THE EMERGENCY STATE

Apr 19

CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend 'enhanced interrogation' | World news | The Guardian -

"The psychologist regarded as the architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program has broken a seven-year silence to defend the use of torture techniques against al-Qaida terror suspects in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

In an uncompromising and wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, his first public remarks since he was linked to the program in 2007, James Mitchell was dismissive of a Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture in which he features, and which is currently at the heart of an intense row between legislators and the agency.”

Terror Watch Lists Run Amok - NYTimes.com -

"A 2007 audit found that more than half of the 71,000 names then on the no-fly list were wrongly included. In a recently unredacted portion of his January ruling, Judge Alsup noted that in 2009 the government added Dr. Ibrahim back to its central terrorist-screening database under a “secret exception” to its own standard of proof. This would be laughable if it weren’t such a violation of basic rights. A democratic society premised on due process and open courts cannot tolerate such behavior."

Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals - NYTimes.com -

"As a contractor working with the defense team at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the man was bound by the same confidentiality rules as a lawyer. But the agents wanted to talk.

They asked questions, lawyers say, about the legal teams for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists who will eventually stand trial before a military tribunal at Guantánamo. Before they left, the agents asked the contractor to sign an agreement promising not to tell anyone about the conversation.

With that signature, Mr. bin al-Shibh’s lawyers say, the government turned a member of their team into an F.B.I. informant.”

Apr 17

Spying at the N.Y.P.D. - NYTimes.com -

"After Sept. 11, however, the Police Department embraced the view that constitutionally protected activity could itself be seen as a precursor to terrorism and an excuse for peering into people’s lives. This led inevitably to a broad spying program that seemed to make Muslim groups subject to surveillance and infiltration even when there were no grounds for them or any connection to illegal conduct."

Apr 16

Rand Paul: Foreign policy is no place for ‘red lines’ - The Washington Post -

"If, after World War II, we had preemptively announced that containment of nuclear powers would never be considered, the United States would have trapped itself into nuclear confrontations with Russia, China, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

I believe all options should be on the table to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, including the military option. I have voted repeatedly for sanctions against Iran and will continue to do so. But I will also continue to argue that war is a last resort and that, as Reagan wrote, we should be reluctant to go to war but resolved to do so if necessary.

Should war become necessary, the American people through their representatives must debate and deliberate the pros and cons of action and not be trapped into a predetermined response based on a resolution passed without debate or discussion.

The Constitution reserved the power to declare war to Congress, and when contemplating war, words are critical.”

General and Former Defense Official Urge Nonlethal Military Aid for Ukraine - NYTimes.com -

"“Implementation of U.S. nonlethal military aid is seriously flawed and needs immediate correction,” Gen. Wesley K. Clark and Phillip A. Karber wrote in a copy of the report that The New York Times obtained on Tuesday. General Clark, who is retired, is the former NATO commander who led the alliance’s forces during the 1998 Kosovo conflict, and Mr. Karber is a former strategy adviser to Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger. "

Apr 15

Testimony From Britain May Be Used in Terror Trial - NYTimes.com -

"Judge Forrest wrote that she had concluded that Mr. Badat’s testimony was material and relevant to the charges, and that she would not “second-guess” the government’s decision not to grant him “safe passage.”"

Marathon Bombing Suspect Waits in Isolation - NYTimes.com -

" The restrictions are reserved for inmates considered to pose the greatest threat to others — even though, privately, federal officials say there is little of substance to suggest that Mr. Tsarnaev, 20, and his brother Tamerlan were anything but isolated, homegrown terrorists. A court order bars his legal advisers and family from disclosing anything he has told or written them."

Apr 14

Two Nations, Related by Fear - NYTimes.com -

"Conveniently for both governments, stripping these men of their nationality meant that the obligations on British authorities to stand up for them had dissolved; a noncitizen gets no consular demands for access to him or information on where he has been taken, nor even an inquest into his death. In the House of Lords debate last week, Baroness Helena Kennedy demanded to know whether the purpose of enhancing the citizenship-stripping powers was to ensure “that we might be able to do things that make people vulnerable and deny them their rights, creating yet more black holes where no law obtains.” This was not a question to which the government minister in attendance responded."

Apr 13

A Loyal Soldier Doesn’t Deserve This - NYTimes.com -

The ignored and neglected veterans of politically orphaned undeclared wars - welcome to the emergency state. - David C. Unger

"Mike signed up to join the Army a month after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 as an act of patriotism. “I wanted to go to war and do my part,” he said. I first wrote about him two years ago in a column about the apparent suicide of his younger brother, Ryan Yurchison, who had looked up to Mike and signed up for the Army after he did.

Then a bit more than a month ago, I heard from Cheryl DeBow, the mother of Ryan and Mike.

“I am fearing I may lose my other son as well,” Ms. DeBow tells me, speaking of Mike. “It it’s becoming déjà vu and truly scares me.”

When Mike went to war he was, like Ryan, strong and healthy. So when he returned, Ms. DeBow couldn’t believe the difference. “When he got off the plane from Iraq, his body was shaking and so stiff when I went to hug him,” she said. “It’s as if he wasn’t there.”

He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. (Of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have been treated by the V.A., 55 percent have been diagnosed with a mental disorder.) He says that military doctors prescribed anxiety medication and painkillers that left him addicted to opiates.”