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.”….
March 23, 2011 Comments Off on CIA Psychologist’s Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush’s Torture Program
EXCLUSIVE: CIA Psychologist’s Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush’s Torture Program 22 March 2011 Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye, t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report
Dr. Bruce Jessen’s handwritten notes describe some of the torture techniques that were used to “exploit” “war on terror” detainees in custody of the CIA and Department of Defense.
Bush administration officials have long asserted that the torture techniques used on “war on terror” detainees were utilized as a last resort in an effort to gain actionable intelligence to thwart pending terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests abroad.
But the handwritten notes obtained exclusively by Truthout drafted two decades ago by Dr. John Bruce Jessen, the psychologist who was under contract to the CIA and credited as being one of the architects of the government’s top-secret torture program, tell a dramatically different story about the reasons detainees were brutalized and it was not just about obtaining intelligence. Rather, as Jessen’s notes explain, torture was used to “exploit” detainees, that is, to break them down physically and mentally, in order to get them to “collaborate” with government authorities. Jessen’s notes emphasize how a “detainer” uses the stresses of detention to produce the appearance of compliance in a prisoner.
….However, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee report “SERE resistance training … was used to inform” Yoo and Bybee’s torture memo, specifically, nearly a dozen of the brutal techniques detainees were subjected to, which included waterboarding, sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, wall slamming and placing detainees in a confined space, such as a container, where his movement is restricted.
Statement of Senator Carl Levin on Senate Armed Services Committee Report of its Inquiry into the Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 11, 2008
Contact: Senator Levin’s Office….
“On February 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. Following the President’s determination, techniques such as waterboarding, nudity, and stress positions, used in SERE training to simulate tactics used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions, were authorized for use in interrogations of detainees in U.S. custody.”
SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY ….The abuse of detainees in U.S. custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of “a few bad apples” acting on their own. The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees.
….On February 7, 2002, President Bush signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention did not apply to the conflict with al Qaeda and concluding that Taliban detainees were not entitled to prisoner of war status or the legal protections afforded by the Third Geneva Convention. The President’s order closed off application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees. While the President’s order stated that, as “a matter of policy, the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions,” the decision to replace well established military doctrine, i.e., legal compliance with the Geneva Conventions, with a policy subject to interpretation, impacted the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.
June 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
BBC – Children victims of half of all sex offences
Human Experimentation at the Heart of Bush Administration’s Torture Program
6 June 2010 by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t
High-value detainees captured during the Bush administration’s “war on terror,” who were subjected to brutal torture techniques, were used as “guinea pigs” to gauge the effectiveness of various torture techniques, a practice that has raised troubling comparisons to Nazi-era human experimentation. according to a disturbing new report released by Physicians for Human Rights, an international doctors’ organization….”Health professionals working for and on behalf of the CIA monitored the interrogations of detainees, collected and analyzed the results of [the] interrogations, and sought to derive generalizable inferences to be applied to subsequent interrogations,” said the 27-page report, entitled “Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the ‘Enhanced’ Interrogation Program.” “Such acts may be seen as the conduct of research and experimentation by health professionals on prisoners, which could violate accepted standards of medical ethics, as well as domestic and international law. These practices could, in some cases, constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.” http://www.truthout.org/human-experimentation-heart-bush-administrations-torture-program60199
Italian bishop accused of sex abuse cover-up Agence France-Presse May 31, 2010
ROME – The alleged victim of an Italian priest who is on trial for sex abuse has pressed charges against the bishop overseeing the accused’s diocese at a court in Rome, his lawyer said Monday. Bishop Gino Reali of Porto San Rufina outside Rome is charged with complicity in the abuse crimes of Ruggero Conti, who was arrested in June 2008 and is being tried on charges of sexually abusing children in his parish. Reali “should have told Italian judicial authorities” as well as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — the Vatican body that deals with sex abuse allegations — about the case, lawyer Farbrizio Gallo told AFP.
Church remained silent about child porn conviction 04 June 2010 BJS News
The Catholic Church took no action against priest convicted of downloading child pornography – Despite being convicted of possessing child pornography in 2005, the Catholic Church in Denmark allowed a Catholic priest to continue carrying out his duties including teaching children and young people. In this latest scandal to rock the Danish Catholic Church, it was announced that the priest had recently been suspended, but the church did not mention the reason. The priest was convicted of paying for and downloading 38 movies involving minors. He was sentenced to pay 6,000 kroner and his computer was confiscated. Bishop Czeslaw Kozlon, who is head of the Catholic Church in Denmark, did not inform the chair of the parish council in question why the priest had been relieved of his duties.
Children victims of half of all sex offences 7 June 2010 Almost half of all sex offences are committed against children, despite them making up just 21% of the population, the BBC has learned….A similar survey conducted by the NSPCC in January suggested more than 21,618 sex offences – or 60 a day – had been committed against children in 2008/9. The charity found that one in seven victims were younger than 10, while 1,000 cases involved children aged five or under, with some so young they did not understand what had happened to them. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk/10254922.stm