Saturday, July 21, 2007

Even Congress Isn't Privy to Their Well-Laid Plans

ITEM: "DeFazio Asks, But He's Denied Access" in the Oregonian.

Classified info - The congressman wanted to see government plans for after a terror attack

Friday, July 20, 2007

JEFF KOSSEFF
The Oregonian Staff

WASHINGTON -- Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says.

Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why.

"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America," DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee."

Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: "We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive."

ITEM:

Bush Approves New CIA Methods: Interrogations Of Detainees To Resume

By Karen DeYoung

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 21, 2007; A01

President Bush set broad legal boundaries for the CIA's harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects yesterday, allowing the intelligence agency to resume a program that was suspended last year after criticism that it violated U.S. and international law.

In an executive order lacking any details about actual interrogation techniques, Bush said the CIA program will now comply with a Geneva Conventions prohibition against "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." His order, required by legislation signed in October, was delayed for months amid tense debate inside the administration.

"We can now focus on our vital work, confident that our mission and authorities are clearly defined," CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in a statement to agency employees. Although human rights groups have alleged that CIA interrogators used torturous and illegal methods, Hayden said the program had gleaned "irreplaceable" information from terrorism detainees.

Two administration officials said that suspects now in U.S. custody could be moved immediately into the "enhanced interrogation" program and subjected to techniques that go beyond those allowed by the U.S. military.

Rights activists criticized Bush's order for failing to spell out which techniques are now approved or prohibited. It said instead that CIA interrogators cannot undertake prohibited acts such as torture and murder, and it barred religious denigration and humiliating or degrading treatment "so serious that any reasonable person, considering the circumstances, would deem" it "beyond the bounds of human decency." Detainees, it said, must be provided with "the basic necessities of life," including adequate food and water, clothing, essential medical care, and "protection from extremes of heat and cold."

"All the order really does is to have the president say, 'Everything in that other document that I'm not showing you is legal -- trust me,' " said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch.

The CIA interrogation guidelines are contained in a classified document. A senior intelligence official, asked whether this list includes such widely criticized methods as the simulated drowning known as "waterboarding," declined to discuss specifics but said "it would be very wrong to assume that the program of the past would move into the future unchanged."

1 comment:

freeesia said...

Thanks for putting that up Dennis. I think that people who think that martial law is a conspiracy theory really should remember what happened to the Japanese Americans in WWII who were systematically rounded up, had their property seized, and then shipped off to internment camps - so the small model has already occurred. People have really short memories.