Thursday, January 04, 2007

In case you were concerned



About those FBI reports about abuses at Gitmo, well, the Pentagon isn't:

The Pentagon plans no action as a result of a newly released FBI report on detainee abuse at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, a spokesman said today, asserting there is nothing new in the report.

"The idea that this is new is misguided and misleading," said Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman.

"These are things the department has thoroughly investigated and where allegations have been substantiated, disciplinary action has been taken," he said.

Documents released Tuesday by the FBI focused on harsh interrogation techniques used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants at the facility the Pentagon set up in Cuba for terrorism suspects.
Indeed:

Some military officials and contractors told FBI agents that the interrogation practices had been approved by the Defense Department, including directly by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The documents were released in response to a request by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing Rumsfeld and others on behalf of former detainees who say they were abused.
But that can't be true, because the Pentagon spokesperson says so:

Asked today if the Pentagon plans any follow-up to the report, Whitman said: "No, it's already been thoroughly investigated."

The department has said that a dozen reviews of detention operations found no policies that condoned the abuse some individuals engaged in.
But then, we know people from Abu Ghraib went to Gitmo. And we know at Abu Ghraib, the order was:

“We’re not going to read more people than necessary into our heart of darkness,” he said. “The rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want.’
It's worth remembering that the goal was secrecy even from Congress, and that the connections between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo were more than accidental:

They created code words, and recruited, after careful screening, highly trained commandos and operatives from America’s √©lite forces—Navy seals, the Army’s Delta Force, and the C.I.A.’s paramilitary experts. They also asked some basic questions: “Do the people working the problem have to use aliases? Yes. Do we need dead drops for the mail? Yes. No traceability and no budget. And some special-access programs are never fully briefed to Congress.”

In theory, the operation enabled the Bush Administration to respond immediately to time-sensitive intelligence: commandos crossed borders without visas and could interrogate terrorism suspects deemed too important for transfer to the military’s facilities at Guant√°namo, Cuba.
But then again, I believe the Pentagon when they say they've investigated and found no policy of abuse and torture. I mean, they're from the government; would they lie to us?

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