Posts Tagged ‘washington post’

Did You Hear Daniel Schorr Mention BLBL Last Week?

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

In an NPR All Things Considered news analysis segment, Daniel Schorr discussed the US Senate Armed Services Committee’s (SASC) questioning of William Haynes II, former General Counsel to the Defense Department.

SASC called the hearing to investigate the “origins of aggressive interrogation techniques.” Like other commentators, Daniel Schorr expressed his dismay at Haynes’ repeated insistence that he could not recall anything about the approval process for adapting SERE training techniques for use in US interrogations of terror suspects. As reported in the Washington Post, the line of questioning went like this:

Did he ask a subordinate to get information about harsh questioning techniques?

“My memory is not perfect.”

Did he see a memo about the effects of these techniques?

“I don’t specifically remember when I saw this.”

Did he remember doing something with the information he got?

“I don’t remember doing something with this information.”

When did he discuss these methods with other Bush administration officials?

“I don’t know precisely when, and I cannot discuss it further without getting into classified information.”

Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) had had enough. “You say you don’t remember it any more clearly than what you’ve said,” he pointed out. “Therefore, going into classified session isn’t going to give us any more information than what you’ve said, which is you had conversations but your memory is bad.”

“Correct,” Haynes agreed.

Daniel Schorr countered, however, that

There is other evidence about brutal treatment of detainees.

The Physicians for Human Rights organization is out with a report that examination of 11 former detainees in US military jails reveals scars and other injuries consistent with their accounts of beatings, electric shocks and other forms of abuse.

You can listen to Daniel Schorr’s full commentary here.

Frank Donaghue Responds to Pentagon Comments on Broken Laws, Broken Lives

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

In today’s Washington Post, Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon responded to Broken Laws, Broken Lives on behalf of the Pentagon.

A Pentagon spokesman yesterday criticized the report, saying its authors had drawn “sweeping conclusions based upon dubious allegations” of former detainees who had been out of U.S. custody for years.

“The quality of medical care we provide detainees is similar to that which our troops serving in the same locations receive,” said the spokesman, Navy Cmdr. J.D. Gordon. “We have robust psychological and mental health care available to detainees.”

PHR CEO Frank Donaghue has responded in turn to Navy Cmndr. J.D. Gordon:

PHR’s research was conducted by some of the world’s leading experts on evaluating and documenting torture claims, according to rigorous and internationally accepted clinical standards. In response to PHR’s medical evidence of torture and war crimes, the Pentagon today strangely responded by defending its current standards of medical care. We’re not aware of any international medical standards that include sleep deprivation and isolation, which the US Army Field Manual still authorizes. The Pentagon has not yet responded to the new medical evidence of past crimes, including periodic beatings, sodomy, and electric shocks.

When PHR released Broken Laws, Broken Lives, Frank Donaghue recorded this video suggesting that the US government make a different kind of response to the evidence presented in the new PHR report.

Physicians for Human Rights, 2 Arrow Street, Suite 301, Cambridge, MA 02138 | brokenlives[at]phrusa[dot]org | Tel 617.301.4219