Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Js: Jane (Mayer), Jude (Iddybud) and Judith (Miller)

I'm not seeing Jane Mayer's piece up at The New Yorker. However, they do have a "Q. & A.: In Gitmo" with Mayer conducted by Amy Davidson:

Your article this week is titled "The Experiment," and you quote a lawyer for a detainee who, after describing alleged abuses, says, "The whole place appears to be one giant human experiment." What kind of experiment does he mean?

The chief focus of the U.S. military detention center in Guantánamo Bay is to gain "actionable intelligence" by interrogating the detainees. Everything there is geared towards this end. The reason that some critics have called it a giant psychological experiment is that U.S. military officials have deployed Behavioral Science Consultation Teams, or BSCTS, to help devise and implement interrogation strategies--a melding of psychology and military intelligence. The psychologists and psychiatrists who work in these bscts apparently develop individually tailored psychological approaches aimed at creating rapport with--or, if necessary, breaking the resistance of--each detainee. The techniques they have employed, I was told, follow very closely the techniques studied and perfected by behavioral scientists working in a different capacity for the military since the Cold War.

You discuss the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape program, known by its acronym, SERE. What is SERE, and how is it related to the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo?

Before 9/11, many of these behavioral scientists were affiliated with sere schools, where they used their knowledge to train U.S. soldiers how to resist coercive interrogations. But since 9/11, several sources told me, these same behavioral scientists began to "reverse engineer" the process. Instead of teaching resistance, they used their skills to help overcome resistance in U.S.-held detainees.
The SERE program was designed to inoculate soldiers against the psychological coercion, abuse, and torture that they might be subjected to if they were captured. It was created after the Korean War, during which Americans were convinced that U.S. soldiers who were captured by the enemy would be "brainwashed" into giving up secrets. The school was expanded to include every branch of the service after the Vietnam War, when worries centered more on whether returning soldiers had been traumatized by their experiences. The curriculum was devised in part by behavioral scientists conversant in the sorts of nightmarish treatment that P.O.W.s have had to endure. The theory was that soldiers could be trained to resist such coercion if they had practice enduring it. So they went through a course of simulated abuse--all carefully calibrated and monitored to ensure that no U.S. soldier was actually hurt. Much of the curriculum is classified, but sources described some of the techniques to me. They include a number of methods aimed at increasing the soldiers' stress levels to approximate acute anxiety. The Navy's course actually has included a form of physical torture, waterboarding, while most of the courses mostly use less brutal psychological methods, such as sleep deprivation, hunger, hooding, exposure to temperature extremes, noxious noise, and gambits involving religion, flags, and sex.

What is a doctor’s obligation to a prisoner, a suspected terrorist, being held by his government?

A doctor's first obligation is always, as the Hippocratic Oath puts it, to "do no harm." But beyond that, there is a serious argument underway within the professional medical and psychological societies about whether medical personnel can and should participate in supporting interrogations. Doctors and psychologists, obviously, are citizens too, and when they're in the military, they are often spoken of as having dual loyalties--to their patients and to their country. There seems to be a consensus, however, that while medical personnel may play non-treating roles in some circumstances, they should not take part in coercive, abusive, or torturous treatment of prisoners. This violates the World Medical Association's 1975 protocol, and violates pretty much every other national and international standard. Nor can scientists participate in experimenting on human subjects without their informed consent, even for national-security reasons. It is this last bit that the Pentagon has reinterpreted. It has allowed non-treating medical personnel to assist in interrogations, and treating medical personnel to violate patient confidentiality if national security is at stake. The Pentagon argues that this is no different than policies inside U.S. prisons. But prisoners there, unlike those in Guantánamo, are covered by U.S. laws banning coercive interrogations.

