The Case for Prosecution of Dick Cheney, George Bush and Co.

There is rarely joy to be found in prosecution. This process of holding someone accountable is loaded with frustration from the get go. But without holding people accountable for their actions, we might as well scrap any pretense of justice or rule of law.

In the past 8 years we have seen violations of the fundamental standards of American values, whether they were ever real or simply imagined. In the name of national defense the administration and their enablers in the Congress eroded the fundamental constitutional standards that define this democratic experiment. The Bush Administration lobbied to go to war on a country that had never attacked the U.S., authorized torture of detainees, allowed extraordinary rendition of suspects, wasted billions of dollars to hide its crimes and mistakes, wiretapped citizens, journalists, soldiers calling their families, non-profits, politicized the Department of Justice, outed a CIA officer and her colleagues operations, threatened countries who didn’t run lock-step, and continuously lied about these actions when directly asked to own up to them.

This isn’t about political comfort. This isn’t a partisan effort. There is no monopoly on justice that says only Republicans get to uphold the law or you must be a Democrat if you are trying to hold the former administration accountable. Already people who are loyal to the former administration resort to the meme, “you’re just a Bush hater” or “just because you hate Dick Cheney”. This sort of invective does nothing to explain why they should not be prosecuted, but attempts to attack the messenger and the prosecution. It is also nothing new under the sun.

Below is the account from Dick Cheney who clearly states that he was involved in the authorization of water boarding. Water boarding is a crime that has already been adjudicated. And despite the repeated obfuscation by Alberto Gonzalez and Michael Mukasey, water boarding is torture and has already resulted in prison terms for U.S. soldiers convicted after Vietnam, a Texas Sheriff, and the incarceration and execution of Japanese officers after WWII. It is prohibited by International Law, by U.S. statute, and been demonstrated as ineffective.

Dick Cheney already admitted to his role in authorizing water boarding. This was the first account where he demonstrated his role. We will be laying out the information related to his actions and distortions of legalities and the public record.

Proponents of this technique use a variety of red herring arguments that do not change the legal argument one iota. Some will tell you that our soldiers go through waterboarding in S.E.R.E program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape). They do not mention that the whole purpose of S.E.R.E. is to help our soldiers survive torture, evade capture, resist enemy, and then escape. That soldiers go through this program does not change the legal framework of waterboarding and does not make it a tolerable offense against detainees or suspects.

If we are to restore this country to any level of integrity or move it to a sound standing in the world, we must prosecute those who engaged in criminal wrong doing and expose their actions instead of “moving on”.

6 Responses to “The Case for Prosecution of Dick Cheney, George Bush and Co.”

  • im4wur Says:

    How An Earlier “Patriot Act” Law Brought Down A President – by Thom Hartmann (reposted with permission)

    Many Americans are suggesting that the Patriot Act (and its proposed “improvements” in Patriot II) is totally new in the experience of America and may spell the end of both democracy and the Bill of Rights. History, however, shows another view, which offers us both warnings and hope.

    Although you won’t learn much about it from reading the “Republican histories” of the Founders being published and promoted in the corporate media these days, the most notorious stain on the presidency of John Adams began in 1798 with the passage of a series of laws startlingly similar to the Patriot Act.

    It started when Benjamin Franklin Bache, grandson of Benjamin Franklin and editor of the Philadelphia newspaper the Aurora, began to speak out against the policies of then-President John Adams. Bache supported Vice President Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party (today called the Democratic Party) when John Adams led the conservative Federalists (who today would be philosophically identical to GOP Republicans). Bache attacked Adams in an op-ed piece by calling the president “old, querulous, Bald, blind, crippled, Toothless Adams.”

    To be sure, Bache wasn’t the only one attacking Adams in 1798. His Aurora was one of about 20 independent newspapers aligned with Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans, and many were openly questioning Adams’ policies and ridiculing Adams’ fondness for formality and grandeur.

    On the Federalist side, conservative newspaper editors were equally outspoken. Noah Webster wrote that Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans were “the refuse, the sweepings of the most depraved part of mankind from the most corrupt nations on earth.” Another Federalist characterized the Democratic-Republicans as “democrats, momocrats and all other kinds of rats,” while Federalist newspapers worked hard to turn the rumor of Jefferson’s relationship with his deceased wife’s half-sister, slave Sally Hemmings, into a full-blown scandal.

