Intelligence Community Warns That Releasing CIA Torture Report Details Might 'Inflame Anti-US Passions' In Middle East

from the uh,-no,-it-was-the-torture-that-was-the-problem dept

James Clapper is pulling out all the stops to try to keep the details of the CIA torture report from seeing the light of day. He apparently made the decision (without asking the White House) to have the National Intelligence Council put together a memo explaining that releasing the details of how the CIA tortured people would “inflame anti-U.S. passions in the Mideast, resulting in potentially violent street protests and threats to U.S. embassies and personnel.” Except, of course, this is bullshit. It wouldn’t be the release of the report inflaming such passions — it would be the torture performed by the CIA at the direction of the US government. If the intelligence community is so worried about the details becoming public then it shouldn’t have engaged in torture in the first place. Otherwise, the intelligence community has all the cover it needs to do horrible things, because any move to expose those actions could be stopped under this same idiotic theory that the revealing of those actions would create anger, rather than the actions themselves.

And, yet, the memo is being passed around and used by the supporters of the surveillance state to protest the releasing of any details from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report:

The Mideast is a tinderbox right now and this could be the spark that ignites quite a fire,? said one U.S. intelligence official who was briefed on the findings.

That concern was echoed Friday by a former top U.S. intelligence official who helped oversee the interrogation program. ?It doesn?t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you release a report like this at a time when terrorism is surging all over the Mideast you are handing the other side a recruitment tool,? John McLaughlin, a former CIA deputy director, told Yahoo News. ?It?s blindingly obvious.?

Of course, the response to McLaughlin ought to be “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you release a report like this, it might embarrass folks like John McLaughlin for his role in the torture program. It’s blindingly obvious.” And, really, if McLaughlin is so concerned about how folks might react to this program, perhaps he should have, you know, stopped it.

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Comments on “Intelligence Community Warns That Releasing CIA Torture Report Details Might 'Inflame Anti-US Passions' In Middle East”

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71 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: So... what you're saying is...

There are actually valid reasons that the world hates us, and wants to go to war with us?

The world may hate US government, agencies and corporations, and their criminal actions not US people as “us”.

It’s when “us” people support, justify and condone the actions of such US when one gets hated, not before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: So... what you're saying is...

I suspect it is very often that the civilians in a country really understand and support their government’s reasons for starting wars.

I’m not really convinced that we went to war with Iraq for the reasons our government claims, as an example.

As such, the “us” in this case includes our government – and I think the world has every right to be angry at us for allowing our government to do what it does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: So... what you're saying is...

No, no, no…

We don’t hate you guys because you are too slow or soft to condone actions of your government, we hate you because you elected that government!

After all, you keep insisting that you have the most democratic system in the world. Where your government policies are the fair and honest representation of the will of the citizens.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 So... what you're saying is...

To further expound on this lack of choice, you might say “vote third party!” As we’ve seen here on TechDirt, endorsing and/or voting third party is one of the criteria for putting you on a terrorist watch list.

And then people ask why the last election I elected to abstain from voting altogether…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 So... what you're saying is...

Nader was worth it. Even a Canadian like me stayed up all night in 2000 because of those election results that were so messed up and the whole florida bullshit, I remember by 8 am I went to bed sick of CNN’s crap thinking “people don’t know what they did voting Bush, I was born in the “End Times”, something bad will happen with this monkey in office (knowing nothing of Cheney and his aides, just knew who his father was, may that bastard suffer a completely disabling stroke where all he can do is lie in bed and the only feeling available to his neurons in pain, both Bush Sr and Cheney). Then they’ll maybe believe heaven and hell do not exist, life can throw them at you if you try hard enough though.

Yeah, I still think things would have gone differently with the slightly hubris-tic Gore, probably no 911 and electricity diversification would be way up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The problem is the steps:

Agency does illegal things.
Investigation reveals illegal things to government.
Political responsible lets the illegal things go unpunished.
Agency claims something bad will happen if the investigation is released.
Political responsible has no incentive to release the results since it would implicate friends and agency has warned not to.

The list is universal. It can be soldiers visiting hookers or doing genocide. All we know is what politicians let us know.

The problem with this list is that nobody can watch the watcher. All that is happening is people with interests throwing mud, but nobody can judge how well they like the stance of politicians supported by facts. The secrecy is subverting a basic premise of politics: If you cannot judge them on their actions they can lie all day and night without any fear of consequences come election time…

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Whoops

He apparently made the decision (without asking the White House) to have the National Intelligence Council put together a memo explaining that releasing the details of how the CIA tortured people would “inflame anti-U.S. passions in the Mideast, resulting in potentially violent street protests and threats to U.S. embassies and personnel.”