Please note that here's what's planned for Thursday's Democracy Now!:

Thurs, July 7:
* A conversation with New York Times Op-Ed columnist Bob Herbert about his
new book, "Promises Betrayed: Waking Up from the American Dream."
* Part II of our conversation with reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker magazine about her article "The Gitmo Experiment" which reveals how methods developed by the U.S. Military for withstanding torture are being used against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

And from today's Democracy Now!, we'll do an excerpt from "The Gitmo Experiment: How Methods Developed by the U.S. Military For Withstanding Torture are Being Used Against Detainees at Guantanamo Bay:"

JANE MAYER: Well, what sources told me was that the program is basically reverse engineered by some of the behavioral scientists that's had worked in it. And what they did was instead of trying to help soldiers to resist torture and torment should they ever been taken captive, the same experts in behavioral science started advising our interrogators who were holding terror suspects captive, and some of the same techniques that we feared would ever be used on our people started being used by us on people in our own custody.
To me it was just fascinating in that for a long time I had been wondering why is it the same really strange sort of allegations of abuse are coming up in places as disparate as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan and in places where undisclosed locations where the C.I.A. is holding people, and every investigation by the government of itself has found that, you know, there is no system here, they’ve said that there’s -- abuse is just sort of an aberration, but I think what I found in this piece is there is actually a curriculum.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the curriculum.
JANE MAYER: It's bizarre to many of us who are not part of the military, I think. It’s a curriculum that is designed to create maximum stress and anxiety. They talk about acute anxiety. The idea is that if we can put our own people through something almost as bad as what they might have to go through if they were taken captive, they will inoculate themselves. It would be like practicing going off a high dive. So under very, very carefully monitored circumstances, soldiers in danger of being taken captive are put through this classified program in which they -- they're hooded, they’re bound, they're deprived of sleep, they’re exposed to extremes of temperature, they’re held in tiny little cells, they are starved to some extent. They are sometimes water-boarded which is a form of torture in which you're bound to a board and they pour water on your face so that you can’t breathe; you have the sense that you’re going to die of asphyxiation.

Now, we'll note Jude's "G8 Summit: Bush vs. Blair" that Maria e-mailed to highlight this morning:

"I really don't view our relationship as one of quid pro quo," George W. Bush told Britain's ITV1 television in an interview about the G8 Summit, the agenda of "climate change," and the obvious talk about the U.S. "owing" Tony Blair, seeing that Britain so willingly joined the Iraq War effort. "If this looks like Kyoto, the answer is 'no'. The Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy," said Bush.
Tony Blair's diplomatic reputation is on the line, and will be measured by how much Blair can get Bush to support bold initiatives on Africa and climate change. On the issue of climate change, diplomats say the Kyoto Protocol (intended to curb greenhouse gas emissions) will not even rate a mention in the summit’s final communiqué because Bush rejects the treaty as 'fundamentally flawed'.

(Jude is of course the strong voice of Iddybud. And Jude's full name is Jude Nagurney Camwell. We usually refer to her as "Jude" only because that's all members need. In fact, if we said "Jude Nagurney Camwell has an entry today . . ." They might react with, "Why are we being so formal about Jude? Do you call your sister by her first and last names?")

Now we're going to deal with Judith Miller. (Apologies to Jude. There's no correlation between the two and none implied, I'm going through the e-mails.) Ten visitors write about something online claiming that Miller and Matt Cooper have different sources.

Those are "thoughts." They are "opinions." Unless whomever wrote it has insider information. Miller, the Times and her lawyers' (including Floyd Abrams) defense has not changed. And it has never been, "Oh, you signed a waiver so I can talk!" Quite the contrary, the defense has been that a waiver that people were ordered to sign is meaningless and that a source is a source. (Of course, of course. Hey, the Timid's done a very poor job arguing the case to their readers. A little Dr. Seus might be in order. Although, actually, that was more Mr. Ed than Dr. Seus.)

The argument they have made is that a waiver may or may not be signed under duress. They have made the argument that a source may or may not give permission under duress. The argument Miller, the Times and her attornies have made is that a source is protected. If the source wants to step forward, that's her/his business. But Miller is not providing any details on a source.

