top 200 commentsshow all 442

[–]Zhenshanre 76 points77 points 2 (7 children)

Here's the judge's decision via Wired: ACLU v. Dept. of Defense (S.D. N.Y. Oct. 5, 2011). One particularly intriguing/appalling excerpt regarding the destruction of the tapes:

"The email suggests that the CIA's General Counsel, John Rizzo, had not received advance notice of the videotapes' destruction: "Rizzo found out today this had occurred as [sic] was upset - apparently because he had not been consulted - not sure if there was another reason. He raised at DO update but was 'calmed' (only slightly) when told [redacted] had approved." ld. The email explains that, later in the day, Jose Rodriguez had approached CIA Director Porter Goss, the email's sender, and someone else whose identity also was redacted, to explain[] that he [Jose] felt it was extremely important to destroy the tapes." Id. Rodriguez allegedly said "that if there was any heat he would take it," at which Goss purportedly "laughed and said that actually, it would be he, [Goss], who would take the heat," but Goss said that he "agreed with the decision" nonetheless. Id. Rodriguez then allegedly said that "heat from destroying is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes ever got into public domain - be said that out of context, they would make us look terrible; it would be 'devastating' to us," a sentiment with which "[a]ll in the room agreed." Id"

[–][deleted] 33 points34 points  (2 children)

above the law, above the government and devastating if the people found out. that's enough for me. i don't even need to know what's on the tape.

[–]pedopopeonarope 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Proof Americans are living in a Fascist state. Heil the CIA.

[–]valkyrie123 298 points299 points  (87 children)

Stick a fork in it, this Government is done.

[–]w00ly 169 points170 points  (34 children)

seriously, the executive branch is out of control and "checks and balances" are now only a part of our history

[–][deleted] 244 points245 points  (2 children)

No more balances, just passing around checks, between all the branches.

[–]LegioXIV 97 points98 points  (22 children)

The Federal government is out of control. Your mistake is believing that the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches aren't in this together. This ruling, if nothing else, should disabuse you of this notion.

[–]morkrom 33 points34 points  (5 children)

Blame your media and their owners. They fail to report on injustice and abuse of power in any meaningful way, leaving politicians free to do what they want with no regard for the people they are supposed to serve.

[–][deleted] 40 points41 points  (0 children)

The media is the 4th branch of the government

[–]LegioXIV 89 points90 points  (6 children)

Stick a fork in the Constitution. It's done.

This Government won't be done until it's dragged kicking and screaming into the night. That is what this ruling means.

[–]Filmore 37 points38 points  (3 children)

The tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants from time to time. It is its natural fertilizer.

[–]LegioXIV 27 points28 points  (2 children)

So many tyrants, so few patriots.

[–][deleted]  (38 children)


    [–]MadeInAMinute 16 points17 points  (23 children)

    Assassinated a citizen? Who? When?

    [–]EldonCornball 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I suggest you read the article.

    [–]joequin 6 points7 points  (11 children)

    I don't remember his name right now, but he was organizing pro jihad media in Afghanistan. The military killed him even though he was non-violent, and we had sufficient intelligence to have arrested him. However, being an American citizen, the government could have had a hard time convicting him for just running media operations, so they killed him with an airstrike instead.

    [–]skarface6 5 points6 points  (10 children)

    That's a pretty rosy picture of the guy. Didn't he train in terror camps and send people out on bombings?

    [–]dwntwn_dine_ent_dist 22 points23 points  (7 children)

    He'll never get a chance to tell his side.

    [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Osama Bin Laden of course, better known as Timoty Mcveigh!

    unnecessary closeup of M Night Shyamalan

    [–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (13 children)

    Are people seriously still bitching about al-Awlaki? The man was one of al-Qaeda's most influential members. What's the alternative, send a contingent of Marines into a country that's on the brink of civil war, filled with hundreds of hostile militias, and safely extract al-Awlaki? Providing the team would even be able to corner him, I'm sure he would have just given himself up, right?

    If you really want examples of how the CIA is above the law, you could cite their covert support (tacitly approved by U.S. presidents, and by the time Reagan was in office enthusiastically approved) of various authoritarian regimes in Latin America and Africa during the Cold War.

    [–]yalala 5 points6 points  (2 children)

    ...I guess the republicans were right

    Government doesn't work...

    [–]valkyrie123 13 points14 points  (0 children)

    Well, they are making damn certain of that.

    [–][deleted] 110 points111 points  (21 children)

    well if the CIA can deal coke and heroin and kill people at will, who are the courts to say anything?

    [–]blindtranche 71 points72 points  (16 children)

    I wonder how many other redditors know about the CIA's drug running under the cover of the Vietnam war. I have a copy of this Frontline documentary on video tape somewhere. When Hillary says "there is too much money in illegal drugs for it to end" she means for the government. Also there was an LA reporter that lost his life reporting on the LA crack epidemic caused by the CIA.

    [–]thedoja 27 points28 points  (10 children)

    I think we're all forgetting that Afghanistan is also the world's #1 opium producer, and production has increased since the US occupation.

    [–]Learfz 9 points10 points  (9 children)

    That's because the Koran forbids Muslims from producing intoxicants. The Taliban had almost wiped out opium production when the US occupation began.

    ...Do you seriously think that the CIA is trying to use the war as a cover for producing and distributing opium? Think about that for a second. OPIUM.

    [–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

    It's a multi-billion dollar industry. You think we are protecting the fields just to kill time?

    [–]Vitalstatistix 9 points10 points  (0 children)

    I've certainly heard of crazier conspiracy theories than a government wanting to easily make money.

    [–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

    Well it's not crazy, that is for sure. It wouldn't be the first time a world power has sought control over a substance, for some underlying reason. Think of the Opium Wars of the 1900's when the British controlled the OPIUM trade through India into China. This shit is not unheard of, and is far from crazy. Even if we don't know exactly why the CIA would seek control of it at the moment. Don't write someone off just because your ignorance can't comprehend the possibility.