    But while Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans had learned to develop a thick skin, University of Missouri-Rolla history professor Larry Gragg points out in an October 1998 article in American History magazine that Bache’s writings sent Adams and his wife into a self-righteous frenzy. Abigail wrote to her husband and others that Benjamin Franklin Bache was expressing the “malice” of a man possessed by Satan. The Democratic-Republican newspaper editors were engaging, she said, in “abuse, deception, and falsehood,” and Bache was a “lying wretch.”

    Abigail insisted that her husband and Congress must act to punish Bache for his “most insolent and abusive” words about her husband and his administration. His “wicked and base, violent and calumniating abuse” must be stopped, she demanded.

    Abigail Adams followed the logic employed by modern-day “conservatives” who call the administration “the government” and say that those opposed to an administration’s policies are “unpatriotic,” by writing that Bache’s “abuse” being “leveled against the Government” of the United States (her husband) could even plunge the nation into a “civil war.”

    Worked into a frenzy by Abigail Adams’ and Federalist newspapers of the day, Federalist senators and congressmen – who controlled both legislative houses along with the presidency – came to the defense of John Adams by passing a series of four laws that came to be known together as the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    The vote was so narrow – 44 to 41 in the House of Representatives – that in order to ensure passage the lawmakers wrote a sunset provision into its most odious parts: Those laws, unless renewed, would expire the last day of John Adams’ first term of office, March 3, 1801.

    Empowered with this early version of the Patriot Act, President John Adams ordered his “unpatriotic” opponents arrested, and specified that only Federalist judges on the Supreme Court would be both judges and jurors.

    Bache, often referred to as “Lightning Rod Junior” after his famous grandfather, was the first to be hauled into jail (before the laws even became effective!), followed by New York Time Piece editor John Daly Burk, which put his paper out of business. Bache died of yellow fever while awaiting trial, and Burk accepted deportation to avoid imprisonment and then fled.

    Others didn’t avoid prison so easily. Editors of seventeen of the twenty or so Democratic-Republican-affiliated newspapers were arrested, and ten were convicted and imprisoned; many of their newspapers went out of business.

    Bache’s successor, William Duane (who both took over the newspaper and married Bache’s widow), continued the attacks on Adams, publishing in the June 24, 1799 issue of the Aurora a private letter John Adams had written to Tench Coxe in which then-Vice President Adams admitted that there were still men influenced by Great Britain in the U.S. government. The letter cast Adams in an embarrassing light, as it implied that Adams himself may still have British loyalties (something suspected by many, ever since his pre-revolutionary defense of British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre), and made the quick-tempered Adams furious.

    Imprisoning his opponents in the press was only the beginning for Adams, though. Knowing Jefferson would mount a challenge to his presidency in 1800, he and the Federalists hatched a plot to pass secret legislation that would have disputed presidential elections decided “in secret” and “behind closed doors.”

    Duane got evidence of the plot, and published it just after having published the letter that so infuriated Adams. It was altogether too much for the president who didn’t want to let go of his power: Adams had Duane arrested and hauled before Congress on Sedition Act charges. Duane would have stayed in jail had not Thomas Jefferson intervened, letting Duane leave to “consult his attorney.” Duane went into hiding until the end of the Adams’ presidency.

    Emboldened, the Federalists reached out beyond just newspaper editors.

    When Congress let out in July of 1798, John and Abigail Adams made the trip home to Braintree, Massachusetts in their customary fashion – in fancy carriages as part of a parade, with each city they passed through firing cannons and ringing church bells. (The Federalists were, after all, as Jefferson said, the party of “the rich and the well born.” Although Adams wasn’t one of the super-rich, he basked in their approval and adopted royal-like trappings, later discarded by Jefferson.)

    As the Adams family entourage, full of pomp and ceremony, passed through Newark, New Jersey, a man named Luther Baldwin was sitting in a tavern and probably quite unaware that he was about to make a fateful comment that would help change history.

    As Adams rode by, soldiers manning the Newark cannons loudly shouted the Adams-mandated chant, “Behold the chief who now commands!” and fired their salutes. Hearing the cannon fire as Adams drove by outside the bar, in a moment of drunken candor Luther Baldwin said, “There goes the President and they are firing at his arse.” Baldwin further compounded his sin by adding that, “I do not care if they fire thro’ his arse!”

