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Please begin with an informative title:

Marcy Wheeler takes a first look at the Constitution Project's 577-page torture report and finds it lacking. But that's something she'll weigh in on later. Meanwhile:

The report is important and comprehensive, but not without flaws. It took me a matter of minutes to find a number of errors, repetition of dangerous misinformation, and incomplete reporting. While I may lay out some of these problems at more length after the report has had its big publicity splash, suffice it to say the report tends to preference newspaper reporting over actual primary sources, and at times it appears completely unaware of what primary sources say.

As such, the report represents a cautious, bipartisan, institutionalist view. Which is why its conclusion is so valuable. Because even this cautious, bipartisan, institutionalist report concludes the following (among other findings):

Marcy "emptywheel" Wheeler
Finding #1 U.S. forces, in many instances, used interrogation techniques on detainees that constitute torture. American personnel conducted an even larger number of interrogations that involved “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment. Both categories of actions violate U.S. laws and international treaties. Such conduct was directly counter to values of the Constitution and our nation.

Finding #2

The nation’s most senior officials, through some of their actions and failures to act in the months and years immediately following the September 11 attacks, bear ultimate responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of illegal and improper interrogation techniques used by some U.S. personnel on detainees in several theaters. Responsibility also falls on other government officials and certain military leaders. [...]

Finding #19

The high level of secrecy surrounding the rendition and torture of detainees since September 11 cannot continue to be justified on the basis of national security.

Finding #21

The Convention Against Torture requires each state party to “[c]riminalize all acts of torture, attempts to commit torture, or complicity or participation in torture,” and “proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.” The United States cannot be said to have complied with this requirement.

In short: it was torture, it was illegal, it was not valuable, and it still needs to be prosecuted. (And, among other findings implicating it directly, the Obama Administration needs to stop force feeding Gitmo detainees.)

And all that’s ignoring some of the more damning evidence out there.

Take some time out to read some of the diaries in the Keystone XL pipeline blogathon now under way. Public comments to the U.S. State Department on its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on the tar-sands pipeline project will continue to be accepted until Monday, April 22. You can read about the rationale and objectives of the blogathon here.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003The Sack of Baghdad:

If George Bush advocated incest and married his twins, Rush would celebrate the wedding and commend the president on his choice of two beautiful women.

The problem with the right, not the pros, who have to be embarassed by this gross breach of both law and common sense, is that they see everything through the prism of politics. Oh, we're blaming Bush because he's a Republican and we don't get it, there was a war on.

You're watching a valuable part of the world's history burn to the ground feet from US troops who ate MRE's as they burned.

Rush doesn't get it. We have basically told Iraq that the only thing we value in their country is oil. Their heritage means nothing, their culture is irrelevant. The more I think about this, the more of a total disaster this is. We can't unburn the books. We can't unburn the history lost or the objects destroyed. Rush is trying to say there were weapons there?


Tweet of the Day:

Texas Attorney General warns Democrats are a greater threat to Texas than North Korea http://t.co/...
@thinkprogress via TweetDeck



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin, Armando & Meteor Blades join us for reactions to Boston. The cautionary reaction, urging people not to jump to conclusions. The many-layered question of terrorism as distinct from crime, and whether that's a real distinction. And the continuing issue some have with admitting there even is such a thing as domestic terrorism. Also: Senate procedure on the gun bill, amendment strategy, and what might go into Harry Reid's decision-making in handling it all. And of course, there was a little additional talk about the subject underlying that debate: the guns, and gun policy.


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