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Euphemisms were created to mask the horrors of these programs. There was nothing enhanced about them, however. In fact, the public record reflects those practices hardened resistance. The drafters concluded that claims of saving lives would mitigate the absolute legal prohibitions against torture.

U.S. Army commissions first civilians as cyber officers

These policies were based on fear, ignorance, and arrogance, but the hopes for impunity rested on the perception of effectiveness. A key element of these programs involved establishing a condition of learned helplessness through a series of abuses designed to create debility and dependency of and dread by its victims.


I wanted to establish my own documentary record and preserve evidence of what I concluded was a conspiracy to commit war crimes. Just weeks later in November , Gul Rahman died in a dark dank CIA chamber of horrors, naked from the waist down and chained to a wall in what was known as a stress position, where he apparently froze to death. The detainee died, so they did it wrong. Now almost 17 years later, the military commission process has an opportunity to shape how history will look back on this and if the treatment of Majid Khan has any ramifications.

Majid Khan may not have died during his interrogation, but it is quite clear the CIA did wrong in torturing him, violating the inalienable human rights America was founded upon.

US Military Commissions Act 2006—Turning Bad Policy Into Bad Law

Khan suffered harms that he will carry for the rest of his life. The question is now whether that depraved treatment will shock the conscience of the military commission judge reviewing his sentencing agreement, and if the judge will give him administrative credit for the torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment he endured. In short, Judge Watkins will have to decide whether we are now a nation willing to excuse torture up to the point of death or if the torture Mr.

Khan suffered remains a crime under military, civilian, and international law that must be recognized and redressed. Mark Fallon was a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service NCIS for 27 years and the former special agent in charge SAIC of an investigative task force established exclusively for bringing terrorists to justice before military commissions.

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Other participants thought ending the commissions made more sense, particularly since reforms would likely be challenged. Participants suggested alternatives, first and foremost holding trials in U.

That would require ending the prohibition on moving detainees to the continental United States—a political flashpoint for Obama—or conducting trials via videoconference. Trial by videoconference in the immigration courts has been criticized by immigration attorneys, as Mother Jones recently noted. Other options proposed include military courts-martial; courts in a third country; and what the report called hybrid domestic-international courts.

How will history judge the military commissions? • Penn Law

The report was compiled from the proceedings of the December workshop, which included law professors, private attorneys, former military officers and lawyers for human rights organizations. Baker, former chief judge to the U.

Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Susman of the Governmental Affairs Office in his letters to the committees. Next: Federal judge scolds slow-moving BigLaw lawyers, enforces oral agreement to settle class action.

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