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CIA Used Gun, Drill in Interrogation

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« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2009, 11:41:46 pm »

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the contents of the report Saturday.

The CIA disciplinary panel was convened within weeks of the officer allegedly bringing a handgun into an interrogation room at a secret detention facility in an apparent attempt to convince Nashiri he would be killed if he failed to cooperate, U.S. officials said.

The 2004 IG report describes both incidents. Some of its details, including the interrogators' alleged use of the gun and power drill, were made public in an article on Newsweek magazine's Web site late Friday. The magazine also reported that officers staged a mock execution by firing a gun in the cell next to Nashiri's to make him think another detainee had been executed.

A federal judge in New York ordered the release of the report in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been reviewing the document in an effort to decide whether to launch an investigation into the CIA's coercive interrogation methods.

Some officials involved in the case viewed the use of a gun during interrogation as a possible violation of a U.S. law that prohibits threatening detainees with imminent death. But Justice Department lawyers reviewed the case and declined to file charges, according to several former and current intelligence officials who tracked the case. It was unclear why the lawyers took that position.

A. John Radsan, a former federal prosecutor who also served as assistant general counsel at the CIA, said such a case might be difficult to successfully prosecute.
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« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2009, 11:42:02 pm »

"The victims are not sympathetic. Witnesses may not talk. Evidence may be gone," Radsan said. "If anyone is indicted, there will be the usual graymail. The defendant is going to push [Justice] to reveal things about the program that will even make this administration uncomfortable. The defendant will say whatever he did was reasonable reliance on advice from government lawyers."

(Truth ALERT: If victims are not sympathetic, is Wash Post intimating that the torture is ok? WTF??)

When interviewed by the Red Cross in 2006, Nashiri did not specifically describe the alleged mock execution but said he had been threatened with "sodomy, and the arrest and **** of his family," according to a copy of the humanitarian group's secret report to the Bush administration in February 2007, which was leaked to the New York Review of Books this year. Nine of the 14 former CIA prisoners interviewed reported being subjected to "threats of ill-treatment," it said.

(Truth ALERT: The DID **** and sodomize prisoners, their wives and children.)

The U.S. anti-torture statute bans acts intended to inflict severe mental or physical pain or suffering resulting from, among other things, "the threat of imminent death" or threats of being "subjected to death."

"Mock executions or threats to an individual's life produce extreme fear and loss of control in the victim," said Scott Allen, medical adviser for Physicians for Human Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group that campaigns against torture. "These kinds of threats can have serious, long-lasting psychological impact."

However, an August 2002 Justice Department legal memo in effect at the time of the episode interpreted the anti-torture statute to apply only to the deliberate infliction of suffering or pain that caused prolonged mental harm. In 2006, the U.S. military explicitly revised its field manual to prohibit mock executions.

(Truth ALERT: The Justice dept/white house memo suggested only torture that could cause organ failure was out of bounds. This characterization of the legal memo omits the facts; and is disinfo at best.)
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« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2009, 11:42:21 pm »

Allen's group said in a June 2008 report that in interviews of 11 detainees who had been held in U.S. military custody overseas, "almost all . . . reported being threatened with severe harm, most commonly through verbal threats during interrogations."

The group reported that "some threats were terrifying claims that the detainee or members of his family would be killed or severely harmed -- or that the detainee would never be released."

Staff writers Karen DeYoung and Carrie Johnson and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
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« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2009, 11:42:49 pm »

CIA report to reveal agency conducted mock executions
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/22/cia-report-to-reveal-mock-executions/

By Muriel Kane Published: August 22, 2009


Update (at bottom): Reporter says revelations coming Monday will be ‘pretty explosive’

The long-delayed release of a CIA inspector general’s report has been scooped by Newsweek, which obtained details from one source who has read a draft of the report and another who was briefed on its contents.

A version of the report with newly declassified details is expected to be released on Monday.

According to Newsweek’s 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.

In other cases, mock executions were staged, including one case in which a gun was fired in an adjoining room to make a suspect believe another prisoner had been shot.

The report was commissioned by then-CIA Director George Tenet in 2004, as CIA officials attempted to determine whether the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques had followed official guidelines. It was shared at the time with the Justice Department and with selected members of the Congressional oversight committees and was shown to the committees as a whole in 2006, but has been kept secret from the public.

