Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, November 05, 2004

NAVY Inspector General document traced to FBI at Guantanamo

Ref Notice in the link the paragraph titles, extending out for three pages.

The key words from the paragraph headings are unique:
interview plan
We can then load these document key terms into a search engine, identify the documents which match the "official use only" templates, and then fill in the blanks.Ref

In those cases where the documents have been deleted or removed, that information can be gleaned through discovery. The information is also available through archiving and in search engine cache.

Link to the NAVY IG

The three paragraph titles are important and distinct to the US NAVY Inspector General. Ref

The paragraph headings also match the headings listed in the NAVY paragraph heading manual. Ref

Because the key words listed here are linked to the US Navy, we must ask what form the FBI communications were between the US Navy and DoJ.

Specifically, Marion E. "Spike" Bowman, a former DoJ General Counsel also worked for NSA. Reportedly, he was intimately involved in the Guantanamo investigation in DoJ.

Yet, of concern is when we look at the "independent" Bowman's background. He's a retired NAVY captain. Strange, the same connection with the US Navy was also an issue in re the DoD's Office of Special Plans.

At this juncture, the CIA IG is drafting the final comments on the 800+ comments on the "reason there was no accountability in re 9-11 at CIA." This is an unrelated issue.

But what is required is once the IG of any branch receives information related to a criminal complaint or allegation of a crime [which torture is], they are required under the statutes to provide a referral to DoJ's FBI.

Congressional responsibility

However, have there been any oversight issues raised in the Judiciary Committee in re FBI? Specifically, it seems problematic that FBI agents were involved in the interrogation of prisoners in Guantanamo, discussions were occurring between FBI and NAVY IG office, yet we are to believe that the FBI is now independent and can handle a criminal referral. This remains to be understood. Perhaps the new Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman might look into this.

Also, once the IG documents are linked to Guantanamo, the questions then becomes "Why was the 2002 e-mail referring to templates unique to the NAVY IG," yet only a few months later, DoD was advertising publicly that "there was no torture" and "the documents provided in March 2003" were simply "draft" documents?

This is absurd. Because the "draft documents" provided in March 2003 were subsequent to the NAVY IG-template discussed in November 2002 Ref.

Had the e-mails actually reflected a "draft document" [not to be produced until March 2003, if we are to believe DoD], then there would be no mention in the e-mails of documents that are marked "For Official Use only." Yet, that is what is on the document. "Official use" doesn't mean, "Draft" but use.

We have yet to understand why the e-mails from 2002 were mentioning the NAVY IG templates. What could possibly be going through the interrogators' minds so that they would think to refer to documents which the NAVY IG has publicly stated they have an interest in reviewing and taking into consideration during their audits.

We have yet to understand what was going through the minds of the interrogators for them to "know enough" to refer to templates which dovetail with the US NAVY, yet at the same time claim "there was no problem." There surely must have been sufficient concern within the ranks of both DoD and DoJ such that they "knew enough" to compare the proposed practices with the same criteria the Inspector General uses.

It is clear that DoD, DoJ, the FBI, and the Inspector Generals' offices of the various executive branches have a problem. Despite discussing the documents in 2002, we have yet to understand why there was no swift investigation of the matter.

Once the IG is involved [as the documents on page 28 show there was] or should have been involved [as required by statute], the IG has to make [a] a criminal referral to the FBI and also [b] make a timely report to the Congress. This report comes in the form of a bi-annual [every six months] report to Congress on the status of programs.

This means, that the IG [if the Navy IG was doing its job] "should have" provided the information to the Congressional Committees, and that "should have" triggered in November 2002 [if immediate], or by April 2003 [If in the semi-annual report] a discussion of the ongoing activities in Guantanamo.

Discrete evidence

The problem the IG has is that it's investigation template is unique, and the order of the words only aligns with investigations. We have yet to have a full accounting form the NAVY IG why their documents were used and mentioned in the report; and also an accounting from DoJ as to why they were using NAVY IG documents, on matters that were later characterized as "just a draft".

At this juncture, either

  • A. The Executive agencies knew there was a problem [which prompted the legal discussion, and references to the IG-documents on page 28-33] and made a timely report to the Congress; yet the Congress did nothing and made no investigation as required per their joint Congressional-Executive oversight responsibilities of the intelligence and national security issues;


  • B. The Executive agencies knew there was a problem, but made no timely report as was required; yet, despite the "later revelation of the discussions, documents, and conduct," Congress failed to ensure the matter was swiftly investigated.

