Meet the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group

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Monday, August 24, 2009 at 9:36 am

Anne Kornblut of The Washington Post writes a curtain-raiser on the unveiling of a story I broke about the contours of the Obama administration’s new team for interrogating the highest-value terrorism detainees. To boil the piece down to its essence, the new High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will be an interagency squad, but housed at the FBI and reporting to the National Security Council (not the attorney general and the director of national intelligence, as was once considered); it’ll make a “case by case” decision on Mirandizing detainees; it’ll create a “scientific” playbook of the most effective proven interrogation practices; it’ll be authorized to travel around the world. And it all will be unveiled today.
Additionally, one of the initial questions that the interrogation task force was set to answer was whether the group, which will be acronym-ized as the HIG, should be permitted to go outside the Army Field Manual when interrogating detainees:

Under the new guidelines, interrogators must stay within the parameters of the Army Field Manual when questioning suspects. The task force concluded — unanimously, officials said — that “the Army Field Manual provides appropriate guidance on interrogation for military interrogators and that no additional or different guidance was necessary for other agencies,” according to a three-page summary of the findings. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters freely.

Using the Army Field Manual means certain techniques in the gray zone between torture and legal questioning — such as playing loud music or depriving prisoners of sleep — will not be allowed. Which tactics are acceptable was an issue “looked at thoroughly,” one senior official said. Obama had already banned certain severe measures that the Bush administration had permitted, such as waterboarding.

Now, it’s important not to make too much of this. For one thing, as blogger Jeff Kaye has assiduously documented, the Army Field Manual has been revised in an appendix to allow some torture techniques into a document almost universally described as Geneva Conventions-compliant. For another, one of the approaches taken by the task force that advised the creation of the teams has been to look beyond specific techniques and focus on interrogation approaches geared around the specific detainee being interrogated. But at the same time, it was widely feared in progressive circles that the task force would ultimately erode President Obama’s January executive order restricting interrogation techniques to the boundaries of the Army Field Manual, and that fear hasn’t come to pass.

Now to learn what it’ll recommend about renditions

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25 Comments

The Washington Independent » Meet the High-Value Detainee … | Silcon Group
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The Washington Independent » Meet the High-Value Detainee … « Meanings of Words
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patrowe
Comment posted August 24, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

Another unelected group appointed by King Obama and answerable directly to him. How is King Obama going to manage all of these “czars”, “teams” and agencies? Not enough time in a day. My guess is that they're all going to be on their own. That's ok- let's give King Obama more rope.

So exactly how are they going to get information out of these terrorists? Say “Please tell us?”


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strangely_enough
Comment posted August 24, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

Torture has not produced useful intelligence.

“It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.”
[...]
“There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.”
[...]
Ali Soufan was an F.B.I. supervisory special agent from 1997 to 2005.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/opinion/23sou…


suantenofsky
Comment posted August 27, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

I'd say Obama just wants the FBI to disappear and with all his interfering, he will succeed!
I'm sure he can see that terrorist are handled properly….kiss and tell. Yes, tell me what you want for supper.


s1ck0fant
Comment posted September 6, 2009 @ 10:00 am

I dont think that any of the new techniques used by the G.W.B Law that was passed used any type of mental instability in interrogations, mostly force. What are non-extreme interrogation tactics used, mostly in interrogations that go on in USA today that aren't as an extremist would put it, they will probably focus on psychological methods in interrogations from now on, force is not an option unless under extreme distress, and what are these interrogations leading towards anyways? Another war once we find the people that did the “acts of terror” against our country?, i think that might be a good thing for us…HA!…..budget cuts ……go into the US. before any other country….leadership amongst people that has no back worth towards a future in 25 yrs. is pointless….look back and re think because stocks are plumiting, businesses are falling, corporations are dwindling and no one is letting business people make what they destroyed, this country……Corpratism….Capitalistic Endangerment, Sociobabble amongst news weekly ads, no one knows what there talking about….what was it 3 months ago…oh! were fine :D 3 months later…..we have no idea whats going on………..

…………………………


Silver
Comment posted May 5, 2010 @ 1:30 am

HIG even sounds like KGB


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Comment posted June 2, 2010 @ 6:16 am

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Comment posted October 13, 2010 @ 7:20 am

The Democrats have to do two things. Put people to work, even if it means another WPA. Put people to


How Paul Wolfowitz Authorized Human Experimentation at Guantánamo | Andy Worthington
Pingback posted October 24, 2010 @ 8:31 am

[...] Intelligence Dennis Blair, who recently resigned, disclosed that the Obama administration’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) planned on conducting “scientific research” to determine “if there are [...]


Sueann Weglarz
Comment posted September 6, 2011 @ 6:07 am

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Comment posted September 6, 2011 @ 9:41 am

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Comment posted September 6, 2011 @ 11:07 am

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Comment posted September 6, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

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Comment posted September 7, 2011 @ 6:36 am

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