Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cheney leaked the secret about the black boxes

First from the Los Angeles Times (calm down your boy's next Republicans) is a quote by Trent Lott about where and when the leak was made.

GOP Leaders Urge Prison Leak Inquiry
On Nov. 2, the Post revealed the existence of a network of clandestine prisons, some in Eastern Europe, where the CIA is holding suspected terrorists. The administration has not confirmed or denied the report, one that has intensified the debate on Capitol Hill about the administration's detainee policies.

A U.S. official said Tuesday evening that the CIA had filed a report with the Department of Justice indicating that the Post's article might have included classified information.

Tuesday afternoon, a senior Republican aide on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the issue, said he could not recall an instance in which the panel had investigated an alleged leak of classified information, except when there was suspicion that someone on the panel's staff had been involved.

"If the Justice Department gets engaged, it becomes very problematic to cross paths with them," the aide said.

Democratic congressional leaders welcomed the call for an investigation, but said it should be broader than the possible leak about the prison system.

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) condemned leaking as unacceptable, but added: "While Republicans have been quick to call for an investigation of this matter, they have repeatedly and regularly resisted any real oversight of this administration's flawed policies."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said that "if Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Frist are finally ready to join Democrats' demands for an investigation of possible abuses of classified information, they must direct the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate all aspects of that issue."

At least one Senate Republican agreed. Asked whether he thought there should be a probe of the existence of the prisons, or of the leak of classified information about them, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina rolled his eyes and replied: "How about both? I'd like to know why we've got secret prisons and what oversight precautions we have."

It is "imperative we regain the moral high ground," he said. "And having secret prisons come out in the Washington Post is not a good way to regain it."

Another Republican, Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, said that senators from his party might have given information to the Post. Lott told reporters that the existence of the prison system was discussed last week at the Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill, which was attended by Vice President Dick Cheney and held the day before the Post published its report.

"Information that was said in there, given out in there, did get into the newspaper," Lott said. "I don't know where else it came from…. It looked to me that at least one of those reports came right out of that room."

In their letter, Frist and Hastert said the panels should determine whether the Post's information was accurate, who leaked it and "what is the actual and potential damage done to the national security of the United States and our partners in the global war on terror."

Then one of DC prime analysts who happens to be a cartoonist explains: Cheney needs a leak scandal so he creates one.

More on CIA torture:

Classified Report Warned on C.I.A.'s Tactics in Interrogation
A classified report issued last year by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general warned that interrogation procedures approved by the C.I.A. after the Sept. 11 attacks might violate some provisions of the international Convention Against Torture, current and former intelligence officials say.

The previously undisclosed findings from the report, which was completed in the spring of 2004, reflected deep unease within the C.I.A. about the interrogation procedures, the officials said. A list of 10 techniques authorized early in 2002 for use against terror suspects included one known as waterboarding, and went well beyond those authorized by the military for use on prisoners of war.


The report, by John L. Helgerson, the C.I.A.'s inspector general, did not conclude that the techniques constituted torture, which is also prohibited under American law, the officials said. But Mr. Helgerson did find, the officials said, that the techniques appeared to constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under the convention.


The list of 10 techniques, including feigned drowning, was secretly drawn up in early 2002 by a team that included senior C.I.A. officials who solicited recommendations from foreign governments and from agency psychologists, the officials said. They said officials from the Justice Department and the National Security Council, which is part of the White House, were involved in the process.

Among the few known documents that address interrogation procedures and that have been made public is an August 2002 legal opinion by the Justice Department, which said that interrogation methods just short of those that might cause pain comparable to "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death" could be allowable without being considered torture. The administration disavowed that classified legal opinion in the summer of 2004 after it was publicly disclosed.

A new opinion made public in December 2004 and, signed by James B. Comey, then the deputy attorney general, explicitly rejected torture and adopted more restrictive standards to define it. But a cryptic footnote to the new document about the "treatment of detainees" referred to what the officials said were other still-classified opinions. Officials have said that the footnote meant that coercive techniques approved by the Justice Department under the looser interpretation of the torture statutes were still lawful even under the new, more restrictive standards.

Also see: Justice Dept. Mulls Probe Into CIA Leak Better run to your undisclosed location, Mr Cheney, Sir.


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