Seems like that memo should be enough.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Are you trying to be critical of the tech community? If so what are you comparing the tech community to, Hollywood? Lets try to make a comparison

Tech community is composed of intelligent and well educated people who are good at things like math, engineering, etc…

Hollywood is composed of actors and others who are drug addicts always in rehab. Their math is so bad they even invented their own failed math system called Hollywood math and Hollywood accounting.

So which one should people be encouraged to aspire to? A drug addict from Hollywood or a sophisticated intelligent tech in Silicon Valley working to advance technology.

Anonymous Coward says:

The time to think of this...

So you think it’ll inflame the Middle East huh?

MAYBE, just MAYBE the time to think about this was BEFORE you started torturing “some folks.”

No shit it’s a recruitment tool! That’s why it didn’t make any sense to do it in the first place!

Seriously, how much does this dipshit get paid for his “expert” analysis?

Jay (profile) says:

Dear torture supporters….

Americans are pretty pissed at your imperialism as well. Or civil liberties were taken by you just as much as the Middle East with no knock warrants, murder of unarmed citizens, and the trampling of the Constitution.

If you can’t follow the rules *IN* the country, what makes we, the people, believe you care about the rights of those outside of it?

Sincerely,

Angry citizen #635858746338063

Anonymous Coward says:

When it comes to CYA, it’s amazing how tone death people get. If the CIA ever had a problem with exposure, it shouldn’t have been a big revelation that maybe it’s something that shouldn’t be done.

What’s the big issue that Clapper doesn’t want to deal with is world court and crimes against humanity. Once exposed with proof he’ll be like the presidents and vice presidents in that he’ll never be able to leave the country for fear of being given warrant for world court. He’ll occupy the same list that all the Nazi’s do that are still alive.

The people did not authorize this. They knew nothing of it and there is a reason why world opinion is as low as it is against the US and this and the mentality that sprouted it as a good thing to do are the reasons why.

It is time to come clean. Whether Clapper wants it to happen or not isn’t going to be the issue. The American people that pay his salary are demanding to know exactly what was done in their name. It’s time to come clean and the longer it goes, the less trust the people will have in their government which is already at a record low. Keep blocking it long enough and politicians will start loosing their jobs. You think it is tough now to hide it, wait till that starts happening. For the first time, the voters think their own congresscritters are part of the problem why the US is headed in the wrong direction and there is a message there. It best be heard.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Ummm the blow our people up.
They shoot at our people.
They wish harm on our citizens.

Perhaps finally coming clean about the dirty bag of tricks that violated what we said we would never do, would wake citizens up to the reasons we are not beloved around the globe. They don’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us because we torture people we snatched off the street, flew to a place that isn’t supposed to exist, and did things we swore we would never do to them.

Maybe just maybe admitting to these events and taking those who carried them out and covered them up to task MIGHT help everyone move past it. Yes angry people are going to be angry, hiding anything at this point just gives them their own Obama Birth Certificate scandal to point to missing pieces and make wild freaking claims that you can’t possibly get them to believe are untrue.

Come clean, admit the stupidity, punish the guilty and try to reclaim the moral high ground you somehow are delusional enough to think you still hold.
You kidnap people and torture them, while calling out nations that do this as well. Pot meet kettle…

AJ says:

Re: Re:

In all fairness, they don’t hate us because we “torture” people or because of our freedoms. I spent quite a bit of time in Iraq, Saudi.. and I’ll tell you exactly why they hate us.

They hate us because since they were born, they’ve been told that anyone that doesn’t believe as they do deserve to die. They don’t care what we have, what we do, or what type of “moral high ground” we achieve.. they don’t care about scandals or presidents or the CIA. They hate you because you do not believe as they do, and because of that, you must convert or die.

Do they all think like this? No. But the ones running shit do.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Why they hate us

No.

Sure, that might be why the starving lonely angry soldier at the bottom hates us. That might be why their children hate us because they don’t have a more personal reason to hate us.

Them terrorists hate us because we keep taking their oil (or pressuring them to give us great deals on their oil) and then bombing the shit out of them when they’re not completely cooperative. It’s been that way since the 70s.

They hate us because we keep them hungry and lonely with shit for shelter and infrastructure. If we let them have xboxes and MTV and four different kinds of cheese, they’d mellow right out.

We’ve seen the incidents in which they do. Sure some will stay fanatic, but even we have Westboro and the SBC…and the Vatican’s obsession on gay sex and slutty women…and…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually most people who hate and despise the US would hesitate to use same tactics. Many wouldn’t even consider using them.
Some of the people who hold US in contempt are themselves otherwise contemptible and would use same or even worse tactics, but usually the reason they are in a position to do so is that due to US policies all the other forces of opposition have been removed.
Look at the ME countries like Iran, secular democratic governments, overthrown by CIA organised coup, replaced with dictators, socialists and religious oust dictator, religious kill off the socialists. So they are all that remain.
Repeat with minor variations in every other country US has taken a special interest in.

