The Truth Tracker

“Tracking The Truth, Because the Mainstream Media Won’t”

Archive for the ‘International Issues’ Category

Thank You Condoleezza Rice!!

with 3 comments

As Bush Adviser, Rice Gave OK to Waterboard

As national security adviser in the Bush White House, Condoleezza Rice verbally OK’d the CIA’s request to subject top Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002.

WASHINGTON — As national security adviser to former President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice verbally approved the CIA’s request to subject high-ranking Al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah to waterboarding in July 2002, the earliest known decision by a Bush administration official to OK use of the simulated drowning technique.

Rice’s role was detailed in a narrative released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It provides the most detailed timeline yet for how the CIA’s harsh interrogation program was conceived and approved at the highest levels in the Bush White House.

The new timeline shows that Rice played a greater role than she admitted last fall in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The narrative also shows that dissenting legal views about the severe interrogation methods were brushed aside repeatedly.

The Intelligence Committee’s timeline comes a day after the Senate Armed Services Committee released an exhaustive report detailing direct links between the CIA’s harsh interrogation program and abuses of prisoners at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in Afghanistan and at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

Both revelations follow President Barack Obama’s release of internal Bush administration legal memos that justified the use of severe methods by the CIA, a move that kicked up a firestorm from opposing sides of the ideological spectrum.

According to the new narrative, which compiles legal advice provided by the Bush administration to the CIA, Rice personally conveyed the administration’s approval for waterboarding of Zubaydah, a so-called high-value detainee, to then-CIA Director George Tenet in July 2002.

Last fall, Rice acknowledged to the Senate Armed Services Committee only that she had attended meetings where the CIA interrogation request was discussed and asked for the attorney general to conduct a legal review. She said she did not recall details. Rice omitted her direct role in approving the program in her written statement to the committee.

A spokesman for Rice declined comment when reached Wednesday.

Days after Rice gave Tenet the nod, the Justice Department approved the use of waterboarding in a top secret Aug. 1 memo. Zubaydah underwent waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002.

In the years that followed, according to the narrative issued Wednesday, there were numerous internal legal reviews of the program, suggesting government attorneys raised concerns that the harsh methods, particularly waterboarding, might violate federal laws against torture and the U.S. Constitution.

But Bush administration lawyers continued to validate the program. The CIA voluntarily dropped the use of waterboarding, which has a long history as a torture tactic, from its arsenal of techniques after 2005.

According to the two Senate reports, CIA lawyers first presented the plan to waterboard Zubaydah to White House lawyers in April 2002, a few weeks after he was taken into custody in 2002 in a Pakistani safe house.

Tenet wrote in his memoir that CIA officers themselves originated the idea.

In May 2002, Rice, along with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales met at the White House with the CIA to discuss the use of waterboarding.

The Armed Services Committee report says that six months earlier, in December 2001, the Pentagon’s legal office already had made inquiries about the use of mock interrogation and detention tactics to a U.S. military training unit that schools armed forces personnel in how to endure harsh treatment. A former intelligence official said Wednesday the CIA officers also based their proposed harsh interrogations on the mock interrogation methods used by the unit.

He declined to be identified because the CIA had not authorized the disclosure of the information.
In July 2002, responding to a follow-up from the Pentagon general counsel’s office, officials at the training unit, the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, detailed their methods for the Pentagon. The list included waterboarding.

But the training unit warned that harsh physical techniques could backfire by making prisoners more resistant. They also cautioned about the reliability of information gleaned from the severe methods and warned that the public and political backlash could be “intolerable.”

“A subject in extreme pain may provide an answer, any answer or many answers in order to get the pain to stop,” the training officials said in their memo.

Less than a week later, the Justice Department issued two legal opinions that sanctioned the CIA’s harsh interrogation program. The memos appeared to draw deeply on the survival school data provided to the Pentagon to show that the CIA’s methods would not cross the line into torture.

The opinion concluded that the harsh interrogation methods would be acceptable for use on terror detainees because the same techniques did not cause severe physical or mental pain to U.S. military students who were tested in the government’s carefully controlled training program.

Several people from the survival program objected to the use of their mock interrogations in battlefield settings. In an October 2002 e-mail, a senior Army psychologist told personnel at Guantanamo Bay that the methods were inherently dangerous and students were sometimes injured, even in a controlled setting.

“The risk with real detainees is increased exponentially,” he said.

