So Much Torture Disclosure to Be Had

By
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 9:27 am

Former Vice President Dick Cheney — the avatar of secrecy — really did say this last night. Daphne puts together a wish list:

[I]f there are memos showing that torture and the CIA’s other “extreme” interrogation techniques were successful, I’d like to see those, too — all of them. Including the ones that show that detainees like Abu Zubaydah gave up the most important information they had before they were waterboarded — and nothing of much use afterwards. And while we’re at it, let’s see the proof that the techniques were successful — that the information these torture victims offered actually turned out to be reliable.

But that’s not all! Naturally I’d like to see this Office of Legal Counsel memo from 2007. But any full account of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program has to include CIA Inspector General John Helgerson’s 2004 internal investigation of the program. That report has never been released despite numerous congressional requests. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, cited its nondisclosure in an op-ed arguing for the creation of an independent commission to investigate Bush-era security activities.

Several footnotes in the Office of Legal Counsel memos written by Steven Bradbury in 2005 and released last week indicate what the inspector general report found. As first reported by Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake, Helgerson’s review determined that in practice, the CIA’s interrogators often went beyond what the Justice Department had authorized for enhanced interrogations in 2002. Medical personnel were not present at all of the enhanced interrogations, though 2002-era memoranda had anticipated they would be. The maximum-allotted number of hours for sleep deprivation was, by 2004, “260 hours or 11 days,” though 2002-era memoranda had anticipated it would be much shorter than that. CIA interrogators conducted waterboarding that was more painful and severe than the training program for U.S. Special Forces that formed the basis both for the interrogation program and the 2002-era memoranda’s legal justification for it. As a result of these inspector general-discovered discrepancies, Bradbury apparently had to re-certify that CIA interrogation practices were legal, according to the 2005-era memoranda.

Helgerson’s review made him no friends within the CIA. Former CIA Director Mike Hayden sparred with Helgerson in 2007 over whether Helgerson’s investigation of interrogation practices went beyond the inspector general’s mandate and intruded onto the portfolio of the CIA’s legal counsel. On Feb. 18, Helgerson announced his retirement from the CIA. A CIA official who declined to be quoted said that Helgerson was in the process of leaving the agency, and would be finished with his final paperwork by June. He’s no longer serving as inspector general in the interim.

By all means: disclose, disclose, disclose. Disclose how we’d know that we got valuable, accurate information from torture that saved Americans’ lives. We know that in at least one case, rendering an al-Qaeda detainee to Egypt named Ibn Shaikh al-Libi to be tortured resulted in claims about nonexistent ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein that administration officials like former Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly stated as part of the case for invading Iraq. The CIA retracted those claims as unreliable a year after the invasion. Let’s see whatever memoranda exist about determining when a detainee should be interrogated by the CIA and when he should be sent to a foreign country to be tortured. No half-measures here. Cheney just made a case for a robust truth commission. Thanks!

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Comments

16 Comments

Izzy
Comment posted April 21, 2009 @ 7:06 am

Transperancy- Obama promised transperancy, but I thought he was talking about letting the American people have enough time to read the stimulus bill before our representatives signed it. I guess I misunderstood, transperancy to Obama means that he will release TOP SECRET information to our enemies against the advise of the last 4 directors of the CIA.


Izzy
Comment posted April 21, 2009 @ 7:09 am

I guess I don't understand this torture thing, a terrorist would cut off any infidel's head off with a dull knife, like in the case of Daniel Pearl. I think that I would prefer to be waterboarded.


Spencer Ackerman on torture news « Later On
Pingback posted April 21, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

[...] So Much Torture Disclosure to Be Had Former Vice President Dick Cheney — the avatar of secrecy — really did say this last night. Daphne puts together a wish list: [I]f there are memos showing that torture and the CIA’s other “extreme” interrogation techniques were successful, I’d like to see those, too — all of them. Including the ones that show that detainees like Abu Zubaydah gave up the most important information they had before they were waterboarded — and nothing of much use afterwards. And while we’re at it, let’s see the proof that the techniques were successful — that the information these torture victims offered actually turned out to be reliable. [...]


Vlad
Comment posted May 11, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

Like Senator Mccain so eloquently say. It's not about who we they are it's about who we are. As soon we start compromising our american values they win.


Vlad
Comment posted May 11, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

It's not a partisan issue if any democrat knew or was involved they are as accountable as Bush and Cheney


CIA Inspector General: Waterboarding Appeared to Violate Torture Convention | The Ruth Group
Pingback posted May 11, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

[...] more, the WaPo article is here and Spencer Ackerman calling for more disclosure here. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “CIA Inspector General: Waterboarding Appeared to Violate Torture [...]


Related Newswires Articles on Torture from Huffington Post « Our Country in Change
Pingback posted May 11, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

[...] fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest [...]


Turns Out, We Do Torture - Page 14 - MBWorld.org Forums
Pingback posted May 11, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

[...] have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks." A fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest [...]


IG Report: Waterboarding Not “Efficacious or medically safe” « Moisesfg’s Blog
Pingback posted May 11, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

[...] A fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest proof to date that proclamations of waterboarding’s usefulness were overblown. [...]


calchala
Comment posted May 11, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

And the stupid line. Seriously this information is in the New York Review of Books. It was there mind you, BEFORE the torture memos were released. My advice to you, is don't throw out cliched statements with no expectation that you won't get burned by them. I guarantee you, the internet community is well armed.


» 00 Waterboarding Was Neither “Efficacious Or Medically Safe” Forés @ UVPress
Pingback posted May 12, 2009 @ 4:20 am

[...] fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest [...]


calchala
Comment posted May 12, 2009 @ 6:26 am

And the stupid line. Seriously this information is in the New York Review of Books. It was there mind you, BEFORE the torture memos were released. My advice to you, is don't throw out cliched statements with no expectation that you won't get burned by them. I guarantee you, the internet community is well armed.


Torture Report Contradicts Cheney; White House Preparing to Release ‘Holy Grail’ Report | freedetainees.org
Pingback posted May 12, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

[...] fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest [...]


Doug Bandow » Blog Archive » Torture: Sacrificing Our Values for Little Intelligence
Pingback posted May 13, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

[...] fury of speculation ensued among a host of reporter-bloggers, who viewed the forthcoming information as the strongest [...]


midnight
Comment posted June 26, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

Who and what is being protected from us?


CIA Inspector General’s Report on Torture to Be Released? | The Alex Constantine Anti Fascist Encyclopedia
Pingback posted March 13, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

[...] … The Obama administration is looking to declassify a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report that laid out grave doubts about the agency’s “enhanced interrogation” program. Background on the value of that report — referred to numerous times in the May 2005 torture memos from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — is here. [...]


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