The Torture Memos

 According the May, 30, 2005 "Torture Memo," penned by Judge Jay Bybee (Bush got him onto the 9th Circ. Appellate Court), we held and tortured 94 detainees, using waterboarding, stressed positioning, subjecting them to extreme temperatures while naked, even stuffing them into boxes.

Most telling, in Page 7 of this formerly secret document, the author identified "Gul" who had been subjected to sleep deprivation, stress positions, slaps, and other techniques. Interestingly, the CIA has denied holding Gul, has denied torturing Gul, and denies knowing where Gul currently is. Makes one wonder how honest the CIA has been with us. 

On Page 8, the author admits that "The CIA used the waterboard extensively in the interrogations of KSM and Zubaydah. . . " So much for a previous claim that it was not used regularly, or even at all. 

Early on in this hideous document, Bybee promises that "enhanced" torture would only be used on high level targets. Yet, on Page 9, Bybee suggests using it on low level, detainees in order to validate and assess other information’s validity. 

On page 10, Bybee admits that Jose Padilla’s alleged nuke plot (which the DOJ and Military later dropped) was totally based on torture-based interrogations . Unfortuantely, Padilla had no nuke plot, was not in any position to create a nuke plot, and has been rendered so brain damaged by his own torture (by the US), that his own attorneys and the prosecutors agree that he is no longer sane. 

At least we know why the DOJ dropped most of the counts against Padilla. 

Page 15 discusses immersion in water at 41 Deg. Fahrenheit. It describes putting people in a coffin-like box for hours at a time. Still the best is yet to come: 

"We conclude, first, that the CIA interrogation program does not implicate the US obligations under Article 16 of the CAT because Article 16 has limited geographic scope. . . As we explain below, based on CIA assurances, we understand that the interrogations conducted by the CIA did not take place in any ‘territory under United States jurisdiction. . . . " 

Translation: Because we avoided US soil, (except for torturing Padilla until he went mad) we can do as we please and torture anyone we want. I am sure that Raul Castro wants Gitmo back. Last I checked, we seem to exert control over that territory. 

– – 

The Dishonorable Jay Bybee also reviewed each torture technique, and gave his blessing to each method of damaging the mind and body of people we held against their will. (By the way, the recent disclosure that 2/3s of those held at Gitmo were innocent of any wrong-doing, terror, or crimes should be considered while you learn about the torture that Bybee approved) 

Stress positions: Bybee argues that these are all great and work wonderfully, even though they may cause "physical discomfort." 

Sleep deprivation: Even though sleep deprivation causes mental illness, Bybee excuses that because "reactions abate after the individual is permitted to sleep." Translation, even after you drive your victim crazy, his worst symptoms improve with sleep. 

Cramped boxes with insects: Bybee gladly seized on the fact that Zubaydah has a phobia about insects. How nice to put him in a coffin, add insects, and close him up. 

Waterboaring: Bybee clinically describes how safe and sound this program is, approving its use. 


There are other techniques and methods of breaking the minds and the psyches of those we detained, including the hundreds of innocents that were "processed" under Bybee’s program of deliberate torture. 


Three things that America needs to do:

1)Prosecute all top admin lawyers and officers who ordered and approved this torture program. 

2) Demand the resignation of Bybee from the 9th Circuit

3) Determine just how many we tortured and hid (like Gul) around the world and disclose those crimes to the world. 

Sunshine is still the best disinfectant. We have a lot of diseased rot to clean up. Starting with Bybee. 


  1. adamrussell

    If we do decide that we are not bound by the geneva convention then the only honorable thing to do would be to openly withdraw.

  2. MrHoppy

    Succession is the solution. Until then, RE-ELECT NOBODY.

    We are a nation that has been invaded and occupied by Israel and our military is being used to expand their territory and steal other nations wealth. Iraq’s oil is now pumped to Hafia Israel.

    Obama can’t seem to place enough jews in high positions with duel citizenship and give the jewish bankers enough of our money or place in a state of pionage to them. He must be removed from office along with his handlers. ALL OF THEM.

  3. woody188

    Translation: Because we avoided US soil, (except for torturing Padilla until he went mad) we can do as we please and torture anyone we want. I am sure that Raul Castro wants Gitmo back. Last I checked, we seem to exert control over that territory.

    US facilities such as an embassy and military bases are sovereign US territory. If they are not, then John McCain isn’t an American along with many others. It would also mean all our soldiers across the globe are accountable to local laws if these are not US territory. I’m sure the government is going to try to have it both ways.

  4. Helen Rainier

    Woody — that’s exactly what I thought too — the US Embassies abroad and US military bases abroad are considered American soil and subject to American laws and jurisprudence.

  5. bryan mcclellan

    There goes the last vestige of any American pride we had left.
    Bin laden is laughing his ass off,
    bush is in China telling jokes,
    anyone about to appear in the 9th circuit appellate court is crapping on themselves,
    and cheney is at an unknown location playing with himself while watching CIA supplied video of insect torture techniques.

