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


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Aside from any arguments on morals or values or legality or oversight, it's important to establish that these tactics don't deliver results because you can be damn sure adopting these tactics comes with the negative consequences of influencing and radicalizing others to support and join our enemies.

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Aside from any arguments on morals or values or legality or oversight, it's important to establish that these tactics don't deliver results because you can be damn sure adopting these tactics comes with the negative consequences of influencing and radicalizing others to support and join our enemies.

Do we know that they don't deliver results? Have the results of these "interrogations" been declassified and released to the public?

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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. 

 

I agree that there should be a line; I don't think you can find a consensus on where the line should be drawn and I think that's quite an interesting issue. I've talked about this with many different types of people and I've found no real agreement on what 'torture' is, and when it's justified and when it's not. People are all over the place.

 

There are people that think waterboarding, for example, is unacceptable even if it led to stopping another 9/11 attack. There are others that think it's perfectly acceptable if it leads to that kind of information. The problem is you never know when you're going to get that kind of information and from whom... so you're forced to shotgun approach it - at which point, for the later group, how many is too many? If you have to waterboard 10 people to find one with that kind of information is it worth it? 100? 500? Again, people are all over the place in my experience.

 

The biggest problem is the use of the word torture. There's not really a more loaded word used right now. To some sleep deprivation is torture, to others you'd have to physically harm someone in an irreparable way, many fall somewhere between the two extremes.

 

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.

 

 

To point number 1 - I'm aware of them being executed for a long list of items, some of which are also on our list, but to equate the two lists and the subsequent actions for them is disingenuous I think. Maybe I'm just not well versed on the executions of the japanese and what they individually did? as far as I'm aware they did quite a few things, including executing their prisoners.

 

I have no issue with the rest of what you said and think it's unfortunately par for the course with our government. I am curious as to whether or not any meaningful information has been extracted through these means - let's not kid ourselves, our government has a long and detailed history of leaving information out of what is given to whoever is researching the issue. It's completely reasonable that there has been meaningful information extracted, but for whatever reason it cannot be made known. Unfortunately only the people working the situations are aware of that; not us, not the politicians, not the media, etc.

 

General comments, not directed at either of you:

 

LOL at all the other countries making comments. It's just like the German gov't getting mad over the spying from a while back. They all do it whenever it's convenient for them, but they seem to forget that when there's a chance to ridicule someone else for doing it. The loudest often seem to be the biggest hypocrites, this is no different.

 

I also find it interesting that so many of these articles are wording things in a certain way. For instance, the article on the front page of the washington post spends quite a bit of time dedicated to how much information was extracted prior to 'torture' from certain people, and only gives one sentence to the fact that Khalid Sheik Mohammed confirmed some information about the courier after being tortured. For as much time dedicated to the argument that no meaningful information came from being tortured, they sure didn't spend much time on the piece of information they admit came from being tortured... 

 

And some of this stuff is a joke. Threats to families is 'torture'? Enough so that it made #2 on Politco's "13 shocking moments" list? Give me a break... They were put in diapers and their diets were altered? They cuffed their hands over a bar over their head? Another item simply says that one guy was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques" for 24 hours - no mention of what techniques he was subjected to. Loud music? Sleep deprivation? I guess that's left up to the reader to figure out.

 

Between the ambiguously written articles with seemingly unnecessary outrage I find it hard to really care. It appears most of the 'shocking' parts of the water boarding events come from incorrectly using the technique - I may understand it wrong, but I do not believe you're supposed to **actually** drown...

 

KSM took part in planning multiple airline attacks, including 9/11, and he ordered Daniel Pearl murdered? Those are just the items on Wikipedia, i can only imagine what else he was involved in... I'm supposed to care that the CIA waterboarded him 183 times? lol. they should have done it more. **** that guy. He wasn't a soldier fighting for his cause/people/government, he was a terrorist responsible for orchestrating attacks on civilians around the world. If what was done to him violates your morals then kudos, I guess. But I wish they would have done more to them and when they were convinced he had been all tapped for information, stoned him to death or fed him to a lion or something. Maybe feed him to pigs. He deserved nothing less.

