"An FBI agent warned superiors in a memo three years ago that U.S. officials who discussed plans to ship terror suspects to foreign nations that practice torture could be prosecuted for conspiring to violate U.S. law, according to a copy of the memo obtained by NEWSWEEK. (...)
In a memo forwarded to a senior FBI lawyer on Nov. 27, 2002, a supervisory special agent from the bureau's behavioral analysis unit offered a legal analysis of interrogation techniques that had been approved by Pentagon officials for use against a high-value Qaeda detainee. After objecting to techniques such as exploiting "phobias" like "the fear of dogs" or dripping water "to induce the misperception of drowning," the agent discussed a plan to send the detainee to Jordan, Egypt or an unspecified third country for interrogation. "In as much as the intent of this category is to utilize, outside the U.S., interrogation techniques which would violate [U.S. law] if committed in the U.S., it is a per se violation of the U.S. Torture Statute," the agent wrote. "Discussing any plan which includes this category could be seen as a con-spiracy to violate [the Torture Statute]" and "would inculpate" everyone involved.
A senior FBI official, who asked not to be identified because the issue is sensitive, said the memo was not an official bureau legal conclusion. (...) But another senior U.S. law-enforcement official familiar with the memo, who also asked not to be identified, said the memo reflects concerns among many agents and lawyers about "rendition." Intel officials estimate that more than 100 terror suspects have been rendered to foreign countries by the CIA under a classified directive signed by President George W. Bush after 9/11."
No surprises here either, although the extent to which this administration seems to have been determined to disregard the advice of anyone who disagrees with them is, as always, mind-boggling. But mind-boggling things are not necessarily surprising, these days.