Shahid Buttar on the Bill of Rights and Occupy Protests; Jason Leopold Reports CIA Kidnapped, Tortured “the wrong guy”; Katherine Gallagher of CCR on Canada’s Refusal to Arrest Bush for War Crimes

by Peter B. Collins on October 26, 2011

Shahid Buttar of Bill of Rights Defense Committee on the Occupy protests and the Bill of Rights; Jason Leopold on CIA official Glenn Carle’s revelation–he was ordered to torture an innocent Afghan; Katherine Gallagher of Center for Constitutional Rights on efforts to bring George W. Bush to justice.Buttar is executive director of BORDC and an articulate advocate for our constitutional rights.  We talked with him after a tour of the two camps of Occupy Berkeley, about the rights of the protesters, the need for local laws blocking insertion of FBI paid informants into peaceful groups, the recently exposed “plot” by an oddball Iranian American who allegedly wanted his DEA informant to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US, and the unconstitutional killing of American Anwar al-Awlaki and his 2 teenaged sons in Yemen.

At 16:50, Truthout’s Deputy Managing Editor and superfine investigative reporter returns to update us on his print and video reports on Glenn Carle, a high-ranking CIA official with zero experience in interrogation, who was ordered to interrogate Afghan Haji Pacha Wazir.  Carle at first resisted using “enhanced interrogation” methods, but was told by his boss to do “whatever it takes” to get Wazir to talk, and that President Bush had authorized such practices.  He went to Morocco and then the infamous Salt Pit prison in Afghanistan to conduct the sessions, and quickly was convinced that Wazir was not bin Laden’s banker as alleged, but could not persuade his superiors, and Wazir was held until early 2010.  We talk about the role of Obama and then-CIA Director Panetta in the redaction of Carle’s book, The Interrogator: An Education, and in the coverup of the serious mistakes and crimes that occurred under BushCo.  While Carle’s revelations are important, he rejects the idea of real investigations and accountability, raising real questions about his understanding of the dimensions of criminal government actions in the so-called War on Terror.  And Carle’s passing reference to the CIA’s 1970’s-era torture manual called Kubark undermines his claims that when he was first approached with this assignment, he thought the agency was “out of the business” of torture.

At 54:43, we talk with Katherine Gallagher, senior attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, about the ongoing efforts to use “universal jurisdiction” to charge George W. Bush with war crimes.  She talks about the efforts to build legal cases against Bush, Rumsfeld and others, and the recent attempt to detain Bush when he visited British Columbia for a paid speaking gig.  In the end, the Canadian Attorney General threw out the case after minimal review, suggesting the move was purely political.

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