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This Distrurbs Me


Tim Gratz
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I must state this report disturbs me! But clearly it is not solely Bush's fault; the practices involved predated his administration.

From 12-09-2005 NY Times:

The Bush administration based a crucial prewar assertion about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda on detailed statements made by a prisoner while in Egyptian custody who later said he had fabricated them to escape harsh treatment, according to current and former government officials.

The officials said the captive, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, provided his most specific and elaborate accounts about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda only after he was secretly handed over to Egypt by the United States in January 2002, in a process known as rendition.

The new disclosure provides the first public evidence that bad intelligence on Iraq may have resulted partly from the administration's heavy reliance on third countries to carry out interrogations of Qaeda members and others detained as part of American counterterrorism efforts. The Bush administration used Mr. Libi's accounts as the basis for its prewar claims, now discredited, that ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda included training in explosives and chemical weapons.

The fact that Mr. Libi recanted after the American invasion of Iraq and that intelligence based on his remarks was withdrawn by the C.I.A. in March 2004 has been public for more than a year. But American officials had not previously acknowledged either that Mr. Libi made the false statements in foreign custody or that Mr. Libi contended that his statements had been coerced.

A government official said that some intelligence provided by Mr. Libi about Al Qaeda had been accurate, and that Mr. Libi's claims that he had been treated harshly in Egyptian custody had not been corroborated.

A classified Defense Intelligence Agency report issued in February 2002 that expressed skepticism about Mr. Libi's credibility on questions related to Iraq and Al Qaeda was based in part on the knowledge that he was no longer in American custody when he made the detailed statements, and that he might have been subjected to harsh treatment, the officials said. They said the C.I.A.'s decision to withdraw the intelligence based on Mr. Libi's claims had been made because of his later assertions, beginning in January 2004, that he had fabricated them to obtain better treatment from his captors.

At the time of his capture in Pakistan in late 2001, Mr. Libi, a Libyan, was the highest-ranking Qaeda leader in American custody. A Nov. 6 report in The New York Times, citing the Defense Intelligence Agency document, said he had made the assertions about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda involving illicit weapons while in American custody.

Mr. Libi was indeed initially held by the United States military in Afghanistan, and was debriefed there by C.I.A. officers, according to the new account provided by the current and former government officials. But despite his high rank, he was transferred to Egypt for further interrogation in January 2002 because the White House had not yet provided detailed authorization for the C.I.A. to hold him.

While he made some statements about Iraq and Al Qaeda when in American custody, the officials said, it was not until after he was handed over to Egypt that he made the most specific assertions, which were later used by the Bush administration as the foundation for its claims that Iraq trained Qaeda members to use biological and chemical weapons.

Beginning in March 2002, with the capture of a Qaeda operative named Abu Zubaydah, the C.I.A. adopted a practice of maintaining custody itself of the highest-ranking captives, a practice that became the main focus of recent controversy related to detention of suspected terrorists.

The agency currently holds between two and three dozen high-ranking terrorist suspects in secret prisons around the world. Reports that the prisons have included locations in Eastern Europe have stirred intense discomfort on the continent and have dogged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit there this week.

Mr. Libi was returned to American custody in February 2003, when he was transferred to the American detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to the current and former government officials. He withdrew his claims about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda in January 2004, and his current location is not known. A C.I.A. spokesman refused Thursday to comment on Mr. Libi's case. The current and former government officials who agreed to discuss the case were granted anonymity because most details surrounding Mr. Libi's case remain classified.

During his time in Egyptian custody, Mr. Libi was among a group of what American officials have described as about 150 prisoners sent by the United States from one foreign country to another since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks for the purposes of interrogation. American officials including Ms. Rice have defended the practice, saying it draws on language and cultural expertise of American allies, particularly in the Middle East, and provides an important tool for interrogation. They have said that the United States carries out the renditions only after obtaining explicit assurances from the receiving countries that the prisoners will not be tortured.

Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian ambassador to the United States, said in a telephone interview on Thursday that he had no specific knowledge of Mr. Libi's case. Mr. Fahmy acknowledged that some prisoners had been sent to Egypt by mutual agreement between the United States and Egypt. "We do interrogations based on our understanding of the culture," Mr. Fahmy said. "We're not in the business of torturing anyone."