    The tavern’s owner, a Federalist named John Burnet, overheard the remark and turned Baldwin in to Adams’ thought police: The hapless drunk was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for uttering “seditious words tending to defame the President and Government of the United States.”

    The Alien and Sedition Acts reflected the new attitude Adams and his wife had brought to Washington D.C. in 1796, a take-no-prisoners type of politics in which no opposition was tolerated.

    For example, on January 30, 1798, Vermont’s Congressman Matthew Lyon spoke out on the floor of the House against “the malign influence of Connecticut politicians.” Charging that Adams’ and the Federalists only served the interests of the rich and had “acted in opposition to the interests and opinions of nine-tenths of their constituents,” Lyon infuriated the Federalists.

    The situation simmered for two weeks, and on the morning of February 15, 1798, Federalist anger reached a boiling point when conservative Connecticut Congressman Roger Griswold attacked Lyon on the House floor with a hickory cane. As Congressman George Thatcher wrote in a letter now held at the Massachusetts Historical Society, “Mr. Griswald [sic] [was] laying on blows with all his might upon Mr. Lyon.. Griswald.continued his blows on the head, shoulder, & arms of Lyon, [who was] protecting his head & face as well as he could. Griswald tripped Lyon & threw him on the floor & gave him one or two [more] blows in the face.”

    In sharp contrast to his predecessor George Washington, America’s second president had succeeded in creating an atmosphere of fear and division in the new republic, and it brought out the worst in his conservative supporters. Across the new nation, Federalist mobs and Federalist-controlled police and militia attacked Democratic-Republican newspapers and shouted down or threatened individuals who dared speak out in public against John Adams.

    Even members of Congress were not legally immune from the long arm of Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts. When Congressman Lyon – already hated by the Federalists for his opposition to the law, and recently caned in Congress by Federalist Roger Griswold – wrote an article pointing out Adams’ “continual grasp for power” and suggesting that Adams had an “unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice,” Federalists convened a federal grand jury and indicted Congressman Lyon for bringing “the President and government of the United States into contempt.”

    Lyon, who had served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, was led through the town of Vergennes, Vermont in shackles. He ran for re-election from his 12×16-foot Vergennes jail cell and handily won his seat. “It is quite a new kind of jargon,” Lyon wrote from jail to his constituents, “to call a Representative of the People an Opposer of the Government because he does not, as a legislator, advocate and acquiesce in every proposition that comes from the Executive.”

    Which brings us to today. The possible ray of light for those who oppose the attempts of George W. Bush to emulate John Adams is found in the end of the story of Adams’ attempt to suborn the Bill of Rights and turn the United States into a one-party state:

    * The Alien and Sedition Acts caused the Democratic-Republican newspapers to become more popular than ever, and turned the inebriated Luther Baldwin into a national celebrity. In like fashion, progressive websites and talk shows are today proliferating across the internet, and victims of no-fly laws and illegal arrests at anti-Bush rallies are often featured on the web and on radio programs like Democracy Now.

    * The day Adams signed the Acts, Thomas Jefferson left town in protest. Even though Jefferson was Vice President, and could theoretically benefit from using the Acts against his own political enemies, he and James Madison continued to protest and work against them. Jefferson wrote the text for a non-binding resolution against the Acts that was adopted by the Kentucky legislature, and James Madison wrote one for Virginia that was adopted by that legislature. Today, in similar fashion, over 100 communities across America have adopted resolutions against Bush’s Patriot Act, and, in the spirit of Matthew Lyon, Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation to repeal parts of the Act.

    * Jefferson beat Adams in the election of 1800 as a wave of voter revulsion over Adams’ phony and self-serving “patriotism” swept over the nation (along with concerns about Adams’ belligerent war rhetoric against the French). Today, even a minor appearance by Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich – both on record for repealing much or all of the Patriot Act – draws a large crowd. There’s a growing conviction across the nation that Dean – or possibly another non-DLC Democrat – can defeat Bush in 2004.

    * When Jefferson exposed Adams as a poseur and tool of the powerful elite, the rot within Adams’ Federalist Party was exposed along with it. The Federalists lost their hold on Congress in the election of 1800, and began a 30-year slide into total disintegration (later to be reincarnated as Whigs and then as Republicans). Today, as the Tom Delay and Roy Blount bribery scandals widen, tax cuts for the rich are understood for what they are, and the corporate takeover of America is alarming average citizens, the rot in the Republican Party is more and more obvious. Americans are demanding representation for We, The People, and non-DLC Democrats, Greens, and Progressives can offer it.

