#books #terrorism #guantanamo #extraordinaryrendition #humanrights There is was/is a simple diplomatic solution for the perceived Public Relations image problem of transferring terrorists to countries that terrorist sympathizers allege might treat terrorists as terrorists, and possibly even torture them. The USA should simply announce that the USA will not transfer any terrorist to a country that has been condemned, banned and sanctioned by the United Nations. If the United Nations does not feel the need to condemn and sanction countries such as China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc., there should be no reason for the USA to refrain from shipping terrorists to those countries. The terrorist sympathizing human rights groups can stuff it if they do not agree with the United Nations. Terrorist members of ISIS and Al Queda, etc. captured and held as combatants are at war with the USA and IMO should be held until the war is over and a peace accord has been reached or until the MFing Islamist Terrorist is too old, frail and decrepit to ever threaten or cause harm to another living being again. This book, Power Wars is remarkably fair and forth coming on Obama's policies and very hard on the Bush administration. I do not know where Savage leans but so far the information seems very good and fair. -Mr EntryReqrd Excerpt: Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy by Charlie Savage - Nov. 2015 Part II: War in the Twenty-First Century 4. Look Forward, Not Back (Captives 2009) [Wilson’s final major recommendation was to keep transferring detainees to countries that might be hostile toward them so long as the receiving nation provides credible diplomatic assurances that it will not abuse them. These included prisoners handed over in covert-intelligence transfers, the CIA’s practice of secretly transferring terrorism suspects to the custody of other governments’ security services. This practice, sometimes called extraordinary rendition, had caused deep controversy during the Bush years because some of the detainees sent to places like Syria ended up getting tortured despite assurances that they would not be. Skeptics suggested that in some cases the whole process was a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” exercise in outsourcing torture. Law enforcement transfers (deportations and extraditions) and military transfers (including repatriations of Guantánamo detainees) to countries with troubled human rights records could raise similar dilemmas. Wilson’s report detailed at length the arguments for ending the practice of relying on assurances, citing writings of human rights groups. The report made clear that the United States should not use renditions to outsource torture and included multiple pages of ways to improve assurances and monitoring of the humane treatment of transferred detainees. But in the end, the report rejected the idea of creating a blacklist of countries to which no detainee could be transferred, saying the executive branch should retain the power to evaluate whether assurances to treat people humanely were credible on a case-by-case basis. And it recommended keeping the same standard officially used by Bush (and Clinton before him) for deciding whether those assurances were credible: rendition was prohibited only when it was “more likely than not”—a greater than 50 percent chance—that the prisoner would be tortured.] -------------------- The third captives-policy task force Obama had created in his early executive orders was assigned to review interrogation and transfer policy. Of the three, it received the least attention from the public and the press. Its leader was J. Douglas Wilson, a career prosecutor from San Francisco and the coauthor, with David Kris, of the book National Security Investigations and Prosecutions. Wilson completed a twenty-three-page final report on August 24, but the administration kept it secret, describing only selected elements of it in a lengthy press release.43 I later read a copy, and it turns out that the press release omitted or obscured some important points. Wilson’s first major recommendation was to make permanent Obama’s decision to limit all interrogators—including the CIA—to using the techniques listed in the army field manual. Even some people who opposed using torture criticized Obama’s policy. Their argument was that there were surely other techniques that were lawful but that the manual did not list. Moreover, because the manual was publicly available and had no classified annex, adversaries could study it and know comprehensively what to expect if captured. The press release reported this recommendation, but it did not reveal that Wilson had asked the CIA and law enforcement agencies whether there were specific additional techniques they wanted permission to use and that no one had suggested any, an important fact to know for evaluating that criticism. Wilson’s second major recommendation was to create a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group to question important terrorism suspects. This so-called HIG would be a mobile team of trained interrogators, subject-matter experts, analysts, behavioral specialists, and linguists drawn from multiple agencies but led by the FBI—not the CIA. It would prioritize collecting intelligence that could be used to prevent terrorist attacks rather than evidence that could be used in court if the two goals conflicted. Notably, the secret report provided no clear answer to what became the crucial question after the Christmas attack—whether and when to read a suspect the Miranda warning. Wilson’s final major recommendation was to keep transferring detainees to countries that might be hostile toward them so long as the receiving nation provides credible diplomatic assurances that it will not abuse them. These included prisoners handed over in covert-intelligence transfers, the CIA’s practice of secretly transferring terrorism suspects to the custody of other governments’ security services. This practice, sometimes called extraordinary rendition, had caused deep controversy during the Bush years because some of the detainees sent to places like Syria ended up getting tortured despite assurances that they would not be. Skeptics suggested that in some cases the whole process was a “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” exercise in outsourcing torture. Law enforcement transfers (deportations and extraditions) and military transfers (including repatriations of Guantánamo detainees) to countries with troubled human rights records could raise similar dilemmas. Wilson’s report detailed at length the arguments for ending the practice of relying on assurances, citing writings of