Civil Liberties Let Down: Judge Hellerstein Rejects ACLU Suit Against CIA

July 16, 2010

With all the news on Hellerstein standing up for the 9/11 first responders - I thought he might be a good guy….well, I learned something that others may already know real fast tonight .

source: AP / Yahoo  July 16, 2010

A federal judge on Thursday refused to force the public release of CIA methods relating to Sept. 11 detainees who were interrogated harshly, saying the judiciary’s authority is limited when national security is at stake.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected arguments by the American Civil Liberties Union that it should be able to force the CIA to release names and documents related to the detainees if the methods used by the agency were illegal.

He said to do so would “confer an unwarranted competence to the district court to evaluate national intelligence decisions.”

The judge said releasing the documents requested by the ACLU would provide operational details about the application of various interrogation techniques in various circumstances for a particular detainee.

“The difference between the information officially released and the CIA operational records here is different in quality, degree, and kind,” Hellerstein said.

He cited an earlier court case that he said was consistent with his findings. In that case, the Supreme Court let the government withhold identifying information of scientists who worked on a covert CIA program researching the use of chemical, biological and radiological materials to control human behavior. The program led to the death of some human test subjects.

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George W. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney all ‘Knew Guantánamo Prisoners Were Innocent’

April 9, 2010

This  story belongs in the same folder as the following announcements made in the last 2 weeks:

  • The documents obtained by the ACLU (page 26), which have the signature’s of Rumsfeld, Tenet, and Ashcroft telling the 9/11 Commission Chairs that they can’t interview the 9/11 detainees due to National Security.
  • Last weeks report by Jason Leopold  on another Gitmo detainee:

 In a federal court filing, Justice backed away from the Bush administration’s statements that Zubaydah was the No. 2 or No. 3 official in al-Qaeda who had helped plan the 9/11 attacks, as well as even earlier claims from the Clinton administration that he was directly involved in planning the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa.

All of the above makes the below seem…..well, obvious.

By: Tim Reid  Source: Times UK   April 9, 2010

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.

The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.

Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.

General Powell, who left the Bush Administration in 2005, angry about the misinformation that he unwittingly (Nor Cal Edit)  gave the world when he made the case for the invasion of Iraq at the UN, is understood to have backed Colonel Wilkerson’s declaration.

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Plan to Move Guantánamo Detainees Faces New Delay

December 24, 2009

source: NY Times

As a WASHINGTON — Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison.result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted.

While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.

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