt Corley
In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross asked investigative journalist Seymour Hersh if, as he continues to investigate the Bush administration, “more people” were “coming forward” to talk to him now that “the president and vice president are no longer in power.” Hersh replied that though “a lot of people that had told me in the last year of Bush, ‘call me next, next February,’ not many people had talked to him. He implied that they were still scared of Cheney.
“Are you saying that you think Vice President Cheney is still having a chilling effect on people who might otherwise be coming forward,” asked Gross. “I’ll make it worse,” answered Hersh, adding that he believes Cheney “put people back” in government to “stay behind” in order to “tell him what’s going on” and perhaps even “do sabotage”:
HERSH: I’ll make it worse. I think he’s put people left. He’s put people back. They call it a stay behind. It’s sort of an intelligence term of art. When you leave a country and, you know, you’ve driven out the, you know, you’ve lost the war. You leave people behind. It’s a stay behind… Continue reading
Professor David Ray Griffin, renowned author of a series of eye-opening books that recount his painstaking research into the attacks of September 11, 2001, begins his new European tour in London on 14th April. Stressing the fact that the time has come for a second look at the events of that fateful day, the tour will include stops in Paris, Brussels and Madrid, and several other cities.
Professor Griffin’s talks will afford the public an excellent opportunity to learn more about the fundamental questions surrounding 9/11. The 9/11 Truth Movement, which started out as a disparate, grass-roots undertaking, has blossomed into a serious community that now includes many specialized branches, such as Pilots for 9/11 Truth, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth, Lawyers for 9/11 Truth, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth, Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth, Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth, Veterans for 9/11 Truth, and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice (a group which includes a significant number of prominent scientists). Many former intelligence officers also support the movement and have contributed to the ever-growing list of evidence that proves far beyond a reasonable doubt that the explanations provided by the Bush-Cheney administration are quite simply false.
As Professor Griffin states, “The mainstream media are reluctant to discuss the subject and politicians are loath to delve into disturbing facts that ultimately indicate that America has gone to war on false pretences.” Griffin says abundant evidence now exists that proves the Bush-Cheney administration broke… Continue reading
March 28, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters) — A top Spanish court has moved toward starting a
probe of six former Bush administration officials including ex-Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales in connection with alleged torture of prisoners at Guantánamo
Bay, The New York Times said on Saturday.
The criminal investigation would focus on whether they violated international
law by providing a legalistic justification for torture at the U.S. detention
camp in Cuba, the Times said.
The paper said the National Court in Madrid had assigned the case to judge
Baltasar Garzon, known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto
Garzon has accepted the case and sent it to the prosecutor’s office for review,
the newspaper said, citing an official close to the case.
The complaint, prepared by Spanish lawyers with the help of U.S. and European
legal experts, also names John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who
wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent
the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas Feith, the former undersecretary of defense
Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five Spanish citizens or residents
who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay say they were tortured there.
The other Americans named are William Haynes II, former general counsel for
the Department of Defense; Jay Bybee, Yoo’s former boss at the Justice Department’s
Office of Legal Counsel; and David Addington, chief of staff and legal adviser
to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney.
Yoo, already the subject of a Justice Department… Continue reading
DAVID RAY GRIFFIN
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Lecture – "9/11: Time for a Second Look"
MIMS Food & Drink (Upstairs)
110 N. Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
6:00 pm Cocktails
(Seating limited; reservations suggested: MIMS – 610.688.0800)
David Ray Griffin is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Emeritus,
Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont,
California, where he remains a co-director of the Center for Process Studies.
He has published (as author or editor) 34 books, primarily in theology, philosophy,
and philosophy of religion, with special emphases on the problem of evil and
the relation between science and religion.
Seven of his books deal with 9/11: The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions
about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004), The 9/11 Commission
Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), Christian Faith and the Truth
about 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006), 9/11 and American
Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (2006, co-edited with Peter Dale Scott),
Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders
of the Official Conspiracy Theory (2007), and 9/11 Contradictions:
An Open Letter to Congress and the Press (2008), and The New Pearl
Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (2008).
His 9/11 books have been endorsed by Michael Chossudovsky, William Sloane Coffin,
Harvey Cox, Richard Falk, Catherine Austin Fitts, David Griscom, Jim Hightower,
British MP Michael Meacher, Mark Crispin Miller, Rosemary Ruether, Marcus Raskin,
Paul Craig Roberts, Peter Dale Scott, Gerry Spence, Lorie… Continue reading
Washington D.C. (March 16, 2009) — Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Friday sent a letter to Chairman Edolphus Towns of the House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee requesting an immediate investigation into allegations made
by the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that the White House operated an
‘executive assassination ring’ that circumvented Congressional oversight.
Kucinich explains in the letter that, “Mr. Hersh made the allegation
before an audience at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, March 10, 2009.
