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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yet another warning ignored by Dubya's administration.

Not only could the torture of prisioners at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo have been avoided, but it would have been avoided if the US military and Dubya's administration had paid attention to the warnings of Alberto Mora in 2002 — warnings given well before the worst of the abuses had occurred.

Then the Navy's general counsel, Mora presented Pentagon officials with a a 22-page memo[a copy of which as been obtained by the New Yorker magazine] warning them that trying to evade international rules on torture and the treatment of detainees would lead to abuse of prisoners. He also objected to legal theories being floated in the Justice Department, which said that Dubya had the power to authorize the violation of the Geneva Conventions. More called those theories illegal and dangerous.

Mora said Navy intelligence officers reported in 2002 that military-intelligence interrogators at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were engaging in escalating levels of physical and psychological abuse rumored to have been authorized at a high level in Washington.

"I was appalled by the whole thing," Mora told the magazine. "It was clearly abusive and it was clearly contrary to everything we were ever taught about American values."

Mora said he thought his concerns were being addressed by a special group set up by the Pentagon. But he discovered in January 2003 that a Justice Department opinion had negated his arguments with what he described as "an extreme and virtually unlimited theory of the extent of the president's commander in chief authority."

A story about Mora's warning to the Pentagon will appear in the Feb 27 issue of the New Yorker.

Via Washington Post.

| | Posted by Magpie at 5:09 PM | Get permalink




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