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Reuters: CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action


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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/10/us-usa-cia-torture-idUSKBN0JM24I20141210?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter

CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action

 

The CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged, a U.S. Senate report said on Tuesday, drawing calls to prosecute American officials.

 

The Senate Intelligence Committee's five-year review of 6.3 million pages of CIA documents concluded that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al Qaeda and other captives in secret facilities worldwide between 2002 and 2006, when George W. Bush was president.

 

The CIA interrogation program was devised by two agency contractors to squeeze information from suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The interrogations took place in countries that included Afghanistan, Poland and Romania.

 

Some captives were deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, at times with their hands shackled above their heads, and the report recorded cases of simulated drowning or "waterboarding" and sexual abuse, including "rectal feeding" or "rectal hydration" without any documented medical need.

 

It described one secret CIA prison, its location not identified, as a "dungeon" where detainees were kept in total darkness and shackled in isolated cells, bombarded with loud noise and given only a bucket in which to relieve themselves.

 

Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, speaking on the Senate floor after releasing the report, said the techniques in some cases amounted to torture and that "the CIA's actions, a decade ago, are a stain on our values, and on our history."

 

The U.N.'s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, said the report revealed a "clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration" and called for prosecution of U.S. officials.

 

Civil rights advocates also called for accountability.

 

"Unless this important truth-telling process leads to prosecution of the officials responsible, torture will remain a ‘policy option’ for future presidents," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch in New York.

 

The CIA dismissed the findings, saying its interrogations secured valuable information. Many Republicans criticized the decision by Democratic lawmakers to release the report, which was put together by the committee's Democratic majority, saying it would put Americans at risk.

 

The report found the techniques used were "far more brutal" than the CIA told the public or policymakers. Before the report's release, the United States boosted security at its military and diplomatic facilities abroad.

 

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/cia-torture-report-13-points-113428.html

13 shocking moments in the Senate torture report

 

Here is a look at some of the specific techniques used against detainees over several years as detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on enhanced interrogations:
“At least five detainees were subjected to rectal rehydration or rectal feeding.” — The report noted the case of Majid Khan, whose lunch of “hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the report says, “was subjected to rectal rehydration without a determination of medical need.”

“CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families — to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to ‘cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.’”

“CIA detainees, particularly those subjected to standing sleep deprivation, were routinely placed in diapers. Waste buckets were not always available. In the interrogation of Abu Hazim, a waste bucket was removed from his cell for punishment.” — When Hazim asked for a bucket, he “was told that all rewards must be earned.”

“Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi was subjected to nudity, dietary manipulation, insult slaps, abdominal slaps, attention grasps, facial holds, walling, stress positions, and water dousing with 44 degree Fahrenheit water for 18 minutes. He was shackled in the standing position for 54 hours as part of sleep deprivation.” — After receiving medication for swelling, “the sleep deprivation was extended to 102 hours. After four hours of sleep, Abu Ja’far al-Iraqi was subjected to an additional 52 hours of sleep deprivation.”

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What disturbs me is not so much the report.  I think we all knew there was torture going on and maybe that even in some cases can justify it (for some most cases), but what bothers me is that if this is the stuff they felt comfortable about keeping on the books what else was done?  You know there is off book stuff.

 

Mind you, some of these I don't think are that outrageous... like threatening that if they don't cooperate they'll go after family members.  Sure, threaten away.  That seems fair game.  Not really opposed to the diaper thing either.  It's gross and living in filth too long is obviously unhealthy, but as long as it is monitored it probably isn't over the line.

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What disturbs me is not so much the report. I think we all knew there was torture going on and maybe that even in some cases can justify it (for some most cases), but what bothers me is that if this is the stuff they felt comfortable about keeping on the books what else was done? You know there is off book stuff.

Mind you, some of these I don't think are that outrageous... like threatening that if they don't cooperate they'll go after family members. Sure, threaten away. That seems fair game. Not really opposed to the diaper thing either. It's gross and living in filth too long is obviously unhealthy, but as long as it is monitored it probably isn't over the line.

Even off the book stuff is recorded.

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What disturbs me is not so much the report.  I think we all knew there was torture going on and maybe that even in some cases can justify it (for some most cases), but what bothers me is that if this is the stuff they felt comfortable about keeping on the books what else was done?  You know there is off book stuff.

 

Mind you, some of these I don't think are that outrageous... like threatening that if they don't cooperate they'll go after family members.  Sure, threaten away.  That seems fair game.  Not really opposed to the diaper thing either.  It's gross and living in filth too long is obviously unhealthy, but as long as it is monitored it probably isn't over the line.

That's my whole problem with the entire issue... I get the "we're the good guys" argument, and I get that it doesn't help with our relations with the rest of the world when we do this sort of thing... but the tactics by some to lump everything in as 'torture' (which is an incredibly loaded word...) seems to be hurting us more than what was actually done.