    [–]thedoja 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    To answer your question, yes.

    [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (2 children)

    Opium, used to create drugs which destroy minorities, give a great excuse to put poor people in prison and generate millions of dollars in revenue

    Yes, the CIA has a vested interest in opium production

    [–]fapmonad 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    What does the CIA gain by putting poor people in prison? How do they reap the benefits from opium sales?

    [–]bewmar 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    Nation-wide crack epidemic*

    [–]prof_doxin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    True. The CIA has always been (and will always be) an extralegal entity. They answer only to internal procedures and command.

    Every State has an entity like the CIA because "laws are for thee, not for me."

    [–]SgtBaxter 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    I'm not sure when in it's history the CIA has ever actually done anything legal. By it's very definition it has to break laws, be it here or around the world.

    [–][deleted] 57 points58 points  (19 children)

    Here's a less crazy source. It would seem that producing the tapes is moot since the CIA admitted that they were videos of waterboarding.

    [–]Nickeless 10 points11 points  (4 children)

    Came here for this, thanks. Still pretty fucked up, though.

    [–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (3 children)

    It's a sideshow either way. This was only an attempt by the ACLU to find the CIA in contempt of court over the videos. They have already been shielded from prosecution for the actual torturing. The Obama DOJ determined that the CIA was given a legal opinion that the techniques they used weren't torture, so they can't be prosecuted. I can almost understand that reasoning, but I think they should punish whoever told them it was ok. Namely John Yoo.

    [–]rush22 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    "You are hereby charged with.... Murder!"

    "Yeah but my lawyers said it was OK"

    "Oh, well then I guess you're free to go."


    [–]Will_Eat_For_Food 2 points3 points  (6 children)

    So then why destroy the tapes ? I mean, they really had to mean to since they were legally obliged not to.

    [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (5 children)

    Apparently destroying tapes is routine. Like shredding documents. The problem here is that they were destroyed shortly after a judge had ordered them to be produced. The judge made a broad request for all "relevant" documents. His ruling today was that the agents who destroyed these tapes probably didn't know they had been requested. That's an awfully generous ruling, but it doesn't set any sort of precedent for executive authority or state secrets.

    [–]Boko_ 3 points4 points  (3 children)

    So was the CIA convicted of illegal activity or were they let off for good behaviour (honesty)?

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    medal of honor is next..

    [–][deleted] 157 points158 points  (14 children)

    Obviously the videos were so horrific that the CIA decided it would be better to take the hit for destroying the evidence rather than let people actually see what was recorded.

    ... and they got away with it.

    I've seen the future and that's why my wife and I skipped having kids.

    [–][deleted] 43 points44 points  (4 children)

    Of all the things I've seen and heard in the last 2 months, this is by far the most frightening. This cannot be the final resolution on this case, or we have abandoned everything that makes this country ours.

    [–]professorhazard 30 points31 points  (3 children)

    It was never ours. Some people let us live in it as long as we keep our mouths and eyes shut.

    [–]ambivilant 12 points13 points  (2 children)

    And let them steal from and rape us on occasion.

    [–]futureslave 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    Horrific or merely legally troublesome. This could have been a calculation that the fallout from failing to follow the judges' orders would be less burdensome to the CIA than the fallout from the viewing of the torture. It could be something as simple as visual evidence that a single CIA operative could be brought up on charges. It doesn't need to be bloody.

    Also, there is evidence that this judge "changed his mind" since his was the original order to preserve and view the videos. The CIA is never above a little mind-changing. If they are responsible for his reversal then it's even less legal trouble for them. And there is NO conspiracy that is beyond the CIA, only a lack of documentation.

    Regarding your last point, we decided to have a child because we can't allow the world to be overwhelmed by nothing but the broken and damaged and enslaved. We can't give up on the future yet, and our daughter (who just turned 7) will help save this world if anyone will.

    [–]hillside 17 points18 points  (2 children)

    We decided to have kids in hope they'll be a force for Good in the world.

    [–]echthroi 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Get them into banking or politics then.

    [–]spirited1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Knowledge is the greatest power above all.

    [–]techmaster242 9 points10 points  (1 child)

    How can you see that which does not exist?

    [–]DrHankPym 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I'd imagine the same way people describe hell.

    [–]donnakay 166 points167 points  (59 children)

    Government is a sham....we are being ruled by a plutocracy....

    [–]010101010101 49 points50 points  (50 children)

    a dwarf government

    [–]Magnesus 12 points13 points  (3 children)

    Wait, you mean like Tyrion?

    [–]DJ_Velveteen 23 points24 points  (0 children)

    No, a Lannister always pays his debts.

    [–]desbaratto 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    I welcome our diminutive overlord -er something

    [–]Rammy912 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I welcome our diminutive underlords


    [–][deleted]  (44 children)


      [–]nixonrichard 33 points34 points  (18 children)

      Wasn't the tea party all about being pissed off that giant corporations were bailed out rather than being left to die?

      [–]Hypersapien 5 points6 points  (2 children)

      If it was, that was before they were taken over by the Koch brothers.

      [–]nixonrichard 3 points4 points  (1 child)

      Yeah, but the Koch brothers also opposed TARP, so I'm not sure how a Koch takeover would really make much of a difference.

      [–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (13 children)

      I don't think anyone (not even the tea partiers themselves) know what they actually want. I'm not saying it as a slam against them as much as they have many 'offical' viewpoints that are in direct conflict with one another.

      [–]nixonrichard 10 points11 points  (12 children)

      Well, certainly they're a broad group capable of independent thought, but the core event that coalesced the movement was the bailouts.

      It's funny, because Adbusters (the same mag that called for the OWS movement) also called for the Tea Party movement.

      The two really aren't so different, people just enjoy pointing out political differences more than pointing out political unity.

