Report: Generals Knew About Guantanamo Torture

A new report from the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research:

Today Seton Hall Law delivered a report establishing that military officials at the highest levels were aware of the abusive interrogation techniques employed at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay (GTMO), and misled Congress during testimony. In addition, FBI personnel reported that the information obtained from inhumane interrogations was unreliable.


Professor Mark Denbeaux, Director of the Seton Hall Law Center for Policy and Research, commented on the findings: "Who knew about the torture at GTMO? Turns out they all did. It's not news that the interrogators were torturing and abusing detainees. We've got FBI reports attesting to this. But now we've discovered that the highest levels knew about the torture and abuse, and covered it up.

The report is: TORTURE: WHO KNEW: An Analysis of the FBI and Department of Defense Reactions to Harsh Interrogation Methods at Guantánamo.

It is the Center's 13th Guantánamo Report, and like its predecessors, based on the government's own documents, most of which were procured through Freedom of Information Act suits.

Posts on prior reports are assembled here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Surprise Surprise (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:40:23 AM EST

    On Sept 11, 2001 (none / 0) (#4)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:11:40 PM EST
    my first thought was oh boy watch out America is going to unleash it's wrath like no one ever saw before this time. This is gonna' get real ugly.

    WOW. did they commit perjury? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lilybart on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:08:46 PM EST
    Were the Generals under oath when they testified to congress?

    Technically the Generals lied to their (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    superiors.  Try being a Lt and lie about acts of torture that you have knowledge of and that had been committed to your questioning Major or Lt Col and find out what happens to you.

    Same everywhere (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by lambert on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    No transparency, no accountability.

    Goes for the financial system, goes for Bush-era lawbreakers, now torture. The rule of law means nothing.


    Peons, serfs, newbies, grunts (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:58:21 PM EST
    and those suckling at the union breast WILL BE MADE ACCOUNTABLE FOR BEING THE LOSERS THAT THEY ARE!  Everybody else has a scheduled field day!  If you were really cool maybe we could have even taken you to the G-20 with us.

    And what recourse does (none / 0) (#6)
    by oldpro on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:31:41 PM EST
    the Obama administration have now in holding them accountable?

    Just whose plate does this land on?


    The sad thing about this situation is (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:41:35 PM EST
    the existing structure that enables the Obama administration to hold these Generals accountable for these lies is probably just about the BEST cut and dry structure fully enabling them to do so that exists within the structure of law in this nation.  If these Generals aren't held accountable for their lying actions it will be 100% due to this administration not wanting to hold them accountable and nothing else.

    Distorting or ignoring (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:05:07 PM EST
    the truth does not necessarily bear consequences and may even propel a military career.  A fine example is Colin Powell.  Judge Lawrence Walsh, the independent counsel, who investigated Iran-contra affairs indicated that Powell on two separate occasions when offering sworn testimony, offered "contradictory accounts" regarding the notes of his then boss, Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's Secretary of Defense. Weinberger did not acknowledge the existence of his contemporaneous notes and Powell changed his story to help Weinberger's legal defense.  Walsh focused on Weinberger, the bigger fish, and did not pursue further the issue of providing false information to Congress.

    Must not look back - must keep (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:20:51 PM EST
    going forward - can't get bogged down in stale debates - can't have a truth commission because without any Republicans, it's just a partisan witch-hunt - too much on our plates to spend time on accountability - generals and ex-administrations love their country, too, you know.

    I guess doing the right thing just because it is the right thing would be impossible, right?

    And so provincial.

    I'm bracing myself for the "ho-hum" response I can already sense is on the way; I'm sure What Michelle Wore Today will get more coverage.

    well, color me stunned! (4.80 / 5) (#17)
    by cpinva on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:02:02 PM EST

    of course this was known at the highest levels, do we really need 13 reports to recognize this? it couldn't have happened and continued, had it not been  known to, and condoned by, the highest levels.

    as tracey pointed out, if the top brass didn't know about it, and were lied to by their subordinates, those subordinates' asses would have been in a sling, quickly.

    that's like saying that hitler and stalin would have been shocked, shocked, to discover abuses were going on at their respective concentration camps and gulags!

    And people shrug (none / 0) (#2)
    by SOS on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:07:08 PM EST
    and flick to the next channel.

    Some...perhaps most, SOS (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oldpro on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:32:39 PM EST
    but not all.

    At Best (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:33:42 PM EST
    People are already numb from this, at worst many Americans are savages and not too different from Cheney.

    That's is a huge generalization. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:35:17 PM EST
    But--Holder says everything is copacetic at Gitmo now.  

    Really? (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:00:42 PM EST
    I think it is accurate. Torture for those who care is such a horror, very hard to keep front and center. It is very hard for many Americans to stay focused on the fact that our government covered up war crimes that rank us with Nazis.  

    And I do believe that Cheney is more typical than he is a freak, he represents a popular american sensibility that has no problem with torture.


    Maybe not even a slight (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:52:35 PM EST
    generalization, imo, or have you been living in a different America in which 50 mil + DIDNT vote for that sad joke we had for the last eight years?

    The "numb" part is probably accurate. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:55:01 PM EST
    But I can't equate all who ever voted for W with savages and Cheney.  That is really a stretch.  

    Tragically benighted (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:57:53 PM EST

    Is that any better?


    They knew? (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jen M on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 07:49:03 PM EST
    OMG WHO WOULD HAVE GUES... oh what the heck, of course they knew.

    Unfortunately, I don't think any of the criminals, (none / 0) (#21)
    by DeborahNC on Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 04:49:00 AM EST
    at least the ones higher up on the food chain, will be prosecuted. I think that Obama's unwillingness to pursue prosecutions on these and other offenses diminishes his character and makes him appear weak.

    If he believes in the rule of law, then he should be willing to uphold it. He took an oath to defend the Constitution and he needs to follow through on that oath.

    I read that the disclosure of three 2005 interrogation memos is in jeopardy even after AG Eric Holder recommended that they be declassified and made public and his proposal was accepted by the White House.

    Apparently, there was intense lobbying from intelligence officials to have the decision reversed. John Brennan is leading the effort and states that their release would embarrass foreign intelligence services who assisted the CIA through participation in extraordinary renditions or housing some detainees in "black site" prisons.

    John Brennan's concern is likely for himself and fellow CIA officials and operatives, and not for people in foreign intelligence services. Brennan has now persuaded Panetta to become involved in blocking release of the memos.

    It will likely come down to Obama, since "Holy hell as broken loose over this," a senior administration official said told Newsweek.

    This will end up being a major test for Obama since he campaigned on opening up the government and having more transpanrency.

    Was Obama not being honest on this topic during the campaign, or is he just now in a position to understand how difficult it is to stand up to an offensive from the Right, or from intelligence and other governmental entities?

    I want him to succeed, but he could soon begin to lose lots of credibility over issues like this.

    Will he be true to his own commitments made in the campaign, or will he be a pushover for his opponents?