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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Unbelievable White House Account of CIA Refusals

Untimely Refusal Is No Defense To Initial War Crimes

This White House statement is not credible. It's too late to believe the CIA is in rebellion. They should have done this in 2001.

Thanks Prissy: I couldn't get blogger to work.

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White House Issues Non-Sense Story Over Illegal Prisons Ref The White House continues with the war crimes defenses over the CIA detention centers. Current reports that the CIA officers refused to run the prisons cannot be believed. Even if true, the refusal this late is too late as a war crimes defense.

These statements are not evidence of leadership or accountability, but subsequent illegal offenses of the laws of war: Failing to timely remove oneself from illegal war crimes, and providing misleading information about confusion over clear Geneva requirements that prohibit inhumane treatement.

There are several reasons why the current story from the White House doesn't add up. Let's consider, based on what little had been revealed, what we've known about the CIA detention centers.

1. The Geneva conventions always applied, and the CIA officers knew this from day one.

2. Think back to Abraxas and post-2001 events. CIA personnel were well aware of the objective of ignoring the laws of war. Their sudden concern in 2006 cannot be believed. Rather, the White House has openly challenged the Supreme Court conclusions as being in error. This is no basis to believe the CIA rebellion is true. The White House cannot explain why the CIA rebellion, if it was not against an illegal order, has not been disciplined in private, as opposed to the public airing.

3. The Bybee Memo illegally concluded that personnel were not subject to Geneva. Nothing explains why, despite the President's Feb 2002 follow-up -- that the Geneva Conventions would apply -- the CIA decision to comply with the illegal orders would suddenly shift on the basis of something the President said was never a factor.

4. Guantanamo was established on the false assumption that US forces detaining personnel out of the US were not subject to Geneva. The CIA detention centers in Europe were based on the similar false assumption. It defies reason to believe in 2006 the CIA suddenly was concerned with whether there was or was not a Geneva requirement. There always was. What's changed is the CIA contractors who supported the illegal activity have decided to cut bait, and turn over evidence. They know if they refuse to cooperate with the ongoing war crimes investigation that they too could be indicted for war crimes.

5. Despite Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo photos, the US continued to deny the existence of the CIA detention centers. There's been too much between these earlier revelations until now -- when the US was still committing war crimes -- to suddenly believe the 2006 CIA actions is what caused the change. The CIA and contractors have long known the legal issues, but continued to Ignore the Geneva.

6. Secretary of Rice traveled to Europe to deny what the President later admitted. The only reason to do this was she knew the activity was real, but though that the assurances would quite the issue. the problem was the legal storm intensified. Yet, the CIA would have already known since 2001 that the activity was illegal; and the EU investigations would confirm the legal liability. Refusals, if they were true, should have occurred immediately after the NYT story broke. They did not.

7. The objective of Keisler's defense of the Guantanamo prison procedures in Hamdan, and the refusal of the US legal community to accept the Rasul finding was the view that the US could do what it wanted. By all accounts, the CIA was under the false assurance that there was a defense. Yet, it was before Hamdan that the CIA was already leaking concerns to the NYT.

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It defies belief that the CIA suddenly was concerned. Rather, it was leaks from the intelligence community which raised the doubts about the illegal activity. Despite these concerns, the CIA was instructed to continue their work, that the activity was legal, despite knowing that the abuse was inhumane and contrary to Geneva.

Despite the public show of support for the CIA, the White House knows that the CIA and members of Congress have a war crimes problem. Gonzalez and the President continue to assert the Geneva conventions are vague, despite their clarity in prohibit inhumane treatment.


We judge that this disclosure is meaningless, should not be relied upon, and is part of a distraction effort.

These public statements about the CIA 'rebellion' are fabrications. They are intended to create a false war crimes defense and send a false signal that the CIA is in opposition to illegal activity. This is incorrect. The CIA personnel involved have wholly embraced the illegal activity. It is too late in the game to believe that "suddenly" they had an awakening; or that Hamdan provided the legal clarity which had not yet existed.

The CIA personnel have long known the Geneva conventions. the Bybee Memos, Guantanamo pictures, Taguba Report have been fair warnings that the mistreatment is something of public concern. This late in the game is too late to believe their resignations are real. Rather, if the CIA were serious about refusing, they would have already presented their evidence to the US Attorney and international war crimes tribunals to prosecute the illegal activity.

Even if these CIA disclosures had occurred, the White House would not admit to action that may put the White House interests at risk.

What's more likely is that the CIA personnel and contractors worked with the Congressional staff to (without legal effect) retroactively change war crimes definitions. This is meaningless, and is no defense to war crimes already committed.

Rather, the course of conduct of the White House, Gonzalez, and President indicates they well know they have a retroactive problem: Not only are CIA officials seeking insurance, but page 84-86 of the War Crimes bill seeks to provide legal defense.

We judge this White House statement is not to be believed. The CIA rebellion, if it had any real merit, or could be accepted as an explanation of anything, should have happened in the days and weeks immediately following the illegal orders after Sept 2001. This did not occur.

The revelation is part of the smokescreen to confuse the public, assist the CIA, put them in a better light, and shift the attention to the courts as the reason for action, rather than put the focus on the CIA and White House: What defense do they have for their continued war crimes plans and activities 2001-2006. They have no defense.

The CIA is getting ready to sacrifice one of their own to take the fall, and the rest of the CIA hopes the war crimes prosecutors narrows their focus. Don't take the bait. the entire CIA crew and White House staff is a cess pool, and they should all be hauled before the War Crimes tribunal. Check the records in Abraxas to find out who was assigned, and which CIA personnel can give you more information. Their records are not all located in McClean, but at the overseas liaison offices in Europe.