In statements before the war, and without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, and other officials repeatedly cited the information provided by Mr. Libi as "credible" evidence that Iraq was training Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons. Among the first and most prominent assertions was one by Mr. Bush, who said in a major speech in Cincinnati in October 2002 that "we've learned that Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and gases."

The question of why the administration relied so heavily on the statements by Mr. Libi has long been a subject of contention. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, made public last month unclassified passages from the February 2002 document, which said it was probable that Mr. Libi "was intentionally misleading the debriefers."

The document showed that the Defense Intelligence Agency had identified Mr. Libi as a probable fabricator months before the Bush administration began to use his statements as the foundation for its claims about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda involving illicit weapons.

Mr. Levin has since asked the agency to declassify four other intelligence reports, three of them from February 2002, to see if they also expressed skepticism about Mr. Libi's credibility. On Thursday, a spokesman for Mr. Levin said he could not comment on the circumstances surrounding Mr. Libi's detention because the matter was classified.

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Thanks, Tim, for posting this important article and confirming that you are sane. If this story doesn't disturb someone then they have serious problems. I'm wondering if Bush was ever informed that the DIA doubted this man's story, or that the information was obtained by Egyptian intelligence under coercion. I would guess not.

A recurrent theme in our recent history seems to be the desire of sycophants to make our president a king. Reagan, Bush's role model, luxuriated in being king and took little interest in being President. It is Bush' JOB to know the facts surrounding this information, just as it was Kennedy's job to know the facts surrounding the Bay of Pigs. And yet, repeatedly, throughout our history, mistakes have been made because the POLITICAL operatives swarming around the President have protected them from doing their jobs. "Just tell the President what he wants to hear and get out. He needs to get plenty of rest before his Press Conference tomorrow "

Will you at least agree that Bush has made a mistake in letting this culture thrive? Kennedy learned from the BOP. I'd like to think Bush is on a similar learning curve. He was caught looking the other way on September 11 in large part due to the questionable competence of Rice, among others. He got tough for a bit and took an interest in his job. But did he have the smarts and the guts to question what he was told by Chalabi/Cheney or Tenet? Or was his papa's faith in Intelligence detrimental to the use of his own intelligence? I'd like to say Bush has learned from his mistakes but I just don't see it.

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So what happens now relative to accountability and consequences?

And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well documented.

Best Don Adams imitation:

"The old teaspoon trick, second time this week."

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This is obviously not the first time that someone named Mr. Libi [Libby?] has let his information cause problems for this administration.

[Well, if I hadn't posted that, SOMEONE would have.]

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I fail to see what difference this story makes as far as Bush and his handlers are concerned. Bush is supposed to “learn” something from this? What, that torture might not get you the truth, it might just get you a made-up story to make the torture stop? What a profound realization. I would be surprised if Bush is aware of this story at all, but if he was told about it I imagine that he simply shared an amused chuckle with Cheney, who is on record as a big fan of torture.

The PNAC regime was going to invade Iraq no matter what. If Libi had not ad Libbed his story (under alleged harsh treatment from his Egyptian captors – no way! “uncorroborated”!) about Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, would that have thrown a monkey wrench into the PNAC’s invasion plans? How could it, with all those WMDs Iraq had? There was no lack of feed on hand about Iraq to throw to the American sheeple, who of course wouldn’t know Libi if they found his tortured body lying dead in the street.

I don’t understand what can be “disturbing” about this story to someone who doesn’t find the Bush/Cheney regime itself disturbing. In the grand PNAC scheme of things, this story is nothing. And I can assure that since your leaders Bush and Cheney are not disturbed by it, you shouldn’t be either.

Edited by Ron Ecker
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I must state this report disturbs me! But clearly it is not solely Bush's fault; the practices involved predated his administration.

Tim:

I am heartened that you are disturbed, because you damn well should be. As Pat has pointed out, it demonstrates that you are not insane. But if you are disturbed by this tip of the iceberg, I assure you that your immediate future will be most disconcerting, because far more of the same will emerge with the passage of time.

Rendition has been going on for quite some time. Against all international law, several Canadian citizens have been deported by the US to the countries of their birth, where they have been tortured. Our government is up to its armpits in legal alligators for failing to prevent this, or to procure their release from middle eastern torture states in a timely fashion. [And much worse, lest you think I smugly assume that our government is infallible.]