The government is now required to turn the report over on Monday as a result of an ACLU Freedom of Information lawsuit. Related documents are to be revealed a week later.
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« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2009, 11:43:04 pm »

It is not clear to what extent the report will be released intact. Last year, a version was released from which the sections on both waterboarding and the ultimate effectiveness of extreme interrogation techniques had both been redacted. It is expected that the report and other documents will say that the use of extreme interrogation techniques did produce some valid intelligence, further fueling the debate over the use of those techniques.

Attorney General Eric Holder is also expected to announce his decision on a possible investigation into the use of torture under the Bush administration. A group of Republican senators has already sent Holder a letter warning that any investigation “could have a number of serious consequences, not just for the honorable members of the intelligence community, but also for the security of all Americans.”
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« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2009, 11:43:26 pm »

Update: Reporter says revelations coming Monday will be ‘pretty explosive’

Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show on Friday night, explained that revelations from the CIA Inspector General’s report will be “pretty explosive,” even though the public version will be significantly redacted.

“About half of the report, I’m told, will still be redacted,” he said. “But, what’s in the half that’s going to be publicly released is going to be pretty explosive.”

The IG report is said to be the most extensive look yet at the Bush administration’s torture programs. RAW STORY will have more details when the report is released to the public.

This video was broadcast by MSNBC on August 21, 2009.
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« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2009, 11:44:11 pm »

Mock Executions of Terror Suspects: Report reveals more harsh CIA methods



CIA torture http://rogerhollander.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/cia-refuses-to-turn-over-torture-tape-documents/



Pamela Hess
Boston Herald
Sat, 22 Aug 2009 00:00 UTC
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view.bg?articleid=1192702&format=&page=2&listingType=politics#articleFull

As the Justice Department considers whether to investigate alleged harsh interrogation practices sanctioned by the Bush administration, sources say a soon-to-be-released report by the CIA's inspector general reveals that agency interrogators conducted mock executions of terror suspects.

These latest allegations are contained in a 2004 report that has been kept secret and is to be released next week, two congressional officials told The Associated Press. They spoke late Friday on condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been cleared for release.

Threatening a prisoner with death violates U.S. anti-torture laws.

In one case, interrogators brought a gun and power drill into a session with suspected Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, the report says. The suicide bombing of the warship USS Cole killed 17 U.S. sailors in Yemen in 2000.
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« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2009, 11:44:45 pm »



In another episode, a gunshot was fired in a room next to a detainee to make the prisoner believe another suspect had been killed, according to the report, which a federal judge has ordered to be made public Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The IG report's findings were first reported by Newsweek on its Web site.

Nashiri was one of three CIA prisoners subjected to water boarding, a brutal interrogation technique that simulates drowning that was among 10 techniques approved by the Bush administration's Justice Department in 2002. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have denounced water boarding as torture.

"The CIA in no way endorsed behavior- no matter how infrequent- that went beyond formal guidance," said agency spokesman Paul Gimigliano. He declined to comment on the contents of the IG report.

Holder is considering whether to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's interrogation practices, a controversial move that would run counter to President Barack Obama's wishes to leave the issue in the past.

Gimigliano said the career prosecutors at the Justice Department have reviewed the report to determine if any laws were broken and whether the interrogators should be prosecuted.

"Professionals in the Department of Justice decided if and when to pursue prosecution," he said. "That's how the system was supposed to work, and that's how it did work."

Just one CIA contract interrogator, David Passaro, has been prosecuted. He was found guilty in 2007 in the beating death of a prisoner in Afghanistan.
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« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2009, 11:45:13 pm »

The Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 9 that a CIA operative brought a gun into an interrogation booth to force a detainee to talk. One of the congressional officials told the AP that referred to the interrogation of the USS Cole suspect.

The IG review was completed in May 2004. The ACLU has sought its release since then. It was expected to be released earlier this year but was delayed by government request.

The report casts doubt on the effectiveness of the harsh interrogation methods employed by CIA interrogators, according to quotes from the report that were contained in Bush-era Justice Department memos declassified this spring. It says no attacks were averted by information obtained using harsh interrogation methods.

