US-Justizministerium dokterte an Guantanamo-Report herum

--- Das US-Justizministerium, das seit einiger Zeit eine demokratisch verträgliche Linie zur Folterung von Gefangenen nach dem 11. September sucht, hat an einem internen Memo zu der umstrittenen Thematik noch einmal "Feinschliff" angelegt, bevor es das Papier an die Öffentlichkeit weiterleitete. Dies berichtet heute die Washington Post: U.S. law enforcement agents working at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, concluded that controversial interrogation practices used there by the Defense Department produced intelligence information that was "suspect at best," an FBI agent told a superior in a memo in May last year. But the Justice Department, which reviewed the memo for national security secrets before releasing it to a civil liberties group in December, redacted the FBI agent's conclusion. The department, acting after the Defense Department expressed its own views on which portions of the letter should be redacted, also blacked out a separate assertion in the memo that military interrogation practices could undermine future military trials for terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay. It also withheld a statement by the memo's author that Justice Department criminal division officials were so concerned about the military interrogation practices that they took their complaints to the office of the Pentagon's chief attorney, William J. Haynes II, whom President Bush has nominated to become a federal appellate judge. The revelations in the memo, released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) , generally amplify previously disclosed FBI concerns that military interrogators at the island prison were using coercive interrogation methods that could compromise any evidence of terrorist activities they obtained. FBI agents and officials had complained about the shackling of detainees to the floor for periods exceeding 24 hours, without food and water; the draping of a detainee in an Israeli flag; and the use of growling dogs to scare detainees. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who as White House counsel participated in detailed discussions about the legality of aggressive military interrogation techniques, has twice publicly expressed skepticism about the reliability of these FBI accounts. But the May 10, 2004, memo, written by an official whose name has not been disclosed, contains a highly detailed account of the efforts that FBI agents made to convince the Defense Department that its interrogation practices were wrongheaded.

Die Meldung zeigt erneut, wie bedenkenlos die Bush-Regierung beim Spindoktern ist. Aber damit steht sie ja nicht ganz allein da: auch das grüne Außenministerium tut sich nach wie vor schwer mit dem Schönreden der Visa-Affäre. Angeblich wird in Berlin nun doch über eine Ablösung Fischers diskutiert.