C.I.A. Detainees

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
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September 6, 2006
C.I.A. Detainees Sent to Guantánamo
By DAVID STOUT
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – President Bush said today that 14 suspected terrorists held in secret locations by the C.I.A., including some who were deeply involved in the Sept. 11 attacks and other notorious assaults on Americans, have been transferred to the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba to stand trial.

Mr. Bush said in a speech at the White House that he welcomed the transfers as a way to provide a measure of justice for relatives of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks five years ago next Monday. “They should have to wait no longer,” he said.

The president also urged Congress to approve legislation that would authorize the use of military commissions to try the Guantánamo detainees. The legislation he is proposing is aimed at addressing a Supreme Court ruling in June that tribunals set up by the Bush administration could not be used because Congress had not approved them.

His comments marked the first time he that he had acknowledged the secret program run by the Central Intelligence Agency to hold and question “high value” terrorist suspects overseas, though allusions to it have surfaced in court documents,

Mr. Bush’s speech coincided with the Pentagon’s release of a new manual spelling out specific procedures that can be used to interrogate prisoners in Defense Department custody. The manual, which does not apply to the Central Intelligence Agency, rules out some tactics that could be defined as torture, or humiliation, or both. “The United States does not torture,” Mr. Bush said. “It’s against our laws, and it’s against our values. I have not authorized it, and I will not authorize it.”

Critics of the administration’s campaign against terrorism have asserted that episodes like the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib near Baghdad, as well as the treatment of Guantánamo detainees, have fueled anti-Americanism that puts the United States in more danger.

Mr. Bush said that the “small number of terrorist suspects’’ detained by the C.I.A. “includes individuals believed to be key architects of the Sept. 11 attacks and attacks on the USS Cole’’ in 2000, as well as on United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

“These are dangerous men with unparalleled knowledge about terror networks and their plans of new attacks,’’ the president said. “The security of our nation and the lives of our citizens depend on our ability to learn what these terrorists know.’’

Among the plots that were thwarted because of information extracted from terrorist suspects were schemes to attack United States marines in Djibouti with an explosive-laden water tanker and the American consulate in Karachi with car and motorcycle bombs, and to hijack airliners and fly them into London’s Heathrow Airport or Canary Wharf, Mr. Bush said.

He said that the location of the C.I.A. detention facilities could not be divulged to protect U.S. allies that had allowed the agency to operate within their borders. But he said: “I can say that innocent lives have been saved, here in the United States and across the world,’’ he said.

He also said the C.I.A. could continue to detain and interrogate terrorists suspects, though none are currently in the agency’s custody.

Interrogation procedures used by the agency against a former aide to Osama bin Laden, Abu Zubaydah, had been “tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary,’’ Mr. Bush said. His disclosures under interrogation led to the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who in turn led U.S. authorities to other terrorists, Mr. Bush said.

The independent 9/11 commission has identified Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the likely mastermind of the 2001 attacks. Other prominent suspects who have been transferred to Guantánamo include Ramzi Binalshibh, who is suspected of being a would-be Sept. 11 hijacker who knew some of the actual hijackers in Germany, and Abu Zubaydah, described by the commission as an Al Qaeda strategist and recruiter.

One senior intelligence official, speaking in a briefing at the White House, said that “fewer than 100” terrorist suspects had been detained by the C.I.A. The official estimated that about 50 percent of the C.I.A.’s knowledge about Al Qaeda had come from interrogations.

Mr. Bush said his proposal to Congress for trials before military commissions, “used by presidents from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt,” is both legal and within America’s tradition of respecting individual rights. The men sent to Guantánamo for prosecution can be visited by Red Cross officials and will be given lawyers, Mr. Bush said.

The suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban members held at Guantánamo are not “common criminals or bystanders accidentally swept up on the battlefield,” Mr. Bush said, but killers whose hatred for the United States is bottomless.

“They are in our custody so they cannot murder our people,” Mr. Bush said. He said one detainee had told his questioner: “I’ll never forget your face. I will kill you, your brothers, your mother and your sisters.”

Mr. Bush asked Congress to clarify want interrogators can and cannot do, and to give them protection from lawsuits in United States courts by detainees who might allege that their rights under the Geneva Convention have been violated. The applicable section of the convention is too “vague and undefined,” he said.

An administration official said those rules would apply both to the military and intelligence agencies.

Mr. Bush’s announcements today, made in a 36-minute speech in the White House with some relatives of 9/11 victims present, may be interpreted by administration critics as a retreat from his previous hard-line stand on the handling of terrorist suspects.

But the president adopted a posture of cooperation rather than surrender today as he pledged to work closely with Congress to enact his package. And with the traditional Labor Day start of the campaign season just past, he put pressure on the lawmakers to declare their positions on terrorism and how to fight it.

Democrats signaled immediately that they are unwilling to yield the terrorism issue to Mr. Bush and his Republican allies. “Democrats welcome the Bush Administration’s long-overdue decision to try some of the alleged masterminds of the September 11th attacks and other hideous terrorist acts,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader.

“For five years, Democrats have stood ready to work with the President and the Republican Congress to establish sound procedures to bring terrorists to justice,” Mr. Reid said. “Unfortunately, President Bush ignored the advice of our uniformed military and set up a flawed system that failed to prosecute a single terrorist and was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, a consistent critic of the administration’s anti-terrorism policies, said Mr. Bush’s new proposals are too much like his old ones and will eventually be declared illegal as well. “We must not abandon the very freedoms that define America, and we urge Congress to reject the president’s proposal,” said Anthony D. Romero, the A.C.L.U.’s executive director.

Mr. Bush’s ideas are sure to be heavily debated on Capitol Hill. Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Republican majority leader, has said he hopes legislation can be voted upon before members leave to campaign for the November election.

Mr. Bush has been under international pressure to close the Guantánamo Bay prison. One reason that is not possible yet, he said, is that many countries have refused to take back their nationals once they are deemed worthy of release. “America has no interest in being the world’s jailer,” he said.

Brian Knowlton of the International Herald Tribune contributed reporting for this article.
 

Chopstick

Verified Estrogen Brigade
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Question. Exactly were does the ACLU propose the Govt house these dirt bags? Are they gonna take them over to their house for tea?? Please!!
Im personally ok with secret prisons and whatever methods deemed appropriate to obtain information that would save the lives of innocent people. Im a civilian..I dont need to know. Maybe Im wrong..but hey..its my opinion and I dont really want to share my neighborhood with the likes of these terrorists that endanger the welfare of so many. Im sure terrorists dont care about my rights..so..ditto.
 

pardus

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Once their is clear, established proof someone is a member of a terrorist organisation they should be put to death, end of story, the one and only punishment for being a memeber of or a supporter of a terrorist organisation should be death.

Simple, no hassle no bullshit!

Next!
 

Chopstick

Verified Estrogen Brigade
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Sixburgh
yep

Once their is clear, established proof someone is a member of a terrorist organisation they should be put to death, end of story, the one and only punishment for being a memeber of or a supporter of a terrorist organisation should be death.

Simple, no hassle no bullshit!

Next!
I like it.
 
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