The CIA detained and interrogated 94 terrorist suspects; 28 were subjected to harsh methods. Of those three were water boarded, according to government documents made public earlier this year.

But former CIA Director Michael Hayden said this week at a panel discussion in Washington that the review also credits the harsh interrogation with yielding information on al-Qaida's basic infrastrucutre, which in turn allowed the CIA to fight the organization behind the 9/11 hijackings.

John L. Helgerson, the now-retired CIA inspector who spearheaded the investigation, told the AP in June that the report is a comprehensive review of everything the CIA did in the secret detention and interrogation program begun in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The investigation was undertaken in response to concerns expressed by agency employees about the program, he added.

Source: Associated Press
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« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2009, 01:18:00 am »

Holder tapping prosecutor to probe ‘nearly a dozen’ CIA interrogations
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/24/holder-tapping-prosecutor-to-probe-nearly-a-dozen-cia-interrogations/
By Raw Story Published: August 24, 2009



America’s torture debate is nowhere near over, according to reports published Monday afternoon.

“Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move,” Carrie Johnson reports in The Washington Post.

According to Johnson, “John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut,” is being tapped “to lead the high-stakes inquiry, added the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not yet complete.”

The New York Times added: “President Obama does not intend to voice his preference for whether anyone is prosecuted from prisoner abuse cases, a White House spokesman said Monday, and will allow Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to make the decision.”

Durham is no stranger to hard-slog prosecutions. A 30-plus-year veteran, he was most recently appointed by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate the CIA’s destruction of terror war interrogation tapes.

When Mukasey selected Durham, Talking Points Memo posted a brief outline of his work history, quoting the Associated Press as saying that he’s “one of the nation’s most relentless prosecutors.”

Durham’s investigation of the missing or destroyed CIA interrogation tapes is ongoing, and several high-ranking officials have testified before a federal grand jury in Virginia. That investigation is ongoing.

“Mr. Durham has shrouded his investigation in a level of secrecy rare even by the normally tight-lipped standards of special prosecutors, and after 18 months it is still difficult to assess either the direction or the targets of his investigation,” The New York Times reported in July.

The Post’s report is the first confirmation that the Justice Department will open a formal investigation into the CIA’s alleged torture of terror war prisoners.

“Responsibility for the torture program cannot be laid at the feet of a few low-level operatives,” read a Center for Constitutional Rights statement on the matter. “Some agents in the field may have gone further than the limits so ghoulishly laid out by the lawyers who twisted the law to create legal cover for the program, but it is the lawyers and the officials who oversaw and approved the program who must be investigated.”

The watchdog group added: “We call on the Obama administration not to tie a prosecutor’s hands but to let the investigation go as far up the chain of command as the facts lead. We must send a clear message to the rest of the world, to future officials, and to the victims of torture that justice will be served and that the rule of law has been restored.”
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« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2009, 01:18:37 am »

IG’s report reveals interrogator restricted detainee’s carotid artery
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/24/igs-report-reveals-pressure-point-torture/
By Stephen C. Webster Published: August 24, 2009


A CIA inspector general’s report written in 2004 was released in a less-redacted version Monday, revealing new details of the agency’s torture techniques applied to terror war prisoners.

Page 77 of the report discusses “unauthorized or undocumented techniques” used by CIA agents but not approved by the Bush administration’s Department of Justice. One such “improvised action” was a pressure point tactic: the compression of a detainee’s carotid artery by an agent with both hands around the prisoner’s neck.

Prolonged compression of the carotid artery is lethal, as it cuts off blood flow to the brain.

“The extent of these actions is illustrative of the consequences of the lack of clear guidance at the time and the Agency’s insufficient attention to interrogations in [redacted],” the report says.

The document also describes a 2003 incident in which an independent contractor beat an Afghan man with a large, metal flashlight. The man later died in U.S. custody and his body was turned over to his family without an autopsy. The contractor was not prosecuted, but the CIA did not extend his paid term. The inspector general notes that the Department of Justice is investigating the incident.