US destroys everyone who is reasonable but not sufficiently subservient to US views and then are surprised when all that’s left are the true hard liners and then invent and imagine reasons why US is despised that have nothing to do with US actions.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“then invent and imagine reasons why US is despised that have nothing to do with US actions.”

There are well over a hundred verses in the Quran that call to kill or go to war with non believers. Make all the excuses you want, it is a religion of intolerance and hate (or has been twisted into one). Jews, Russian, American…. they don’t care, if you are not Muslim, you are an enemy. Most that I met were taught this from birth, they don’t know anything else.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And how is that different when America is the one who put them into power?

Nixon ousted the Iranian government in ’53.

He murdered Allende in Chile through the CIA as president.

He tried to take down Castro for years.

Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal where he negotiated with terrorists. 250+ government employees were let go and Oliver North is still a pariah.

Don’t get me started on how we trained Al Qaeda or how we destroy democratic rule in sovereign nations, because that’s been the norm for quite a while.

Maybe it’s the chickens coming home to roost that we don’t like. Just my thoughts…

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m not defending anything the U.S., or anyone else has done. What I’m trying to tell you is; Their hate is not conditional, it’s a religious requirement. Sure all that other shit pisses them off, but they already hate us… us and everyone else that doesn’t believe as they do. American, Russian, Jews…. they don’t fucking care! You can trace the beginnings of it all the way back to the 11 century… long before the U.S. was even thought of..

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Unconditional religious hate

What we’ve seen in history is that actually, hate is conditional, regardless of religion. People who are less miserable become less hateful, and if their religion doesn’t bend with that, they become less religious.

The Arab Spring is largely about young people wanting less Shariah and more modern conveniences…and more freedom to hump like bunnies, and the concessions of elders has really been about trying to prevent mass apostasy.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Unconditional religious hate

“What we’ve seen in history is that actually, hate is conditional, regardless of religion. People who are less miserable become less hateful, and if their religion doesn’t bend with that, they become less religious.”

I would like to agree with you Uriel, however after several hundred years, there are still people losing their heads and having them put on pikes.. now we have people launching rockets into residential areas, and strapping bombs to children, I’m not sure if the modernization is a good thing…….Still, change is slow, and you have to start somewhere, perhaps in another 100 years we can have this conversation again….. then we can determine if your “history” theory is correct?!

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Unconditional religious hate

Palestine is not a good example. They are kept miserable by a number of circumstances, including an abusive arrangement with Israel. It’s made more complicated by the fact that the Hezbollah rocketmen are likely not Palestinians, but agents provocateur sponsored by Iran, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

But we’ve seen the development toward modernization and away from religiosity in Iran since the 80s, especially as their baby boom grew up and wanted their MTV. Of course, I’ve argued for a while that we don’t need to concern ourselves with Iran because they have an internal struggle with their young people rocking the casbah, but US action is as we’ve discovered less about creating a place best for the people but what serves big corporate interests in the US.

Of course, militaries are going to take advantage of technological advances as they become available but the frightening technologies of war are not an argument against the technologies of peace or technology in general.

You are right that the situations there are complicated, but I think the problem isn’t whether this push towards Shariah law would respond to infrastructure and abundance, but exactly how we would be able to provide it and make sure it got disseminated to the people.

PS: Robin Williams, RIP

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Unconditional religious hate

I can only deal in the now… what the future holds is anyone’s guess. Right now, there are heads on pikes, rockets, convert or die ultimatums, bombs strapped to kids, secular extremest…its a real mess. I’m understanding you think that an unlimited supply of cheese-its and an xbox will cure the problem (I got your joke 🙂 ) But what are these things compared to a tank rolling down main street, or a terrorist knocking on your door telling you to convert to Islam or get the hell out of the country before your head ends up on the street? Because this is happening right now…

“Of course, military’s are going to take advantage of technological advances as they become available but the frightening technologies of war are not an argument against the technologies of peace or technology in general.”

Agreed; I think all cultures should embrace technologies, but from my limited exposure to the deployments of technologies in the countries in question, typically it’s used to suppress and control the populace before it’s used for their betterment, specifically when these technologies are disseminated by the governments… but we will see, only time will tell.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Unconditional religious hate

If you were not such an ignorant idiot, with NO clue of history, you would not spout that the Muslims have been the aggressors since the 11th century.

Maybe you have heard of the Crusades? Where Christians murdered Muslims and stole their national and religious relics.

You do realise that the Middle East was a culture of learning and tolerance before their country was brutalized by the Christians?

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Unconditional religious hate

Terrorism, as it relates to this conversation, originated before the first crusade. Muslims were forcing other religions to convert before the first crusader stepped foot on Muslim soil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashshashin

You fail to mention that the Muslims had their own “Crusades”? The great conquests, long before the Crusades, where they caused the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and “great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests

Peace loving until the Crusades you say? All the white Europeans fault you say? Bullshit. Muslims, like Christians, have been making war in the name of God since the religion’s creation.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Their hate is not conditional, it’s a religious requirement.