It is apparent that those being tortured will say anything to make it stop, particularly that which they think their inquisitors wish to hear. Making foreign policy decisions based upon the tainted product of those torture sessions is an unsound practice, as you'll no doubt discover when more of these stories emerge, now that your media seems to have located at least one of their previously-misplaced stones.

It is interesting to note, as always, that you are prepared to cut the Bushies some slack on this, claiming that the practice predated this administration. How so? The admissions to which your article referred took place prior to the war, and were no doubt used to justify it, at least internally. What makes you think that these admissions weren't sought by the Bushies, even demanded by them, in their zeal for war? Why do you assume that this was the product of imcompetence, rather than manipulation?

Alongside the tainted Chalabi data used as a pretext for war, and a number of other fraudulent items such as the Niger/Iraq forgeries, it is clear that one of two things must be true: either your White House cherry-picked only what so-called "intelligence" it knew would bolster the case for an illegal, immoral and pointless war, or your nation is ruled by morons. Not a pleasant choice, having to decide whether your President is stupidly incompetent or just plain evil.

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Robert, you are correct that it is possible I will be even more disturbed by additional "revelations". The matter was of obvious importance and I did want to ensure everyone on the Forum saw it.

You wrote:

What makes you think that these admissions weren't sought by the Bushies, even demanded by them, in their zeal for war? Why do you assume that this was the product of imcompetence, rather than manipulation?

Well, there is no evidence for this yet. In other situations you seem to be a stickler for evidence.

Does this indicate incompetence by Bush? Surely not, for several reasons. Bush was relying on the same intelligence sources relied upon, for instance, by the Clinton Administration. Our intelligence services have long relied on intelligence services of foreign countries, which services often employ methods we do not. Quite often those methods have produced intelligence that has proven to be accurate.

You must also remember that presidents have a lot on their plate. Quite often procedural errors are only discovered when they produce disasters. The BOP would be a good case in point. JFK was clearly not a moron (I am extremely impressed by his intelligence, BTW) but he relied on the advice of the CIA in endorsing the BOP operation. Unless you want to argue that JFK was also incompetent, you can hardly indict Bush for relying on CIA information--the same information and methods relied on by Clinton for eight years. If the system was so obviously flawed, why did Clinton not fix it? The answer is simple. As I stated above, ofttimes the procedural errors only become apparent after a failure.

It is easy, but not intellectually honest, to be a MMQB. But is it possible I will be disturbed by additional revelations? I have to be honest and admit that of course it is. Time will tell. But at this point in time it would be as unfair to indict Bush for the failures of the CIA as it would be to indict JFK for the same. I also think we need to be careful not to "throw the baby out with the bath water". As I noted above, information from foreign intelligence sources has often proven to be both important and correct. So to reject all such information just because it proved incorrect in this admittedly important matter could prove to be disastrous.

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Robert, you are correct that it is possible I will be even more disturbed by additional "revelations". The matter was of obvious importance and I did want to ensure everyone on the Forum saw it.

You wrote:

What makes you think that these admissions weren't sought by the Bushies, even demanded by them, in their zeal for war? Why do you assume that this was the product of imcompetence, rather than manipulation?

Well, there is no evidence for this yet. In other situations you seem to be a stickler for evidence.

That's not quite correct, Tim. You see, when the US uses rendition against citizens of middle eastern countries, it does so with the tacit approval of those countries. It raises no ire, except for the individual, and so long as he is detained, we don't hear about it. Recently, a chap in Germany has come forward to file suit against the US, alleging that he was kidnapped, detained and tortured by CIA. I had expected Condi Rice to dismiss the allegations as unfounded, and was surprised to hear her call this a mistake, thereby admitting his assertions were true.

But, Tim, this has happened several times now to Canadian citizens. Apprehended in the US as a suspected security risk, but charged with no crime, they were not returned to Canada, under whose passport they travelled. Instead, they were shipped off to Syria - completely ignoring international law - where they were tortured. These citizens have now been returned to Canada, and our government is in the midst of pulling off a very fine magic act: explaining to the electorate how such a thing can happen to a Canadian citizen in the US, without admitting any active or tacit role by Canada in the whole sordid mess. [i suspect Canadian complicity in this process.]

