It's been called to my attention that the "Director of Public Affairs" (????) of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mark Mansfield, has written the following letter to the New York Times -- and in just a few words has exposed The Agency (The Company, as some refer to it, who are in the know ...) and its policy towards WAR CRIMES .. Here is the letter:
It is absurd to suggest that the C.I.A. has an interest in any process that would produce bad intelligence. To dismiss as “barbaric acts” a small, carefully run effort that has disrupted terrorist plots and saved innocent lives — and done so in accord with the law — is wrong and unfair.
The officers of the C.I.A. who put their lives on the line to gather intelligence on the terrorist threat — and are as committed as anyone to protecting American ideals — deserve better.
Director of Public Affairs
Central Intelligence Agency
McLean, Va., Jan. 3, 2008
Then I noticed that the PROJECTION in it is almost laughable. They are the ones being mistreated? I hardly think so!! But this is a repetitious pattern with Bushistas and Straussites (MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!) But when I contemplate this letter, and confer with my "legal adviser" certain things about it deserve some right good "nitpicking" - and the legal charade it attempts to present as "gospel" and "edict" should be exposed, word after bloody word, thought after sickening thought. I don't pretend my observations are all mine - I had plenty of help here. But perhaps the reader will stick this through and see the inconsistentancies and legal hole they put themselves in with this "letter to the editor". It was obviously meant for MASS CONSUMPTION.
I could wallpaper all my walls with pictures I have seen of all the torture of living things I have seen the BuZh administration. The imperial presidency, commandeered by a lot of power crazied zealots, has gotten itself up to many unsavory things during the past seven years. But I don't need to do place posters and etching on the walls; the images stay permanently etched in my mind's eye .. you know, that place we all inhabit that isn't material, but is the picture gallery our souls create. When I read what a person writes I am always looking for a visual clue to see if they "get" the mental picture of what they are writing about, or are they just into rationalization or mind games ...
The Department of Justice, the State Department, the Department of Defense, certainly the White House .. and that indefinable Fourth Branch of government that is comprised of Dick Cheney and his two gigantic walk-in Mosler safes whihc employees a staff of science fiction writers have all been totally devoid of real substantive humanity is seeing the soulless world they would like us to "inhabit".
Now it's the CIA ..
This obviously is the intent of the letter - to drag us all into the "land of the dead" or the land of the "willful" and above the law.
We are to inhabit the Land of the Legally Unaccountable with them. Only I'm not going there. I happen to know that assaults and torture on other individuals is illegal.
With a bit of deconstruction, their craziness CAN be done, if we pick apart the serious lack of depth in their ridiculous mental posturings and constructs.
So, thanks to my EXPERT LEGAL HELP I am going to deconstruct this letter line by line - in hopes that you'll stick it out and come to the same conclusion I have: These bloody fools must be restored to .. ready for it? ... the RULE OF LAW, the law that they are sworn to uphold because they are too mentally, emotionally and spiritually deficient to see TRUTH themselves.
There are first certain basic assumptions one gets knowing that the CIA has gone to the New York Times to file a COMPLAINT.
One is, that believe people might care to hear them, and
I have nothing to be ashamed of, and in this particular case, neither does the New York Times. The editors are up to some pretty good questions about the CIA and TORTURE these days .. and the DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE. And for that I rejoice; I've been reading that paper for over 40 years!! and they should be an impeccable guide to lawful behaviour.
First, let's take a look at Mr. Mansfield before I start addressing him directly.
Does anyone reading this remember the STAGED FEMA briefings, particularly as they related to FEMA failures to control the California wildfires - where a publically paid employee got up and read out "pre-planned" questions of a FEMA official, while POSING as a legitimate journalist?? Do you remember the public outcry?
This was such an indication of the low standard of public accountability that federal agencies have fallen into since BuZh took office. You know, that idea that whatever it takes to politicize federal bureaucracies, whatever it takes to justify their actions is perfectly ACCEPTABLE?
At least to their minds, until we "call" them on it.
Now, we see the CIA up to it.
