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Forum Post: US Bipartisan Panel: US War Crimes, Excessive Secrecy, Violations of the Constitution and International Law

Posted 11 years ago on April 18, 2013, 9:03 p.m. EST by Middleaged (5140)
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US Bipartisan Panel finds George W. Bush, Barak Obama are culpable in Torture, Rendition, Excessive Secrecy, ... US War Crimes, Violations of the Constitution and International Law... and this indicates a Split in Politicians and a Split in Americans. A Schism has been revealed. But this could lead to Trials and Investigations and a US Resolution.


Published by the Constitution Project, the 580-page report (pdf) http://detaineetaskforce.org/report/download/

"Institutionalist" Panel Confirms US "Indisputably" Engaged in Torture Post-9/11

Report: Never before had there been such discussions "directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on detainees in our custody.”

  • Lauren McCauley, staff writer


Furthermore, the report argues that the use of torture has “no justification” and “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.”

The Board of Directors of the 'bipartisan' group behind the report, The Constitution Project, included such infamous notables as former Republican Congressman and director of the NRA's National School Shield Task Force, Asa Hutchinson; David A. Keene, current President of the NRA and long-time chair of The American Conservative Union; and William Sessions, former director of the FBI under Presidents Reagan and Bush.

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.

The panel also found that the US rendition program "enjoyed widespread international co-operation," writes the Guardian, among countries including the UK, Canada, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, Syria, Morocco and Jordan.

The Constitution Project study was initiated after President Obama declared in 2009 that he preferred to “look forward, not backward,” declining to support a national investigation into the post-9/11 counterterrorism programs.

And while the findings namely cover the Bush years, the study is critical of the Obama administration's policies of "excessive secrecy."

As the New York Times reports, the study states that keeping the details of rendition and torture from the public “cannot continue to be justified on the basis of national security” and urges the administration to stop citing state secrets to block lawsuits by former detainees.







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[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Laura Pitter, Human Rights Watch, counterterrorism adviser speaking on Democracy Now states this is very significant finding.

11 Member Bipartisan Panel put together by the Constitution Project was made up of former congress members, Judiciary, and medical experts. Congressman Leahy sponsored a bill Truth Commission was not accepted by congress. President would not sponsor this action.

So sounds like the Constitution Project put the Panel together all on it's own. The Constitution Project receives funding from diverse sources, including but not limited to, foundations, corporations and individual donors.


Created out of the belief that we must cast aside the labels that divide us in order to keep our democracy strong, The Constitution Project brings together policy experts and legal practitioners from across the political spectrum to foster consensus-based solutions to the most difficult constitutional challenges of our time.

Clearinghouse of New Voices

In a political environment shaped by hyper-partisanship and ideological rigidity, our Clearinghouse of New Voices might be able to help you identify nontraditional supporters for your criminal justice reform or rule of law campaign.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Largest criminal institutions in the world create a Criminal Class of bankers since the US DOJ is not Prosecuting the Felons in charge of our Largest Banks.

"The U.S. banking system is absolutely primed for the next meltdown. Dr. Black and others think, "There is pervasive fraud at the most reputable banks. . . . The U.S. financial system is sick, and we still have the fundamental dynamic of a regulatory race to the bottom." Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former banking regulator and UMKC Professor William K. Black.


They gave up the idea of the virgin crisis with no fault. They are not investigating though.

HSBC was among other sins, caught for 8 violation in London recently, money laundering for the most violent drug cartel in Mexico. Our drug war destroys much of Latin America. Bank was caught red handed, but no bank, no officer, no former officer will be prosecuted.

2nd Lie we can't prosecute officers or former officers, because the system will collapse.

So do we have a teattering system if it is that fragile...

Black this is a series of lies. First if we prosecute the institutions will collapse. Journalist should laugh in the face of this statement. Second it is preposterous that we would leave felons in charge of the banks. Thirdly, it must be that facts would come out in trial to collapse the banks in this way. They are telling us these are systemically dangerous institutions. Then if follow with these lies that fines would be very small... and they are.

In the interest of fairness, consider that bank institutions have helped Iran develop nuclear weapons. This reads like a novel, a simple, silly novel. But the banks are doing these things. They helped Iran evade sanctions and help Al Qaida evade sanctions.

Because if you allow crimes to continue, to give them impunity, to allow the bank officers to grow wealthy with impunity, .....you create the biggest criminal syndicates in the world. You create a Criminal Class. You create the largest criminal institutions in the world. Insane.

Lanny Breuer FBI

Eric Holder, DOJ

Tim Geithner, all lead the effort for immunity for the criminals.

"The U.S. banking system is absolutely primed for the next meltdown for this reason, a Criminal Class existing".

Pervasive fraud in the most reputable banks.