However, the bottom line remains the same: the Bushies didn't send Canadians back to Canada. Had they done so, there would have been no contravention of international law, and no heat-score to deal with in the event that they nabbed the wrong guy. But, Canada doesn't torture people to obtain information, and that's why the Bushies were prepared to defy international law for no other apparent reason: they knew where they'd get the fruits they were seeking, and it wasn't Canada.

Does this indicate incompetence by Bush? Surely not, for several reasons. Bush was relying on the same intelligence sources relied upon, for instance, by the Clinton Administration. Our intelligence services have long relied on intelligence services of foreign countries, which services often employ methods we do not. Quite often those methods have produced intelligence that has proven to be accurate.

Really? Can you cite an instance of rendition under Clinton? Can you tell me how many Canadians Clinton packed off to a middle eastern dungeon to be tortured into confessions? Both Presidents may have relied upon the same intelligence, but one seems to have been far more pro-active in obtaining it, and far less constrained by trivial little concerns like international law, morality, human decency, or even pragmatism. Torture isn't just inhumane, it's stupid because it doesn't work. Perhaps you know of instances in which Clinton instructed other nations to utilize torture. If not, the comparison isn't correct.

If you were the CIC and suspected that a couple of chaps knew a tremendous amount of critical information, would you not want them in US custody in order learn what you could from them? Sure. So, why are they not brought to the US? Why are they instead sent to Gitmo? Or third nations with a record of brutal interrogation? Because what Bush wants done is illegal on US soil, and far harder to keep secret there.

You must also remember that presidents have a lot on their plate. Quite often procedural errors are only discovered when they produce disasters. The BOP would be a good case in point. JFK was clearly not a moron (I am extremely impressed by his intelligence, BTW) but he relied on the advice of the CIA in endorsing the BOP operation. Unless you want to argue that JFK was also incompetent, you can hardly indict Bush for relying on CIA information--the same information and methods relied on by Clinton for eight years. If the system was so obviously flawed, why did Clinton not fix it? The answer is simple. As I stated above, ofttimes the procedural errors only become apparent after a failure.

More vapour and fumes, Tim. Clinton didn't outsource torture. Bush does. Period.

It is easy, but not intellectually honest, to be a MMQB. But is it possible I will be disturbed by additional revelations? I have to be honest and admit that of course it is. Time will tell. But at this point in time it would be as unfair to indict Bush for the failures of the CIA as it would be to indict JFK for the same.

When the BOP ended up in the crapper, the CIC did accept full responsibility for it, irrespective of whom may have been to blame. Can't see that happening with the blameless adolescent currently masquerading as CIC.

I also think we need to be careful not to "throw the baby out with the bath water". As I noted above, information from foreign intelligence sources has often proven to be both important and correct. So to reject all such information just because it proved incorrect in this admittedly important matter could prove to be disastrous.

Well, we know which information wasn't correct, don't we?

WMD? Nope.

Al Qaeda connections? Nope.

Nuke program? Nope.

Greeted as liberators? Nope.

Mission accomplished? Nope.

It'll only cost a billion? Nope.

And yet you argue that not listening to the "intelligence" that leads to such fiascos might "prove to be disastrous?" Tim, look that word up in the dictionary, because you need to double check the meaning of "disaster."

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"W: incompetent or evil" ??

Robert: Brilliant, as always. (One of the joys of this forum for me is to read your posts.)

On W, I don't see a "choice". in my opinion the man's both.

(And I think a lot more people in the US are discovering this too. A year too late, sadly)

Dawn

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Robert Charles-Dunne wrote to me (regarding "rendition"):

Really? Can you cite an instance of rendition under Clinton?

Wikipedia on "Extraordinary rendition":

The procedure was developed by Central Intelligence Agency officials in the mid-1990s who were trying to track down and dismantle militant Islamic organizations in the Middle East, particularly Al Qaeda. At the time, the agency was reluctant to grant suspected terrorists due process under American law, as it could potentially jeopardize its intelligence sources and methods. The solution the agency came up with, with the approval of the Clinton administration and a presidential directive, was to send suspects to Egypt, where they were turned over to the Egyptian mukhabarat, which has a reputation for brutality. This arrangement suited the Egyptians, as they had been trying to crack down on Islamic extremists in that country and a number of the senior members of Al Qaeda were Egyptian. The arrangement suited the US because torture is banned under both US and international law. [Emphasis supplied.]