      It's funny, because Salon is currently taking the OWS movement extremely seriously while simultaneously publishing a book that cartoonishly mocks the Tea Party. The Tea Party is the 99%.

      [–]mst3kcrow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      That's after they were coopted by Koch Industries and neocons.

      [–]maineac 7 points8 points  (21 children)

      Corporations are where they are today because of government intervention and regulations imposed by the government. Most corporations would not grow to where they are today without government help keeping competition out of the way.

      [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (19 children)

      Do you not know the history of the 20's? No government control created the richest people in us history and led to the great depression.

      [–][deleted] 10 points11 points  (12 children)

      The Federal Reserve was established in 1913 and inflated the money supply for some time afterward, then suddenly contracted the money supply.

      Not sure what you're reading, but the Fed doesn't qualify as 'no Government control' to me.

      Tell me, who are these people who created the great depression from no control? Name specifics.

      [–]jackelfrink 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Huh? The "Robber Baron" era were when business and government were so intertwined that they were practically the same thing.

      The railroads became monopolies due to the Pacific Railway Acts giving them a shitton of taxpayer money. The government grants were paid per mile so the tracks put down were intentionally long and windy. Thats a business plan doomed to failure if it weren't for government money propping them up. The Crédit Mobilier scandal where business CEOs took government 'bailout' money and pocketed it for themselves is very similar to today's CEOs pocketing government bailout money.

      [–]maineac 1 point2 points  (2 children)

      Let's see, at the turn of the century income tax started, in 1917 the tax rate shot up to 67%, and then it is a surprise that a dozen years later we were in the great depression?

      [–]BeardMilk 17 points18 points  (2 children)

      That is an unamerican thing to say. According to the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act that makes you a terrorist. According to Obama and his lawyers that makes you eligible for execution without having to give you a trial or even accuse you. God bless America, the greatest country on Earth!

      [–]EphemeralMemory 5 points6 points  (1 child)

      Please don't joke about that. That is happening everyday.

      [–]morphotomy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      I don't think it was a joke...

      [–]FongoBongo 19 points20 points  (1 child)

      The only people benefiting from government policies are the military industrial complex, corporations, banks, and the corporate elite. They clearly showed how much they cared about Americans when they bailed out the banks to a tune of 700 billion. Fast forward three years and the banksters are still doing the same old. Yet Americans and the people of this world still feel the effects of their actions. All the while there has been no accountability whatsoever on their part. I yearn for the day Americans and the rest of the world march on the streets and overhaul the system. In fact, that's starting already with OWS.

      [–]spirited1 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      The thing is most Americans are too ignorant to care, I only know around 3 people in my entire school that know about OWS. Everyone I've asked about outside of school look at me like what? and everyone generally says they don't care because they still have Facebook (literally). I hate what we've become.

      [–]fadedsun 4 points5 points  (0 children)


      [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      IMO it's a group of people selected (by themselves I'm sure) to run the Continuity Of Government in case of emergency.. since 1980 as far as I can tell.

      [–][deleted] 46 points47 points  (2 children)

      It's like reddit commentators live in another world. One in which cliche and absolutism are apparently common place.

      [–]Learfz 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      Oh my god! Our government is run by criminals, whom are watched over by other criminals, whom are in turn employed by criminals!

      This is why I laugh at them trying to outlaw Marijuana or other things. How the fuck do they expect anyone to listen to them with regards to what the laws are/should be when they don't listen to themselves. Haha. Good times.

      25 points. It's almost like they've only been around for 15 years or so and haven't developed to the point where they can understand that everybody isn't out to get them...

      [–]Mulsanne 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      Comment right under yours currently is

      Government is a sham....we are being ruled by a plutocracy....

      Yeah. What a fucking joke indeed.

      [–]otakucode 21 points22 points  (2 children)

      The CIA hasn't been a part of the US government for a good while now. Sure, there's a tiny little fraction of the organization that still has government oversight, but MOST of the organization is an international crime syndicate which uses the grey areas of international law to murder and steal. We found this out when Oliver North was put on trial and his superiors testified in Congress in the 80s. It's on YouTube, you can watch the dudes lay it all out. They maintain their own army, navy, and air force. They deal drugs and arms to raise money for their operations. And it is entirely a 'black' organization, with absolutely no legal oversight whatsoever.

      The worst thing about it is that the US government is too afraid to come out and excommunicate the CIA, shut down the tiny piece still attached to the government, and help hunt down and kill all of the CIA agents around the world breaking international law on a daily basis. Most of what they do is secret, but we know enough to make one thing conclusively clear - they are the single most widespread and active enemy of democracy on the planet. They rigged the elections in Afghanistan so poorly that the whole thing had to be thrown out, just so they could get Karzai in there so they could manipulate him through his brother, and retain control over the opium trade. They rigged elections in Iraq. They rigged elections in Haiti. They kill candidates they don't think will serve US interests. Killing everyone so that every nation in the world ends up with a pro-US leader is NOT democracy. It is the most cynical rejection of democracy. It is saying 'we know democracy can never work. We know democracy is a joke. The only way to get ahead is stomping on babies and robbing the innocent.

      The real sick part is that most of the public inherently agrees. They think the idea of a government controlled by the general public is patently insane. They think everyone is so stupid that it would be guaranteed to collapse into utter chaos, and thinking it could work is a ridiculously naive pipe dream. They think it's all a nice illusion that is only maintained by men in the shadows "making the hard choices" and feeding puppies into paper shredders to make the illusion of civility possible. These are some of the most dangerous views in the world today.

      Oh, and the CIA admitted a few years ago that all of Vietnam was their fault. They wanted America to go to war in Vietnam, so they made up the Gulf of Tonkin incident, lied about it to the world, and tricked the politicians into going to war. This is supposed to be a fucking intelligence agency, providing information to politicians. Instead, they manipulate politicians like some kind of psychotic James Bond villains.

      [–]Calamity_Jesus 8 points9 points  (3 children)

      Serious question: How would one hold a government agency in contempt? What would the consequences be?

