• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Lawmakers Question Feith on Torture

Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/09/feith.jpgDouglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy (Dept. of Defense)

If last month’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearings into the Bush administration’s torture policies represented a watershed of disclosure; and the following week’s House Judiciary subcommittee hearings with torture enthusiasts John Yoo and David Addington represented a return to obfuscation by the administration and its allies, Tuesday’s House hearing with former Pentagon official Douglas Feith represented a combative farce.

Feith, the former undersecretary of defense for policy, testified that he was an ardent proponent of the Geneva Conventions, even though he approved of interrogation policies that no international lawyer has ever argued complies with Geneva protections. These “enhanced interrogation techniques” included 20-hour questioning sessions; the physical contortion regimen known as “stress positions”; the use of dogs for interrogations; removing a detainee’s clothing, and exploiting detainees’ fears. He claimed that official administration policy was that detainees should never be tortured — though he conceded that under certain conditions the techniques approved by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could constitute cruel, inhumane and therefore illegal treatment.

Image has not been found. URL: http://www.washingtonindependent.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/nationalsecurity1-150x150.jpgIllustration by: Matt Mahurin

“Those techniques were supposed to be done within the law and the decision by the president in favor of humane treatment,” Feith told a House Judiciary subcommittee. “There is no excuse whatsoever for any inhumane treatment.”

The panel chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), expressed skepticism that acts like stripping a detainee’s clothing off could ever fail to qualify as inhumane. “I imagine one could apply these things in an inhumane fashion,” Feith replied. “‘Removal of clothing’ is different from ‘naked.’ … It could be done in a humane way.”

Feith conceded that detainees in U.S. custody had been tortured and, in some cases, murdered, but denied that there was any connection between that behavior and official policy. “Some people do bad things,” he said.

As was explored in detail in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month, in October 2002, following communications with then-Pentagon general counsel Jim Haynes, the Guantanamo Bay staff judge advocate, Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, said that two classes of desired interrogation techniques known as Category II — which included the use of dogs, forced clothing removal and stress positions — and Category III — which included waterboarding — “do not violate applicable federal law.” All of those methods violated the restrictions of the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, the Geneva Conventions-compliant guidelines used by military interrogators.

In a memo to Rumsfeld written by Haynes on Nov. 27, 2002, Haynes recommended to Rumsfeld that he adopt all the Category II techniques and said that it would be unwise to issue “a blanket approval” of Category III techniques, but that “all Category II techniques may be legally available.” Haynes wrote that he made his recommendation after securing the agreement of “the Deputy [Paul Wolfowitz], Doug Feith and Gen. [Richard] Myers,” then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Martin Lederman, a member of the Justice Dept.’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1999 to 2002, was unpersuaded by Feith’s argument that such techniques could be applied humanely. “Sure, some Category II [methods] could be applied some of time in a way both humane and that didn’t violate the statutes,” said Lederman, now a professor at Georgetown Law School. “But look at it as whole. The blanket approval of all II and III techniques as ‘legally available’ could not possibly be permissible — unless one has a very strange view of the word ‘humane’ and a very broad view of the president’s authorities.”

Feith said that he relied on “the general counsel… Mr. Haynes” for all legal advice on interrogations. He denied ever having seen any of the Justice Dept.’s contemporaneous legal memoranda justifying torture on the grounds of inherent presidential authority during wartime. Yet John Yoo, then at the Justice Dept., issued a memo to the Pentagon along the same lines in March 2003, when a working group assembled by Rumsfeld in January 2003 was considering a final revision to the enhanced interrogation rules. Feith praised Rumsfeld for assembling that group after hearing that the lawyers for the different military services were discomfited by the abandonment of the Army Field Manual strictures on interrogation, but said that he didn’t attend any of its meetings.

Feith also testified that he did not recall hearing objections to detainee treatment from within the Bush administration or the uniformed military — which contradicts the sworn testimony of Alberto Mora, the former Navy general counsel; and that of Rear Adm. Jane Dalton, a former legal aide to Myers, who testified that Haynes instructed her to “”stop the broader-based [military] services’ review” of the additional interrogation techniques.

Nadler said after the hearing that it surprised him that Feith was unaware of that dissent. “He may not have known about it, but all these service lawyers objected,” Nadler said. Asked if he found Feith’s testimony enlightening or euphemistic, Nadler replied, “Both.”

The panel chairman doubted that he would have Feith back to testify further. “I don’t think we learned much of anything that we didn’t know,” Nadler said. “I think we’ve learned all that we can from him.”

Not that that meant all of Nadler’s questions were answered. “The most revealing thing, from my perspective, [that Feith said] is that on the Category II issue, everyone says that Category II techniques are cruel and inhumane treatment,” Nadler said. “But he said that done right, it isn’t torture. How?”

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.