Deep among the documents released to the ACLU on Monday afternoon was a curious memo dated 30 December 2004 and directed to Dan Levin, then acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. The fax cover sheet has a brief note, “Dan, a generic description of the process.” The name of the sender, based at the CIA, has been obliterated. You can view the document here.
The document provides a step-by-step manual for extraordinary renditions.
The process starts with “capture shock.” The detainee is subject to a medical examination prior to his flight. During the flight, the detainee is securely shackled, and is deprived of sight and sound through the use of blindfolds, earmuffs and hoods. [continued…]
In the spring of 2003, long before Abu Ghraib or secret prisons became part of the American vocabulary, a pair of recently hired lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union noticed a handful of news reports about allegations of abuse of prisoners in American custody.
The lawyers, Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, wondered: Was there a broader pattern of abuse, and could a Freedom of Information Act request uncover it? Some of their colleagues, more experienced with the frustrations of such document demands, were skeptical. One made a tongue-in-cheek offer of $1 for every page they turned up.
Six years later, the detention document request and subsequent lawsuit are among the most successful in the history of public disclosure, with 130,000 pages of previously secret documents released to date and the prospect of more. [continued…]
The founder of Blackwater USA deliberately caused the deaths of innocent civilians in a series of shootings in Iraq, attorneys for Iraqis suing the security contractor told a federal judge Friday.
The attorneys singled out Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is the company’s owner, for blame in the deaths of more than 20 Iraqis between 2005 and 2007. Six former Blackwater guards were criminally charged in 14 of the shootings, and family members and victims’ estates sued Prince, Blackwater (now called Xe Services LLC) and a group of related companies.
“The person responsible for these deaths is Mr. Prince,” Susan L. Burke, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. “He had the intent, he provided the weapons, he provided the instructions, and they were done by his agents and they were war crimes.” [continued…]