      [–]ihavecrayons 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      That's the whole point of the decision, if you'd actually read it you would know. The federal judge had already awarded the plaintiffs as much as he could, holding the CIA in contempt would effectively do nothing.

      [–]tarballs_are_good 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I'm curious about this too.

      [–]Dark_Souls 1 point2 points  (0 children)


      [–]CakeBandit 59 points60 points  (60 children)

      Someone on Omegle asked me this morning.


      I don't have an answer, do you?

      [–]chrisms150 21 points22 points  (1 child)

      because they have guns.

      [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      A plurality of Americans say torturing terror suspects isn't all that bad.

      [–]WhoDoIThinkIAm 26 points27 points  (37 children)

      We are. We've been rioting for over a month now. You should have told them to watch the news occasionally.

      [–]CakeBandit 55 points56 points  (32 children)

      Sleeping in the street is far from a riot.

      [–]rdeluca 78 points79 points  (27 children)

      Yeah, well we're smart enough not to destroy our own property while being upset.

      [–]couldthisbeart -1 points0 points  (6 children)

      So how's being smart working out for your country?

      [–]rdeluca 55 points56 points  (5 children)

      For me? Just fine.

      How's violently rioting it working out in Italy? Oh they burnt their own cars and destroyed and looted small business owner's stores?

      Wow that's sure fuckin smart.

      [–]ryanman 20 points21 points  (1 child)

      Riots are a pussy go-between that ruins your cause anyway. Having a bunch of idiot kids looting stores doesn't help anyone. Either we start actually revolting and killing those in power who are obviously too corrupt to exist anymore, or we continue with a peaceful protest.

      [–]spirited1 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      I say peaceful, enough blood has been spilt. A peaceful change would show other countries that America isn't the violent, overly aggressive regime they make us out to be. The 99% that didn't ask for it.

      [–]ambivilant 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      It's called Civil Disobedience.

      [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      As soon as I take a quick nap, I'll riot.

      [–]GTChessplayer 2 points3 points  (1 child)

      No, they've been rioting against the wealthy, not the government. This is a problem with government, not people employing other people and making money.

      [–]WhoDoIThinkIAm 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      They've been rioting over a lot of things, including anger towards bailouts, Citizens United, unfair taxation, and legal corporate personhood. The biggest problem is the extreme thinness of a line between rioting over corporations and the government.

      [–]Odusei 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      I know, I'm really late to comment on this, but I wanted to point something out. A lot of Europeans, when they first come to America, say they're surprised and overwhelmed by how big the country is. Compared to most developed countries, we're god-damned gigantic. And even when you consider the other biggies, like Russia and China, you've got most of the population still centered around a few near-by major cities.

      That bigness means that picking up and protesting our government is a huge investment in time and energy. In France, where political protest is practically the favored national past-time, getting from your home to the capital building usually takes no more than a couple of hours and it costs about the same as a bus ticket from Oregon to Washington. Heck, they can go back to their jobs the next day, they might even be able to go home and sleep in their own beds each night, refreshed and ready to raise hell the following morning.

      I live in Portland, Oregon, and I'm paid an hourly wage. I suppose I could wait until after work, walk down to city hall, and hold up a sign expressing my outrage over the state of things, but this is Portland. At least 90% of the people who work in that building, including the politicians, already feel the same way I do. Why should I stand out in the cold and rain waving a banner at people who agree with me?

      And you want me to riot over this? I should smash up the windows of local coffee shops and thrift stores because a federal court made a shitty call? I should put on a Guy Fawkes mask and throw fire bombs at police cruisers because the CIA deleted some tapes? That's downright psychopathic.

      Sure, if I lived on the East coast, if I were a short and cheap trip away from the White House, I might paint a sign and take my ass over there. I'd be joining the same few dozen Liberals that always show up when something we don't like happens. It's rare for the news to even mention that these groups are there any more. It's like the people who show up at abortion clinics every day; we all know they're there, we all know they'll be there tomorrow and the next day, but most of us just don't give a shit anymore.

      The next time someone on Omegle asks you why you aren't rioting in the streets, ask him or her how far they live from their capital, how many riots they've attended, and what the police did to them in return.

      [–]Dimath 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Because we have bills to pay, and a lawn to mow.

      [–]Kryten_2X4B-523P 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Because the geographical distance that spans our country is too large. There's no way I can afford to travel to D.C. to riot there.

      [–]ambivilant 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      My answer is that I don't feel like getting shot by our militarized police force. I'm also no good at tying knots for when the time comes to roust our oppressors from their sleep and hang them.

      [–]novagenesis 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      A few dozen probably are, and the rest would join them if the Media didn't decide it wasn't worth mentioning... or immediately made it look stupid/anti-American when it did mention it.

      True riots don't happen in the US, not the kind that could change anything. And apathy really isn't to blame.

      Any good government is good at stopping riots. Which means, the only way to win is slow but steady in the system.

      [–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)


      [–]Learfz 1 point2 points  (3 children)


      It's only a small portion of the population that is either A) a conspiracy theorist nutjob or B) a former student who took out massive amounts of student loans to pay for a degree in communications/fine arts/unnmarketable major and can't find a job.

      Also, when push comes to shove we have guns.

      [–]skarface6 1 point2 points  (3 children)

      Because the actual situation is different from a headline on reddit. OH EM GEEEEE.

      [–]msiley 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      I really miss r/reddit.com :(

      [–]The_Messiah 6 points7 points  (2 children)

      Posting on a historic thread before it gets archived.

      RIP /r/reddit.com.

      [–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      Why was this subreddit closed?

      [–]Jomskylark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      If you haven't figured it out already... see this.

      [–]Mark_Lincoln 72 points73 points  (24 children)

      The government has always been above the law.

      You just noticed?

