Following up on Monday’s op-ed, ‘Gitmo’s Indefensible Lawyers,’ Debra Burlingame and Thomas Joscelyn have more about Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and current Department of Justice Gitmo Task Force lawyer Jennifer Daskal today in The Weekly Standard. Here is an excerpt and the link:
President Bush “will go down in history as the torture president,” Daskal told the Associated Press in March 2008. “The Bush administration continues to insist that CIA and other nonmilitary interrogators are not bound by the military rules and has reportedly given CIA interrogators the green light to use a range of so-called ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques, including prolonged sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, and exposure to extreme cold,” Daskal added.
Daskal’s anti-CIA activism was not limited to making hyperbolic statements to the press. Daskal and Human Rights Watch played a significant role in uncovering the CIA’s secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan, where top terrorists were detained and interrogated.
On November 2, 2005, Dana Priest of the Washington Post reported that the “CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.” The Post, citing the government’s security concerns, did not name the countries where the facilities were located. But just a few days later, on November 6, 2005, Human Rights Watch revealed the countries in a posting on its website. The organization said it had “collected information that CIA airplanes traveling from Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004 made direct flights to remote airfields in Poland and Romania.” The organization encouraged European officials to investigate further, and the Europeans did just that.
Next week, when Attorney General Eric Holder appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I hope they ask him if Daskal has had direct access to the CIA’s agreements with the countries that assisted America, the transportation assets, and what intelligence Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other high-value al Qaeda detainees provided. I mean, it seems like a good place to start.