Senate Report Shows CIA Agents Used Torture Techniques Not Approved By DOJ Or CIA

from the but-of-course dept

While the Senate Intelligence Committee has finally started the process of declassifying at least some of the $40 million, 6,300 page report about the CIA’s torture efforts, we’re getting more and more leaks about what’s in the report. Previous leaks showed that the torture program was completely useless and that the CIA simply lied about its effectiveness (in fact, taking information gleaned by others through normal interrogations, and claiming they got it via torture). The latest leak highlights how, despite claims by the CIA’s supporters, that the torture was done in “good faith” and was approved by the DOJ and the CIA, it turns out that (of course), that the CIA’s torturers actually went much further than they were approved to go.

CIA officers subjected terror suspects it held after the Sept. 11 attacks to methods that were not approved by either the Justice Department or their own headquarters and illegally detained 26 of the 119 in CIA custody, the Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded in its still-secret report, McClatchy has learned.

The spy agency program’s reliance on brutal and harsh techniques _ much more abusive than previously known _ and its failure to gather valuable information from the detainees, harmed the U.S.’s credibility internationally, according to the committee’s findings in its scathing 6,300 page report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program.

So, again, we have evidence that the CIA tortured people, did so beyond any actual authority (as sketchy as such an authority might be), got nothing of value from the torture, and then repeatedly lied about the torture and the value of it to Congress and the American public. And… no one is going to jail over this. Well, except for the guy who blew the whistle. In fact, many of those responsible for the torture program are still in positions of power. This is a total disgrace.

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Comments on “Senate Report Shows CIA Agents Used Torture Techniques Not Approved By DOJ Or CIA”

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Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: We need a new song

Once again I find myself in need of a “Sad but true” button.

Although, I’m not really ashamed to be American, I’m just ashamed of my government. I am extremely proud of what America is supposed to be and stand for.

I just wish I knew a way we could take this nation back to what it is supposed to be, land of the free and home of the brave, instead of land of the watched and home of the cowards.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: We need a new song

I’m not really ashamed to be American, I’m just ashamed of my government.

Ten years ago I could agree with this thinking. But then the American people had opportunities to set things right.

Before the 2004 election, the world knew that the U.S. was kidnapping people around the world and torturing them.
Before the 2004 election, the world already knew about the Aug. 1, 2002 Office of Legal Counsel memo on torture that advised the CIA and White House that torture was just peachy keen. Before the 2004 election, we knew that the torture went beyond stress positions and waterboardings. Before the 2004 election, the Washington Post had already confirmed that torture, extraordinary renditions, failure to register detainees with the Red Cross and other violations of the Geneva Conventions were official policy, approved by the White House.

And yet the folks who did it were not only re-elected in 2004, but there was no sign that it even hurt them in the polls. Nor was it an issue in 2008.

Even this very topic of unapproved techniques is bizarre – not just because there are “approved” torture techniques, but because the harsher techniques were old news from well before the 2012 election. Confirmed in court testimony from British intelligence officers when British involvement became a scandal.

Do a web search on the Feb. 2009 Telegraph headline “UK government suppressed evidence on Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped his interrogators.” You’ll see things like “The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, “is very far down the list of things they did,” the official said.” (I’ll bet that the released report doesn’t mention this, even though it’s been public knowledge for years.)

In 2012, at least three major Republican candidates, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, called for torture to resume. (Presumably Ron Paul thought that torture is an issue that should be left to the states.) There was not the slightest hint that it hurt them in the polls, and not the slightest backlash from even the Democrats.

The US torture program is on hiatus at best, only for as long as Democrats are in power.

And no, you can’t pin it on “the government.” America as a country – both parties along with the voters – are OK with it.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: We need a new song

There is a difference between the ideal of America and the reality. You speak of a reality where the election cycle is rigged, and getting more rigged. That is to be despised, a position that is not antithetical to wishing the Bill of Rights and Constitution of the United States of America were actually respected by those charged with their enforcement.

Faced with, if your not for us, your a terrorist, and the Fox and MSNBC viewers buying it, it will take a while for the less than average voter to stop waving the flag and look critically at the situation.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We need a new song

Rigged elections….? That still wouldn’t explain why neither side at least made it an election issue. In 2004, 2008 or 2012.

Fear mongering….? The Republican party made it clear that Obama was a commie Marxist socialist militant black Muslim non-American. And that he’d be soft on terrorism and would “cut and run” from the wars. He was elected anyway. And re-elected.

Even if a majority Americans were still drinking Cheney/Rove/Ashcroft Bush Kool-Aid in 2004, it doesn’t explain why even a significant minority didn’t at least make turning America into a torture state an election issue. Even independently, when the Democrats took a dive on the issue. It certainly doesn’t explain why it didn’t happen in 2008. Or 2012.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 We need a new song

The two party system is part of the rig. The rest of the rig comes from the ‘free speech’ money, the gerrymandering of districts, the Electoral College and lobbyists whom have more connection with YOUR representatives than you do. There’s probably more. There is plenty to fear.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 We need a new song

Torture, extraordinary renditions, failure to register detainees with the Red Cross and other violations of the Geneva Conventions were official policy approved by the White House. So yes, it was the policy of those elected.