Someone may have additional information that's not public record, but if they're going by the public record, there's been no indication of who is or isn't Miller's source or sources because her stance has consistently been, "I'm not talking."

Cooper's coming forward but Miller's not does not lead to a conclusion (without additional, insider information) that they must have different sources. It may demonstrate a lack of understanding as to what made up each individual's defense (if someone doesn't have insider information).

Now granted, Cooper's defense line changed a bit when the magazine he works for (Time) caved. But that really doesn't matter. Cooper had testified already against Scooter Libby. Miller hasn't talked.

Others are e-mailing because someone's saying that Miller's stance must mean there are two different sources. Miller's stance means Miller's not talking.

As for two different sources, that's been public record for almost a week now. Rove was outed on Friday. He was the second one. Back in 2004, Cooper had spoken of Scooter Libby. That's public record.

Stepping to a different question (from George) wondering if the friend I have who is a friend of Miller's made an appeal for me to go "nice on Judy," no, she didn't. This is the position that I've had all along. You can go back through the entries and you'll see that I've stated I don't mind seeing her squirm but she doesn't need to go to jail. That's my opinion. I have presented other sides such as when we noted Democracy Now!'s discussion with Rick MacArthur and Jim Naureckas. I have offered the quandry that some journalists feel Miller's defense has put them in. But, for the record, this has always been my position and there was no appeal made to me by a mutual friend to change my position. (I don't know Miller, by the way.)

I understand Naureckas point of view (whistleblowers are whistleblowers -- people informing for the public good) and I respect it. I disagree with it. Go back to the December 31st entry on Robert Novak and I expressed my opinion then (and possibly before) that Miller shouldn't go to jail. We have presented other opinions. I respect those other opinions. There's one opinion that hasn't been expressed but a member e-mailed on it. Since they didn't give permission to be quoted, I'll summarize it: The 'save Miller' for this instance could create a halo effect around her that will lead to a shutting down of discussion of her WMD and other stories. I understand that fear and respect it.

But I have no control over what someone else chooses to do. (Which includes members who have taken the position that Miller needs to go to jail.) I certainly won't table my criticism of Miller (the offer was made by The Third Estate Sunday Review, Rebecca, Betty and myself if they'd seriously address the Downing St. Memo, that didn't happen).

People are entitled to their opinions. That means people who feel as I do, people who disagree and people (like Rebecca) who are indifferent to the matter. That also includes someone's opinion that Cooper caving (no surprise when Time won't back him -- no surprise that Time caved) and Miller's refusal to means that they spoke to different people. That's an opinion.

There's no basis for it in Miller's defense but the person/persons is/are entitled to their opinion.
As for two sources, again, Cooper rolled over on Scoots a long time ago. This is public knowledge. (The Washington Post reported it in 2004.) Miller has refused to testify on any source.

I'm not a fan of Miller's reporting, neither is the community. I'm also aware that not everyone in the community feels as I do that Miller shouldn't go to jail. For those reasons I didn't provide a link to Miller's website. But I will do so now because anyone thinking that Miller's actions today mean that she and Cooper have different information needs to bone up on the arguments that Miller and her legal team have made.

Note The Sonoma Index Tribune's editorial (which is displayed on Miller's site):

As this editorial was being written, the owners of Time magazine announced that they would turn over Cooper's notes to the federal prosecutor. It may make the holdout by Miller moot.

"It may make the holdout by Miller moot." The paper's going by what is known. And by what is known, Miller's legal defense and statements to the press, her holdout was based on the principle, that waiver or not, Miller wasn't forking over any information.

Miller and Cooper may have different sources. They may have the same. The events today in court do not demonstrate that they have different sources so someone's going by their opinion (and possibly insider information) but they are not going by the public record. And for anyone to ask if there could be two sources suggests that they've slept through this case since Rove has been identified by the press and since Scoots was long ago identified by Matthew Cooper. (And we've noted that here.)

If people are making the mistakes that the e-mails suggest that they are making, blame it on the Times for doing such a poor job of conveying the case.