Who'd a thought it would come to THIS, after the CIA itself wrote an outraged letter about the outting of Valerie Plame? I read that myself, and have a mental picture of it, and the signatories I read stored in that memory bank of my SOUL. I looked very carefully at each name (trying, sorry, to figure out how many were Anglo white guys, the truth be told ... )
Yet, NOW, after knowing that the CIA has committed WATERBOARDING, we are to accept the "truth" of the CIA in which they put forward their vantage point, without facing the public and being asked the hard (Helen Thomas-style, thank God for Helen!) questions, we're just to lap up their Geneva accord dodge without a refutation. Now, to that I say ... FOR SHAME!
just how far down have ETHICAL considerations/standards slipped at the CIA??
Also, you say in your re: that you are speaking for the entire CIA --
I sincerely doubt THAT. The CIA is no more monolithic (it's not the BORG!!) than any other federal agency. Plenty of CIA employees are HORRIFIED by the torture that was committed in the name of AMERICA, who after all is the legal entity accountable for the CIA's actions. More about that later ...
This is known as "spin" .. or worse, as PSYOPS, of which you may have done a class or two or a hundred during your time at the CIA.
The perception you are attempting to create is that we are to unquestionably accept YOUR version of events and a massive coverup attempt by the CIA. Perhaps you have come to feel that if you bat these ideas around enough times, we will come to accept the premise of your argument. But some of us know that there is law involved and are far from forgetting about it.
you are fully doing your job per the Geneva requirements.
While you don't "legally" have a "legal duty under the legal profession" to do something this does not mean that you can fail to do what you should as a public affairs person, so I ask you, Mr. Mansfield,
Just because an Agency lawyer or some Federalist Society or Bushista lawyer has told you something does not make it TRUE.
So my next questions, Mr. Mansfield, are these:
Are you aware that a precedent for prosecuting lawyers who failed to enforce the laws of war exists??
Have you heard of "Justice Trials"??
I know of the roles of liaision officers - I dealt with that during my refugee case. (In my case, it was Sheila Foster Anthony - the liason from the DoJ to Congress under Reno in 1994, or so it is PRESUMED .. I got some rather different information about that this past year when doing some snooping.) In my case, this became necessary as the DoJ denied me the right to legal remedies of any kind, and thus the case was brought there. A court of law RULED, fairly, in 1997, that indeed the Solicitor General could not be relied on to whom I could make appeal, and the Europa World Book stated that distinctly. Therefore, the legal opinion of the Congressional Liasion was relied on. I would assume you are able to make these types of distinctions yourself/yourselves .. and go for the best legal counsel.
So, I ask you Mr. Mansfield,
from which branch of government did they hail??
and were they the APPROPRIATE legal authority for the
oversight of the CIA??
Why do you misconstrue the NYT concerns?
No, it is a legitimate LEASH on United States (and other nations') INTERROGATORS. It is a leash and it is legally binding, whether it suits the Agency's fancy or not. It is illegal because waterboarding (and other practices as yet not determined - certain emails and tapes disappeared) is indeed torture and is a violation of Geneva. CIA personnel are REQUIRED TO FOLLOW the RULES. It does not matter one whit whether the US or other nations enforce them; the CIA must enforce them as necessary.
As you are aware, being so intune with the law, as you state, there is an Italian court finding that the rendition-kidnapping in Italy was -- determined to be illegal.
The CIA fails to discuss rendition, how the prisoners were captured, or whether the prisoners were or were not lawfully moved prior to their torture. They were not.
Did you understand them?
If you did, why are you writing this FRIVOLOUS, and misleading letter to the New York Times??
"The interrogation methods the C.I.A. has employed over the years have been closely reviewed by lawyers and others in the executive branch, and they have been briefed to our oversight committees in Congress. That is a fact."
What a lawyer says doesn't make it legal.
I'll say it plainly, unlawyerly - violations of Geneva set up the citizenry for attack, reprisals and revenge. Chalmers Johnson refers to it as "blowback". I refer to it as "normal behavior" given the circumstances. Better safe than sorry. The United States "sets itself up" for attack by violating the rules of war. Is it now the "policy" of the Central Intelligence Agency to make the United States population terrified of a nuclear war day after day? Has politicization gone this far?
can your mind fully conceive the untenable position
the CIA has placed America in,
a nation subscribed to standards of behavior
written into an international instrument(s)
written to protect those who signed it
and the future generations which followed ??