    * In what came to be known as “The Revolution of 1800” or “The Second American Revolution,” Thomas Jefferson freed all the men imprisoned by Adams as one of his first acts of office. Jefferson even reimbursed the fines they’d paid – with interest – and granted them a formal pardon and apology. Today, undoing the Patriot Act and kicking corporate money out of Washington D.C. have become popular progressive and Democratic campaign themes.

    The history of John Adams’ failed presidency gives hope and encouragement to those committed to real democracy and genuine freedom. History shows that when enough people become politically active, they can rescue the soul of America from sliding into a corrupt, abusive police state.

    The future of our nation is now at risk just as much as it was in 1800: It’s time to wake up and work to elect and empower politicians interested in real democracy. If we’re successful, America may experience a revival every bit as extraordinary as that brought about by Jefferson’s Second American Revolution.

    Thom Hartmann (thom at is the author of over a dozen books, including “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights” and “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” and the host of a nationally syndicated daily radio talk show. This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.

  • im4wur Says:

    Why is it necessary to circumvent FISA?

    What’s to keep warrantless wiretaps from being abused (as the following article and videos attest is already happening):

    “Warrantless Wiretapping Whistleblower Thomas Tamm Interview” – ( )

    from ABC News: ‘Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.’

    “These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.’

    ‘Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”

    ‘Another intercept operator, former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk, 39, said he and his fellow intercept operators listened into hundreds of Americans picked up using phones in Baghdad’s Green Zone from late 2003 to November 2007.”

    ‘Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.’

    “Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News.’

    ‘Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall’s “smoke pit,” but ended up feeling badly about his actions. “I feel that it was something that the people should not have done. Including me,” he said.’

    ‘The accounts of the two former intercept operators, who have never met and did not know of the other’s allegations, provide the first inside look at the day to day operations of the huge and controversial US terrorist surveillance program.’

    Source for the above text: ABC News – article titled: “Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans
    U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers” – Oct. 9, 2008

    btw, below ia another excellent video on what the warrentless wiretaps are really capturing (and what is being done with innocent American’s private phone conversations).

    “Spies on the line? Brian Ross interview of David Murfee Faulk and Adrienne Kinne” – ( )

  • im4wur Says:

    Cheney can whitewash this however he chooses, but the fact is after WW II the U.S. prosecuted Japanese for “water-boarding” prisoners. Is he claiming that the level of criminality is different because he authorized it?

  • im4wur Says:

    If the BushCo administration doesn’t think they sanctioned torture. Then why did they feel it necessary to add a provision in the 2006 Military Commissions Act to give immunity to Americans who torture?

    Btw, the 2006 MCA was rushed through Congress (and passed) just before the 2006 elections (while the GOP still controlled Congress).

    “What are we becoming?”

  • im4wur Says:

    Naomi Wolf
    March 3, 2009
    John Yoo’s Legal Groundwork for Subverting the Republic

    “If history gets this recent era right, future textbooks will have to show that the US narrowly averted a carefully planned but thorough and unmistakable conspiracy to subvert the rule of law and the process of democracy from 2001-2008. For three years, since writing End of America, I have been arguing that the Bush team sought irretrievably to subvert our liberty. Fortunately, this appalling and conceivably irrevocable subversion of the tenets of freedom was narrowly averted by citizens at every level — from the grassroots to the courts — resisting in time. But the release this week by the Justice Department of the “secret memos” sought valiantly by the ACLU confirms that Bush’s legal architects were building up the framework for something even scarier than our most anguished projections.”

    “You can see the documents themselves online (available here: )– but, as usual, there is a gap between the cautious journalistic interpretation of the event and the dense legalese in which they are written, and no one yet has really explained to citizens who are not attorneys what these memos claimed to give Bush the right to do. This is my initial reading of these documents:

