Categorized | Crime, National

Torture is ‘Top Secret’

 

The Senate Report on CIA Interrogations You May Never See

 

by Cora Currier
ProPublica, Dec. 7

 

A Senate committee is close to putting the final stamp on a massive report on the CIA’s detention, inter-
rogation and rendition of terror suspects.  Senator Dianne
Feinstein,
D-Calif., who heads the Select Committee on
Intelligence,
called the roughly 6,000-page report “the most
definitive
review of this CIA program to be conducted.”

But it’s unclear how much, if any, of the review you might get to read.

The committee first needs to vote to endorse the report.  There will be a vote next week.

Republicans, who are a minority on the committee, have been boycotting the investigation since the summer of 2009.  They pulled back their cooperation after the Justice Department began a separate investigation into the CIA interrogations.  Republicans have criticized that inquiry, arguing that the interrogations had been authorized by
President George W. Bush’s Justice Department.

In August, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the
investigation was being closed without bringing any criminal charges.

Even if the report is approved next week, it won’t be made public then, if at all.  Decisions on declassification will come at “a later time,” Feinstein said.

According to Reuters, the Senate report focuses on whether so-called “enhanced interrogation” tactics– including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and other techniques– actually led to critical intelligence breakthroughs.  Reuters reported earlier this year that the
investigation “was expected to find little evidence” the
torture was in fact crucial.

Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and others have repeatedly said that such tactics produced important information.  They’ve also said waterboarding was used on only a handful of high-level detainees, a claim which recently came into question.

Feinstein has previously disputed claims that such interrogations led to Osama Bin Laden.  It is also still unclear what key members of Congress knew about the
program, and when they knew it.

Much about the CIA’s program to detain and interrogate terror suspects has remained officially secret, despite widespread reporting and acknowledgement by Bush.  Obama banned torture upon taking office and released documents related to program, including a critical report from the CIA’s Inspector General.

But the Obama administration has argued in courts that details about the CIA program are still classified.  As we have reported, this has led the administration to claim in some cases that Guantanamo detainees’ own accounts of their imprisonment are classified.

* * * * * * * * *

Some call it ‘enhanced interrogation.’  We see it as torture, plain and simple.

We’re also fully aware of the five findings the CIA Inspector General (IG) made of his own agency in his 2009 report as reported by Time magazine:

    • The CIA IG concluded that the public had been misled about the interrogation program.  While the report stops short of accusing any public official of lying, it makes clear that the public statements that the U.S. Government made about its conduct differed from what was actually happening, creating a liability for the CIA if the information ever got out.
    • The CIA IG found that the CIA used waterboarding in a way that had not been approved by the Justice Department, calling into question the legality of the technique.
    • The CIA IG repeatedly brought what it viewed as abuses or violations of law to the attention of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Justice Department, without any positive result.
    • The CIA IG concluded that while high-value detainees did produce valuable intelligence, the measurement of the effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques “is a more subjective process and not without some concern.”
    • The initial harsh interrogation program, begun in 2002, was poorly managed, some interrogators were poorly trained and informed, and they used techniques that were substantially harsher than what had been approved by the White House and the Justice Department.

Laura Pitter, a counter-terrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch, welcomed the Senate investigation being concluded.

“We hope it will ultimately shed some light on what has been one of the darkest chapters in U.S. history and finally set the record straight on how ineffective the use of torture actually was in obtaining useful and accurate intelligence,” she said.

Well, Laura, don’t hold your breath.  We don’t expect too much light to be shed on this ‘dark chapter.’

In fact, we expect it will be locked away in the archives, kept from public view, and treated as if it never happened

Torture is an embarassingly dirty little secret that administration officials,
the CIA, Attorney General, Congressional Republicans and
neocons will ensure never sees the light of day.