 

Most of this seems completely reasonable. We're at war with these people, and some of them are higher ups; we're not doing this to every 'soldier' we capture, just the people we think fill a role in the organization that leads to having information...

 

We're at war with these people and they don't have any trouble cutting off heads, among other things. I'm supposed to get on my moral high horse and scream outrage over slapping, sleep deprivation, and some humiliation tactics? Yeah... I don't really care, provided as there some control and it's not being done to every single person just for ****s and grins. I'm not even convinced water boarding is as horrendous as some of the left would like us to believe, in the grand scheme of things.

 

I think the stuff that went on at Abu Ghraib is significantly worse; both morally and for our image to the rest of the world.

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I hear you.  I caution that there does have to be a line.  I also think that "torture" should be used almost never. For one, it doesn't seem to be an effective tool and for two, it seems like a device that ought to be only used in dire and immediate situations.  I do want us to remain the good guys. 

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I'm not sure why people never learn that lack of accountability combined with total power over people lives is a bad idea. Do you people think THIS time it won't end in tears? This is horrible and well beyond anything I 'd support, especially considering that they've already lied and even hacked congress to alter reports IIRC. No accountability, the worst kind of abuse, and no reliable safe guards to prevent innocent people from being essentially kidnapped and tortured.

Nope.

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What about the 26 people who were tortured that we now acknowledge were completely innocent?

 

And that's assuming it wasn't more..... :(

you think these people care? Its a horrible stain and it showed not to work, but most Americans would still support it. Its strange and sad.
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Well, a big part of the problem, to me, is what I see as a system where there's supposedly accountability, but the supervisor's position is "we don't want to know". 

 

We pass a law that says it's illegal to ship a prisoner to a country where it's likely that they'll be tortured. 

 

And then we send people to Syria, with a note attached to them that says

 

     1)  We'd really appreciate it if y'all would ask him these questions. 

 

     2)  And don;t tell us what you did to him.  Cause, y'know, if we know what you do, then it would be wrong. 

 

We set up systems where we make it plain that we don;t want to know what goes on there.  And then, when people find out parts of it, we do an "investigation" where we announce that "well, the people who didn't want to know, didn't know." 

 

The supervisors issue a report, that absolves the supervisors of all blame. 

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That's my whole problem with the entire issue... I get the "we're the good guys" argument, and I get that it doesn't help with our relations with the rest of the world when we do this sort of thing... but the tactics by some to lump everything in as 'torture' (which is an incredibly loaded word...) seems to be hurting us more than what was actually done.

 

Most of this seems completely reasonable. We're at war with these people, and some of them are higher ups; we're not doing this to every 'soldier' we capture, just the people we think fill a role in the organization that leads to having information...

 

Here are some facts which cannot be disputed for the "reasonable" argument.  

 

(1)We executed Japanese soldiers in WWII for using the same methods against American and British POW's which we used against suspected terrorists.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html    

 

(2) The "coercive interrogation" techniques were considered torture for 70 years in this country and are expressly banned by the Geneva Convention which we signed and ratified.    

 

(3)Such signed ratified international treaties are second only to constitutional amendments under the US legal system.

 

(4) I think the biggest and best documented fact to come out from this report however was that after 8 years of using these techniques with hundreds of examples of these detestable practices..    They didn't lead to a single actionable lead.   They didn't have anything to do with finding Osama bin Laudin..  They didn't lead to a single arrest,  or save a single life.   They were entirely ineffective.    And that fact documented to the minute detail stands in opposition to several claims by various intelligence and administration voices like Dick Cheney who have expressly stated otherwise.

 

 

I think other troubling facts to fall out of this report include:

 

-   The intelligence agency editing President Bush's speeches,  removing true facts and substituting false information into his talking points.   These untruths being inserted without the knowledge of the administration.

 

-   The fact the handful of interrogators who were used to torture suspects became millionaires based upon these services.    with some $80 million dollars being paid out for these services.

 

-   That these interrogators and agency officials were able to  block other government agencies from questioning suspects who were getting actionable intelligence from those suspects like the FBI.    As such the "enhanced interrogations" actually hindered our intelligence efforts.

 

-   That on several occasions the CIA and torture defenders spoke of these tactics being briefed and approved by the Senate and House intelligence oversight committee.   In reality they were not approved, and not even briefed to the committees. The chairmen of the committees were informed with both expressing concern for abuse.    There was no approval sought or given by the legislature.

 

-   That the CIA representatives who were defending these practices knowingly violated a Federal court order and destroyed evidence including records and video's of these torture sessions.

 

-  That the CIA tried to sabotage the senate intelligence oversight committee's report by hacking into their computers and deleting classified supporting documentation the report sites.

 

-   one appendix show's former CIA director Michael Hayden  expressly lied to the Senate Intelligence committee more than 30 times in a single day of testimony.

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you think these people care? Its a horrible stain and it showed not to work, but most Americans would still support it. Its strange and sad.

 

Because most Americans believe these techniques work.   Even though the facts say otherwise we've been told they worked.

