September 26, 2008

Oh! Oh! Rice admits POW Abuse Plans

Rice Confirms WH, Senior US Leadership Linked With Alleged Illegal 2003 POW Abuse Plans

The Senate Armed Services Committee held hearings on the POW interrogation planning. Secretary of State Rice in written responses to the Senate Armed Services Committee disclosed 2003-era meetings discussing POW treatment.

Levin: "These were the most senior officials in the United States government, advisors to the President, meeting in the White House."
Senator Levin lists others connected with this alleged POW abuse planning: Rumsfeld, Chertoff, John Yoo, Tenet, Gonzalez, Ashcroft, and other White House and NSC legal advisers. (The referenced ten (10) tabs in Levin's opening statement are not the same as in the SASC25 tabs, from the first round of hearings on POW interrogation planning.)

Geneva prohibits all POW abuse, and this legal requirement applies to the United States as a detaining power, regardless the status of the POWs.
Senator Levin: In a written response to questions I sent her in July 2008, Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice, who was then the National Security Advisor
to the President, responded on September 12th that, in 2002 and 2003 there were meetings at the White House where specific CIA interrogation techniques were discussed. [TAB 3]
Congress needs to explain why it took five (5) years to gather this evidence of the planned abuse of POWs in violation of the laws of war.

The Department of Defense provided interrogation training with the premise the prisoners were unlawful combatants. This is irrelevant. Geneva imposes on the United States, as a detaining power, the legal obligation to treat all prisoners humanely.

The testimony shows the military personnel discussed their legal concerns with legal counsel:
Colonel Moulton (retired): [In late July or early August 2003] I asked Lt Col Kleinman what the legal status of the detainees was and what techniques the [Task Force] wanted to see demonstrated. I was told that the detainees were designated unlawful combatants and that the techniques being requested were ones used by [Joint Personnel Recovery Agency] personnel during Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) training.
Recently the Psychological Association supported a petition imposing restrictions on members interacting with similar interrogations. The wording merely affirms an existing legal standard under the laws of war: Complicity with POW abuse is not lawul or permitted:
APA: "[P]sychologists may not work in settings where “persons are held outside of, or in violation of, either International Law (e.g., the UN Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions) or the US Constitution (where appropriate), unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights”.
Nuremberg clearly established the legal duty of all civilians, not just doctors to not engage in war crimes. Once civilians participate in war crimes they loose their protected status under the Geneva Conventions and become legitimate military targets during armed conflict.

Despite this risk of lawful attack, American civilians are alleged to have have ignored the threat of death during combat, and knowingly supported and engaged in alleged illegal war crimes planning.

The gaps in medical ethics should not have existed. APA must explain why its existing ethics standards did not adequately meet the legal requirements under Nuremberg; and why this revision was required.

The APA restriction relates to psychologists allegedly assisting with interrogation planning:
TPMM: Two SERE-affiliated psychologists, Bruce Jessen and James Elmer Mitchell, assisted the CIA in "reverse-engineering" the SERE training received by U.S. forces in order to determine what coercive techniques would successfully break an al-Qaeda detainee.
Rice's Attorney disclosed a planning meeting at the Presidential level in the White House or Old Executive Office bulding:
Senator Levin: Her legal advisor at the time, John Bellinger, said in his September
12th written answers to my questions that he was present in meetings at
the White House or the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
“at which
SERE training was discussed.” [TAB 4]
The war crimes conference discussed which sanctions should be imposed on legal counsel for their failure to fully enforce the laws of war; and not remove themselves from this alleged illegal war crimes planning. Among the recommended actions include disbarment and prosecution of legal counsel for violations of the Geneva Conventions.

These legal consequences can be broadly applied to any and all civilians who have, in effect, breached their legal obligations under Geneva. It is an open question whether foreign powers do or do not enforce Geneva against American civilians who have engaged in war crimes.

Russian combat forces could be directed against American civilians and other personnel in Poland and Eastern Europe for their alleged complicity with the alleged war crimes.

Geneva Violations Strains NATO, US Military

Russia sits on the Polish border. The United States is more than 5,000 miles away. Russia in Georgia demonstrated it has superior military weapons, and can easily defeat the outdated NATO defense systems.

Eastern European countries (former Warsaw Pact allies of Russia) after joining NATO have focused their military programs on counter-terrorism, not on developing conventional military forces the US requires to hide war criminals from justice.

NATO does not have the military capability to defend itself against Russia's lawful use of force to punish American civilians in Eastern Europe who have breached the laws of war.

Russia has expanded its patrols along the Alaskan border, and has increased its military cooperation with Venezuela. The increased Russian presence along the United States means the United States cannot fully dedicate all US military forces to the bungled military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Congressional failure to enforce Geneva means the Congress has been complicit with reckless military decisions and strains on military forces.

Congress in failing to enforce the laws of war, sent a green light to the President to expand a reckless camp aign, further straining American military forces, and leaving the United States exposed to military attack.

The domestic enemies are in Congress, in denial about their Geneva obligations. Members of Congress can be prosecuted under the laws of war.

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