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I never blame the agency, I blame the customers they had

 

The entire Bush admin involved with this should be in jail 

If we're jailing them, can we jail the next administration that knew everything that was going on and still did nothing to stop it?

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If we're jailing them, can we jail the next administration that knew everything that was going on and still did nothing to stop it?

 

Can we jail the people at the CIA that hacked into congress?  I'm fairly certain that if you or I did that we'd have a tactical team coming in through the damn windows.  They admitted that they did it.  That's no small mistake. They hacked into congresses servers intent on stealing or manipulating evidence. 

 

I'd say that's an easy place to start. 

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Can we jail the people at the CIA that hacked into congress?  I'm fairly certain that if you or I did that we'd have a tactical team coming in through the damn windows.  They admitted that they did it.  That's no small mistake. They hacked into congresses servers intent on stealing or manipulating evidence. 

 

I'd say that's an easy place to start. 

Okay, let's do that too.

I don't know what's worse though. The fact that the CIA tortures people like this or the fact that 90% of this stuff is part of a frat initiation and guys willingly endure it, simply to buy friends.

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Heh, your assumption that SHF is a Democrat is cute.   :)

 

I didn't assume that at all.

 

In fact, if I were to make an assumption about his political affiliation based on that one comment, it would be that he's a republican? Not a democrat? It seemed to be a jab at Obama and not anyone else. I thought it was pretty obvious....

 

edit: I wasn't even talking to SHF so I'm seriously confused as to what shot it is you're trying to take at me.

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I really don't care what was done to individuals like KSM, but I wonder about the claim that the torture was effective, and yet it was done 183 times on one individual.


Can we jail the people at the CIA that hacked into congress?  I'm fairly certain that if you or I did that we'd have a tactical team coming in through the damn windows.  They admitted that they did it.  That's no small mistake. They hacked into congresses servers intent on stealing or manipulating evidence. 

 

I'd say that's an easy place to start. 

 

Steady on. "Mr. Brennan has formed an accountability board to look into the findings and that employees could be disciplined."

 

Let's read that again "Employees could be disciplined."

 

When asked to account for their actions the head of the CIA essentially says "go **** yourself" to the elected officials who are tasked with providing oversight. And not for the first time either.

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I really don't care what was done to individuals like KSM, but I wonder about the claim that the torture was effective, and yet it was done 183 times on one individual.

Let's be honest for a second: The CIA probably knows what they're doing. There is hundreds of years worth of data and decades of practice in doing "aggressive interrogations." They've been doing it long enough to know its effectiveness. I doubt that they simply did it to do it. I mean, suspects in crimes get interrogated several times, so I imagine that the CIA does the same thing.

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Has anyone thought about what we would say if we read these same things about a foreign government?  We'd call this a corrupt out of control government that no longer holds itself accountable to it's own laws.  That's what the world is seeing right now... and they are seeing it after Ferguson made international new and everyone watched cops dressed up as soldiers violently crack down on protests and point their big scary guns are reporters for no reason. 

 

Paints a really wonderful picture doesn't it? 


Let's be honest for a second: The CIA probably knows what they're doing. There is hundreds of years worth of data and decades of practice in doing "aggressive interrogations." They've been doing it long enough to know its effectiveness. I doubt that they simply did it to do it. I mean, suspects in crimes get interrogated several times, so I imagine that the CIA does the same thing.

 

If they had so much accumulated knowledge they wouldn't have had to pay out 87 million to torture consultants.  Also, there is such thing as torture consultants.  

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Has anyone thought about what we would say if we read these same things about a foreign government?  We'd call this a corrupt out of control government that no longer holds itself accountable to it's own laws.  That's what the world is seeing right now... and they are seeing it after Ferguson made international new and everyone watched cops dressed up as soldiers violently crack down on protests and point their big scary guns are reporters for no reason. 

 

Paints a really wonderful picture doesn't it? 

 

Kind of. Except they all do the same thing.

 

It's less morally outrageous if you don't put your morals at unreachable levels.

 

It's really easy for people not tasked with (currently) dedicating their lives to stopping terrorism to armchair critique how it's all being done.

 

This is why I find it ridiculous that we play the card of being the morality police in the world. Because we look like hypocrites when we get caught like this.

 

I mean the people running Iran are speaking about this. We're supposed to give two ****s what they think about torture? Can you not see how ridiculous it is to even care that they've said anything about this?

