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CIA Used Gun, Drill in Interrogation

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Echelon Monitor
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« on: September 05, 2009, 11:27:10 pm »

CIA Used Gun, Drill in Interrogation
IG Report Describes Tactics Against Alleged Cole Mastermind
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/22/AR2009082200045.html?wpisrc=newsletter

By Joby Warrick and R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 22, 2009

CIA interrogators used a handgun and an electric drill to try to frighten a captured al-Qaeda commander into giving up information, according to a long-concealed agency report due to be made public next week, former and current U.S. officials who have read the document said Friday.

The tactics -- which one official described Friday as a threatened execution -- were used on Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, according to the CIA's inspector general's report on the agency's interrogation program. Nashiri, who was captured in November 2002 and held for four years in one of the CIA's "black site" prisons, ultimately became one of three al-Qaeda chieftains subjected to a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding.

The report also says that a mock execution was staged in a room next to one terrorism suspect, according to Newsweek magazine, citing two sources for its information. The magazine was the first to publish details from the report, which it did on its Web site late Friday.

A federal judge in New York has ordered a redacted version of the classified IG report to be publicly released Monday, in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. Since June, lawyers for the Justice Department and the CIA have been scrutinizing the document to determine how much of it can be made public. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been weighing the report's findings as part of a broader probe into the CIA's use of harsh interrogation methods.
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 11:27:46 pm »

The IG's report, written in 2004, offers new details about Nashiri's interrogation, including the incidents in which the detainee reportedly was threatened with death or grave injury if he refused to cooperate, one current and one former U.S. official told The Post. Both officials have seen classified versions of the report.

In one instance, an interrogator showed Nashiri a gun and sought to frighten the detainee into thinking he would be shot, the sources said. In a separate encounter, a power drill was held near Nashiri's body and repeatedly turned on and off, said the officials, who spoke about the report on the condition of anonymity because it remains classified.

The federal torture statute prohibits a U.S. national from threatening anyone in his or her custody with imminent death.

Three months before Nashiri's capture, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel -- Jay S. Bybee, now a federal judge -- advised the CIA in an August 2002 memo that threats of "imminent death" were not illegal unless they deliberately produced prolonged mental harm. Independent legal experts have called that interpretation too hedged and thus too lax.
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 11:28:22 pm »

The CIA declined late Friday to comment on the contents of the report, but an agency spokesman noted that all the incidents described in the document have been reviewed in detail by government prosecutors.

"The CIA in no way endorsed behavior -- no matter how infrequent -- that went beyond formal guidance," said the spokesman, Paul Gimigliano. "This has all been looked at; professionals in the Department of Justice decided if and when to pursue prosecution. That's how the system was supposed to work, and that's how it did work."

Nashiri, who remains in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was the alleged mastermind of the 1999 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 American sailors and nearly sank the vessel. Before his capture by CIA officers, he allegedly headed al-Qaeda's operations in the Persian Gulf, and he was the most senior member of the terrorist organization in U.S. custody at the time of his arrest.

The IG's report is the most comprehensive, contemporaneous review of the secret CIA interrogation program, which ran from early 2002 until September 2006. Controversial within the spy agency, it criticized the CIA's use of coercive interrogation methods, warning that several likely violated international bans on cruel and inhumane treatment.
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 11:29:10 pm »

A third former U.S. official who has read the full, classified report said that it contained an entire section listing ways in which the CIA and contracted interrogators had "gone beyond what they were authorized to do -- a whole variety of deviations." The official said that what struck him most strongly was that the report suggested these techniques were "really not effective."

He said he concluded that "there has to be a better way to do this" but that the CIA resisted suggestions then that it should back away from the program. Asked why, the official said he could not say for sure, but he added that "maybe it was that if you change, then it means you were wrong" in pursuing the harsh interrogation methods in the first place.

A former senior agency official, intimately familiar with the program and the report, said that individual interrogators who strayed outside the agency's guidelines were promptly disciplined, and that, in some instances, their cases were referred to Justice Department prosecutors.

"Any infractions of the rules were met with anger at CIA because we realized this was a program that had to stay meticulously within the guidelines," the official said. He noted that after the IG's report was completed in 2004, the document was reviewed by administration and congressional officials, who allowed the program to continue despite its flaws.

"A reaffirmation of both administration policy and [Justice] legal authorization was sought and eventually received," the official said.
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 11:29:56 pm »

CIA 'threatened' terror suspects
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8215722.stm

Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 11:16 UK



Mr Obama has banned the use of the controversial interrogation techniques

Handguns, electric drills and mock executions were used by CIA agents to elicit information from terror suspects, US media have reported.

The reports contain details of a 2004 review by the CIA's inspector general that has been kept secret but is now due to be released next week.

Publication of the CIA report was ordered after a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The US has banned harsh interrogation methods, including death threats.

The gun and the drill were brought into an interrogation session of suspected USS Cole bomber and alleged al-Qaeda commander Rahim al-Nashiri, according to reports in the Washington Post, Newsweek magazine and AP news agency.

The CIA report says the drill was held near Saudi-born Mr Nashiri's head and repeatedly turned on and off, the reports said. The agents showed him the gun and tried to frighten him into thinking he would be shot.
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 11:30:27 pm »

In another case, a gun was fired in another room to lead a detainee to believe another suspect had been killed.

CIA documents already released under ACLU pressure indicate that Mr Nashiri is one of several Guantanamo Bay detainees who were subjected to waterboarding - a practice that simulates drowning.

Waterboarding was one of a number of "enhanced" interrogation techniques approved by the Justice Department in 2002 under President George W Bush.

President Barack Obama has since said waterboarding constitutes torture. US law on torture forbids threatening detainees with imminent death.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is considering whether to investigate the Bush administration's interrogation practices.

A retired CIA official who lead the 2004 investigation said the report about to be released is a comprehensive review of what the CIA did under the secret detention and interrogation programme began after the 11 September 2001 attacks, AP said.
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2009, 11:31:00 pm »

CIA threatened prisoner with power drill, conducted mock executions
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/8/21/205226/217

by andrewj54
   
Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 06:10:18 PM PDT

Look what turned up in this week's Friday evening news dump.

Newsweek is reporting that a long-suppressed report by the CIA Inspector General recounts that interrogators went far beyond what was sanctioned by the discredited torture memos:

According to two sources—one who has read a draft of the paper and one who was briefed on it—the report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. According to the sources, who like others quoted in this article asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, Nashiri's interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him.
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009, 11:31:19 pm »

There were also...

...mock executions:

According to the sources, the report also says that a mock execution was staged in a room next to a detainee, during which a gunshot was fired in an effort to make the suspect believe that another prisoner had been killed. The inspector general's report alludes to more than one mock execution.

Although the report chronicling all of this was completed in May 2004, and it was sent to the Justice Department and Congressional leadership shortly thereafter, it was not shown to some members of the Intelligence committees until much later:

The inspector general's report, commissioned by then CIA-director George Tenet, was sent to the Justice Department and congressional intelligence committee leaders shortly after it was written. But it was not shown to all members of the intelligence committees until September 2006, around the time that President Bush publicly acknowledged the CIA detention and interrogation program and instructed the agency, which had been holding detainees in a network of secret overseas prisons, to transfer them to the U.S. military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

CIA officials lobbied against it being released to the public, peddling the usual jive:
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2009, 11:31:37 pm »

Top Bush CIA officials, including Tenet's successors as CIA director, Porter Goss and Gen. Michael Hayden, strongly lobbied for the IG report to be kept secret from the public. They argued that its release would damage America's reputation around the world, could damage CIA morale, and would tip off terrorists regarding American interrogation tactics. "Justice has had the complete document since 2004, and their career prosecutors have reviewed it carefully for legal accountability," said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano. "That's already been done."

This is all repugnant.  I really hope it helps that Eric Holder throws the book at these sickoes, and that it helps with the push for accountability higher up.  This crap didn't happen in a vacuum. What has happened to America?

UPDATE:  from Terre in the comments:

You might mention that this was breaking news at the top of the hour on Rachel's show.  She interviewed Michael Isikoff who wrote the story in Newsweek.

He mentions sources saying that this report is EXPLOSIVE, and that Eric Holder will more than likely appoint a Special Prosecuter, and that would probably happen after the report has been released.

UPDATEx2:  Connecting some dots: I remember reading a week or so ago that AG Holder was "poised" to appoint a Special Prosecutor, but the scope of the investigation would be narrow, and confined to those instances where interrogators went beyond the "guidelines" in the torture memos.  Seems like he was gearing up for this particular ****-fan collision.
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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2009, 11:32:12 pm »

Did Iraqi forces learn electric drill torture from Bush training officials?
http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=206791


If these gruesome allegations are true, how did enhanced techniques like "drilling torture" got in the hands of US/UK trained Iraqi security forces?

Quote:According to those sources, the report will reveal that the CIA interrogators of suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri brandished a gun in front of him in an attempt to make him believe he was going to be shot — thus violating a federal law against threatening a detainee with “imminent death” — and also threatened him with a power drill.

Quote:'Drilling torture'

This particular technique of torture and killing is a new one to add to an already long list of other forms of torture of which the new Iraqi police force stands accused.

The return to torture and killing by the security forces is another embarrassment for the American and British governments


The list compiled by Human Rights Watch includes beating detainees with cables, hanging them from their wrists for long periods and giving electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body.

From a video given to the BBC by the Association of Muslim Scholars (a Sunni Muslim organisation), it seems another particularly brutal form of torture can also be added - drilling into the knees, elbows and shoulders of victims.

The video shows the body of a Sunni Muslim preacher being washed for burial.
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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2009, 11:32:29 pm »

His supporters say he had been picked up by police commandos for allegedly being linked to the insurgency.

The camera focuses on marks all over his body including what appear to be drill holes.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4718999.stm
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 11:33:24 pm »

Lt. William Calley Haunted by Memories of My Lai Massacre
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2092877/lt_william_calley_haunted_by_memories.html

August 22, 2009

The My Lai Massacre occurred a little over two years before I went to Vietnam. The Mai Lai Massacre effectively turned public opinion against the Vietnam War. Further, the Mai Lai Massacre brought to the fore an officer named Lt. William Calley.

Telegraph.co.uk is carrying an article titled "My Lai massacre: Lt. William Calley apologises more than 40 years after Vietnam." The title is just a little misleading. The apology comes forty years after the massacre, not the end of the war.

The event in question occurred March 16th, 1968. Lt Calley was in charge of "Charlie Company." They came to a village called My Lai and opened fire killing somewhere between 347 and 504 unarmed citizens. The people were primarily old men, women and children.

It was recommended that 28 officers and two non-commissioned officers be charged with a crime however, Calley was the only soldier charged and was given a life sentence.

This sentence was changed to house arrest.

The My Lai massacre is back in the news because Lt. William Calley apologized for his role in the massacre.

While addressing the Kiwanis Club in Greater Columbus, Georia, Calley is quoted in the article as saying "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for happened that day in My Lai."

There is no question that the My Lai was a uniquely terrible event.

However, did you ever wonder why Lt. Calley's punishment for this "search and destroy mission gone wrong" was so greatly reduced?
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 11:34:23 pm »

There are two reasons.

Charlie Company had received erroneous data prior to entering the village and had been told that the Viet Cong had gotten through to the people and those people left were in league with the North. Those unfamiliar with Vietnam War may consider that silly but often people of these ages old and young participated in deadly acts.

It seems to always be overlooked that the day before this occurred Charlie Company got caught in a mine field. Every time a soldier moved they would be blown to bits.

These same soldiers were in shock when they entered the village of My Lai.

Of course it is nice of Calley to apologize. Although, it is my opinion it is for his benefit.

The My Lai Massacre was a terrible marker of the questionable Vietnam War.

However, while Calley's apology is a gentile act, it in no way lessens the historic effect of the massacre and neither does it allow for the explanation of what really happened.
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 11:35:17 pm »

Tortures
http://mindprod.com/politics/iraqtortures.html


“George W. Bush said the other day that the world should see his administration’s handling of the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison as a model of transparency and accountability. He said those responsible were being systematically punished, regardless of rank. It made for a nice Oval Office photo-op on a Friday morning. Unfortunately, none of it is true.”
~ New York Times (born: 1851 age: 158) , 2005-05-23

“Torture is wrong, even when Americans do it.”
~ God , 2007-10-01

It is natural to want to disbelieve accounts of torture. It is sickening to discover the depths of cruelty your fellow man can sink to. Watch yourself playing the denial game as you read on. If you are like most people, you will find the least offensive torture, or the least solidly documented and seize on it, then discount it, and then try to convince yourself all the horror has gone away. All you have done is sweep it under the carpet. You can’t stop the torture if you lie to yourself that it does not exist. It is real. There are even criminal convictions.

Diplomat Ann Wright argues the tortures concocted showed a deep understanding of Arab and Muslim culture. There is no way ordinary American soldiers came up with these on their own. They must have been taught them by their superiors who had access to experts.

Bush sent a directive in 2002-02 that the resistance in Afghanistan were to be treated as terrorists, unprotected by the Geneva conventions. This left the fighters and POWs open to any conceivable torture.
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 11:35:32 pm »

Navy Seal Dan Cerrillo, testified the CIA ordered the Seals to torture prisoners.

Sign at Guantánamo torture camp mockingly reads HONOR BOUND TO DEFEND FREEDOM, reminiscent of Hitler’s Arbeit Macht Frei he had painted over the gates to the Jewish concentration camps.

At Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib here is a partial list of the sexual abuse and torture:

Doctors tortured prisoners. 35 pages of government documents.

A US military investigation found Iraqi detainees were held with their Taping eyes shut in tiny box-like cells for up to seven days at a time while loud music blared at a special operations holding facility.

Government documents on torture obtained unde the freedom of information act by the ACLU.

The Washington Post reported that the CIA is hiding, interrogating and torturing captives in Thailand, Afghanistan and several countries in Eastern Europe. CIA interrogators in the overseas sites are permitted to use the CIA’s approved “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”; (aka torture) some of which are prohibited by the U.N. convention and by U.S. military law. The black-site program was approved by a small circle of White House and Justice Department lawyers and officials. There are four main arguments against using torture.

It is morally abhorrent. It is condemned by every major religion.

It has no benefits. Under torture, you will say whatever you think the tormenter wants to hear to get them to stop. The information gleaned is worthless. Bush tortured Iraqis to get his phony evidence for war. A terrorist locked away in seclusion is out of the loop. All plans have been changed and the detainee is not up to date. Ask John McCain what he thinks of torture. He knows first hand how ineffective it is.
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