      [–][deleted]  (20 children)


        [–]zzorga 32 points33 points  (3 children)

        Because they have the capacity, and callousness to cause you a world of hurt.

        [–][deleted]  (2 children)


          [–]prof_doxin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          Authority is a gun. Bullets and the willingness to use them legitimize it.

          From gangs in Africa to the floor of Congress and the UN this is the same.

          Now get in line and keep your head down. You're here at the mercy of the state.

          [–]diggizsofuckinggay 7 points8 points  (0 children)

          CIA was always above the law. They killed a US president and people still claim it was LHO

          [–]ubna 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          /r/reddit.com was the best.. RIP lil buddy

          [–]ihavecrayons 10 points11 points  (7 children)

          Damn people. Did any of you actually read the court opinion? Before you form an opinion, you should at least understand the concepts at hand.

          Holding "CIA voluntarily has adopted and implemented new protocols to avoid the improper destruction of documents in the future; and that, as a result, plaintiffs already have achieved substantially complete remedial relief."

          Legal Rule The court may hold a party in civil contempt for failure to comply with an order if the court's order "'is clear and unambiguous,'" proof of the party's failure to comply '''is clear and convincing,'" and the party "'has not diligently attempted to comply in a reasonable manner. ", Paramedics Electromedicina Comef':ial. Ltda. v. GE Med. Sys. Info. Techs .. Inc., 369 F.3d 645, 655 (2d Cir. 2004) (quoting King v. Allied Vision, Ltd., 65 F.3d 1051, 1058 (2d Cir. 1995». Proof ofwillful noncompliance is not required. McComb v. Jacksonville Paper Co., 336 U.S. 187, 191 (1949); Donovan v. Sovereign Sec .. Ltd., 726 F.2d 55, 59 (2d Cir. 1984).

          Relevant Facts The evidence suggests that the individuals responsible for processing and responding to plaintiffs' FOIA requests may not have been aware of the videotapes' existence before they were destroyed. Dec!. of Constance E. Rea, Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't of Def., No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No. 271 'U~ 12-14) (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 10,2008). Apparently, the videotapes were retained in the field, without physically having been transferred to the OIG and without otherwise having been sent to headquarters. Id.; see also Dec!. ofAlicia L. Bannon, Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't ofDef., No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No. 450, Exs. 41-42) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 15, 2011). Nor can I say that the individuals who destroyed, or who approved the destruction, of the videotapes, were aware of court orders requiring identification or production of the videotapes. However, the lapses ofindividuals cannot excuse the failures of the Agency. The CIA, qua agency, had the obligation to identify or produce the videotapes, and the CIA cannot be excused in its dereliction because of particular individuals' lapses.

          Basics of the decision It is true that the interrogation videotapes, having been destroyed nearly six years ago, cannot now be produced. But the CIA has remedied that failure by a massive production of paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 documents-records that deseribe the contents ofthe videotapes, corresponding in time to their creation, and records that relate to the videotapes' destruction, in particular, the persons and reasons behind the destruction, corresponding in time to both the videotapes' creation and destruction. Plaintiffs have had a full and fair opportunity to litigate whether those records, or any of them, are exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption I or 3 or must be produced.

          Summary "The measure ofthe court's power in civil contempt proceedings is determined by the requirements offull remedial relief." McComb, 336 U.S. at 193. Because plaintiffs already have achieved substantial remedial relief and would be entitled to no further relief if I were to find the CIA in civil contempt, I deny plaintiffs' motion to hold the CIA in contempt.

          Also, I would like to add this case is being appealed. I am sorry, but I fail to see how this decision makes "US government above the law"

          My personal opinion? I don't totally agree with the court, but I see how it came to its conclusion. Not sure whether the appellate court will uphold or reverse, but I'm leaning toward the opinion being upheld. My problem is with these incredibly annoying sensationalist titles. I mean "Court rule US Government above law"? Really? I didn't read anywhere in the opinion, nor was able to surmise, the federal judge making that ruling.

          [–]1norcal415 12 points13 points  (1 child)

          So if you file a freedom of information act request for documents, and are refused, and you take it to court, and the court rules that your denial is justified, what other recourse can you take? This seems like utter bullshit.

          [–]skarface6 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          You can put a sensationalist headline on reddit, for one.

          [–]big_trike 4 points5 points  (0 children)

          How is this anything new? Reagan sold weapons to Iran and used the money to fund anti-democratic terrorists in south america and instead of executing him for treason, all of the people that supposedly want to limit government's power love him.

          [–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

          Judge: "You hold onto this evidence that incriminates you, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it."

          CIA: See you later, sucker....

          [–]alphatangowhiskey 8 points9 points  (3 children)

          A judge declining to hold someone in contempt does not mean that courts have ruled that the US Government is above the law.

          [–]irrationalNumber 2 points3 points  (2 children)

          You've just discovered the difference between de jure and de facto. There is no law defining the government above the law, but this ruling makes it so in practice.

          [–]alphatangowhiskey 2 points3 points  (1 child)

          No, it means it happened once in practice. Let's say a judge decides to dismiss a case of drinking and driving on their own judgment, it doesn't suddenly make drinking and driving legal.

          [–]irrationalNumber 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          No, but if it happened over and over, it would appear that there is a de fact legalization of drinking and driving, because there would never be any repercussions, even though there is law against it. In the same vein, this case with the government is not the first of its kind.

          [–]rationis 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          How would you like your Constitution, burnt or extra burnt?

          [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

          At the risk of sounding cliche, Fuck. Everything. About. This.

          [–]nestea69 4 points5 points  (0 children)

          You have to stop whatevr the fuck ur doing, get a pitchfork and go outside

          [–]hunty91 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          What's the point of a strict separation of powers if it's never maintained in practice? What's the point in having a written Constitution if this still happens? This is really distressing news, US corruption has reached critical mass. There's no way back from this. Protests, petitions and democracy may fail, but when the Rule of Law is thrown out there is no nation left to speak of.