Nevertheless, for the next two years, the CIA and military officials received interrogation training and direct interrogation support from JPRA trainers.

Last week, the Obama administration’s top intelligence official, Dennis Blair, privately told intelligence employees that “high value information” was obtained through the harsh interrogation techniques. However, on Tuesday, in a written statement, Blair said, “The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means.”

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Piracy Is Funny To S.O.S Clinton!!

leave a comment »

What a disgraceful politician!!

Let’s just hope Capt. Richard Phillips, is brought home to his family safe and sound.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Who is President of France??

leave a comment »

Via(RedState)

Obama Hacks Off France In Latest Foreign Policy Blunder

Someone forgot to tell Barack Obama that Jacque Chirac is no longer the President of France.


We would like to think that this is a joke. Sadly, the French media is reporting as true that Barack Obama sent a letter to the President of France pledging support and friendship. His actual words were

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Clooney goes from Dinner’s to Private Meetings!

leave a comment »

Via(WashingtonTimes)

Clooney gets W.H. promises on Darfur

Academy Award-winning actor and activist George Clooney met privately Monday night with President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to urge the new administration’s action on the crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

Mr. Clooney told reporters that Mr. Obama said once a foreign policy review is completed, he would appoint a “full-time, high-level envoy” to the region to report directly to the White House.

“The administration has assured me that Darfur is one of a small handful of foreign-policy reviews being undertaken at the [most senior] level,” Mr. Clooney said.

He said the envoy would be “a huge policy step” since, in many cases, envoys have only been in the region “when the fire starts.”

The actor, who made a documentary highlighting the Darfur conflict and has been outspoken on the issue, said it was “nice to hear” that the region is a priority for the Obama White House.

“There was some concern that this could fall off the radar,” he said. “There’s quite a few other things [the administration is tackling], but they assured me this is high on their agenda.”

He also delivered to Mr. Obama 250,000 postcards from Americans who want the new president to help end the crisis in Darfur.

“This is a moment in time with a brand-new administration,” Mr. Clooney said, adding that Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were active on the issue “long before” winning the election. He also praised the work of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mr. Clooney said he was not seeking government money or government troops.

“It’s about involvement, it’s about diplomacy,” he said, adding it is “not something the U.S. could do alone.”

The meeting was not announced beforehand by the White House; the actor had been scheduled to meet with Mr. Biden only, but ended up getting face time with both men.

An official statement from the vice president’s office described the meeting.

“The Vice President met this evening with George Clooney to discuss Mr. Clooney’s recent trip to Eastern Chad, where he visited Darfurian refugee camps,” the statement read.

“The Vice President informed Mr. Clooney about the Administration’s ongoing review of Sudan policy and welcomed his observations from his trip. The Vice President thanked Mr. Clooney for his work on this issue, which he believes is an important contribution to the public’s understanding of the conflict in Darfur.”

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Mexicans Seek Protection in U.S.!

leave a comment »

Via(FoxNews)

Surge in Asylum Seeking Mexicans Taxing Already Overworked Immigration System

Federal immigration officials are reporting a surge in the number of Mexicans crossing the border to seek asylum in the U.S., an increase analysts say is due to the drug violence and criminal activity that claimed a record 5,300 lives in Mexico last year.

The surge creates a huge workload for immigration officials, since American law prevents sending asylum-seekers home before they have gone through a month long legal process, which almost always proves fruitless. Most of the asylum-seekers wind up being found ineligible and sent back over the border.

But first they must fill out paperwork to apply for asylum. Then they are fingerprinted and go through background checks. After an applicant receives an interview notice, he is interviewed by an asylum officer from Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, to determine his eligibility. Once the asylum officer makes a decision, his supervisor must review it. Only then does an applicant receive a decision.

That process is expensive, since each case can take up to four months to resolve, and American taxpayers pay to keep the asylum-seekers in protective custody while they await a decision, which almost always isn’t in their favor.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2,231 Mexicans sought asylum in the United States in fiscal 2008 – up from 1,366 in 2006, before drug violence in Mexico began to escalate. And it is not just the number of applicants that is increasing – the number of approved applications has more than doubled from 61 in 2006 to 123 in 2008.

“The issue of asylum claims is one part of a number of signs we’re seeing that are the results of border violence,” says Michael Friel, director of media relations at Customs and Border Protection.

Few of the Mexicans are actually eligible to be given asylum status. According to the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, those seeking asylum in the United States must face persecution in their homeland based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinions.