London has the most lax regulations that is why many, many scandals break up in London, UK. Much more than you hear about in the USA. Obscene scandals in London now.

Deposit Insurance: $6 Billion in the S&L Scandal, but we made it through with higher levels of problems (liability). Deposit Insurance in the USA is not the concern. US Treasury will pay the Insurance obligation in the USA. In Germany, Merkle has wanted people to take haircuts which is not a totally bad idea.

Money printing would be okay in the next crisis... but you don't want to do this for 50 years of crisis going forward. But so, you don't have to yank your money out of US Banks.

Eurozone is different. These countries have given up their currency, their tool.

10 Million Americans should be working and this is bad for people and males. People get dysfunctional especially males. Males do less house work when laid off or not working. And Obama and the congress seem to be heading toward Austerity. So we can have a 2nd recession.

-We left the felons in charge and gave them immunity.

Unemployment levels in Europe today are higher than in the Great Depression. 2-3 times more sever in some countries or Europe Sectors.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

The indication is that the corruption goes right to the top of the tree.

It's a race now to see who can corner the most assetts before the next crash.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Yes, there is that. But if there is a real schism in powerful politicians ... or between the corrupted & the "True Believers" Or between Fraudsters and the people that want to shut them down.... things could get very interesting.

I guess the Majority is waiting for "True Believers" to show what they can do.

We know what corrupt insiders can do ... what can smart insiders do to show who they are or what they believe in?

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I'm thinking the Majority is either unbelieving, or uninterested.

Here's hoping the True Believers (if you mean in political circles) can get the message out there, and keep drumming it in.

Keep up your good work, Ma. It's inspiring.

[-] 3 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Thanks. I'm sure there are a lot of older people here that have money, reputations, networks, influence in politics, and have the ability to push issues with their congressmen and state representatives.

As you say... seems our Patriarchs in our communities are ignoring the situation ... or have up to recently. Maybe it is time to see what they have done, for them to wake up, for them to threaten & Cajole their politicians, and for a return to ethics.

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

If corporations get tax breaks for Torture, subsidies for Torture, and New Tax Loopholes by Incorporating offshore and not charging Payroll & SS & Unemployment Tax Offshore for Running rendition & Torture Programs....

Maybe we need a new Federal Torture Tax for a Trust Fund to help with US Medical Costs in the USA.

Maybe we need a new Federal Offshore Tax for a Trust Fund to help with Future Social Security and Unemplyment costs in the USA.

Maybe we need a new Federal Capital Depletion Tax for a Trust Fund to help develop US Manufacturing Projects & US Jobs as a result of US Capital Flight ... as Banks & Corporate Executives while getting rich in the USA... have moved manufacturing and capital Offshore.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It's about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that's trillion, with a "t") worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it "dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets."

"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality."

The bad news didn't stop with swaps and interest rates. In March, it also came out that two regulators – the CFTC here in the U.S. and the Madrid-based International Organization of Securities Commissions – were spurred by the Libor revelations to investigate the possibility of collusive manipulation of gold and silver prices. "Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks – many other benchmarks – are legit areas of inquiry," CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton said.

But the biggest shock came out of a federal courtroom at the end of March – though if you follow these matters closely, it may not have been so shocking at all – when a landmark class-action civil lawsuit against the banks for Libor-related offenses was dismissed. In that case, a federal judge accepted the banker-defendants' incredible argument: If cities and towns and other investors lost money because of Libor manipulation, that was their own fault for ever thinking the banks were competing in the first place.

"A farce," was one antitrust lawyer's response to the eyebrow-raising dismissal.

"Incredible," says Sylvia Sokol, an attorney for Constantine Cannon, a firm that specializes in antitrust cases.

All of these stories collectively pointed to the same thing: These banks, which already possess enormous power just by virtue of their financial holdings – in the United States, the top six banks, many of them the same names you see on the Libor and ISDAfix panels, own assets equivalent to 60 percent of the nation's GDP – are beginning to realize the awesome possibilities for increased profit and political might that would come with colluding instead of competing. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.


[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 11 years ago

Most corrupted given Waiver. London is the city state with the most lax rules for finance. Now the news is that the Country of the United Kingdom has been lower to AA+. Whatever that means.

Look the one city in the US & Europe to Create the most Fraud is London.

This is a total Joke. The Risk to London Banks and London Municipal Funds is huge. The only Reason that these institutions mark the ratings as high is that the Institutions are the most powerful, are in charge, and are politically unopposed.

Other countries and the Banks of Other Countries would have to Oppose these London or Wall Street banks to actually bring Truth in Lending back to the ratings Agencies.

Ratings Agencies have a long way to go.

Independent Audit Agencies have a long way to go.

We are so going down.......

The best way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.... Book by William K. Black.