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I think lost in this is not only the torture aspect (what was done), but that according to the CIA's findings none of it led to any actionable information or positive results.  It's not just bad that they tortured and in at least one instance killed a prisoner, but the CIA itself declared it did us no good.

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I think lost in this is not only the torture aspect (what was done), but that according to the CIA's findings none of it led to any actionable information or positive results.  It's not just bad that they tortured and in at least one instance killed a prisoner, but the CIA itself declared it did us no good.

 

 

Killed him?...   He died due to being suspended from chains over the floor in a cell over an extended period of time.   They crucified him.    The CIA admits that, true enough..

 

 

The independent oversight Senate Intelligence committee has documented over a 6000 page report,  with a 500 page summary report made public that the techniques were ineffective and as you say did not lead to any actionable intelligence.    There are still many voices in the CIA and Bush Administrations ( CIA directory Hayden, Cheney ) have always claimed these practices were effective and public-ally defended them...    It's just that this senate report is so detailed it deconstructs their arguments.

 

So far I haven't heard any of these torture defenders address the evidence the Senate report introduced yesterday.. just continue to voice their now discredited claims torture was effective.

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Recall, back when the torture debate started, reading an article. (New Yorker, I think). Written by, I think, the former head of the FBI's counter terror unit. Somebody who actually had experience interrogating captured terrorists. And sending them to prison.

And thus person's assertion was that in his experience, by far the best way to get actionable intelligence, quickly, from a captured terrorist, was to get him a court appointed lawyer, and let the lawyer explain the American concept of "plea bargain".

His assertion was that, with grilling and confrontation and torture and all, it's a long fight. The suspect will fight, as hard as he can, to say nothing. You can overcome that, but it takes time. And then, he will fight to tell you things that are untrue. And you have to overcome that. And then, he will fight to only give you things that aren't important. And so forth.

But, he said, tell him about plea bargains, and now it's to the suspect's interest to voluntarily give you the most important thing he can think of, as quickly as possible.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/world/europe/overseas-torture-report-prompts-calls-for-prosecution.html

Overseas, Torture Report Prompts Calls for Prosecution

 

The release of the Senate report on the graphic torture of terrorism suspects by the Bush-era Central Intelligence Agency led to calls at the United Nations and elsewhere on Tuesday for criminal prosecutions and caused an international explosion on social media, including online jihadist exhortations for retaliation.

 

The State Department warned American citizens in at least two countries where the torture and abuse took place — Thailand and Afghanistan — that they could be confronted with anti-American hostility.

 

Publicity about the report, the United States Embassy in Bangkok warned on its website, “could prompt anti-U.S. protests and violence against U.S. interests, including private U.S. citizens.”

 

In Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigator on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, said he welcomed the report and commended the Obama administration for having resisted political pressures to suppress it.

 

Mr. Emmerson, who has long advocated the report’s release, said the United States was obliged, under international law, to hold the wrongdoers accountable.

 

“The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” Mr. Emmerson said in a statement posted on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever,” he said. “Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability.”

 

Other international law experts and rights advocates who have long supported an accounting for the C.I.A.'s behavior concurred with that assessment.

 

Jordan J. Paust, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, said the report “adds another layer of proof of serial international criminality that was manifestly authorized” during President George W. Bush’s two terms in office.

 

In a commentary on Jurist.org, Professor Paust said both the Convention Against Torture and the 1949 Geneva Conventions require the United States to prosecute or extradite any person “reasonably accused of having criminal responsibility” for the documented instances of torture.

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Why do so many people seem so surprised by this?

I think more people are carefully ignoring this news story than being surprised by it. People will go on claiming torture saved lives because we live in a culture of dishonesty and meticulously crafted alternative truth.

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All direct quotes from John McCain:

“It is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose—to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies—but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.”

"I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering."

"The use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights."

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Cheney Calls for International Ban on Torture Reports BY ANDY BOROWITZ

 
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Borowitz-Cheney-Torture-Report-690.jpgCREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY MARK WILSON/GETTY

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Former Vice-President Dick Cheney on Tuesday called upon the nations of the world to “once and for all ban the despicable and heinous practice of publishing torture reports.

 

“Like many Americans, I was shocked and disgusted by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s publication of a torture report today,” Cheney said in a prepared statement. “The transparency and honesty found in this report represent a gross violation of our nation’s values.”

“The publication of torture reports is a crime against all of us,” he added. “Not just those of us who have tortured in the past, but every one of us who might want to torture in the future.”

Saying that the Senate’s “horrifying publication” had inspired him to act, he vowed, “As long as I have air to breathe, I will do everything in my power to wipe out the scourge of torture reports from the face of the Earth.”

Cheney concluded his statement by calling for an international conference on the issue of torture reports. “I ask all the great nations of the world to stand up, expose the horrible practice of publishing torture reports, and say, ‘This is not who we are,’ ” Cheney said.

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/cheney-calls-international-ban-torture-reports

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