Go to Miller's site and you'll find articles from the Times on the case (ones that we've noted here). From a Liptak article:

Mr. Fitzgerald quoted at length from news accounts about Time's decision to demonstrate that journalists and others are not of one mind about the obligation of news organizations and reporters to obey final court orders concerning their confidential sources. He also quoted from opinion columns, essays and a Los Angeles Times editorial suggesting that reporters should not take absolutist positions.

and this:

"She has to keep a cool head," he said. "It isn't going to last forever, and it's an important position to take. You have to do what you believe is right, what your conscience tells you to do, what is in the traditions of the profession and hope that the federal authorities, like the states, will recognize that we deserve some protection."

Note that those are from different articles posted at Miller's site. Go there, I'm in no mood to recap what we've gone over (and over) already. I will note that, to my surprise, Miller has posted Scott Shane's article in full (the only one I'm seeing posted in full) and it's on Valerie Plame and not about Miller. It's a strong article and good for Miller for posting it. She hasn't run from the issues of the case of late. It's the Times that has failed to convey what's at stake. But what's at stake to Miller is very clear from this article (and we pull quoted this section when it ran in the Times):

In her papers, Ms. Miller argued that it was pointless to imprison her because she will never talk. She provided Judge Hogan with letters from soldiers with whom she was embedded during the war in Iraq attesting to that.

People may be confusing Cooper's stance with Miller's. They are not the same stance. They did not have the same attornies. Their publications took different routes (Time caved, no surprise; the New York Times stood up -- to their credit, my opinion). Miller has never said, "If my source will give me permission, I will talk!" She has stuck to the First Amendment principle and the fact that no one's going to speak to a journalist if they don't feel they have confidentiality. That's been her legal argument from the start.

I don't mean to be rude to the visitors, but it's really not my job to spoonfeed you. I'm sorry you didn't keep up with the case. That's not really my problem or the problem of members of this community. Any member who thinks Miller should go to jail could still talk you through what her defense is because we've paid attention. That's why Miller's spoken of Shield Laws.
Members aren't confused by this. They may think Miller needs to go to jail or they may not, but they understand her legal position.

I can't comment on the commentary or commentaries because no one included a link. One e-mailer noted a first name. It wasn't "Laura" but let's say it was "Laura." Okay, so I'm going to google "laura" and somewhere in all the pages of results find whatever some visitors are e-mailing about? No.

More importantly, the person or persons may have insider information. I have no information on who outed Valerie Plame. I'm going by what's in the public record. The public record on Miller's defense has been that you do not rat out your source regardless of whether your source is a rat or not. (Okay, I added the last part -- beginning with "regardless"). She's not talking.
That's her position. And I hope she sticks with it. She needs to brave now more than before. There's no Matthew Cooper standing next to her now. She's on her own. And if she caves (there's talk she may now face five years), it will be that much harder for any other reporter to take a stand like Miller has. (It's a brave stand. It's a stand for a free press. My opinion.)

This isn't about Miller in terms of her legal defense (or in terms of how I see it), it's about a free press. I understand the other arguments and I respect them. But this is now will Miller back down in the face of a lenthy sentence or will she stand?

Do most people even know where this is coming from? Judy Garland, if you can believe it. She was fired from one of the networks (CBS, I think). A reporter wrote a network exec's opinion of Garland (that she was concerned about her weight, if I'm remembering correctly). Garland sued. The reporter refused to testify. Marie Torre was her name and she worked for the New York Herald Tribune (which some would argue exists today as the International Herald Tribune -- I wouldn't make that argument). Torre refused to back down.

Hold on. From Carlowe University:

Founded in 1997, the Marie Torre Memorial Lecture Series and Award was established to commemorate Marie Torre, a pioneer and role model for women in the field of communications, and to honor individuals who are exemplars of ethical and professional leadership. Previous awardees include Mike Wallace (1997) Carol Marin (1998) and Thalia Assuras (2001).