Can you see that by avoiding "documentation"
of the violations, you have set in motion
a series of potentially disastrous events??
Telling Congress something is going on is not the same as proving to court that the prisoners were or were not treated per the Geneva requirements. They were not, as evidenced by Addington's concern about moving prisoners -- if we moved them, it would implicitly mean the original treatment was not lawful. Perhaps, Mr. Mansfield, in your job capacity, you don't understand Congressional oversight, nor checks and balances .. but your CIA manual surely points out that following Geneva is absolutely right and necessary.
"It is absurd to suggest that the C.I.A. has an interest in any process that would produce bad intelligence."
This is a sleight of hand: by shifting attention from Geneva standards, and focusing on the "accuracy" of the information you were divert us from noticing what is happening.
Fears produce stress states, not always possible to understand. If one thinks they are going to DIE, in which case, the human being will choose to fight or to flee. The only other alternative to those is to communicate IF one thinks he can be understood. But torture practices precludes any such possibility! There one is master and the other slave - slave to the whims of the torturers. The tortured person is an unwilling participant in a status degradation ritual which he will react to with total fear, terror, horror and dread. To find coping strategies to survive while facing down the CIA torturers, while trying to stay alive - will not produce ANYTHING approaching reliable information!!
How do I know? I was locked in a room with DoJ employees for four and one half hours one day back in 1994 .. an experience never to be forgotten (in fact, I have ALL 17 symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder as a result .. permanently). And I can tell you, if you have imagination failure that, unequivocably, to protect my children by staying alive, I would have said or done just about anything someone told me to do until I felt SAFE. Nothing I did was the least bit reliable since my mind just could not process the terror. There was no one watching, no one following the LAW - I had already been assaulted when I realized I could be killed and it would all be covered up. It simply could not deal with the moment and my body betrayed me totally at the time (and still does with the right stimulous, like looking at torture photographs!)
There is NO WAY that CIA interrogation techniques (TORTURE) is going to produce a good result - I am a pro on this. I KNOW. And I'll also say this; torturers, those that would torture, are a special breed who do NOT inspire respect, honesty or cooperation from ANYONE, sane or otherwise - sickening or not. And what's worse, they represent a subculture that breeds upon itself, as torture scholars are showing. The practice of torture always becomes a thing unto itself; a form of collective insanity. It should never be "justified" - legal, small or socially accepted by a small class of government cronies inside the Beltway or anywhere else.
Next, in your imitable way, you state:
To dismiss as “barbaric acts” a small, carefully run effort that has disrupted terrorist plots and saved innocent lives — and done so in accord with the law -- that is both wrong and unfair.You miss the point of Geneva. Let's me be redundant -- it is a leash on the CIA and US.
Neither I, nor any thinking person can PROVE that torture "has" disrupted plots; or "saved" innocent lives as you so strategically contend.
WHO was going to ensure it was
"small and well run" ..
Again, it doesn't matter that the "intelligence gathering process" was occurring; the issue is whether the POWs were or were not treated per Geneva. They were not.
"Committed to protecting American ideals" is pure, unadulterated claptrap, again under the circumstances of your Agency irresponsiblity, hardly surprising.
exactly what an idealistic person who LOVES America would do
if they were to uphold the Constitution --
what living by IDEALS would involve??
"Ideals" includes a legal requirement to abide by all treaties, including Geneva.
No bombing of buildings, not even an attack on the (sanctified?) Pentagon can "justify" breaking the restraints of Geneva. Not even the deaths of over 3,000 people in a single act of terror can justify the breaking of the rule of law. In fact, viewed properly it is a very strong argument for absolutely ensuring that such violations do not in fact occur; otherwise, barbarism rules. The LAWS and regulations are for The Agency's protection as well - lest you forget.
didn't bring credit upon the CIA or the US, did they??
why should the US public, lawyers, or war crimes prosecutors
-- much less the media --
give the CIA officers what the CIA refused to give to the POWs:
Let us both but HOPE that no nation attacks the United States during this period while we wait for real justice. It is the CIA's job to ensure that we do not. A good thorough acceptance of legal responsibility is a necessary step.