You’d expect terrorism to be as much of a problem for Switzerland as for the U.S.A. then.

At any rate, the bible has enough passages preaching genocide (some religious fanatics in Israel frequently refer to them). Even Jesus puts out stuff like “it is not meet to take the childrens’ bread and cast it to the dogs” when asked to help a foreigner.

The devil most fanatics are chosen to fight is not Jesus Christ but Uncle Sam.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“You’d expect terrorism to be as much of a problem for Switzerland as for the U.S.A. then.”

Really? So when countries get into trouble they call Switzerland for help? I hardly think that’s a fair statement. Sure we meddle in things that on the surface don’t involve us, but for the most part, we stop being involved and our way of life changes. I personally think that’s a good thing, but try telling that to the looters and rioters. We talk a big game, but lets see how big the game is when you pull up to the pump to an empty tank or $12.00 a gallon gas.

“At any rate, the bible has enough passages preaching genocide (some religious fanatics in Israel frequently refer to them). Even Jesus puts out stuff like “it is not meet to take the childrens’ bread and cast it to the dogs” when asked to help a foreigner.”

I agree. I’m not pro-bible, or pro islam or pro anything, I actually think organized religion in general is dangerous… I’m simply pointing out the truth.. Christians have done their fair share of killing, so has most other organized religions… but if I flick on the news channel right now, am I likely to see a Christian blowing themselves up in a bus with a suicide vest?

Deimal (profile) says:

What would you rather have

Actual facts (heh, well) out there in the public domain available for analysis and debate, OR random assumptions and wild ass guesses about what the CIA did or did not do?

Personally, I’m all about get the truth (my definition probably doesn’t match the CIA’s, but whatever) out there.

Horror movie writers, producers and directors have known for a long time that nothing they can put on screen truly exceeds what the right combination of noise effects, shadows, and other subtle indications can cause to spring up in the imaginations of their audience. Same fucking principle here. Get the actual facts (again, well) out there and let there be a proper debate on it. People everywhere are already pissed off.

Might as well let them be pissed off at things known to be true instead of the worst things they can imagine (well, we’ll see). The longer this obfuscation and delay goes on, the longer it takes for us as a people to move on from it (and hopefully learn to reign the CIA’s ass in a bit).

Digger says:

CIA is pissing in their pants...

They’re just afraid that when the details come out, the ISIS and other extremists will forget about everyone else and specifically target CIA, NSA and Homeland Security agents, supervisors and authorities in charge of those agencies.

I hate to say it, okay – so I don’t hate to say it, but that would actually *benefit* the people of the United States to have these constitutional terrorists and traitors to the country targeted and removed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Oh no! Middle america isn’t at all bothered about foreigners being tortured, they just don’t want to be recognized as supporters of torture or held accountable for such support.
In the same way that racists, don’t want to be called racists.
They know that these names carry negative judgement and they think that’s a bad thing, so out of the two choices, don’t do the bad thing or do the bad thing but insist that nobody labels you as a proponent of the bad thing, demand that nobody uses the judgmental terms about you.
They will also usually throw in a comment about free speech at the end to sound super american.

steell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s sure nice that you know “Middle America” so well and can tell everyone what they think.
I’m in Indiana, is that Middle America enough for you? But unfortunately for you, and others like you, a shit load of us “Middle Americans” are former military that never forgot our oath to “Support and defend the Constitution”, not the Government. And we know right from wrong, unlike the wackos on the coasts.
You know nothing.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘if McLaughlin is so concerned about how folks might react to this program, perhaps he should have, you know, stopped it.’

or maybe not even allowed it in the first place! if there are those afterwards who are ‘less than enthralled with the USA and the way it carries on, who can blame them? like the Snowden leaks, if there was no truth in it, they wouldn’t have stirred such a hornets nest!!

John says:

If only every government who tortured had thought of that excuse

Although on a more horrific scale, if you take Clapper’s statement and replace “Middle East” with “Central Europe” and replace the “CIA” with the “Nazis” you could almost excuse any behaviour. If you do that to Clapper’s statement, you have a “legitimate” reason to not release the details of the torture and murder of the Jews and others as it might reignite violence after WWII. That logic is just so twisted.

Rekrul says:

He apparently made the decision (without asking the White House) to have the National Intelligence Council put together a memo explaining that releasing the details of how the CIA tortured people would “inflame anti-U.S. passions in the Mideast, resulting in potentially violent street protests and threats to U.S. embassies and personnel.”

Posting a stick-figure drawing and calling it “Muhammad” is enough to inflame anti-U.S. passions and put Americans at risk…

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