    We have yet to understand whether this is the motivation behind Congress' to "approve" the delay of the 800-page report until after the election. Specifically, the "word on the street" is that the President [prior to the election] was going to look bad if he delayed the report.

    Alleged Congressional obstruction

    However, I would suggest that there's actually a more troubling reason for the delay. The issue isn't so much what the President did or didn't do about the CIA IG report, but whether [once the results were known] there would be a trace-back to the original notifications in the documents.

    My bet is that Congress is hoping there's nothing done, no research, and no accounting of "what should have been done" vs "what was actually done."

    Yet, the issues are important. Because under this system of checks and balances the oversight responsibility doesn't fall only on the executive branch. Unlike the Tokyo War crimes which held the Japanese War Cabinet liable for failing to stop the actions this Congress is jointly responsible with the Executive in overseeing the various departments.

    Congress makes the rules, and also makes sure the IG's are timely providing this information.

    The problem we run into is when Senator Gregg on the Appropriations Committee has not accounted for "what his staffer found out" and "what information was gleaned" in re the visits to Guantanamo. Some suggest that this information is privileged.

    Trip reports

    However, it is not unknown for senate staffers to file trip reports, conduct post-visit briefings, or engage in other discussions. It remains to be understood through discovery what information was provided to Senator Gregg's staffer; the conduct and form of the briefings; and to what extent the DoD either knew of the abuses and failed to provide the information, or to what extent the staffers failed to probe into the issues despite the involvement of the NAVY IG.

    By mid summer of 2003, there had been 16 foreign delegations to Guantanamo. Again, we have yet to understand why despite the March 2003 DoD "draft" comments, were there repeated visits and questions.

    Also, in early January 2003 the President received a letter asking detailed and specific questions about the allegations of misconduct.

    Further, Congressman Waxman in 2004 requested information on the status of the investigation.

    At every turn, clear and specific questions were directed, and DoD rebuffed the concerns. Now, the video evidence shows that the 2002 discussions were not theoretical bust based on actual questions related to more than hypothetical, but actual torture.

    Inconsistent denials

    Yet, the denials of Secretary Powell fail to send a message that the repeated reports were adequately investigated despite the statutory requirement of the IG to provide this information both to the FBI and the Congressional committees.

    War crimes allegations are a serious affair. But what is more egregious is for the misconduct to get swept under the rung.

    We do little to inspire confidence in our ability to "self-govern" when the clearly promulgated rules are not followed; and the treaties to which these government officers have sworn an oath are not timely respected.

    There needs to be a better accounting of the discussions between the NAVY IG and DOJ in the early and late summer of 2002; and the nature and content of the actual warnings provided by IG-sources to both the FBI in the form of a referral; and to the Congressional committees as required under public law.

    If this nation has a straight story, then let the facts fall where they are. But at this juncture we have yet to have a clear explanation why, "despite all the rules and reporting requirements" that it has take so long, Congress has not timely investigated, and this nation continues to say, "We should not be in the ICC."

    Independent counsel

    The correct solution is to admit that Congress, because it cannot oversee the agencies, needs to appoint a special counsel to discover what went on in Guantanamo, the nature of the DoJ discussion with the NAVY IG, and to what extent the IG has failed to report as required, or the Committees have failed to swiftly move to investigate war crimes.

    Oversight and responsibility within a "self-governing" system of checks and balances will only work when the clearly promulgated rules are followed. If this nation, and its elected officials and appointed officers fall down on their job, it is not simply a matter of "oh, that's politics."

    Rather, it is a far serious matter. If the information provided to the DoD was actually clearly provided to the President, and he failed to act, then there is nothing stopping the independent counsel from issuing a criminal referral.

    Let the facts fall where they may. But there is no monopoly on political power when there are substantive, specific, and credible allegations of misconduct not just within the Executive Branch, but also within the Congress.

    Rule of law

    No party, however powerful, can hope to enjoy an unchallenged monopoly. Whether individual Congressmen and staffers are ultimately held to account remains unclear.

    But no one should mistake the power of an independent prosecutor to find the facts. IF this nation will not do that, then we have no credibility if we go before the world and say, "We should be trusted to investigate our own." Self-evidently, we are not.

    There is already a DoJ investigation into Haliburton. It remains to be seen whether this nation chooses to actively thwart another substantive, specific allegation related to the broader allegation that there was a joint Congressional-Executive branch policy to do nothing.

    That the Senate is "controlled" by Republicans does not mean that the White House will forever be guaranteed the right to violate the law without the threat of impeachment. Given enough evidence, even the Nixon White House ultimately lost the support of the Republican Party.

    That evidence needs to be developed by appointing an independent counsel.

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