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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 July 13, 2011 / 11 Tamuz, 5771

Emancipation day for ‘good faith’ torturers?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Both the Bush-Cheney and Obama administrations have strongly opposed the very idea of a comprehensive independent investigation of CIA "enhanced interrogations" at the agency's secret prisons and during its "renditions" of terrorism suspects to countries known for torturing prisoners.

American and international critics of torture were told by President George W. Bush, and are now told by President Barack Obama, that these actions took place under legal justification provided by the Justice Department (recall the John Yoo "torture memos"). And our government assured practitioners of "enhanced interrogations" that they would be protected from punishment.

Nonetheless, as I and others have reported ("For CIA Agents, Insurance Sometimes Necessary," npr.org, Dec. 14, 2005) some CIA and other intelligence agents have bought liability insurance in case they eventually wind up as defendants in legal actions.

CIA agent Robert Baer told NPR that when he left the agency in 1997, he warned his comrades to not get involved in any possible violations of U.S. law: "You can't afford the lawyers."

But a CIA spokesman told NPR that "the insurance policies are not unusual, that many government employees buy the same sort of coverage. He said the CIA partially reimburses officers for the cost of basic coverage." Still, as I also reported, there were CIA agents worrying.

However, on June 30, the Justice Department eased the anxiety of both CIA agents and Special Forces officers by declaring that, apart from investigations into two alleged deaths of suspects while under CIA interrogations, no additional investigations into a large group of other such cases would be "warranted."

New Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in his last day as director of the CIA, exulted, "We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency's history" (The New York Times, June 30).

In the same article, Attorney General Eric Holder seconded Panetta by emphasizing that any intelligence officers, including CIA agents, "who acted 'in good faith' within the scope of the Justice Department's legal guidance at the time would not face prosecution."

What about the present review of the two purportedly murderous CIA interrogators? Oh, that's just to find out whether those interrogators used "unauthorized interrogation techniques." All the others presumably stayed within Yoo-style limits.

It was hard for me to believe that Holder said that with a straight face in view of his own sharp criticisms of the Bush-Cheney "dark side" before President Obama elevated him to become this nation's chief law enforcement officer.

The ACLU's deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, wasn't buying this tricky government maneuver, either: "While we welcome the announcement that the Justice Department will conduct an investigation into these two deaths of prisoners in CIA custody, it is difficult to understand the prosecutor's conclusion that only those deaths warrant further investigation."

Just as I've documented our nation's torture history in many columns, Jaffer also refused to close this indelibly shameful chapter in American history, making the easy-to-confirm point that "with the approval of the Bush administration's most senior officials (including our present chief executive officer), the CIA operated an interrogation program that subjected prisoners to unimaginable cruelty and violated both international and domestic law." Added Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project: "The central problem was not with interrogators who disobeyed orders, but with senior officials who authorized a program of torture.

"The Justice Department must conduct an investigation that is broad enough to reach the senior officials who were most responsible for developing this program."

Surely not an investigation by the Obama-Holder Justice Department? But what if the Republicans win the presidency next year? During all the "enhanced interrogation" years, while I continually covered this story, I've been aware of very few Republicans in Congress -- let alone the currently leading aspirants for the Oval Office -- being concerned with what President Obama himself said at Washington's National Archives Museum on May 21, 2009:

"I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep us safe. I could not disagree more. As commander in chief, I see the intelligence, I bear responsibility for keeping this country safe, and I reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What's more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America."

That's a direct quote.

Mr. President, sir -- you have not said a word in disagreement with what Panetta said about preventing the punishment of torturers so that, "We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency's history."

If, President Obama, you still believe what you said so passionately at the National Archives, then we will expect to hear your intention to set in motion an independent investigation, with subpoena powers, to finally provide factual accountability for those responsible -- as you also said -- "for these tactics were on the wrong side of the debate, and the wrong side of history. We must leave these methods where they belong -- in the past. They are not who we are. They are not America."

While I await a future president to actually reinstate true American (nontorture) values into world consciousness, my column will relentlessly continue to pursue this topic. There is still so much to accurately tell the citizenry -- very much including the new generation of citizens who are not learning in their classes about our being on the wrong side of history.

President Obama, you speak often about education.

What a teaching moment this would be.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


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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