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Let's be honest for a second: The CIA probably knows what they're doing. There is hundreds of years worth of data and decades of practice in doing "aggressive interrogations." They've been doing it long enough to know its effectiveness. I doubt that they simply did it to do it. I mean, suspects in crimes get interrogated several times, so I imagine that the CIA does the same thing.

 

There are plenty of experts, within the CIA itself, who disagree.

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I never blame the agency, I blame the customers they had

 

The entire Bush admin involved with this should be in jail

I blame the agency too. But you're right, their political masters from the time need to be held accountable.

Public lies leading to an unnecessary war that killed thousands. Bare-faced war profiteering. And torture. That's some legacy for the Bush Administration. We've sent people to prison for life for far less.

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I didn't assume that at all.

 

In fact, if I were to make an assumption about his political affiliation based on that one comment, it would be that he's a republican? Not a democrat? It seemed to be a jab at Obama and not anyone else. I thought it was pretty obvious....

 

edit: I wasn't even talking to SHF so I'm seriously confused as to what shot it is you're trying to take at me.

 

You are completely right.   I misread the chain of comments.  My bad.

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http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/democrats-white-house-senate-cia-torture-report-113490.html

Left pressures White House to follow up on torture

 

The Obama administration did everything it could on Wednesday to stop talking about torture. It limited its outreach on the issue with foreign governments and Capitol Hill, and avoided any opportunity to feed the storyline established with Tuesday’s release of the Senate report documenting brutal interrogation techniques.

 

But the left isn’t ready to move on — and that made it harder for the administration to put the story to rest. Demands for further investigation, prosecutions, and firings at the CIA — including that of current director John Brennan, who has continued to defend the agency — spread among liberals in Congress and in civil liberties groups.

 

The White House, meanwhile, did its best to put the matter to rest.

 

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein got a call from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, but she told POLITICO that the calls weren’t about stage-managing the fallout: “They haven’t told us how to do anything.” Other lawmakers said they hadn’t heard much from the administration. There was none of the kind of messaging coordination between the White House and Senate Democrats that they have done before on politically sensitive priorities — especially Obama’s executive action on immigration, the last time they all tried to get on the same page.

 

And White House and State Department officials stuck to a tight set of talking points to manage any fallout from foreign countries: President Barack Obama already took the most significant action of all when he ended the interrogation program, and the United States is transparent enough to admit its mistakes and learn from them.

 

But as events on Wednesday proved, the Obama administration doesn’t get to decide when the torture debate ends.

 

 

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/aa030d8d300843d894d8893963e9c446/un-expert-calls-prosecution-over-us-torture

UN officials demand prosecutions for US torture

 

All senior U.S. officials and CIA agents who authorized or carried out torture like waterboarding as part of former President George W. Bush's national security policy must be prosecuted, top U.N. officials said Wednesday.

 

It's not clear, however, how human rights officials think these prosecutions will take place, since the Justice Department has declined to prosecute and the U.S. is not a member of the International Criminal Court.

 

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said it's "crystal clear" under international law that the United States, which ratified the U.N. Convention Against Torture in 1994, now has an obligation to ensure accountability.

 

"In all countries, if someone commits murder, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they commit rape or armed robbery, they are prosecuted and jailed. If they order, enable or commit torture — recognized as a serious international crime — they cannot simply be granted impunity because of political expediency," he said.

 

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hopes the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques at secret overseas facilities is the "start of a process" toward prosecutions, because the "prohibition against torture is absolute," Ban's spokesman said.

 

Ben Emmerson, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, said the report released Tuesday shows "there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration, which allowed (it) to commit systematic crimes and gross violations of international human rights law."

 

He said international law prohibits granting immunity to public officials who allow the use of torture, and this applies not just to the actual perpetrators but also to those who plan and authorize torture.

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With the UN wanting to prosecute officials that authorized torture how high would that go if it ever happened. I'm fairly certain I remember reading that there was direct approval at least as high as the Vice President. I'd be surprised if the President wasn't abreast of the situation and gave some form of approval as well. Would they really have the balls to prosecute President Bush and Vice President Cheney or would they stick with low level CIA guys.

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