Thursday, January 22, 2009

Big News

from DK - mcjoan and others on Russell Tice's appearance on Keith Olbermann. Yes, you are being watched.

Kula 2316 on prisons and interrogations:

"Now this headline in the New York Times makes me very happy indeed: Obama to Close Foreign Prisons and Guantanamo. I knew Obama would close Guantanamo eventually, so I was more worried about what would happen to the overseas detention centers that we might not even know about. How many foreign prisons do we have? Michael Hayden once said it was 'fewer than 100'":

'President Obama is expected to sign executive orders Thursday directing the
Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret
prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year,
government officials said.'


'And the orders would bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.'

A few weeks ago, mcjoan wrote a post speculating about a potential "loophole" that would allow the CIA to continue using "techniques" not authorized by the military. The New York Times reports that there may indeed be a loophole:

'A Congressional official who attended the session said Mr. Craig acknowledged concerns from intelligence officials that new restrictions on C.I.A. methods might be unwise and indicated that the White House might be open to allowing the use of methods other the 19 techniques allowed for the military.'

This paragraph doesn't really make sense, maybe because there is a typo. (Hello, New York Times, are you looking for a proofreader because I need a job!) I guess it is supposed to read 'other than the 19 techniques allowed for the military.'"

Finally, Elana Schor at TPM on the reason for the Holder holdup - to protect torturers.

That's a lot of news in 24 hours. I am glad we did not wait until Obama took office to criticize him and make clear that torture is unacceptable. We must continue to pay close attention.

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