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

  • Hillary Clinton's glass ceiling
    Weekly Standard - In late February, Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed champion of women's rights and gender equity, came under fire for a Washington Free Beacon analysis that showed women on Mrs. Clinton's staff during her tenure in the Senate were paid an average of 72 cents on the dollar compared to male staff. Now, an analysis of the latest IRS […]
  • TV violence isn't all fun
     From our overstocked archivesSam Smith, Idler, 1965 - One of the things that impressed us about the interim report on television and juvenile delinquency published recently by Senator Dodd’s subcommittee was the amount of dedicated thought and preparation that goes into saturating the air with video mayhem. Producing and writing violence shows isn’t all fun […]
  • Using private emails helped bring down ambassador
    Weekly Standard - In 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration abruptly stepped down from his post. According to a Foreign Policy report by Josh Rogin (now a reporter for Bloomberg), Gration was the subject of a whithering evaluation from the State Department:While Gration was fired for a myriad of reasons, one passage of the damning report leaps out in l […]
  • Dramatic ice thinning in the Arctic
    Take Part - In a new University of Washington study, researchers found that in one part of the Arctic, sea ice has thinned about 65 percent--from 11 feet to 4 feet—since 1975. In September, when Arctic sea ice typically reaches its lowest levels, the ice thinned by 85 percent, The Guardian reports. The new study is based on a variety of sources, and was publ […]
  • Snowden update
    Glenn Greenwald, First Look - In Moscow, Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena held a press conference to promote his new book, was asked about Snowden’s case, and said exactly what has been known for almost two years: “He has a desire to go back, and we are doing everything possible to make that happen.” Kucherena added that lawyers in various countrie […]
  • Race to the bottom: Corporate figures
    Jamie Dimon Koch brothers Bill Gates Sheldon Adelson Michael Bloomberg Lloyd Blankfein Pete Peterson Donald Sterling Donald Trump […]
  • A Portugese cargo bike
    Tree Hugger […]
  • Word
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.~Mark Twain […]
  • San Franciso becomes first city to ban plastic bottles
    Global Flare San Francisco has just become the first city in America to ban the sale of plastic water bottles, a move that is building on a global movement to reduce the huge amount of waste from the billion-dollar plastic bottle industry. Over the next four years, the ban will phase out the sales of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in publi […]
  • Great moments in New York therapy
    NY Post - It’s been so cold out there for so long that more New Yorkers are hitting the couch — in their shrinks’ offices.“It’s like the never-ending winter,” Laura Young, a Midtown therapist, lamented to The Post on Tuesday.“People are definitely having a lot of feelings about the long winter,’’ she said.“They are just down, feeling lethargic. It’s hard for […]
  • Bank of Canada urges people to stop Spocking their fivers
    Dangerous Minds - Bank of Canada is pleading with Star Trek fans to stop “Spocking” its five dollar bills. Since Leonard Nimoy’s death, Canadian folks have been “Spocking” the hell out of the five dollar bill that features a portrait of Canada’s seventh prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Sir Wilfrid now sports, on certain bills at least, pointy ears, the si […]
  • Clinton email update
    Gawker - According to a knowledgeable source, at least two other top Clinton aides also used private email accounts to conduct government business—placing their official communications outside the scope of federal record-keeping regulations. “Her top staffers used those Clinton email addresses” at the agency, said the source, who has worked with Clinton in t […]
  • Take that, Boehner
    Politicus USA - Since Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in the U.S., President Obama’s approval rating has increased by 5 points in the Gallup poll.An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that by a margin of 48%-30%, registered voters said that John Boehner should have talked to President Obama before inviting Netanyahu. […]
  • Piles of shit on Mt. Everest
    Gawker - The chief of Nepal's mountaineering association says that human sewage has become a critical problem on Mount Everest, urging his country's government to make visitors properly dispose of their shit and piss."Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there," Ang Tshering Sherpa told rep […]
  • Hillary Clinton: Thriving in the gap between criminal law and political integrity
    Sam Smith - A key point being missed in the latest Clinton scandal is the difference between criminal law and political integrity. In recent decades, beginning with Watergate, we have increasingly favored the former as the standard for the latter, a trend the Clintons have repeatedly used to their advantage. Thus, since Bill Clinton was not removed from offi […]