Rendition was developed and approved when Clinton was at the helm, my friend. Clinton personally approved it with a presidential directive!

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Robert Charles-Dunne wrote to me (regarding "rendition"):

Really? Can you cite an instance of rendition under Clinton?

Wikipedia on "Extraordinary rendition":

The procedure was developed by Central Intelligence Agency officials in the mid-1990s who were trying to track down and dismantle militant Islamic organizations in the Middle East, particularly Al Qaeda. At the time, the agency was reluctant to grant suspected terrorists due process under American law, as it could potentially jeopardize its intelligence sources and methods. The solution the agency came up with, with the approval of the Clinton administration and a presidential directive, was to send suspects to Egypt, where they were turned over to the Egyptian mukhabarat, which has a reputation for brutality. This arrangement suited the Egyptians, as they had been trying to crack down on Islamic extremists in that country and a number of the senior members of Al Qaeda were Egyptian. The arrangement suited the US because torture is banned under both US and international law. [Emphasis supplied.]

Rendition was developed and approved when Clinton was at the helm, my friend. Clinton personally approved it with a presidential directive!

Nice try, Tim. It is clear you know nothing about this process other than the quick graf you Googled from Wikipedia. This was clear from your initial alarmist post, as though it was the first instance of rendition that you had encountered. And this from the man who insists that everyone should read everything before reaching any conclusions.

First, rendition wasn't Clinton's brainchild. It was authored by Bush the Elder in National Security Directive 77 in January of 1992, just before he left office. It authorized the kidnapping and covert extradition to the US of terrorist suspects. That was thereafter broadened by Clinton in PDD 39, June '95 to include transferring suspects to third countries to face prosecution.

My question didn't ask who approved of rendition. Go back and read it again: "Can you cite an instance of rendition under Clinton?" Well.....? Apparently not, or you would have done so. Well, there were many instances in which persons were apprehended and covertly transferred to the US and third countries to face prosecution. Let me fill in some blanks for you, courtesy of Human Rights Watch:

The practice of extraordinary renditions is not a new phenomenon. In the United States, it can be traced back at least to the early 1990’s, when policies were formulated for the apprehension and transfer of terrorist and other suspects outside of any formal legal process. In June 1995, then-President Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 39, which includes the following language:

When terrorists wanted for violation of U.S. law are at large overseas, their return for prosecution shall be a matter of the highest priority. … If we do not receive adequate cooperation from a state that harbors a terrorist whose extradition we are seeking, we shall take appropriate measures to induce cooperation. Return of suspects by force may be effected without the cooperation of the host government, consistent with the procedures outlined in NSD-77, which shall remain in effect.

This policy was reiterated in May 1998 with a new directive, PDD-62, which outlined ten policy programs, the first of which was “apprehension, extradition, rendition and prosecution.”

Before September 2001, the available information regarding extraordinary renditions strongly suggests a focus on delivering criminal suspects to prosecution, particularly in the United States. During the decade prior to 1998, the U.S. government usedextraordinary rendition to bring 13 terrorist suspects to the United States to stand trial on criminal charges. Then FBI Director Louis Freeh told the Senate Judiciary Committee that in the majority of terrorist renditions, the United States acted with the cooperation of the government in whose jurisdiction the suspect was located. Freeh described the framework for what he considered a useful tool in the FBI’s arsenal for bringing suspected terrorists and criminals to justice in the United States:

The rendition process is governed by Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 77, which sets explicit requirements for initiating this method for returning terrorists to stand trial in the United States. Despite these stringent requirements, in recent years, the FBI has successfully used renditions to bring international terrorists and criminals to justice in the United States.

Because of the secretive nature of extraordinary renditions, little is known about the cases that pre-date September 11, 2001. It is not clear how many other persons were rendered to the United States for prosecution after 1998, and how many suspects were handed over to other governments by or with the assistance of the U.S. government in the decade prior to September 11. The House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the September 11th attacks claimed “dozens” of renditions took place before September 11, 2001, although it did not specify how many of those involved the transfer of a person to a country other than the United States:

Working with a wide array of foreign governments, CIA and FBI have helped deliver dozens of suspected terrorists to justice. CTC [Counterterrorist Center] officers responsible for the renditions program told the Joint Inquiry that, from 1987 to September 11, 2001, CTC was involved in the rendition of several dozen terrorists.