And it was public knowledge before the 2004 election. All the other elected officials had a chance – and a duty – to speak out. We’re not talking about routine gerrymandering or influence peddling here; we’re talking about turning the nation into a torture state.

There’s a maxim of crime and consent: Qui tacet consentit. – “[He] who is silent consents.”

longfisher (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: We need a new song

Absolutely spot on.

It’s the American people as a group who are responsible for these things, well known at the time they were happening, for not having used their votes to bring down the Bush torture and murder club and replace it with an Administration that would prosecute them. But it’s even worse than that.

There were many crimes committed by the Bushies in addition to torture and murder. Of particular note is the illegal and utterly immoral invasion of Iraw…I call it the crime of the century.

I demonstrated against it before it started and was very vocal about my opposition when the WMD lies unraveled. It wasn’t the government that came after me for doing so. It was my fellow citizens.

My property was vandalized in the night. My family and particularly my young children were threatened with the most vicious forms of torture and death. And, we were forced to arm ourselves to protect our children and to adopt a level of vigilance and distrust of our neighbors that was unthinkable before Bush was President.

It is the people themselves who are rotten in this country. The government is but an extension of that rot.

And here’s something else I believe. 9/11 was well-deserved.


Accident of Birth says:

Re: We need a new song

It shouldn’t be either. I’ve never understood people being proud of where they happen to be born. It’s not an accomplishment. If you’re a naturalized citizen, it’s different since you actually had to do something to obtain that status. Similarly, since it’s not your doing, it’s also not your fault that you’re an American either. Neither shame nor pride make sense when it comes to an accident of birth.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

You know what we didn’t hear about while we were being misdirected to waterboarding? We didn’t hear about them taking prisoners heads and bashing them against the wall as part of their torture.

That’s part of what the big deal is about. Much of what they were doing was not mentioned, was lied about, and was covered up.

This is no longer about waterboarding but about the other things they didn’t wish to reveal and would still remain secret as long as this report isn’t released in it’s entirety. This is why the CIA is fighting to prevent it’s release.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Let's just have the whole report, please

The parade of leaks is an essential part of accomplishing reform. If it was all released at once, it would be easy to divert the debate to something unrelated (see “Snowden is a traitor” for an example) until public attention has simply moved on to the next scandal. The subjects the leaks cover would then be dropped through the memory hole and we’d have no chance of reform at all.

David says:

Total disgrace

And… no one is going to jail over this. Well, except for the guy who blew the whistle. In fact, many of those responsible for the torture program are still in positions of power. This is a total disgrace.

Yes, this is a total disgrace. Maybe one should get a harsher sentence for Kiriakou for causing this kind of disgrace to the U.S.A., just to send a message that this kind of behavior will be severely punished when discovered.

That should make those whistleblowers think twice.

Kiriakou will no longer be eligible running for political office when he has served his jail time for uncovering crimes against humanity and having a conscience.

The torturers, in contrast, will not get punished and will remain eligible for congress and other positions where disregard of the constitution, human rights, truth, and one’s oaths is all the rage for people in top positions, like CIA, NSA, DOJ and so on.

When do we get vermin control to Washington D.C.?

zip says:

good torture vs. bad torture

Even with waterboarding, there are “right” ways and “wrong” ways to do it.

For instance, to prevent water –or vomit– from filling up in the P.O.W.’s lungs and causing serious harm, it’s important to place him on a sloped board *head-down* while forcing water in his nose and mouth. The sensation of drowning, and continually triggering his gag reflex, will be just as severe, but no matter how much he coughs and vomits in agony, his lungs will remain well-drained and won’t fill up.

The whole point of waterboarding, of course, is to take a person to the extreme threshold of discomfort, pain and fear, the extreme physical and psychological breaking point, to the very edge of death itself — but without stepping over that line and killing the guy or leaving any physical evidence of torture. Therefore, waterboarding is perhaps the most advanced torture method ever perfected.

That’s why it’s important to have only properly trained and certified torturers performing their craft. Otherwise, you could easily end up with embarrassments like this poor bloke:

Robert says:

Torture's Prime Use, Convict The Innocent

The age old reason for torture, never to prove guilt but to get the innocent to justify why the torture was used.
When you are guilty of nothing, then quite simply they will torture until you are guilty of being unable to resist the suffering any more and plead guilty to anything they want you to plead guilty from consorting with Satan and bewitching you neighbours dairy herd to being a master terrorist and conspiring to plant a nuclear weapon supplied by Russia paid for with Iranian money and smuggled in by China in the White House. Either that or you are dead even with the most obscene and contemptible evil douche doctors trying to keep you alive to be tortured more.

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