Escaping violence from drug wars does not make a person eligible to be granted asylum in the U.S.

“Fleeing violence in a particular region of Mexico doesn’t provide me a basis to claim asylum under our immigration laws,” says Kathleen Walker, immigration attorney and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association in El Paso Texas.

The process for seeking asylum is strict; an applicant has to prove not only that he is being persecuted in his country of origin, but that he also has a “credible fear” of persecution. He must also prove that there is nowhere in his country that he can go.

“If I can go to another area of Mexico, and it’s not something that is countrywide, then the element of persecution is not going to be established,” Walker told FOXNews.com. “CBP has to assess whether or not this person belongs to a particular class, they have a particular political belief, or whatever it may be that one can fall into the grounds that one can be granted asylum on. Just because you’re fleeing generic violence is not a grounds to seek asylum and have it granted.”

But some human rights activists say the asylum-seekers deserve assistance once they’re here, regardless of whether they are in fact eligible.

“People who are fleeing violence often have special needs, and before you can even consider the political issues that come with it, the first response should be how you help these people with their basic needs,” says Cynthia Buiza, Director of Policy and Advocacy for CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

“If there is a need from a very vulnerable population, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, I think there’s just this most basic moral, ethical responsibility to help people who have, who are in a dire situation like that.”

But those working to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. disagree.

“This is going to be part of their ploy, part of their plan,” says Al Garza, President of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, a citizens organization whose members patrol the border to alert Border Patrol agents to illegal immigrants entering the country.

Garza believes that the Mexicans’ requests for asylum are just another way for aliens jumping the fence to get into the U.S. without going through the proper channels.

“They use all these excuses that they come up with – that (seeking asylum from violence) would obviously be one of them,” he said.

Immigration lawyers say they don’t believe the U.S. will reach a point where it cannot afford to keep all of the asylum-seekers here, but they do agree that the immigration system will be heavily strained. Already, asylum officers are working with insufficient resources to process the number of applicants.

According to a 2005 survey by the Immigration Policy Center, 93 percent of surveyed asylum officers said they routinely worked overtime, without pay, in order to avoid a backlog of cases. Some also said that they didn’t have enough time to thoroughly address each case, leading to the fear that they may have made wrong decisions in granting asylum.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Obama Keeps Renditions!

leave a comment »

Via (Homeland Security News)

Obama Keeps Renditions As Counter-terrorism Tool

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism — aside from Predator missile strikes — for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.

via Read Full Article

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Booite

Israel Finally Stands up to the Terrorists!!

leave a comment »

Via (Fox News)

Masked Palestinian militants hold their weapons during an Islamic Jihad rally in Bureij, central Gaza Strip.

Dec. 26: Masked Palestinian militants hold their weapons during an Islamic Jihad rally in Bureij, central Gaza Strip.

Israel Widens Air Offensive Against Hamas Rulers in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip —  Israel widened its deadliest-ever air offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers, targeting a house next to the Hamas premier’s home early Monday after pounding smuggling tunnels and a central prison, sending more tanks and artillery toward the Gaza border and calling up thousands of reserve soldiers for a possible ground invasion.

Israeli leaders said they would press ahead with the Gaza campaign, despite enraged protests across the Arab world and Syria’s decision to break off indirect peace talks with the Jewish state. Israel’s foreign minister said the goal was to halt Gaza rocket fire on Israel for good, but not to reoccupy the territory.

Early Monday, Israeli aircraft bombed the Islamic University and government compound in Gaza City, centers of Hamas power. Witnesses saw fire and smoke at the university, counting six separate airstrikes there just after midnight.

Other targets were a guest palace used by the Hamas government and the house next to Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s home in a refugee camp next to Gaza City. He was not home, as Hamas leaders have gone into hiding.

Click here for photos (WARNING: Graphic)

With the two-day death toll climbing above 290 Sunday, crowds of Gazans breached the border wall with Egypt, in an apparent attempt to escape the chaos. Egyptian forces, some firing in the air, tried to push them back into Gaza and an official said one border guard was killed.

Continue the rest of the article here:

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie

Liquid Cocaine Seized From Vessel

leave a comment »

3,800 Gallons Of Liquid Cocaine Seized From Vessel

The milky-white syrup was in the fish hold of a vessel named the Emperador that was intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard on April 25, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph K. Ruddy, who oversees the Tampa-based international investigation of Colombian drug trafficking.

God Bless,
The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie