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Latest Leak From Senate's CIA Torture Report: CIA Tortured Many More People, Hid Details From Everyone

from the getting-worse-and-worse dept

Every few days, more details leak from the Senate's $40 million, 6,300 page report on the CIA's torture program. We'd already heard about how the torture program turned up no useful info and how the CIA lied to Congress about it (pretending information gleaned from other places was obtained via torture, when the truth was it wasn't). We've also heard about how the CIA's torture practices went beyond the (already too high) levels approved by the DOJ and CIA leadership. The folks over at McClatchy have another batch of details, repeating the revelation from last week that the report details how the torture program went beyond its "legal authority" and also detailing how it was used on many more people than the CIA has admitted to in the past:
The report also found that the spy agency failed to keep an accurate account of the number of individuals it held, and that it issued erroneous claims about how many it detained and subjected to the controversial interrogation methods. The CIA has said that about 30 detainees underwent the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

The CIA’s claim “is BS,” said a former U.S. official familiar with evidence underpinning the report, who asked not to be identified because the matter is still classified. “They are trying to minimize the damage. They are trying to say it was a very targeted program, but that’s not the case.”
There are also additional details about how CIA officials tried to mislead practically everyone about all of this. Of particular importance was how the CIA misled the Justice Department, which was in charge of determining if the program was legal. The DOJ did, in fact, approve the use of certain "interrogation methods" (which already seemed way too extreme), but it appears the CIA misled the DOJ about what it was actually doing from the very start:
[Defenders of the CIA's torture program] based their defense on a series of top-secret legal opinions issued by the Justice Department beginning in August 2002. At that time, the agency sought advice on whether using the harsh techniques on Zayn al Abidin Muhammad Husayn, a close aide to Osama bin Laden who went by the nom de guerre Abu Zubaydah, would violate U.S. law against torture.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel found that the methods wouldn’t breach the law because those applying them didn’t have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering.

The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the program’s legality.

“The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” the report found.
All of this seems consistent with earlier reports, but it's good to see more details coming out. Of course, we're still only seeing bits and pieces, which is why it would be better if the full report were released.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:11pm

    When an agency does something like this to its own government, you THROW IT THE F OUT!

    Fire everyone involved in this, and imprison the people who gave the torture orders. It's the only way for a country and society to truly "move on" after something like this. Otherwise these actions will be repeated, not just by the exact same people, but by their successors, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Trevor, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Um

    "The Justice Departmentís Office of Legal Counsel found that the methods wouldnít breach the law because those applying them didnít have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering.

    The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Departmentís legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the programís legality."

    So... the CIA DID have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering?

    Woah.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    That is what a responsible government should do.

    But the US have none. The outcome would be, that all all the dirty little secrets of the politicians would be drawn to light if they attempt to do so. These agencies are out of control, because they have collected enough incriminating information to blackmail everyone they like.

    And don't tell me any politician has a clean record. You don't get into a position of power if you are not willing to do everything necessary to get there.

    The only solution is hang them all, politicians, bureaucrats and everyone from the intelligence agencies, as well as their financiers from the big supranational banks and companies. They are all in this and all equally guilty.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:34pm

    "because those applying them didnít have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering"

    I see. So if a mugger stabs & kills somebody it's okay because the specific intent was to get the victim's money and not to inflict severe pain or suffering. Okay.

     

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  5.  
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    mcinsand, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    the irony

    What's ironic is the way the alphabet soup agencies have been calling Snowden a traitor for supposedly endangering people by disclosing that the US has become very intrusive into the world's privacy. However, that's nothing compared to this behavior. This conduct will cement our current role as the world's villain. Only a fool would have conducted these operations without thinking that word would get out somehow and, when that word is out, many US citizens will become targets. There are too many people (everywhere) with the mentality of attacking someone because of a group or nation that the person represents or appears to represent.

    We need certain laws rewritten. Simply having this be criminal is not enough. When an agency conducts itself to damage the nation like this, then those acts need to become treasonous offenses.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    'who asked not to be identified' for fear of being taken into custody and tortured, no doubt!!

     

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  7.  
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    Mitch Rapp, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Torture doesn't exist

    That is called intensive questioning. just sometimes you don't have time to be polite.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    If there are absolutely no politicians with a clean record then how do you explain Wyden and Udall's repeated attempts to take these agencies to task?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    OldMugwump (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Re: Don't tell me any politician has a clean record

    Exaggeration does not help make a strong case.

    Look up the "law of large numbers". For big enough values of "any" politician, there will be some who are clean.

    At at guess, I'd say somewhere between 1% and 5% of US Congressmen and Senators are clean.

    Of course, that doesn't mean the spooks can't frame them for something.

    And in a way, that's good, because when the dirty politicians (95 to 99%) fight the spooks, they can claim they're one of the few clean ones who are being framed. So there is some hope, still.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    DannyB (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 2:32pm

    Let's give the CIA a break, okay?

    The CIA had doubts about whether their torture methods were effective, let alone legal. So they decided to conduct additional testing. A lot of additional and undocumented testing. It's no big deal.

    Since the CIA never received any feedback that its secret torture of additional people wasn't legal, they safely assumed that it must be legal.

    For future reference, please remember. Anything the government does, unless otherwise expressly prohibited, and sometimes even if expressly prohibited, is legal. Anything the citizens do, unless expressly permitted, and sometimes even if expressly permitted, is illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    DannyB (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Let's give the CIA a break, okay?

    I realized something. When trying to parody actions of copyright maximalists, or the government; no matter how crazy you make it sound, people will think you might be serious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Apr 11th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    I served in the Army in the 70's stationed in Germany. I was told by a number of Germans that they had knowledge that the US treated POW's humanely and because of that many soldiers were more willing to surrender especially toward the end. Terrorism does not compare to the danger the whole world faced had the Nazis won yet we did not torture them. Even 9/11 pales compared to the 50 million lives lost in WWII.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Torture doesn't exist

    That's ENHANCED intensive questioning. No CIA torturer ever committed an offense against anyone, while maintaining the highest degree of effort, regardless of results.

     

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  14.  
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    zip, Apr 11th, 2014 @ 11:29pm

    Re:

    "I was told by a number of Germans that they had knowledge that the US treated POW's humanely and because of that many soldiers were more willing to surrender"

    Soviet brutality was legendary, and not just to P.O.W.'s. It's been said that virtually every German woman in the country was raped by advancing Red Army soldiers.

    The US's reputation for humane treatment of P.O.W.s was exactly why Nazi rocket scientists such as Wernher von Braun chose to surrender to the US side instead of the USSR. Dr. Von Braun went on to become lead engineer of the NASA space program.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Lurker Keith, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Let's give the CIA a break, okay?

    We call this phenomenon Poe's Law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Apr 12th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    I know that the Russians treated the Germans with extreme cruelty and only a fraction of the prisoners survived. They were taking revenge for the atrocities they suffered. Even among our other allies the US had the best reputation for humane treatment. Our cities were never occupied or bombed. I can only go by what I was told by the older Germans that I met there. Some had been shipped to the states and they said they were treated very well.

     

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  17.  
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    tomczerniawski, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 11:03am

    Hey, a thought.

    Americans sure love supporting their troops. The soldier, the CIA agent, the "operator" is viewed as a total badass and complete hero. Many Americans love soldiers to the point of becoming star-struck when seeing them.

    Next time you go ga-ga over a dude in uniform, keep one thing in mind: there's a chance that person tortured human beings to death. This taints the entire US military and intelligence population - we'll never know who it was meting out the torture specifically, but it could be anyone. Few in the US mil/intel community spoke out against this torture. Most worked to keep it under wraps. All are complicit.

     

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  18.  
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    OldGeezer (profile), Apr 12th, 2014 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Hey, a thought.

    According to the Uniform Military Standards of Justice a soldier has the right to disobey an illegal order. I wonder how many ever do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    zip, Apr 12th, 2014 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I know that the Russians treated the Germans with extreme cruelty and only a fraction of the prisoners survived. They were taking revenge for the atrocities they suffered."

    It also didn't help the defeated Germans when Soviet military leaders like Kaganovich (already famous as chief henchman of the Ukrainian Holocaust a decade earlier) were Jewish.

    Eye for an eye.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Pragmatic, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't tell me any politician has a clean record

    You forget there's money to be made from creating a problem then claiming you can solve it. Get rid of Citizens United and return to caps on political donations. Get rid of the revolving door between lobbying agencies and political office, and see if it gets any better.

    As it is, the best we can do is vote the bums out in 2016.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Hey, a thought.

    Well they call Snowden a traitor and he's not even a soldier. Who would dare to disobey an order without having an effective escape plan?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    JBDragon, Apr 14th, 2014 @ 4:26pm

    What's the big deal? They are Terrorist!!! They are NOT fighting for a Government. They wear no Uniforms. They are NOT covered by the Geneva Convention!!!

    Forgoing all that. They are still ALIVE. You still have your HEAD attached to the rest of your body. There's no physical Damage. They didn't get Electrocuted, or stabbed or stabbed with some Hot iron rod. Dangling by their arms for hours, days on end. I mean come on, Water boarding, when it's done, the effects are over!!! Hearing Britney Spears or who ever else for hours on end, big F'in deal. You're getting Fed and food YOU eat, not our bad American food. Hell you're getting your Terrorist Book, the Quran!!!

    Now if this was a American capture buy these thug Terrorist. You'll be getting Actually Tortured!!! You'll be lucky you keep your Head!!! You sure as hell won't give you a Bible. They'd give you the Quron of anything. They also won't feed you American food. Hell you'd be lucky to eat slop. You get zero TRIAL. You just get dead. Because again, they aren't fighting for any Government.

    So you know what, Cry me a River!!!! If anything they've had it way to easy!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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