    Most dramatically, one memo asserts that Bush can deploy the military within the United States — all of the military if he so wishes — overriding Posse Comitatus, which has kept us safe from military policing for over a century. As many heard me warn in October and November of last year, when the first troops were sent to US streets, history shows that once the military is deployed domestically to “keep order” in a civil society, it is over. This memo is especially galling, since last fall’s red alert from us was met with alarm by citizens but by ridicule by mainstream media outlets. Turns out we were right. This `deployment’ memo proves that Bush indeed, as we feared, wanted the power to deploy military for domestic policing purposes, a mission that Northcom spokesmen denied — apparently falsely — when a few critics from non-mainstream platforms raised the alarm last November about the deployment of the First Brigade from Iraq to the US. This memo shows that Bush sought the power to deploy any number of U.S. military into the U.S. itself for any reason he chose; direct them to rip through your home without a warrant, even if you have not been charged with anything; seize material and documents; and even gave Bush the power to use deadly force against you — yes, you, innocent US citizen — “in self-defense.” In your homes and streets — not on a faraway battlefield. Major David Antoon confirmed that this power — to send US military to control, arrest and even shoot US civilians in self-defense — was in Bush’s hands last fall when I asked Antoon about it. Turns out this memo shows Bush indeed wanted to have that power.”

    “Another memo would give the power to Bush — at his discretion — to close down or censor newspapers, radio and the Internet – override the First Amendment in the interest of “national security.” So if he had deployed, say, ten brigades — 37,000 warriors — in key cities (he deployed three before the election and 20,000 are due to be deployed domestically by 2012 unless we stop it), you would not be able to hear about it through the news media if he invoked this power to suspend free speech. And if you protested — if you dared — well, his actions would have been — thanks to John Yoo and others, who will go down in history along with the criminal Nuremberg lawyers as one of Satan’s willing attorneys — perfectly legal.”

    “Yet another memo gives Bush not only the right to call any US citizen an “enemy combatant” and hold him or her indefinitely – a danger we knew about, and one that we have tried hard to alert citizens to, a warning that has seemingly penetrated collective consciousness. The newly released memo demonstrates that was the very surface of the powers over US citizens Bush claimed. For three years when I have cautioned citizens about this power Bush invoked to seize US citizens as “enemy combatants” I reassured them that he did not yet have the power to torture US citizens, “only” drive them mad through prolonged isolation in a navy brig. Well, this memo asserts Bush’s right to do whatever he wants to innocent US citizens in this kind of custody, and rejects the notion that Congress would have any role in how US citizens are held or treated — say, by the hypothetically deployed military – on US soil. It seems also to claim the right to hold innocent US citizens in domestic military custody while Bush has the right to do anything he wants to them. Anything he wants. Remember this is an administration in which Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney have now been proven by Jameel Jaffer’s revelations in Administration of Torture to have known about and okay’d not just waterboarding as a policy but ok’d the discretion for interrogators to use tactics such as electrodes attached to genitals, sexual assault, threats against family members, suffocation, the beating of prisoners’ legs to “pulp,” and in some cases the covering up of their murders. This memo gives Bush the authority to do those things if he wants to innocent US citizens.”

    “Still another memo gives Bush the right to ignore any international treaties — to take over any country, say, or render and citizen anywhere, and do whatever he wants to the citizens of any country against any law, without consent of Congress.”

    “The Washington Post called these memos “legal errors.” We need to stare them in the face and understand them: they are evidence that the groundwork was laid out that gave the president the legal power effectively subvert the Republic. We need to understand the full darkness of what we narrowly escaped — for now, our work is hardly begun. We need to build these lessons into our history and to use the terror they represent to dismantle the last of Bush’s evil legacy — a legacy that could have been activated by any US president in the future, including Obama or McCain — and see these memos for what they are: the revealed architecture of an intended edifice of what amounts to treason again our republic and against all of us, regardless of belief, station of life, or political party.”

  • im4wur Says:

    Documents By Chronology:
    The attacks on September 11, 2001 were the catalyst for the “war on terror”– and for a legal revolution in assertions of broad powers for the Commander-in-Chief. In this chronological library of 34 documents, it is possible to chart the decision-making that led to interrogations of prisoners in U.S. custody that were “at a minimum, cruel and inhuman treatment and, at worst, torture,” in the words of the former general counsel of the United States Navy, Alberto Mora.

    1. Declaration of National Emergency
    DATE: September 14, 2001
    SUBJECT: Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks
    AUTHOR: President George W. Bush
    President Bush signs a military order declaring a national emergency.

    2. Memo from John Yoo to Tim Flanigan
    DATE: September 25, 2001
    SUBJECT: The President’s Constitutional Authority to Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorist and Nations Supporting Them
    AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    This memo lays out an expansive vision of presidential power, arguing that Congress cannot “place any limits on the President’s determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response. These decisions, under our Constitution, are for the President alone to make.”