According to the testimony of George J. Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, before the 9/11 Commission, there were over 80 cases of extraordinary rendition prior to September 11, 2001. The CIA played the leading role in carrying out renditions, but other agencies such as the FBI may have been involved. Apparently, extraordinary renditions prior to 9/11 required review and approval by interagency groups led by the White House.

Several cases of pre 9/11 extraordinary renditions to third countries have been uncovered. One such case involves an Egpytian national named Tal`at Fu’ad Qassim, also known as Abu Talal al-Qasimi. Qassim, who was living in exile in Denmark where he had been granted political asylum, was apprehended in Croatia in 1995. Before his forced transfer to Egypt, Qassim was allegedly questioned aboard a U.S. navy vessel and handed over to Egyptian authorities in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. Because Qassim had already been tried and convicted in absentia by a military tribunal in 1992, he was not retried after his return to Egypt. Instead, the death sentence that he received after that trial was apparently carried out. He is believed to have been executed by the Egyptian government.

From the above, we see that the initial basis for rendition was the capture of suspects and their transfer into US custody, or the custody of whatever country in which the suspect was accused of having committed a crime, to face prosecution. It was their day in court, not their life in a dungeon, as has now become the case. You will note from the above that prior to Bush, renditions were conducted via interagency approval, supervised by the White House. You will note from the below that there is no longer any case-by-case review, but that CIA now has the power to "render" whomever, wherever, whenever, thanks to the new Bush version of rendition. Clearly, there is a substantial difference between what Clinton approved, and what Bush expanded it into. For example:

"The New York Times reported on March 6 that the Clinton administration enforced much greater oversight and tighter restrictions on renditions and generally used the practice to send suspects to a country where they would face criminal prosecutions, rather than solely to undergo interrogation, as the Bush administration has reportedly authorized.

Similarly, Jane Mayer reported in the February 14 edition of The New Yorker that the limited rendition program under President Clinton expanded after 9-11 "beyond recognition":

Rendition was originally carried out on a limited basis, but after September 11th, when President Bush declared a global war on terrorism, the program expanded beyond recognition -- becoming, according to a former C.I.A. official, "an abomination." What began as a program aimed at a small, discrete set of suspects -- people against whom there were outstanding foreign arrest warrants -- came to include a wide and ill-defined population that the Administration terms "illegal enemy combatants."

END QUOTE http://mediamatters.org/items/200503120002

To what extent did Bush alter the prior Presidential directives regarding rendition? Well, we don't know, because we're not allowed to know:

The Central Intelligence Agency has been implementing a secret program of transferring suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogation authorized by President George W. Bush, the New York Times said.

The CIA had been operating under a broad authority that allowed it to act without case-by-case approval from the White House, State or Justice Departments, the newspaper said, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Citing unnamed current and former government officials, it said the unusually expansive authority for the CIA to operate independently was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by Bush within days of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Tim's half-baked attempt to blame Clinton for Bush The Younger's excesses is interesting. By depicting their policies as identical or as equal, when they were and are two demonstrably different approaches designed to attain two demonstrably different results [prosecution versus torture], Tim inflates Clinton's culpability while diminishing Bush's. To be charitible, I will attribute this to his ignorance of the topic at hand. The alternative would be to conclude that Tim is a disingenuous propagandist with all the integrity of a carny huckster. I far prefer to consider Tim under-informed, rather than sociopathic a la Karl Rove.

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IOW the original concept of rendition (returning a suspect to the country where the crime was committed for prosecution) was properly named, the word rendition being based on the Latin reddere, "to return." But under the current fascist American regime, the name and the concept are now based simply on the word "rend," which means to split or tear apart or in pieces by violence, or to lacerate mentally or emotionally. A "return" has nothing to do with it, a person is simply handed over for rending, the location of same being determined solely by the American state and its alliance of torturers.

I hope this is helpful.

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Listening to George Bush making a speech is torture.

Mark:

Why would you even subject yourself to it? Since I do not believe a word that passes his lips I have not seen him speak since the debates. When I have on the news and he comes on I change the channel. I don't need to want to break my tv on a regular basis.

Dawn

I "keep up" by reading.

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