Constant's pations

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

Saturday, November 04, 2006

American Government Illegally Suppressing Evidence of War Crimes

President Illegally Classifying Unlawful Prisoner Abuse Evidence

The suppression of war crimes evidence should be viewed in the larger context of the President's legal advisors strategy to defend this President against war crimes. The evidence is suppressed, not to protect secrets, but to prevent any court from admitting new evidence further fatal to the President's fleeting war crimes defense.

Suppressing evidence of Prisoner abuse is another cynical, flawed ploy of a desperate DOJ Staff counsel. The Department of Justice Staff Counsel's complicity with war crimes planning is matched only by their incompetence in preventing war crimes. It remains to be seen how many of the DOJ, CIA, and DoD Staff counsel are ultimately executed after being lawfully convicted of war crimes.

* * *

DoJ absurdly argues that abusive techniques, which violate the Geneva conventions, cannot be disclosed.

Proponents of illegal abuse rely on convoluted logic and scenarios, going so far as to fabricate evidence of successes.

The US has a sad history of suppressing illegal activity using unlawful contract language.

The NSA-FISA court rejected this argument, stating the evidence of abuse and illegal activity had already been disclosed. Once evidence of unlawful activity is disclosed, even inadvertently in an unlawful act of Congress like the Military Commissions Act, the government may not claim the information is secret or privileged.

DoJ is trumped in two ways: It is unlawful to commit abuses against civilians or prisoners; and it is illegal, under ORCON Executive Orders, to classify evidence related to illegal activity. DoJ failed to prevent states from challenging illegal US government conduct in the over NSA-FISA violations of state privacy statutes.

* * *

Circular Arguments: Protecting Disclosure of Already disclosed Illegal Activity

The flaw with the CIA position -- in arguing new information will be disclosed in court -- fails to account for the prisoner releases and disclosures already made.

CIA would have us believe that "something new" -- never attempted on any other prisoner already released -- has been committed only against the detained prisoners; but not against those who have already reported abuses, and been released. This defies reason.

It's more likely the CIA is interested in preventing a specific prisoner, not a method from being disclosed. For the CIA to prove its point -- that only this prisoner has been abused this way -- the CIA will have to prove that it only treated released prisoners in another way. This is not possible, nor credible.

The Excuse of Syria: Disclosed, illegal cooperation cannot be lawfully invoked as a basis to compel secrecy in other matters.

Berenson and others have fatally admitted the US has relationships with countries we publicly oppose. The CIA argument is absurd:
revealing the countries where the prisoners were held could undermine intelligence relationships with those governments. Such disclosures “would put our allies at risk of terrorist retaliation and betray relationships that are built on trust and are vital to our efforts against terrorism,” Ms. Dorn wrote.Ref

___ How can the US say that a "relationship built on trust" with Syria, as it relates to abuse, could not be beneficial in solving the disaster in Iraq

___ Why is the US reluctant to publicly acknowledge the support of the Syrians in our war on terror

___ Why does the US publicly ridicule Syria for supporting terrorism; while privately working with the Syrians to impose abuse

___ Would it not be appropriate for the public to get the full picture of Syria, before believing the Syrians are "not being cooperative on Iraq," before the US population is asked to believe Syria should be attacked?

- - -

Adverse Inferences -- What's most likely

A. Administration War Crimes Defense Publicly Waged In Prisoner Litigation

The Administration knows a war crimes trial is looming. The issue of whether evidence is or is not admitted is not only related to the immediate case, but also to subsequent war crimes litigation. Once evidence of illegal abuse is admitted into court, it does not have to be reintroduced at The Hague.

The objective is not to protect secrets, but to thwart illegal war crimes abuse evidence from being admitted to a court. Even if this court refuses to admit the information, there are other sources which The Hague will consider. Rumsfeld demanded the Germans dismiss the case against him because there was no legal way to end prosecution against the Secretary.

B. Illegal Block on Already Known Illegal Activity

Despite grants of immunity and promises of a defense in the illegal military commissions bill, the United States is not willing to permit any discussion in court, of things that have already been disclosed in public, fearing a war crimes conviction based on admitted court evidence.

