The Continuing Cover-Up at DOJ

From Holden:

Abu Al Gonzales’ Justice Department is continuing to cover-up the torture techniques the president authorized for use on GITMO detainees.

U.S. law enforcement agents working at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concluded that controversial interrogation practices used there by the Defense Department produced intelligence information that was “suspect at best,” an FBI agent told a superior in a memo in May last year.

But the Justice Department, which reviewed the memo for national security secrets before releasing it to a civil liberties group in December, redacted the FBI agent’s conclusion.

The department, acting after the Defense Department expressed its own views on which portions of the letter should be redacted, also blacked out a separate assertion in the memo that military interrogation practices could undermine future military trials for terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.

It also withheld a statement by the memo’s author that Justice Department criminal division officials were so concerned about the military interrogation practices that they took their complaints to the office of the Pentagon’s chief attorney, William J. Haynes II, whom President Bush has nominated to become a federal appellate judge.


[Sen. Carl] Levin, who had pushed the Justice Department to release a version of the memo that included the new disclosures, yesterday sharply criticized the department’s initial handling of it. “As I suspected, the previously withheld information had nothing to do with protecting intelligence sources and methods, and everything to do with protecting the DOD from embarrassment,” Levin said.


Jeffrey Fogel, legal director for the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, an advocacy group that helped organize lawyers for 150 military detainees, said the newly disclosed passages could be used to persuade judges to “look behind” any military assertions during court trials that the suspects had confessed during questioning.

“An awful lot of cases have been built on information obtained through these kind of coercive interrogation techniques,” Fogel said.