He stated, “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been
going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief,
and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving” It is a special
wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They
do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly
to the Cheney office. . .Congress has no oversight of it.’”
Kucinich adds, “If true, these operations violate longstanding U.S. policy
regarding covert actions and illegally bypass Congressional oversight. . .
Hersh is within a year or more of releasing a book that is said to include evidence
of this allegation. However, we cannot wait a year or more to establish the
The full text of the letter follows:
March 13, 2009
The Honorable Edolphus Towns
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Towns:
As you may already be aware, recent media reports indicate that investigative
reporter, Seymour… Continue reading
The Boston University School of Theology and the Boston 9/11 Truth Committee proudly
“The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé”
A Book and Presentation by Dr. David Ray Griffin
April 11, 2009
Boston University – Morse Auditorium, 602 Commonwealth Ave.
7:00-9:00pm [doors open @ 6:30pm]
Dr. David Ray Griffin is a prominent theologian and scholar and professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology in California, where he taught for over 30 years (retiring in 2004). He has authored or edited over two dozen books including five books that expose the outrageous lies of the U.S. government explanations of the 9/11 attacks.
Thanks substantially to his own extraordinary personal dedication to the work of exposing 9/11 truth, Griffin is able to conclude that, “The 9/11 truth movement’s exposé of the 9/11 cover-up has shown that virtually every dimension of the official account of 9/11 to be false beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In the preface to one of his books, “Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11″ Dr. Griffin explains why it is that he leads the struggle for 9/11 Truth: “One of our main tasks as theologians is to deal with current events in light of the fact that our first allegiance must be to God, who created and loves all people–indeed all forms of life. If we believe that our political and military leaders are acting on the basis of policies that are diametrically opposed to divine purposes, it is incumbent upon us to… Continue reading
by Eric Black
March 11 2009
At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”
Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.
In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in public.”
Hersh didn’t take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be “effective…that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical.”
The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled “America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government officials who had experience with many of the crises.
And it was mostly historical, and a great conversation, in which Hersh and Mondale talked about the patterns by which presidents seem to get intoxicated by executive power, frustrated by the limitations on that power from Congress and the public, drawn into improper covert actions that exceed their constitutional powers, in the belief that they can get results and will never be found out.…Continue reading
by Michael Collins
‘Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” — Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
“The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America .” –Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
March 10, 2009 — Washington, DC ( electionfraudnews.com ) — In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an “unregistered agent” for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government’s assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she’d been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990′s through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer’s rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
During the indictment, she was conveniently gagged from sharing… Continue reading
George Bush could be next on the war crimes list
March 6, 2009
New Zealand Herald
THE HAGUE — George W. Bush could one day be the International Criminal
Court’s next target.
David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said the
principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend
to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may
have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror
Crane is a former prosecutor of the Sierra Leone tribunal that indicted Liberian
President Charles Taylor and put him on trial in The Hague.
Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights
Watch, said the al-Bashir ruling was likely to fuel discussion about investigations
of possible crimes by Bush Administration officials.
Congressional Democrats and other critics have charged that some of the harsh
interrogation techniques amounted to torture, a contention that Bush and other
The prospect of the court ever trying Bush is considered extremely remote,
The US Government does not recognise the court and the only other way Bush
could be investigated is if the Security Council were to order it, something
unlikely to happen with Washington a veto-wielding permanent member.
By Robert Parry
March 8, 2009
“It’s also not true that any investigation is always better than
no investigation. I have witnessed cover-up investigations that not only failed
to get anywhere… Continue reading
by Mickey S. Huff and Paul W. Rea
They say goldfish have no memory
I guess their lives are much like mine
and the little plastic castle
is a surprise every time
and it’s hard to say if they’re happy
but they don’t seem much to mind.
–Ani DiFranco, Little Plastic Castles
For the past eight years, American culture has seen an outburst of media-driven mythmaking. Corporate mainstream media organizations, the pundits they sponsor, and politicians from both major parties have formed a new contextual chorus singing the same refrain: “On September 11th, 2001, everything changed.” From cable TV to AM radio, from the blogosphere to the town-hall meeting, Americans repeatedly hear that “this is a post-9/11 world.”
Although there is some truth to this platitude of pivotal change, independently minded citizens may also wonder whether such mass media messages have become self-fulfilling prophecies. This provides an interesting point of debate about what has or has not changed in America since 9/11.