    3. Military Commissions Order
    DATE: November 13, 2001
    SUBJECT: “Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War on Terrorism”
    AUTHOR: President George W. Bush
    This military order declares the Commander-in-Chief’s unilateral authority to hold prisoners in the war on terror indefinitely.

    4. Memo from John Yoo to Jim Haynes
    DATE: December 28, 2001
    SUBJECT: Possible Habeas Jurisdiction over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
    AUTHOR: John Yoo & Patrick Philbin, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, Office of Legal Counsel
    This memo concludes that federal district courts would lack jurisdiction to accept habeas petitions from prisoners who were held at Guantanamo.

    5. Amnesty International Letter to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld
    DATE: January 7, 2002
    AUTHOR: Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International
    The president of Amnesty International writes an urgent letter concerning detainees in U.S. custody, warning against the “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” noting hooding and blindfolding detainees is a violation of the Convention Against Torture.

    6. Memo from John Yoo to Jim Haynes
    DATE: January 9, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Application of Treaties and Laws to Al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees”
    AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    In this memo, Yoo writes “We conclude that these treaties [including Geneva] do not protect members of the al Qaeda organization. We further conclude that that [sic] these treaties do not apply to the Taliban militia.”

    7. Memo from William Taft to John Yoo
    DATE: January 11, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Your Draft Memorandum of January 9th”
    AUTHOR: William Taft IV, Legal Adviser to the State Department
    Describing Yoo’s legal analysis as “seriously flawed,” the memorandum also warns that “this raises the risk of future criminal prosecution for U.S. civilian and military leadership and their advisers.”

    8. Memo from Donald Rumsfeld to Joint Chiefs of Staff
    DATE: January 19, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Status of Taliban and al Qaeda”
    AUTHOR: Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
    Secretary Rumsfeld declares that “The United States has determined that Al Qaida and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense are not entitled to prisoner of war status for purposes of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

    9. Memo from Jay Bybee to Jim Haynes
    DATE: January 22, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Application of Treaties and Laws to Al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees”
    AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    Jay Bybee signs off on John Yoo’s January 9th draft, sending it in its final form to Pentagon General Counsel Jim Haynes and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. The memo explains that “certain deviations from the text of Geneva III may be permissible, as a matter of domestic law, if they fall within certain justifications or legal exceptions, such as those for self defense.”

    10. Memo from Alberto Gonzales to President Bush
    DATE: January 25, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Application of the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War to the Conflict with al Qaeda and the Taliban”
    AUTHOR: Alberto Gonzales, White House Counsel
    This memo for the President outlines the benefits of opting out of the Geneva Conventions and lists the benefits of such a finding. Gonzales notes that non-compliance with Geneva “would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 [War Crimes Act] does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution.”

    11. Memo from Colin Powell to Alberto Gonzales
    DATE: January 26, 2002
    SUBJECT: Draft Decision Memorandum for the President on the Applicability of the Geneva Convention to the Conflict in Afghanistan
    AUTHOR: Colin Powell, Secretary of State
    Colin Powell warns of the consequences of opting out of the Geneva Convention. “It will reverse over a century of U.S. policy . . . and undermine the prosecutions of the law of war for our troops . . .” He adds, “it may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops.”

    12. Letter from John Ashcroft to President Bush
    DATE: February 1, 2002
    AUTHOR: John Ashcroft, Attorney General
    John Ashcroft concludes that opting out of Geneva “would provide the highest assurance that no court would subsequently entertain charges that American military officers, intelligence officials, or law enforcement officials violated Geneva Convention rules relating to field conduct, detention conduct or interrogation of detainees.”

    13. Memo from Jay Bybee to Alberto Gonzales
    DATE: February 7, 2002
    SUBJECT: Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949
    AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    In this memo, Jay Bybee states that the President has the power to ignore Geneva’s requirement that prisoners be given “Article 5” hearings to establish their status as POWs. “The President. may use his constitutional power to interpret treaties and apply them to the facts, to make the determination that the Taliban are unlawful combatants.. We therefore conclude that there is no need to establish tribunals to determine POW status under Article 5.”

    14. Memo from President Bush to Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, et. al.
    DATE: February 7, 2002
    SUBJECT: Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees
    AUTHOR: President George W. Bush
    President George W. Bush declares that the United States will not be bound by the Geneva Convention’s protections for prisoners of war.

