Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations, More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program, Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
December 10, 2014 Comments Off on Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations, More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program, Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Interrogations
By MARK MAZZETTI DEC. 9, 2014
WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued a sweeping indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, drawing on millions of internal C.I.A. documents to illuminate practices that it said were more brutal — and far less effective — than the agency acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.
The long-delayed report delivers a withering judgment on one of the most controversial tactics of a twilight war waged over a dozen years. The Senate committee’s investigation, born of what its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, said was a need to reckon with the excesses of this war, found that C.I.A. officials routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained, and failed to provide basic oversight of the secret prisons it established around the world.
In exhaustive detail, the report gives a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects. Detainees were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, and were sometimes told that they would be killed while in American custody. With the approval of the C.I.A.’s medical staff, some prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” — a technique that the C.I.A.’s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.” C.I.A. medical staff members described the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, as a “series of near drownings.”
….The torture of prisoners at times was so extreme that some C.I.A. personnel tried to put a halt to the techniques, but were told by senior agency officials to continue the interrogation sessions.
The Senate report quotes a series of August 2002 cables from a C.I.A. facility in Thailand, where the agency’s first prisoner was held. Within days of the Justice Department’s approval to begin waterboarding the prisoner, Abu Zubaydah, the sessions became so extreme that some C.I.A. officers were “to the point of tears and choking up,” and several said they would elect to be transferred out of the facility if the brutal interrogations continued.
….The committee’s report concluded that of the 119 detainees, “at least 26 were wrongfully held.”
….The program expanded, with dozens of detainees taken to secret prisons in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and other countries. In September 2006, Mr. Bush ordered all of the detainees in C.I.A. custody to be transferred to the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and after that the C.I.A. held a small number of detainees in secret at a different facility for several months at a time, before they were also moved to Guantánamo Bay.
Taken in its entirety, the report is a portrait of a spy agency that was wholly unprepared for its new mission as jailers and interrogators, but that embraced its assignment with vigor. The report chronicles millions of dollars in secret payments between 2002 and 2004 from the C.I.A. to foreign officials, aimed at getting other governments to agree to host secret prisons.
More Than A Quarter Of The World’s Countries Helped The CIA Run Its Torture Program 12/09/2014
….According to several U.S. officials involved with the negotiations, the intelligence community has long been concerned that the Senate document would enable readers to identify the many countries that aided the CIA’s controversial torture program between 2002 and roughly 2006. These countries made the CIA program possible in two ways: by enabling rendition, which involved transferring U.S. detainees abroad without due legal process, and by providing facilities far beyond the reach of U.S. law where those detainees were subjected to torture.
Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots
After waterboarding, 9/11 mastermind told interrogators what ‘he thought they wanted to hear’ By Michael Isikoff 12/9/14
After days of brutal interrogations, in which he was slammed against walls, slapped in the gut, and repeatedly waterboarded — “near drownings” that caused him to vomit — 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told his CIA interrogators he was “ready to talk.”
The story he told in March 2003: He had sent an al-Qaida operative to Montana to recruit African-Americans for terrorist attacks inside the U.S. The alarming new claim sent FBI agents scrambling to find evidence of the plot, but they came up with nothing.
And for good reason: KSM later admitted he had fabricated the story — that because he was being subjected to such rough measures, he “simply told his interrogators what he thought they wanted to hear,” according to an internal agency cable quoted in the mammoth Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday by the panel’s chair, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The invented Montana plot is only one example of multiple wild-goose chases and other false leads that were produced by the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — what President Barack Obama himself has labeled “torture” — in the years after 9/11, according to the 489-page Senate report.
“The methods in question … regularly resulted in fabricated information,” the report states in its key findings….
Many of the techniques laid out in the report have been publicly known for years — forced nudity, sleep deprivation, dietary and temperature manipulation, wall slamming and, of course, waterboarding, a practice dating back to the Spanish Inquisition in which subjects are strapped down and doused with water to simulate the experience of drowning….
A CIA prison in Afghanistan (known as the Salt Pit but referred to as COBALT in the report) was described in CIA cables as a “dungeon” where hooded prisoners were kept in complete darkness and shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music — and only a bucket to use for human waste. One of the detainees died from hypothermia after being left naked from the waist down….
The committee report examined 20 “case studies” in which agency officials had claimed they had thwarted plots or rounded up suspects based on aggressive interrogations. These assertions, the panel found, were “inaccurate and contradicted by the CIA’s own records.”….
