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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 14, 2009 / 18 Teves 5769

Americanizing the CIA

By Nat Hentoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I am still skeptical that our new president will — or can — fulfill all his sweeping promises, but he has made an essential start by bringing the CIA back into our rule of law by appointing Leon Panetta as director of the CIA. It is significant that next to The New York Times Jan. 5 front-page story on his appointment was an account of a six-year imprisonment, with torture, of a Pakistani first "rendered" (kidnapped) by the CIA and now released without ever having been charged with any crime.


Critics of President-elect Barack Obama's choice charge that Panetta has had no direct experience with the CIA or other intelligence work. Actually, as Fred Kaplan reveals in Slate (Jan. 6), while Panetta was Bill Clinton's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, "he was one of a very few people who knew about all of the covert and special-access programs" — and he knows where to find the buried line-item budget items concerning the CIA.


As for Panetta's patriotic and moral qualifications for his new office, he wrote last year in Washington Monthly: "Those who support torture (the CIA's involvement in torture has been extensively documented) may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values. We either believe in...the rule of law...or we don't. There is no middle ground."


Panetta added: "The Constitution was drafted by those who looked around the world of the eighteenth century and saw persecution, torture, and other crimes against humanity and believed that America could be better than that."


Bush and Cheney have deeply shaken the world's — including our allies' — belief that we are, indeed, different.


The president-elect made another equally vital appointment that introduces the CIA to our Constitution. Beginning in 2002, it was at the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel — which advises the president, the attorney general and others in the executive branch on constitutional matters — that torture became U.S. policy and other violations of international treaties, and our own laws against cruel and inhumane punishments were also legitimized.


In the Obama administration, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel will be Dawn Johnsen, University of Indiana constitutional law professor, who previously served there under Clinton. She is convinced, like Panetta, that we can and will overcome terrorists by refusing to resemble them in any way.


Before I continue in the next column to indicate the possible impact of these two appointments in markedly improving our intelligence services, here is a partial list of the specific war crimes in international law and our own statues that have been committed during the past eight years, and before, by highly EXPERIENCED CIA officials and their agents in the field.


Neither Panetta nor Johnsen has committed any war crimes.


In Article 3 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which the United States signed and has made part of our law, any person detained by our forces is guaranteed the right to freedom from "cruel treatment and torture; outrages on personal dignity (and) humiliating and degrading treatment."


These rights must be in effect whether the detainee is a prisoner of war, unprivileged belligerent or noncombatant and — as I often tried to remind Dick Cheney in my columns — the guarantees apply "in all circumstances" and "at any time and in any place whatsoever."


Moreover, the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a criminal offense for military personnel to commit the war crimes I have cited from the Geneva Conventions. That law was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress.


Also, and this should interest the new Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the indispensable 1,249-page thoroughly documented "The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib" (Cambridge University Press) adds that our State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices "have expressly characterized as 'torture' or 'other abuse' tying detainees in painful positions; incommunicado detention; depriving detainees of sleep ... long periods of imprisonment in darkened rooms ... and instilling detainees with the false belief that they are about to be killed."


That's waterboarding, Mr. Departing Attorney General Michael Mukasey.


These are also precisely the common practices of torture and other abuses during the Bush-Cheney administration in our own detention centers. We do not yet know the interrogation techniques that have been used in the CIA's secret prisons. In view of Panetta's and Johnsen's statements about the fundamental need to re-establish our rule of law for the CIA, I expect that they will insist on finding out — and telling us — what has been taking place in those "black sites."


Instead of aiding the enemy by disclosing these methods of interrogation specially authorized by George W. Bush, this sunlight will make Americans and the world believe we are indeed a government of laws, not of amoral apparatchiks.


As Panetta said last year in the Monterey County Herald, President Bush "is using fear to trump the law." Doing this is just plain unAmerican, and history will not absolve that administration.

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Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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