Okay, look at this from The Goddess Cafe:

"I think it's very important to have a free flow of information between source and reporter."
Torre was probably the first woman journalist to go to jail for refusing to reveal a news source. She always stood by her principles, and fought for the rights of journalists to protect where their information came from.

[. . .]
Torre later became associate editor for the New York Herald Tribune, and wrote a syndicated column in addition to general reporting and reviewing. In 1959, a television executive told her that he thought a famous actress didn't want to do a TV special because she thought she was toofat. Torre quoted him in her column, but didn't reveal his name because she knew he could lose his job for saying something like that. The actress sued the paper, and the courts demanded that Torre tell them the executive's name. She refused, and her paper supported her, since many other states at that time had laws protecting journalists. She was put in jail for 10 days, but never revealed her source.

The actress was Judy Garland. I believe the year's wrong (I could be the one that's wrong). I'm thinking it's 1957. (The case drug on for years.) Hold on. When in doubt, pick up the phone. The year is 1957. As with Miller's case, the Supreme Court refused to hear it (and let the second circuit's decision stand). Torre refused to identify her source to anyone (other than her editor).
And to take it back to Miller, after the initial time was served, if the judge had continued to push the issue, the fear was the public would see it as persecution of Torre.

The same principles are at stake with Miller. The case before involved a network exec calling Judy Garland "terribly fat" (according to the friend I phoned). A celebrity being called overweight (true or not) might not seem like the basis for a First Amendment case. But people don't get to say, "Okay, when I take my stand for the First Amendment, I'll do it on this issue."
Miller's taken her stand. I hope she sticks to it. Her stance is that it's not about her. It's about journalistic responsibilities and ethics.

This isn't the best case to fight it on (and I've noted that here) but you don't get to pick when you'll stand up. You either do or you don't. Miller's elected to stand up here. More power to her. Though the issue isn't about her, she is the one who'll have to do time if sentenced. So it's a brave stand. It's not the best case to take that stand on, the climate in the country is not favorable to reporters. (Nor is it favorable to her personally.) But she's staked out her ground (which I hope she sticks to) and she's fighting it on the grounds of a free press.

Members don't have to agree with me on this (or anything) and many don't. But I can support her cause and get behind it without the need to hail Miller as the best reporter in the world. I wouldn't call her a hero but her stance may be heroic because, as argued, it goes beyond her.

If Fitzgerald has Cooper's notes and, presumably, testimony from Novak (as well as Tim Russert and others) he doesn't need Miller to make a case. If he thinks it goes high up, he can use what is known to attempt to get someone fingered to roll over on a higher up. Torre stuck to her guns and let's hope Miller does as well. I think it was on Democracy Now! that Rick MacArthur spoke of a slippery slope. And people should think about that. They may still feel Miller needs to testify (and we've gone over the reasons why that would be the case here).

If you're forced to give up your source because the prosecutor deems your source not worthy of confidentiality, well the reality is no prosecutor's ever going to say, "Your honor, the reporter needs to come forward because I need the information but I will admit that the source has a right to confidentiality." MacArther's slippery slope is something we need to be aware of before we dismiss it.

From Democracy Now!'s "Protecting Whistleblowers or Shielding Government Wrongdoing? Supreme Court on Journalists and Anonymous Sources:"