C. Adverse Legal Precedent

The treatment was known to be abusive, and in violation of Geneva; Hamdan presents a problem in that it recognizes Geneva is applicable to all prisoners, regardless where the US agents-contractors abuse them.

D. Change in Position: Admission of Problem

The CIA has engaged in illegal abuse, as evidenced by the change in prisoner treatment and location after Hamdan;

E. Failure to Prevent: Addington Implicated

The Administration knew it was engaged in abuse, but failed to change its tactics because it was fearful the correction might be evidence of war crimes, as reported about Addington;

F. Smokescreen Evidence of Government Recklessness

The treatment was abusive, in violation of the laws of war; and the CIA and White House are using the irrelevant debate over "whether this is or is not torture" as a smokescreen. A smokescreen can only credibly be crafted if they players knew the larger legal issues they hoped to suppress.

- -

Broad View of Unconstitutional Conduct

There is a pattern of evidence suppression, related to FISA-NSA, rendition, prisoner abuse, and illegal war in Iraq.

(a) FISA

Recall Gonzalez' statements on 6 Feb 2006 to the Senate Judiciary. Rather than meet his legal responsibilities, Gonzalez ignored the FISA court.

Gonzalez circularly argued to avoid a Constitutional challenge, he and the President agreed to circumvent the court and congress. This does not show a respect for the Constitution, but is evidence of a rebellion against the rule of law.

(b) Iraq

The similar pattern was essentially admitted by Perle in re the Iraq invasion. Again, rather than reasonably manage their legal obligations, and exercise lawful options, the American leadership, before exhausting all non-military options, chose a non-lawful option: Illegal invasion without an imminent threat.

* * *


Prisoners have the right to challenge their abuse. This acts as a check on government misconduct. Jailers knew, or should have known, had they inflicted illegal abuse, the prisoners might be freed. The judicial remedy for government abuse is to release the prisoners, especially when they cannot be guaranteed a fair trial.

If the United States will not allow the defendants the right to present evidence of their mistreatment, the US cannot lawfully continue to hold them. The US is in no position to credibly argue something is or is not legal when it refuses to permit judicial review of that conduct; nor permit the accused to review evidence or challenge the abuses.

Even if the evidence is not disclosed, judicial courts are permitted to make adverse inferences: That there have been war crimes; and the conduct illegally violated the laws of war prohibiting abuses against prisoners of war. It is irrelevant how the US defines torture. It remains to be seen whether the court exercises judicial independence, makes adverse inferences, or assents to illegal abuse of power.

* * *

Outlook: Increased Risk of Adverse Consequences To America

(1) War crimes Prosecution: Adverse Inferences

There's already talk of prosecuting US government officials and contractors for war crimes.

(2) Evidence of US Government disregard for Geneva

Congress's decision to illegally grant immunity for war crimes, as the Yugoslavians did, may embolden other nations to rally military forces to compel the US to assent to the rule of law.

(3) Battlefield: Lawful reciprocity, reciprocation

Where the United State refuses to permit open discussion in the forum, foreign fighters will likely impose additional combat losses in the Americans preferred forum to resolve disputes: Battle.

* * *

Appendix A -- Case Study: Convoluted American Thinking Based on Emotion

Here's an analysis of a flawed argument, posted in response to the MSNBC article.

Rely on the information in the flawed ticking time bomb scenario to analyze:

___Where do we get the information about mother?

___ How do we know that she knows the name of the people--what makes anyone certain?

___ How do we know that her statement will be reliable

___ How do we know that someone else knows where she is?

___ Where are the other lines of evidence, people, and others involved in this scenario?

___ What is the basis to believe that rules of logic, evidence, and simple prudence should give way to emotional arguments based on scenarios that defy reason?

___ Why should we believe the arguments of someone who is arguing from an emotional position, not carefully considering the issues?

___ Why should someone else be presumed -- on basis of assertion alone -- to have superior or inferior information?

___ Why should we defer to people who may or may not be enforcing the law?

___ Why should we defer to those who abuse use, when they simply invoke "I'm doing this to protect you," all the while ignoring their crimes, and subsequent abuses?

___ How can anyone argue that they're doing something out of our interest, but it is abusive?