    15. Memo from Jay Bybee to Jim Haynes
    DATE: February 26, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Potential Legal Constraints Applicable to Interrogations of Persons Captured by U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan”
    AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    In the wake of the capture of the “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, questions about the rights of American citizens captured in the war on terror became a new issue. In conclusion, Bybee notes “even if the Government did in fact violate Rule 4.2 by having military lawyers interrogate represented persons (including Mr. Walker) without consent of counsel, it would not follow that the evidence obtained in that questioning would be inadmissible at trial.”

    16. Memo from Jay Bybee to Alberto Gonzales
    DATE: August 1, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Standards for Conduct for Interrogation under 18 U.S.C. 2340 – 2340A”
    AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    In what has become notorious as the “torture memo,” Jay Bybee signs off on an opinion authored by John Yoo. The memorandum systematically dismisses numerous U.S. federal laws, treaties and international law prohibiting the use of torture, essentially defining the term out of existence.

    17. Letter from John Yoo to Alberto Gonzales
    DATE: August 1, 2002
    AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    John Yoo writes to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales warning of potential threats of international prosecution regarding the administration’s interrogation policies. Yoo notes that “Interrogations of al Qaeda members … cannot constitute a war crime” because of the Presidential determination that Geneva’s protections do not apply.

    18. Memo from Jay Bybee to the CIA
    DATE: August 1, 2002
    SUBJECT: Memorandum for [REDACTED] Interrogation of [REDACTED]
    AUTHOR: Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    Written by the Office of Legal Counsel’s Jay Bybee and sent to the Central Intelligence Agency, this heavily redacted document was released to the ACLU in 2008. It details “advising the CIA regarding interrogation methods it may use against al Qaeda members,” and in one un-redacted portion, argues that “to violate the statute, an individual must have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering. Based on the information you have provided us, we believe those carrying out these procedures would not have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.”

    19. Guantanamo Trip Report
    DATE: September 27, 2002
    SUBJECT: Trip Report, DOD General Counsel Visit to GTMO
    AUTHOR: Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
    A one page summary of Pentagon General Counsel Jim Haynes, and Vice President Cheney’s legal counsel David Addington’s trip to Guantanamo on September 25, 2002. The report notes that their stated purpose was to “receive briefings on Intel successes, Intel challenges, Intel techniques, Intel problems and future plans for facilities.”

    20. Guantanamo Meeting Minutes
    DATE: October 2, 2002
    SUBJECT: Counter Resistance Strategy Meeting Minutes
    A senior CIA lawyer meets with military officials at Guantanamo, and states that laws banning torture are “basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” The Pentagon’s top legal adviser at the camp responds, “We will need documentation to protect us.” When the military’s top criminal investigator reads the minutes, he forwards them to other senior personnel, noting “This looks like the kind of stuff Congressional hearings are made of.” Waterboarding, for example, would “shock the conscience of any legal body looking at the results of the interrogations or possibly even the interrogators. Somebody needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”

    21. Memo from Major General Michael Dunlavey
    DATE: October 11, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Counter-Resistance Strategies”
    AUTHOR: Major General Michael Dunlavey
    General Michael Dunlavey sends a formal request for approval of harsh interrogation techniques based on SERE up the chain of command to General James T. Hill, commander of USSOUTHCOM. The most extreme “Category III” techniques mirror “those used in U.S. military interrogation resistance training or by other US government agencies.”

    22. Memo from General James T. Hill
    DATE: October 25, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Counter-Resistance Strategies”
    AUTHOR: General James T. Hill
    General James Hill, commander of USSOUTHCOM, forwards the request to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, but worries that, “I am particularly troubled by the use of implied or expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family.”

    23. Action Memo from Jim Haynes to Donald Rumsfeld
    DATE: November 27, 2002
    SUBJECT: “Counter-Resistance Techniques”
    AUTHOR: William J. Haynes, General Counsel, Department of Defense
    Secretary Rumfeld’s General Counsel Jim Haynes, sends an “action memo” for the Secretary’s signature advising Rumsfeld to approve a list of harsh interrogation techniques. On December 2, 2002 Rumsfeld signs off, and authorizes all the Category I & II techniques, including 20 hour interrogations, deprivation of light and auditory stimuli, removal of clothing, the use of phobias such as dogs, and stress positions for up to four hours. Haynes notes that Category III techniques, including waterboarding, “may be legally available” but “as a matter of policy a blanket approval. is not warranted at this time.” As Secretary Rumsfeld signs the action memo, he adds a post-script “I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

    24. FBI Legal Analysis
    DATE: November 27, 2002
    SUBJECT: Legal Analysis
    An FBI agent warns his superiors that several of the techniques being considered “are not permitted by the U.S. constitution” and others are “examples of coercive interrogation techniques that may violate 18 U.S.C. § 2340 (Torture Statute).”