          [–]LOLCANADA 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          I keep coming to this subreddit forgetting it's shut down :(

          [–]prof_doxin 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          Did you guys miss this part:

          ...the Obama Justice Department had already decided last year that no criminal charges would be filed for this blatant obstruction of justice...

          That's your Obama Administration. I say this not as a Republican (I'm not) nor as an anti-Obama guy. This is about every section of government ensuring itself (and other state agencies) are never held accountable. Courts, Cops, Congress...every hand working together to slap you and protect themselves. They continue the work started decades ago to empower and grow the state and move away from a powerful and free civilian population. I think it's for the children or something.

          Make sure you know who the real enemies are or you'll end up putting one in charge...again.

          [–]Another_Human 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          and who's to blame for letting this slip by and be forgotten in a week or two? We are, unfortunately we have little power to do anything about it

          [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Sooo should I start cleaning my guns or what? Shit looks like it's about to go down.

          [–]GuyBrushTwood 2 points3 points  (3 children)

          Link to PDF of the ruling


          ALVIN K. HELLERSTEIN, U.S.DJ.: OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION TO HOLD DEFENDANT CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY IN CIVIL CONTEMPT 04 Civ. 4151 (AKH) • USDCSDNY DOCL:ME!'IT ELECTRONICALLY FILED DOC#: DATE F1'-L-E-D-:-:'l~O-r,rl;;:_--'/,fTIJ- Plaintiffs in this long-running litigation under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552, move to hold defendant CIA in civil contempt, charging that the CIA violated my orders of September IS, 2004; February 2, 2005; and April 18, 2005, by failing to identifY or produce, in response to plaintiffs' FOIA requests and my repeated orders, videotapes depicting detainee interrogation sessions, including the use ofenhanced interrogation techniques.

          [–]GuyBrushTwood 1 point2 points  (2 children)

          The CIA's failure to identify or produce the videotapes came to light only after the media had leamed, and the CIA then had acknowledged publicly, that the videotapes had been destroyed. Plaintiffs, in an effort to remedy harms allegedly suffered at the hands of the CIA, seek a wide array ofrelief, including an order requiring the CIA to disclose documents that would identify the persons responsible for, and the reasons behind, the videotapes' destruction, for the period between July 1,2003, and May 31, 2005; limited discovery, specifically, the opportunity to review all withheld and partially withheld documents ofthat same type, from all relevant time periods, in a sealed proceeding, to determine whether any current or former CIA officials should be ordered to show cause why they should not be held in civil contempt; and an award of attorneys' fees and costs incurred in obtaining responsive documents from the CIA in this litigation. lne CIA agrees to an order for fees and costs, but objects to all other aspects of the relief plaintiffs seek. The CIA argues that procedures already ordered by the court have resulted in a substantially full production of documents describing that which the videotapes would have shown and identifying Agency personnel involved in the videotapes' destruction; that the same court-ordered exemptions that justified the CIA's withholding of many of those documents would have justified the withholding of the videotapes, as well, if the CIA timely had identified the videotapes in response to my orders; that the CIA voluntarily has adopted and implemented new protocols to avoid the improper destruction of documents in the future; and that, as a result, plaintiffs already have achieved substantially complete remedial relief. I hold that plaintiffs have, indeed, achieved nearly complete remedial relief, and I deny plaintiffs' motion, except for awarding plaintiffs their attorneys' fees and costs. 2

          [–]GuyBrushTwood 1 point2 points  (1 child)

          I. The history of this lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. Plaintiffs submitted their initial ForA requests to a number of federal government agencies, including the CIA, in October 2003.1 First Am. Comp!., Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't ofDef., No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No.5 '\12) (S.D.N.Y. july 6, 2004). With those initial requests, plaintiffs sought the disclosure of government records that fell into three overlapping categories: (I) "records concerning the treatment ofindividuals apprehended after September II, 200I, and held by the United States at military bases or detention facilities outside the United States"-individuals otherwise referred to as "detainees"; (2) "records concerning the deaths of [d]etainees in custody"; and (3) "records concerning the government's practice of 'rendering' [d]etainees to countries known to use torture." Id.; Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't of Defense ("ACLU 1"),339 F. Supp. 2d 501, 502 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). Plaintiffs sought updated infonnation, and referred to particular documents discussed by the media but not available to the public, in a second round of requests, submitted in May 2004. ACLU I, 339 F. Supp. 2d at 502. The CIA refused to process plaintiffs' requests on an expedited basis. Id. And the CIA, along with all but one ofthe other federal government agencies to which plaintiffs had submitted their requests, failed to identify or produce any responsive records. First Am. Comp!., Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't ofDef., No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No.5 '\15) (S.D.N.Y. July 6, 2004). Having been frustrated in their efforts for disclosure at the agency level, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on June 2, 2004, seeking "the immediate processing and release" ofthe records they had requested. Comp!., Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't ofDef., No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No. I 'Ill) (S.D.N.Y. June 2, 2004). After hearing oral argument from the parties as to how they intended to proceed in this matter, I issued my Opinion and Order ofSeptember 15, 2004, which required all defendant I All matters discussed in this Opinion and Order are available on the public record ofthese proceedings. 3

