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Monday, May 24, 2004

New Yorker Article by Seymour Hirsch, 5/24/04

Rumsfeld was frustrated with the war on terror and authorized the establishment of a highly secretive program that has given blanket approval to kill or capture and if possible interrogate “high value” targets in the war on terror.

SAP Special Access program is composed of Navy Seals, Army’s Delta Force and CIA paramilitary experts

No tracability, no budget and never briefed before Congress, very secretive with fewer than 200 in the program including Rumsfeld and Myers.

Rules: Grab who you must. Do what you want.

Stephen Cambone, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence authorized most of the activities. His military assistant is Army Lieutenant Colonel William (Jerry) Boykin who equated the Muslim world with Satan.

SAP was successful in Afghanistan then SAP got tough with Iraq’s prisoners.

Major General Geoffrey Miller from Guantanomo Bay was summoned in August 2003 to “review prison interrogation procedures.” He changed the procedures to place Military Intelligence in charge of prisons. Miller is quoted as saying “detention operations must act as an enabler for interrogation.” “Gitmoize” the prison system in Iraq---make it more focused on interrogation.

In the prison it was difficult to determine who was who. MI and MP and the civilians.

It was such a bad plan that the CIA pulled out of SAP in the fall of 2003.

Why did the Army humiliate those Arab men? These men regard sex as a taboo vested with shame and humiliation. The separation of sexes, the veiling of women and all the other rules that restrict contact between men women have the effect of making sex a prime mental preoccupation in the Arab world. Neocons thought Arab men only understand force and the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation. They wanted to use the prisoners with the threat of humiliation hanging over their heads. That is probably why they took pictures of the torture.

Rumsfeld’s disregard for the requirement of the Geneva Convention wile leading the war on terror led a group of senior military legal officers from Judge Advocate General’s office to pay two surprise visits to Scott Horton, chairman of the New York City Bar Association Committee on International Human rights. The JAG wanted to challenge the detention and interrogation standards. JAG was most alarmed about growing use of civilian contractors in the interrogation process. There was legal ambiguity as to their roles.

The SAP was given vast, vague power that, Rumsfeld did not authorize directly. Stephen Cambone did give the directives. This is a further diversion on the war on terrorism.

Best quote, “ we are giving the world a ready made excuse to ignore the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld has lowered the bar.

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