    Is this a great country or what?

    Woody I think you’ve got something there, until they change the rules.

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    Since Obama let the CIA off the hook, I hope he can extract some testimony to prosecute the higher-ups. I’m not a lawyer and haven’t read the details of Obama’s “pardon” of the CIA. Usually we start at the bottom, prosecute some flunkies and dropouts and let the Bosses get away with whatever they please, while The Gatekeepers ensure public anger dissipates and the media cycle of stories about Paris Hilton distract us all to catatonia. But thanks for a concise summary of the situation, Rob. I hope we can stay mad long enough to DEMAND some justice, not just hope for it. I also wish Obama would quit flapping his 296-horsepower mouth long enough to DO something. But things ain’t lookin’ good for our heroes.

  7. griff

    How long have we known all of this?

    – A very long time.

    Did anyone do anything about it when it was happening?

    – Not a thing.

    Why are we hearing about it every day now?

    – Because Obama needs a boost and a distraction.

    Spare me the righteous indignation.

    Only a fool would believe that we’re not still torturing people.

  8. RichardKanePA

    Two points get left off of posts that criticize torture.

    There is silent debate in this country between those who silently claim torture is a necessary evil, and those who oppose it. Those who oppose torture must answer the other side if we are to get anywhere.

    2. There are no life stories, that I know of, of people whose lives were ruined by being a suspect.

    The follow is a discussion of a 7 and 9 year old tortured by the CIA in order to make them tell where their father was hiding.
    Details concerning a number of real people in the above link.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed his 7 & 9-year old children were tortured into telling the US government his whereabouts. Recently detailed revelations came out about torture revealed by Obama and added to by the Red Cross, of US detainees being terrorized by the use of fake poison insects put on the victim’s body, matching Khalid’s accusation.

    The government is wasting time with years of isolation and sleep deprecation, destroying people’s lives. If the US decides to use torture, and was open about it, the victims would be better off. If a US soldier in the field comes across a witness and demanded to know where the soldiers were hiding, grabbed the victim by the nuts and said talk, and when he said something, the US GI would squeeze harder and say you lie or tell me more, the victim would be better off than spending years in isolation and sleep deprivation.

    The US never got anywhere torturing the baddest of the bad, look at Moussaoui’s proud behavior, showing no harm for years of torture, unless he avoided torture by constantly revealing garbage, as he all during his trial blamed his Jewish lawyer for his woos.

    In the TV drama “24 hours” Jack Bouer makes life miserable for the badest of the bad.

    In a real life version, someone would reveal a plan to sneak an A bomb into a US city, but refuse too many details so al Qaeda wouldn’t find out and torture his kids. So Bouer, by remote contrail TV, has someone torture his kids. The witness talks, and the city is saved, but from then on no more witnesses coming forward, many people fearing to even use the anonymous tip program.

    We got to join the real debate in this country over torture which is with fantasy TV.

  9. Helen Rainier

    Jose Padilla, an American citizen, was a suspect. He was apprehended by US law enforcement, held in a federal civilian facility, and then transferred to a military facility in SC. He was deprived of his constitutional rights. The government dropped most of the charges against him due to lack of evidence, and he is now considered insane and unable to participate in his own defense.

    Is that a suspect whose life has not been ruined by being a suspect?

    Also, when you have military people who have been POWs and retired military who have been in Special Ops their entire military career who say “You don’t do that stuff to prisoners. You just don’t do that shit” — I’ll take their experience and opinion as being authoritative than some jerky civilian politician who never had the balls to serve during other than war time, much less war time.

  10. adamrussell

    Torture can be used to force you to say whatever they want you to say. Confessions made under torture are not just illegal, but are also likely to be false confessions.

  11. Paolo

    Isn’t it amazing how alleged “conservatives” and “liberals” mince words and go into semantic gymnastics when discussing torture?

    Observe also that under the Bill of Rights, “cruel and unusual” punishments are forbidden. The Bill of Rights doesn’t forbid cruel and unusual punishment only to citizens, but to everyone under US jurisdiction. The nauseating Hannity wing of the Republican Party insists that the Bill of Rights applies only to citizens. They pull this theory right out of their prodigious noses.

    In a free and humane society, any form of prisoner abuse should be forbidden, whether you choose to call it torture or not. It is morally obscene to abuse someone who has been captured and is under your total control.

    As a practical matter, torture and abuse does not yield reliable information. It does, however, yield politically convenient “confessions,” like the confessions we got from Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

  12. Helen Rainier

    The “litmus test” for whether something qualifies as torture should be: “If this were done to you, or someone you love, would you consider it torture?” If the answer is yes, then it’s torture and you don’t do it.

    Simple, straight forward and very easy to understand.