    25. Draft Guantanamo SERE SOP
    DATE: December 10, 2002
    SUBJECT: JTF GTMO “SERE” Interrogation Standard Operating Procedure
    AUTHOR: Lt. Col. Ted Moss
    This draft memo, never before released in its entirety, directly links the tactics being used at Guantanamo to the U.S. military’s torture resistance training: “These tactics and techniques are used in SERE school to ‘break’ SERE detainees. The same tactics and techniques can be used to break real detainees during interrogation operations.”

    26. SERE Instructors’ Guantanamo Report
    DATE: January 15, 2003
    SUBJECT: After Action Report Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (JTF-GTMO) Training Evolution
    AUTHOR: John F. Rankin, SERE Training Specialist & Christopher Ross, SERE Coordinator
    Responding to a “high level directive,” two SERE instructors travel to Guantanamo, where they lead a class of 24 Guantanamo interrogators on the use of SERE techniques based on “Biderman’s Principles.” Principles include death threats, degradation, and “induced debilitation.”

    27. Memo from Donald Rumsfeld
    DATE: January 15, 2003
    SUBJECT: “Counter Resistance Techniques”
    AUTHOR: Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
    Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rescinds his authorization of the Category II and III techniques authorized by his December 2, 2002 order.

    28. Memo from Donald Rumsfeld Establishing Working Group
    DATE: January 15, 2003
    SUBJECT: Detainee Interrogations
    AUTHOR: Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
    Secretary Rumsfeld orders a Working Group comprised of senior military lawyers to study the legality of various interrogation techniques.

    29. The JAG Memos
    DATE: February 5 – March 13, 2003
    AUTHORS: Military Judges Advocate General
    Top military lawyers in the Working Group issue a series of vigorous dissents to many of the proposed techniques being discussed.

    30. Memo from John Yoo to Jim Haynes
    DATE: March 14, 2003
    SUBJECT: Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States
    AUTHOR: John Yoo, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
    Written at the request of DoD General Counsel William Haynes, the memo is an expansion of John Yoo’s August, 2002 “torture memo” and lays out in more expansive detail what would be permitted under the administration’s interrogation policy. Haynes makes it clear that the memo is the “controlling authority” for the Working Group.

    31. Working Group Report
    DATE: April 4, 2003
    SUBJECT: “Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism”
    The report of the Working Group on interrogation policy is signed out. In 85-pages, it endorses a series of 35 interrogation techniques including “fear up harsh,” “emotional love,” “emotional hate,” “hooding,” and “sleep adjustment.” Though it is signed out in their names, members of the Working Group were not informed of its final contents.

    32. Memo from Donald Rumsfeld
    DATE: April 16, 2003
    SUBJECT: “Counter-Resistance Techniques in the War on Terrorism”
    AUTHOR: Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
    Rumsfeld issues a memorandum to the commander of US Southern Command authorizing 24 of the 35 techniques for use at Guantanamo.

    33. Interrogation “Wish List” E-mail
    DATE: August 14, 2003
    This memo issued by a U.S. Army military intelligence officer requests that interrogators come up with a “wish list” of interrogation techniques for use in Iraq. The memo notes, “The gloves are coming off gentleman regarding these detainees. [REDACTED] has made it clear that we want these individuals broken.” Responding, another interrogator suggests, “… a baseline interrogation technique that at a minimum allows for physical contact resembling that used by SERE instructors. Sleep deprivation. Fear of dogs and snakes appear to work nicely. I firmly agree that the gloves need to come off.”

    34. Memo from General Sanchez
    DATE: September 14, 2003
    SUBJECT: “CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter Resistance Policy”
    AUTHOR: General Ricardo Sanchez, Commander of US Forces in Iraq
    General Ricardo Sanchez issues guidelines for the interrogation of Iraqi detainees. The techniques he authorizes are almost a verbatim copy of those authorized for Guantanamo by Secretary Rumsfeld in April, 2003.