human rights groups. The report made clear that the United States should not use renditions to outsource torture and included multiple pages of ways to improve assurances and monitoring of the humane treatment of transferred detainees. But in the end, the report rejected the idea of creating a blacklist of countries to which no detainee could be transferred, saying the executive branch should retain the power to evaluate whether assurances to treat people humanely were credible on a case-by-case basis. And it recommended keeping the same standard officially used by Bush (and Clinton before him) for deciding whether those assurances were credible: rendition was prohibited only when it was “more likely than not”—a greater than 50 percent chance—that the prisoner would be tortured. “Particularly (but not exclusively) in the area of counterterrorism, transfers are an important tool for the United States in situations where U.S. prosecution or detention is not available, but where an individual may present a real danger or have significant intelligence value,” the report said. It added: “Transfers facilitated by credible assurances may be preferable to the other options available to the United States—releasing potentially dangerous people (or declining to capture them in the first place), returning people to foreign governments without assurances against mistreatment, or trying to detain them indefinitely.” The press release did not say that this had actually been a central question considered by the task force: whether to keep or discard the CIA practice of making covert renditions of detainees to countries where they might be abused. Instead, it buried a passing reference to “transfers pursuant to intelligence authorities,” listing it as one of seven types of transfers that existed, along with extraditions and deportations. It then described in detail various lesser recommendations for the United States to better live up to its obligations not to transfer a prisoner to torture, drawing attention away from the core policy choice that had just been made. As of 2015, there remained little information available about how frequently the United States went on to use CIA-style renditions in the Obama years. As of this writing, there have not been the sort of specific and detailed allegations of outsourced torture that characterized the Bush years. The Obama administration did attract some controversy among lawyers for detainees by repatriating some lower-level Guantánamo prisoners to Algeria over their protestations that they feared abuse there. The United States received assurances from the Algerian government that they would not be abused. One other piece of Wilson’s report is worth noting. It relates to a controversy surrounding the proposition that Obama’s order restricting all interrogators to army field manual–approved techniques blocked all forms of cruel treatment. The manual, which was last revised in 2006, contains an addendum—appendix M—that lists special procedures that can be used in the name of keeping a terrorism suspect separated from fellow prisoners. The stated purpose of appendix M is to prevent the captives from talking with one another in a way that might increase their resistance to interrogation, thus prolonging “the shock of capture” and fostering “a feeling of futility” while also ensuring that they could not work out cover stories. Specifically, appendix M permits using blindfolds or blackout goggles and ear coverings (but not hoods) for “field expedient” separation when new captives must be physically proximate to one another. The manual asserts that these are not to be used to create the psychological distress associated with prolonged sensory deprivation, yet it permits using them for up to twelve hours at an initial interrogation site and allows the time to be extended with high-level permission. Longer-term physical separation—essentially solitary confinement—may last for up to thirty days, a period that can be renewed with permission but “must not preclude the detainee getting four hours of continuous sleep every 24 hours.” The accusation is that these rules permit officials to employ both sensory and sleep deprivation, especially if a detainee was limited to four hours of sleep per day over weeks or months.44 (One of the Bush-era CIA torture techniques was depriving prisoners of sleep for up to one hundred and eighty hours straight, which induced hallucinations and other types of physiological distress.) In 2014, at a presentation before a United Nations Committee Against Torture, which monitors compliance with a global anti-torture treaty, an Obama administration delegation faced sharp questioning over appendix M. Brigadier General Rich Gross, the legal adviser to the Joint Chiefs, testified that the four-hour rule was “not a daily limit but rather a minimum standard. It is certainly not intended to mandate, for example, 30-days of separation with only 4 hours of sleep per day.” He also argued that appendix M had to be interpreted in light of other rules in the manual requiring humane treatment and barring interrogators from using any technique they would not wish to see used on Americans. A member of the committee, Alessio Bruni of Italy, was unconvinced; he noted that the text of the rule allowed officials to keep suspects sleep deprived for long stretches and pointed out that sleep duration had no apparent connection to keeping detainees from communicating. He suggested that appendix M be deleted.45 In my many discussions with Obama-era officials, I have found no sign of any cynical conspiracy to leave the door open to torture when limiting interrogators to techniques in the field manual. But, of course, people might have been misleading me or ignorant of what was happening on the ground. In that light, it is interesting to see how Wilson’s task force report, with the candor of not having been written for public consumption, handled the issue. It says only “Experienced interrogators believe that separation of a high-value detainee from other detainees is often essential to effective interrogation and that the U.S. government should maintain a detention capability that allows control of the detention environment to support intelligence collection.” The fact that Wilson’s report did not spot appendix M as a potential loophole for inhumane interrogations suggests that there was no policymaker-level intention to use it that way, though it is not definitive proof. As of this writing, there is no public evidence that the government has ever invoked the minimum-sleep rule in appendix M during the Obama era. The available information remains incomplete.

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