RICK MacARTHUR: Well, I understand Jim's point and, of course, we live in a country where we used to pride ourselves, at least, in the notion that nobody was above the law. So, the -- part of me is sympathetic to what he's saying, I mean, because, of course, you don't want reporters to consider themselves, broadly speaking, above the law. But I'm also very mindful of precedence: the Morrison case during the Reagan administration, and so on, where the government sees an opportunity to chill leakers, and that the overall ambition of the Bush administration and of the Justice Department is to scare the hell out of the bureaucracy. It's to scare the hell out of the civil service so that they don't leak and so that reporters – and to discourage reporters from taking leaks or from taking information from confidential sources, because any time you get into one of these confidential source cases, you have to assume that the intimidation is not just aimed at the reporters, it's aimed the at civil service. It's aimed at the bureaucrats who might consider leaking in the future. And if Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper actually do time for this, it sends a message to the whole bureaucracy, to the whole federal civil service, similar to the leak of the Valerie Plame -- Valerie Plame's identity, saying don't leak, and if you do leak, the reporters who you leak to may be punished, and next time, maybe the reporters won't be so principled, and they'll name you. So, I'm very, very concerned as a journalist. And I understand this is a slippery slope. It's tricky. But overall, I think Judith Miller, who is a disgrace as a reporter, a real disgrace, and Matthew Cooper, who I don't know anything about, as a matter of principle they need to be defended.

From the same report:

RICK MacARTHUR: Well, Joe Wilson, I think that's a pretty good statement, because at least he expresses some sympathy for the freedom of the press aspect of this, the journalists' side of this, but there again, you see, I'm pretty radical on this, I -- if it were Novak under the gun, I would defend him just the same as -- as hateful as he is, I would defend him just as sincerely as I would -- as I defend Judith Miller as a matter of principle, because in a national security state of the sort we live in, if leaks get shut down, if this kind of leak gets shut down, by the bad guys, as well as by the good guys, the country becomes significantly less democratic. And less -- we have less and less recourse to the press as a balancing factor in what's becoming more and more a one-sided argument in favor of national security.
So, whatever the -- it's a little bit odd the way Wilson phrases it, but I think he's right that ultimately if there is going to be a law about naming C.I.A. agents, the people who should be punished for not cooperating are people in the administration, not reporters who happen to listen in to conversations.
Once again -- I'm not that troubled by Valerie Plame being named in a newspaper column. I think the cult of secrecy around the C.I.A. is absurd as it goes back 30 years to the case of the C.I.A. station chief in Athens, his name being revealed, and then him being killed I think six or seven days later, assassinated six or seven days later. I think he was -- his name appeared in a newsletter, a sort of a left wing anti-C.I.A. newsletter. And the response at that time was, ‘Ah, this proves that if you name agents, they're going to be killed, or they're going to be compromised,’ and so on and so forth. Except that everybody who wanted to know who the C.I.A. station chief in Athens already knew who it was. So I never bought that. It's the job of the C.I.A. station chief in a given city, foreign city, to be known, so that they can be approached by other agents and by people who want to leak them information.
So, I don't have -- I have never been able to get that upset about Valerie Plame's name being placed in Novak's column. It's tit for tat. It's the Bushies getting even with Joe Wilson, who I think was trying to stand up for the integrity and the honor of the civil service, because if you recall, the context of this is that after the invasion of Iraq, and it became aware -- it became clear that they weren't going to find any atomic bombs buried underground, Bush and the administration started blaming the civil service, saying, ‘Well, it's their fault, they told us there were going to be -- -- there were chemical weapons and atomic bomb components all over the place. It's their fault.’ And I think to some extent Wilson was speaking for a beleaguered and insult-injured civil service that said we're not going to take the fall for this. This was a political decision to manipulate the intelligence.
RICK MacARTHUR: By the Bush administration. It wasn't us.

[Note John MacArthur is the publisher of Harper's and goes by "Rick." Also note that I'm not presenting the other side. It's been presented at length here. I hadn't planned to get into this topic but there were e-mails about it and I've been writing this for almost three hours. Not carefully crafting this entry. These are rough drafts that go up here.]

And we'll let Miller have the last word via Editor & Publisher's "Miller Refuses to Name Source, Sentenced to Jail:"

Miller said she did not want to go to jail but had no choice but to protect her sources. "If journalists cannot be trusted to keep confidences, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press," she said.
"There is still a realistic possibility that confinement might cause her to testify," U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said.
Miller stood up, hugged her lawyer and was escorted from the courtroom.
According to the Washington Post, Miller told the judge that if U.S. troops could risk death in Iraq, "surely, I can face prison to defend a free press."

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