In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis The Nazis Next Door, Florida hazing trial begins in college marching band death, Church of England to examine 1950s records in child abuse investigation
October 28, 2014 Comments Off on In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis The Nazis Next Door, Florida hazing trial begins in college marching band death, Church of England to examine 1950s records in child abuse investigation
– In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men “The agency’s own files linked Mr. Lileikis to the machine-gun massacres of 60,000 Jews in Lithuania.”
– Florida hazing trial begins in college marching band death
“he died of hemorrhagic shock resulting from blunt force trauma after running through a gauntlet of band members beating him”
– Church of England to examine 1950s records in child abuse investigation
In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis
By ERIC LICHTBLAU OCT. 26, 2014
WASHINGTON — In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.
At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.
The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.”
And in 1994, a lawyer with the C.I.A. pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official….
In 1980, F.B.I. officials refused to tell even the Justice Department’s own Nazi hunters what they knew about 16 suspected Nazis living in the United States.
The bureau balked at a request from prosecutors for internal records on the Nazi suspects, memos show, because the 16 men had all worked as F.B.I. informants, providing leads on Communist “sympathizers.” Five of the men were still active informants….
Some spies for the United States had worked at the highest levels for the Nazis.
One SS officer, Otto von Bolschwing, was a mentor and top aide to Adolf Eichmann, architect of the “Final Solution,” and wrote policy papers on how to terrorize Jews.
Yet after the war, the C.I.A. not only hired him as a spy in Europe, but relocated him and his family to New York City in 1954, records show. The move was seen as a “a reward for his loyal postwar service and in view of the innocuousness of his [Nazi] party activities,” the agency wrote….
When Israeli agents captured Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, Otto von Bolschwing went to the C.I.A. for help because he worried they might come after him, memos show.
Agency officials were worried as well that Mr. von Bolschwing might be named as Eichmann’s “collaborator and fellow conspirator and that the resulting publicity may prove embarrassing to the U.S.” a C.I.A. official wrote….
In all, the American military, the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and other agencies used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis and collaborators as spies and informants after the war, according to Richard Breitman, a Holocaust scholar at American University who was on a government-appointed team that declassified war-crime records.
The full tally of Nazis-turned-spies is probably much higher, said Norman Goda, a University of Florida historian on the declassification team, but many records remain classified even today, making a complete count impossible.
“U.S. agencies directly or indirectly hired numerous ex-Nazi police officials and East European collaborators who were manifestly guilty of war crimes,” he said. “Information was readily available that these were compromised men.”….
When the Justice Department was preparing in 1994 to prosecute a senior Nazi collaborator in Boston named Aleksandras Lileikis, the C.I.A. tried to intervene.
The agency’s own files linked Mr. Lileikis to the machine-gun massacres of 60,000 Jews in Lithuania. He worked “under the control of the Gestapo during the war,” his C.I.A. file noted, and “was possibly connected with the shooting of Jews in Vilna.”
Even so, the agency hired him in 1952 as a spy in East Germany — paying him $1,700 a year, plus two cartons of cigarettes a month — and cleared the way for him to immigrate to America four years later, records show….
This article is adapted from “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men,” by Eric Lichtblau, to be published Tuesday by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Florida hazing trial begins in college marching band death
By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO Fla. Mon Oct 27, 2014 1
(Reuters) – Three years after the beating death of a Florida college band member brought national attention to its hazing rituals, the alleged ringleader of the abuse went on trial on Monday for manslaughter.
….a former member of the Florida A&M University’s celebrated “Marching 100” band, faces hazing charges for his role in the death of Robert Champion, a band drum major.
….Fourteen band members have faced charges for punching, kicking and striking Champion during a hazing ritual known as “Crossing Bus C.” Most received probation and community service in plea deals. Charges were dismissed against a fifteenth person….
Champion’s death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, who found he died of hemorrhagic shock resulting from blunt force trauma after running through a gauntlet of band members beating him on the darkened bus.
Champion had long refused to engage in the band’s hazing rituals, but ultimately decided to participate in what witnesses called an attempt to gain respect….
Church of England to examine 1950s records in child abuse investigation
Justin Welby says personnel files will be searched for allegations of abuse as study into confessional confidentiality also launched
Michael White and Rajeev Syal
The Guardian, Monday 27 October 2014
The Church of England is examining the personnel files of thousands of clergymen and women dating back to the 1950s as part of a wide-ranging investigation into historical allegations of child abuse, the archbishop of Canterbury has confirmed.
The Most Rev Justin Welby, the principal leader of the Church of England, said that the move is part of a renewed effort to ensure that there are no allegations of abuse which have been ignored, overlooked or covered up.
Following recent disclosures of evidence of child abuse within the church, Welby conceded that the investigations would show that “there is more that has not been revealed”…..