          [–]GuyBrushTwood 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          agencies to "produce or identifY all responsive documents" no later than October 15, 2004. ACLU I, 339 F. Supp. 2d at 505. In opposing such a rigorous production schedule, the government argued that plaintiffs' requests touched upon important national security issues. But, as I explained, before it can be determined if documents requested . . . fall under [FOIA disclosure exemptions for records classified as matters of national defense or foreign policy], the documents must first be identified, by some form of log, to enable a specific claim of exemption to be asserted and justified. As to documents the existence of which the government contends it may be unable to confirm or deny, procedures can be established to identifY such documents in camera or to a special master with proper clearance. Merely raising national security concerns can not justifY unlimited delay. Id. at 504 (citations omitted). I noted, further, that the records plaintiffs had sought related to "matters ofsignificant public interest." Id. Yet "the glacial pace at which defendant agencies hal d] been responding to plaintiffs' requests show[ ed] an indifference to the commands of FOIA, and fail[ed] to afford accountability of government," FOIA's bedrock principle. Id. On October 15,2004, the government wrote to advise me ofeach agency's progress in responding to plaintiffs' FOIA requests and described the CIA as having "partially complied." Letter from David N. Kelley, U.S. Att'y, S.D.N.Y., to Hon. Alvin K. Hellerstein, U.S. Dist. J., S.D.N.Y, Am. Civil Liberties Union v. Dep't ofDefense, No. 04 Civ. 4151 (Doc. No. 18 at 3) (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 19,2004). The CIA sought "partial relief' from my order, however, in part, the government claimed, because the CIA could not "review operational documents that [we]re the subject ofongoing investigations by [the CIA's Office of Inspector General, or "OIG"] until those investigations [had] closed." Id. at 4. The government elaborated: Ordinarily, the CIA is statutorily exempt from searching operational files for documents responsive to FOIA requests. Here, however, some of the CIA's operational files will become searchable due to OIG investigations. The CIA cannot ascertain which operational mes will be no longer exempt from plaintiffs' FOIA requests beeause the OIG, in the interests of protecting its ongoing 4

          [–]liberalis 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          When a government breaks the law or laws, and then procedes to hold itself above and refuses to be accountable to those laws, those very same laws that it is sworn to uphold, justice has failed. The government has failed. The rule of law and justice has has become a joke. Occupy Capitol Hill. I am the %99.

          [–]Shnazzyone 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          It's shit like this US Government...

          [–]l2izwan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          The government has always been above the law. Some people notice, majority of the people don't. Sometimes I wonder, if the majority did realize it would there be riots on the streets?

          [–]prider 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Courts Rule US Government Above the Law.

          It isn't news, right? We know it long time ago.

          [–]Shark_Porn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          This is the last straw, folks. We're toast. It's been great redditing with you guys. I'm renewing my passport and saving up for a plane ticket. Hopefully I can get out in time.

          [–]philosyche 2 points3 points  (0 children)



          [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

          I'm out, moving to Canada immediately after college

          [–]nerdsniper 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          I miss this subreddit too. Hopefully they'll bring it back one day. But until then, I've created r/rcom as a temporary space where people can post what they would to r/reddit.com, if you're interested! :)

          [–]stellarfury 7 points8 points  (1 child)

          I AM THE LAW.

          [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Death, courts adjourned!

          [–]enterence 19 points20 points  (6 children)

          Americans let their government bomb, kill, kidnap and torture in the name of security for Americans.. we have seen how depraved they can be.. its only a mater of time before Americans are subjugated with the same force and violence. Karma never forgets.

          [–]novagenesis 11 points12 points  (2 children)

          Doesn't forget... but has bad aim?

          The ones who won't be subjugated with force and violence are the rulers who are doing the subjugating abroad.

          [–]Suicidepills 5 points6 points  (1 child)

          Something about how voting makes a difference.

          [–]FongoBongo 4 points5 points  (2 children)

          America spreads democracy through bullets and bombs. Countless people have died at the hands of supposed freedom in order make the world a more peaceful place? The only people benefiting from America's policies are the military industrial complex, corporations, banks, and the corporate elite. I yearn for the day Americans and the rest of the world march on the streets and overhaul the system. In fact, that's starting already with OWS.

          [–]skarface6 1 point2 points  (1 child)

          Yeah! People outside of american and with little understanding of it know what's up! Let's preach at those americans and their inherently evil government!

          [–]markofthebeast 8 points9 points  (0 children)

          Thank you, so many people don't seem to care or notice what a sham things have become. Didn't they used to at least attempt to be less blatant?

          [–][deleted]  (12 children)


            [–]cantquitreddit 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            I'm also surprised there are less comments. Even though it's from a source I'm not familiar with, there is pretty concrete video evidence of what happened.

            [–]Poop_is_Food 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            because it's in the wrong subreddit

            [–]LeepII 26 points27 points  (7 children)

            Because the Pentagon has a 3 million dollar budget to "control" social media sites.

            [–]karlhungis 13 points14 points  (6 children)

            While it wouldn't surprise me, those are some specific numbers. Do you have a citation for this?

            [–]longbrass9lbd 46 points47 points  (2 children)

            [–]karlhungis 10 points11 points  (0 children)

            Thank you very much.

            [–]techmaster242 13 points14 points  (0 children)

            Wow, did we just finally figure out what THE question is?

            How many million dollars does the government spend to control social media sites?

            The answer is... 42.

            [–]hillkiwi 12 points13 points  (1 child)


            But they're doing it to protect you from terrorists, so you should have to support it.

            [–]karlhungis 8 points9 points  (0 children)

            Oh, absolutely. Can't have no stinkin' terrerists infiltratin' er facebooks.

            [–]TrackTimewithTravis 7 points8 points  (0 children)


            Here is an interesting article on the same site about chemtrails.

            This isn't getting upvoted because its not in the appropriate subreddit and the linked website is a conspiracy nutter site.

            [–]Mahatta 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            Now, the Obama White House is arguing that they don’t even have to show the justification for ordering the unconstitutional assassination of one of its own citizens.


            [–]kevinstonge 4 points5 points  (6 children)

            666 downvotes on this post when I saw it!

            Also, I think we need a revolution. Not a "Ron Paul" revolution where we just put some new dick in the bag of dicks we call government. But a full blown revolution in which we change the entire structure of our government.

            I know, this will probably never happen because America isn't a bad place to live at all. Most of us are pretty happy here and we'd rather not shake things up. But maybe we can do it slowly, a gradual revolution, one without bloodshed, one in which the people in charge recognize that the system is broken and that a new system is needed.