 

(Images by the Humboldt Sentinel.  Posted by Skippy Massey)

Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Israeli president opposes proposed law to give ‘national rights’ to Jews only
    Guardian - Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, has voiced his strong opposition to a controversial proposed new law that would define “national rights” in Israel as reserved for Jews only.The “Jewish nation-state” bill would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and possibly de-list Arabic as a seco […]
  • Study: US could produce 100 times more solar power
    Washington Post - In a new report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center ... argues that the U.S. "has the potential to produce more than 100 times as much electricity from solar PV and concentrating solar power installations as the nation consumes each year." It adds that every single state could generate more solar electricity than i […]
  • Post literate America
    From 50 years of our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2007Sitting in Manhattan across from an editor at one of best regarded publishing houses, I asked, "Does good writing still matter?"After a long pause, the editor replied, "Yes, I believe it does."It would be the extended silence and not the words that would remain with me over the next […]
  • Obama's support from whites without a college degree hits new low
    Gallup- President Barack Obama's job approval rating among white non-college graduates is at 27% so far in 2014, 14 percentage points lower than among white college graduates. This is the largest yearly gap between these two groups since Obama took office. These data underscore the magnitude of the Democratic Party's problem with working-class whit […]
  • What's happening Wednesday evening
    Fewer than four in 10 adults in the U.S. (37%) say there is an area within a mile of where they live where they would be afraid to walk alone at night, similar to Americans' attitudes over the last decade and a half. Most Americans continue to feel safe in their immediate communities, with 63% saying they would not be afraid to walk alone there at night […]
  • Morning line
    In our moving average, Romney has a 8 point lead over Bush and Paul. The only other GOP candidates with more than 5 points are Huckabee, Carson and Christie. Clinton has an easy lead among Democrats, 47 points ahead of Warren and 51 points ahead of Biden. She is statistically tied with Romney and has only a single digit lead against other leading Republicans […]
  • Many Walmart workers can't afford to shop at Walmart
    Guardian:A food drive launched by the Dairy Department Manager of an Oklahoma Walmart to assist two employees has again spotlighted the impact of the low wages paid by the nation’s largest employer and, with total revenues of $476 billion, most profitable corporation. Michele Simon, a public health lawyer at Eat Drink Politics, noted in a recent report that […]
  • What banks, academics, the media and politicians don't tell you about money
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesThe privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but is the government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. -- Abraham Lincoln Most of what follows is the work of the extraordinary […]
  • What's happening
    The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, even faster than first reported, giving the country its strongest six months of growth in more than a decade.A national poll found that 89 percent of Latino voters support for President Obama’s use of executive authority on immigration. Eighty percent say they are opposed […]
  • Word: Chuck Hagel
    Popular Resistance:Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, an […]
  • A LED bulb that adjusts to natural light
    Tree Hugger - An ex-Tesla CEO has brought something new and interesting to the smart light bulb market and it could prove to be the most energy efficient of all of them. Neil Joseph left Tesla last year to start Stack, a smart lighting start-up. Its first product is called Alba and it's what would happen if you combined a Philips Hue with a Nest Thermos […]
  • How politicians silence the press
    From Jim Romensko: A letter from the head of the NY Press Club to Mayor de Blasio:Dear Mr. Mayor: Eight months have passed since you took office as New York City’s 109th mayor. This organization, which since 1948 has represented this city’s journalists, is deeply disturbed by a pattern that has emerged in the way you deal with reporters seeking information i […]
  • Civilization nearing collapse?
    Guardian - The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse some time this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has […]
  • Even prejudiced white cops can kill fewer blacks
    Hit & RunPolice officers keep claiming that they genuinely thought their unarmed victims had lethal weapons. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, claims in his grand jury testimony that Brown put his right hand “under his shirt in his waistband” and then lunged at him—153 feet away. Yet Michael Brown did n […]
  • Nearly half of Americans see climate change a sign of 'end times'Eco
    EcoWatch While 62 percent of Americans say that they believe climate change is a factor driving recent natural disasters and extreme weather—probably a higher percentage than in Congress—49 percent also believe they are caused by “Biblical end times,” with an especially high number of white evangelicals holding that belief. That’s according to a new survey r […]