Page 87 also cites an agent who assaulted a religious school teacher who smiled at him and “laughed inappropriately” when asked about the remote detonation of a bomb that killed eight people. The man was struck twice with the butt of an assault rifle but not seriously injured. The report also says that over 200 students witnessed the assault. The agent was taken out of the field for counseling and “given a domestic assignment.”
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« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2009, 01:19:07 am »

The IG’s report further states, “there is no doubt the Program has been effective” (P. 93) in producing material for finished intelligence reports. However, “[measuring] the effectiveness of the [enhanced interrogation techniques],” the document notes, “is a more subjective process and not without some concern.”

“In an interview, the DCI said he believes the use of [torture] has proven to be extremely valuable in obtaining enormous amounts of critical threat information from detainees who had otherwise believed they were safe from any harm in the hands of Americans,” the report continues (P. 97). “Inasmuch as [torture has] been used only since August 2002, and they have not all been used with every high value detainee, there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness.”

It also notes that the techniques are “inconsistent with the public policy positions that the U.S. has taken regarding human rights.”

The report’s entire recommendations section (P. 114) is censored.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. is reportedly in the process of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate instances of CIA detainee abuse.

DEVELOPING… MORE SOON…

Read the full report below, uploaded by The Washington Independent.

The Washington Post has the full report for download (PDF link).

v1
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« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2009, 01:19:48 am »

The 2004 CIA Inspector General Report on Torture
 
By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 3:15 PM

Classified for years — and still heavily redacted — here is former CIA Inspector General John Helgerson’s 2004 report into the CIA’s Bush-era interrogations operations. The ACLU sued to obtain the controversial report, which was so charged within the agency that former CIA Director Michael Hayden clashed with Helgerson over the inspector general’s independence and investigative authority.

Here is the full report:

http://washingtonindependent.com/56175/the-2004-cia-inspector-generals-report-on-torture
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« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2009, 01:20:11 am »

Conyers, Nadler Applaud DoJ Appointment of 'Relentless' Special Prosecutor for Torture Probe
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7372#more-7372


Call for 'broad mandate to investigate abuses...policymakers and lawyers...without predetermination of where it may lead'...

After many weeks of speculation, and embarrasingly bad media coverage, Attorney General Eric Holder has finally named a Special Prosecutor to probe the use of torture by the Bush/Cheney Administration. The announcement comes on the same day that a redacted version of a 2004 Inspector General's report [PDF] on the CIA's use of torture was also released. RAW STORY has a good backgrounder on the announcement.

The prosecutor, John Durham, a career DoJ attorney from Connecticut, has already been investigating the CIA's destruction of torture video tapes, and has been described by AP as "one of the nation’s most relentless prosecutors.".

The IG's 122-page report details the beating and death of detainees, threats of violence, death and sexual assault to their family members and other techniques used by U.S. government interrogators that were "inconsistent with the public policy positions that the U.S. has taken regarding human rights."

Shortly after the announcement today, U.S. House Judiciary chair John Conyers (D-MI), and subcommittee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released a statement applauding the appointment of the Special Prosecutor and calling for a 'broad mandate' to prosecute not just 'frontline personal', but also the 'policymakers and lawyers' who created the "conditions where such absues were all but inevitable to occur."
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« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2009, 01:20:34 am »

"Seeking out only the low-level actors in a conspiracy to torture detainees will bring neither justice nor restored standing to our nation," says Nadler in the statement (posted in full below).

From Conyers' comments: "The Obama Administration also deserves praise for the release of the 2004 CIA Inspector General report as well as related DOJ memos. These materials are truly disturbing, including the CIA's basic conclusion that 'unauthorized, improvised, inhumane, and undocumented detention and interrogation techniques were used' in its program. Reading about misdeeds such as threats to kill a detainees' children or the staging of mock executions leaves us appalled. ... The gruesome acts described in today's report did not happen in a vacuum. It would not be fair or just for frontline personnel to be held accountable while the policymakers and lawyers escape scrutiny after creating and approving conditions where such abuses were all but inevitable to occur."

From Nadler: "I applaud the Attorney General for this first step. But, we must go further. As I have said for many months, it is vital that this special counsel be given a broad mandate to investigate these abuses, to follow the evidence where it leads, and to prosecute where warranted. This must be a robust mission to gather any and all evidence without predetermination of where it may lead. Seeking out only the low-level actors in a conspiracy to torture detainees will bring neither justice nor restored standing to our nation."

The joint Conyers/Nadler press release follows in full below...

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