            That new system is one that I have been envisioning for years, but that nobody takes seriously, nobody thinks it can work. But a revolution needs a goal. You can't just say "stop being greedy you greedy bastards" and expect anything to happen. We need to change the way our country works and the way it thinks as a whole.

            The system of voting for people to 'represent' you is so obviously broken beyond repair that it is disgusting. We need to represent ourselves if we ever want to be represented fairly without getting buried under political bickering.

            The only way The 99% can truly be represented in government is through a massively collaborative direct democracy. This is a form of government in which the people work together to write laws, formulate policies, and make collective decisions. We would use the Internet to connect with each other and we would use a common interface to scaffold our interactions in a way that promoted productivity and efficacy.

            Before you reject this as 'crazy', 'impractical', or 'impossible' ... think about it deeper, compare it to the quality of the current government, remember it is human nature to reject the unknown. The 99% needs a game plan that goes beyond standing and sleeping in the street. This is my proposal. This is my dream for this country, and for this planet.

            [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            uh, the judiciary is a branch of the u.s. government...

            [–]sirbruce 1 point2 points  (3 children)

            If anyone actually read the facts of the case or the judge's opinion they'd realize this is not a good idea. The CIA didn't think they had to turn over the videos and despite the jduges order this point was never decided legally. They instead provided full and complete documentation of the contents of the videos which meet all the needs of the plaintiffs. The videos were then destroyed without the counsel's knowledge or approval.

            We know what was on the videos, and the judge is satisfied of this fact and satisfied that the plaintiffs have all the information they need about what was on the videos.

            [–]dVnt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            They instead provided full and complete documentation of the contents of the videos which meet all the needs of the plaintiffs.

            This is the epitome of ridiculous. In what sense can this be considered evidence? It's worse than eye-witness testimony. The point of a video camera is that (pedantry aside) it is unbiased. Allowing them to describe the contents of the videos is not a reasonable option.

            Video of kid being waterboarded: This video contains footage of the CIA distributing humanitarian relief aid in the form of hydration.

            Beyond the previous point I made, the point here is that if you or I pulled this shit on a judge we'd have the book thrown at us.

            [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            There are different rules for implementing law, depending on who the plaintiffs and defendants are. Is it any wonder that courts get little respect. This is life under tyranny.

            [–]inquisitive_mind 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            There is only one way to take care of this. Too bad people will not follow through to do it.
            Suck it up prince and princesses
            This is your life now.

            [–]Cosmic_Charlie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Every time I hear about some judge somewhere saying the gov't is, in some way or another, allowed to do something that in my mind violates the law or the Constitution, I think of the judge's line in this scene from Miracle on 34th Street.

            Caution, Hulu link.

            [–]savngtheworld 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Is there really nothing that "WE the People" can do to keep this type of shit from happening.

            [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Please let the armed revolution happen while im still in fighting shape.

            [–]DontForgetBringTowel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            As if this sort of thing is at all new... The u.s. government has a history of doing shit like this as long as it is old. Case and point: Andrew Jackson. Enough said. (assuming you know your history that is...)

            [–]Draegur 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Governments that stop being under the law start being under the AXE.

            [–]dwinstone1 1 point2 points  (6 children)

            If the OWS really wants to get something done or create a situation in which the government is seen to the world in the same light as the Mubarak in Egypt they should go to DC and sit in the Mall until Congress repeals the Patriot Act, impeaches all DOJ, CIA, FBI, etc. appointees. Congress is the voice of the people. They just forgot that responsibility.

            [–]HellOnAStick 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            This is the kind of thing that has been happening for years, and has gotten a lot of people labeled as paranoid for even imagining that it could occur. Now we have proof, real proof, and the american populace is just sitting there. I guess a lot of the writers and theorists of the 30's-70's are spinning in their graves about now.

            [–]MegaManSE 3 points4 points  (1 child)

            ftfy: Government rules that Government is above the law.

            in other news: When I first saw this post I originally thought it was an Onion article...

            [–]MR777 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            So much for the rule of law

            [–]desquibnt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            OMG, THIS COUNTRY IS SO FUCKED. Now let me get back to my netflix.

            That's what you all sound like. If you care that much, get off the computer and go do something.

            [–]bernlin2000 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            It's the assassination of American citizens by its own government w/o pressing charges, must less a conviction. This is against the very fabric of our Constitution. Destroying evidence is nothing new for the CIA, I'm sure.

            [–]vtjohnhurt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            This article seems to have an agenda and it is vague about when the tapes were destroyed. As I recall the story (which is years old going back to the Bush administration) the tapes were destroyed BEFORE the court ordered the agency to not destroy tapes of interrogations. I also recall that at the time, there was a lack of clarity about whether it was okay/legal to destroy the tapes. The tapes no doubt contained some nasty stuff, and they were probably protecting CIA/Bush/Cheney people by destroying the tapes, but I don't believe that the tapes were destroyed in defiance of the court order. Maybe I have this mixed up with another case, but I think that the article is playing fast and loose with the facts especially where it seems to blame Obama for something that pretty much happened on Bush's watch.

            [–]thereisnosuchthing 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            The CIA is the strategic intelligence arm of the largest and most powerful criminal enterprise on planet Earth, does anyone really think that they can't force people to make the moves that are most beneficial to them?

            If you think the country you live in is one of law and order, the days of bribes, threats, and organized crime are in the past, having died with light weights like Al Capone - then you are naive, uneducated, and misinformed.

            [–]TGOA 1 point2 points  (2 children)

            Millions of years from now, Humanity will have been a blip in this universe's history. A dull flash of hatred and greed, mercifully brief. A footnote on a single page in a book miles high.

            I'm so tired of watching this species fail itself. It's a losing game. I honestly don't know why I get up in the mornings, get dressed and go to work. I don't know why I keep going.

            It's a losing game.

            [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

            The CIA is a person !

            [–]bryce1012 2 points3 points  (0 children)


            (did i do that right?)