This chapter concerns itself with the ongoing phenomena of media mythmaking and how, like many Americans surmised just after 9/11, everything has not changed. 1 Corporate mainstream media have resurrected powerful myths from America’s past to shape public perception in the present. Through the prism of 9/11, one can see how the corporate mass media are in fact doing more mythmaking than news reporting. Here, the authors will examine central historic American myths the corporate media and even much of the alternative independent media have extended into the… Continue reading
March 4, 2009
Dear Senator Leahy,
We felt compelled to write to you regarding your recent call for the formation
of a “Truth Commission”. According to your press comments, this
Commission is supposed to look at the following:
* the politicization of prosecution in the Justice Department
* the wiretapping of U.S. citizens
* the flawed intelligence used to justify the invasion of Iraq
* the use of torture at Guantánamo and so-called black sites abroad
These are serious allegations of criminal activity by certain members of the
Bush Administration. While we applaud your initiative in looking into these
matters, we feel this approach is wrong.
As the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you already have the responsibility
and legal authority to investigate matters relating to federal criminal law
without having to form a special commission. You are also bound by your oath
of office to support and uphold the Constitution by ensuring that those who
govern also abide by the rule of law.
Furthermore, a “Truth Commission” will not fix the real problems
that our country faces, nor will it guarantee that we will get to the truth.
The 9/11 Commission, which you want to model your commission after, is a perfect
example of that flawed process.
The 9/11 Commission was mandated to follow the facts surrounding the events
of September 11, 2001 to wherever they might lead and make national security
recommendations based upon those facts. Sadly, prior to even beginning their
investigation, like you, the 9/11… Continue reading
From Senator Leahy’s BushTruthCommission.com:
Support a Truth & Reconciliation Commission
32,823 signatures so far (2/24/09) … keep it going!
I have proposed the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate
abuses during the Bush-Cheney Administration — so they never happen again.
These abuses may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary
rendition, and executive override of laws.
Please sign this online petition, urging Congress to consider establishing
a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration’s
Watch my February 8 remarks at Georgetown University:
Full Petition Text:
I hereby join Senator Patrick Leahy’s call for the establishment of a truth
and reconciliation commission, to investigate the Bush-Cheney Administration’s
constitutional abuses so we make sure they never happen again. These abuses
may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition,
and executive override of laws.
A truth and reconciliation commission should be tasked with seeking answers
so that we can develop a shared understanding of the failures of the recent
past. Rather than vengeance, we need a fair-minded pursuit of what actually
happened. The best way to move forward is getting to the truth and finding out
what happened — so we can make sure it does not happen again.
What’s At Stake?
Support a Truth & Reconciliation Commission
We have just emerged from a time when White House officials often acted as
if they were above the law. That was wrong and must be fully exposed so it never
“FAIR & BALANCED” with Kevin Barrett features David Ray Griffin
Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 9:00 am Pacific – 12:00 Noon Eastern – 17:00 GMT
Live Interview with David Ray Griffin — Email your questions now.
Listen live at http://noliesradio.org
if your ISP is Hughes which still blocks the direct link)
Drawing on empirical evidence, Dr. Griffin points to many alleged flaws and
contradictions in the official 9/11 report. As a result, he has been called
a leading exponent of alternative theories questioning the official account
of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
His many books on the subject include: The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing
Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11 (2004), The 9/11 Commission
Report: Omissions And Distortions (2005), Christian Faith and the Truth
Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (2006), 9/11 and the American
Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (2006), Debunking 9/11 Debunking
(2007), and 9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press
Deadline for emailed questions is 9pm Pacific Time, Monday, Feb. 16th. Not all
emailed questions will be answered on the air.
Note from NoLiesRadio: Fair & Balanced with Kevin Barrett is independently
produced and hosted by Kevin Barrett and these shows are externally produced
content. All externally produced content broadcast on No Lies Radio is the sole
responsibility of the program-content producer and is not the responsibility
of NoLiesRadio.org. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the content
In this interview Kevin Ryan discusses the science and psychology of
9/11. He also mentions an upcoming paper that provides strong evidence of incendiary
residues found in the World Trade Center dust. Ryan, who is one of the co-authors
of the paper, says that it is “…much more conclusive than anything we’ve published
before, and is supported by considerable physical testing.”
American Buddhist Net News
ABN: Kevin, you have been a central figure in the 9/11 truth movement. What have you learned from that experience?
KR: The struggle for 9/11 truth has gone on now for over seven years, although I’ve been involved only since 2003. In that time I’ve learned a good deal about history and social inertia, and I’ve made some progress in my communications skills. Many people might think that speaking out publicly, against the wishes of authority like I did, risking one’s career and public standing, can only be harmful to a person. But I’ve found that by showing that I was genuinely seeking a positive outcome, the opportunity to make such a sacrifice became a blessing. There were changes, of course, including a new job and moving to a new town, and a huge amount of work with my new “unpaid job”, but it has been worth it. This is in part due to the fact that I’ve learned that there are many people in the world who feel as I do, that the events of 9/11 were paradoxically something of a gift to… Continue reading