Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government United States

Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
mrspoonsi sends this news from the Washington Post: "A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques. The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document. ... At the secret prison, Baluchi endured a regime that included being dunked in a tub filled with ice water. CIA interrogators forcibly kept his head under the water while he struggled to breathe and beat him repeatedly, hitting him with a truncheon-like object and smashing his head against a wall, officials said. As with Abu Zubaida and even Nashiri, officials said, CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

Comments Filter:
  • So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:09PM (#46635389) Journal

    If it's obvious they were assaulting people without cause, why haven't they been arrested, prosecuted and thrown in jail?

    • Re:So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:17PM (#46635435)
      More than that, if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them, they have to have some consiquenses for it. Start jailing a whole bunch of people for purgery. Nothing major... Just what Martha Stewart did... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PPH (736903) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:09PM (#46635745)

        if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them

        Just strap the CIA director to a table before the congressional committee and pour water on his face until he tells the truth.

        What's good for the goose ....

      • Re:So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @01:01AM (#46636707)

        More than that, if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them, ...

        Which is the crux of the point. Congress does *not* want people to stop lying to them. It serves Congress' best interests to have the CIA, NSA, lobbyists, major corporate executives, etc to lie to them because it allows Congress to set the lie as a truth in the Congressional record. At the same time, it's the irrelevant and small that are attacked (Martha Stewart, steroids in baseball, etc) because it's the low level fodder that a few Congressmen can get behind as lamenting while pretending the system they're part and parcel of is good and acceptable.

        Because last I checked, neither the NSA nor the CIA fall under the purview of the Constitution* and their blackhole budgets seem an obvious target for defunding, regardless of how honest and good they were. I mean, look at how much effort is meant to cripple Medicare, Welfare, Social Security, etc. Rampant fraud and abuse? Sure, that's the calling card of the NSA/CIA. But at least they feed people, treat them of injury, and provide them shelter and necessary living expenses when old. Nope, the NSA/CIA is the killing foreigner business.

        Apples and oranges. Good defense is a good offense, which is why I always random groin kick strangers. Please excuse me if my mumbling of incoherent nonsense somehow makes sense to you and seems justifiable. Because we all know the only ones keep the nukes out of the US are the NSA/CIA...except the ones we have...and that none of the other major powers really want to actually use a nuke and face retribution...and all the smaller groups don't have the resources to build a nuke from scratch..and none of the major powers want to hand over nukes to nut jobs because they're just as likely to be a target. Not to mention that eventually a nuke is going to be stolen/built and used (well, presuming we don't kill ourselves off some other way) and we're just going to have to life with the fact that the genie is really out of the bottle. Nope, the CIA/NSA aren't anti-genies. They're just assholes.

        *Most of their actions if part of the military amount to continuous acts of war against other nations, which clearly violation Congress' unique power to declare war and really gives plenty of justification for just about *everyone*, including terrorists, to launch attacks against the US. Outside that scope, the major mechanism for international actions of the sort the NSA and CIA engage in would fall under scope of "Letters of Marque", but that too really wouldn't apply as part of the US government and would be of an on-going basis if done right to be handed out to individuals which Congress itself is unwilling to invest the time into. It's easier to bitch and moan a lot and not do anything real.

        • by peragrin (659227)

          ah but you are forgetting one very important fact. Countries treat each other like 7-10 years at recess treat each other. Look at my shiny toy, no give me that, don't pull my hair I am warring you, give me your money, eww billy's got cooties, etc.

          watch the UN some day and replace all the adults with children. the actions are so close it isn't funny but turns into a sad comedy.

          until countries grow up and start acting like adults none of this will improve.

        • Turns out that democracy is just as rubbish as dictatorship.
           

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Which is the crux of the point. Congress does *not* want people to stop lying to them. It serves Congress' best interests to have the CIA, NSA, lobbyists, major corporate executives, etc to lie to them because it allows Congress to set the lie as a truth in the Congressional record.

          All of this is also a get out of jail free card for congress. They're doing their best to distance themselves now from an agency they've been fellating all along.

      • Start jailing a whole bunch of people for purgery.

        Which is...what exactly? It sounds like criminal misuse of prescription laxatives. I didn't know that was a major social issue these days.

    • by Bartles (1198017)
      Remember the 2007 NIE? They scratch someone's back, someone scratches their back.
    • Re:So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rimwalker (1662459) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:01PM (#46635699)
      Agreed arresting them would be the just thing to do. But like all of the actions from that period their orders originated from the highest levels of the executive all the way to the Cheney and Bush. Arresting the lying CIA officials would entail carrying out a serious and rigorous investigation led by a competent Federal Prosecutor. The whole process was so muddied by politics, revenge and utter disregard for the principals and norms of war (all covered by international treats), but also a blatant disregard for the laws of the USA. Importantly one earliest actions of the Obama administration was to disallow and essentially censor the publication of all photos of torture and ill treatment that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. With that action Obama’s administration instead of cleaning house, made itself complicit in all the actions of torture and extra-judicial killings that occurred under the Bush administration. Of course extra-judicial killings are still occurring today under Obama with the executors being the remote pilot of the drones.
      • Of course extra-judicial killings are still occurring today under Obama with the executors being the remote pilot of the drones.

        Obama is the only President to have admitted to ordering the assassination of American citizens.

        • by 1s44c (552956)

          Of course extra-judicial killings are still occurring today under Obama with the executors being the remote pilot of the drones.

          Obama is the only President to have admitted to ordering the assassination of American citizens.

          They all did it. It became more obvious over time due to technology. Party politics plays no part in any of this.

    • by tqk (413719)

      If it's obvious they were assaulting people without cause, why haven't they been arrested ...

      Why were they hired? Who hired them, who managed them, who laid down their ground rules? Who did their performance appraisals? Who signed their cheques?

      Those people can always find flunkies to do the work (need money feed family|patriotism|...). Go after "Those people."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Arker (91948)
      For the same reason every attempt at investigating this at the time turned into career (if not literal) suicide and went nowhere. Because if you are going to arrest anyone, you have to investigate, and if you investigate, you have to follow leads, and if you follow leads, you will wind up in the 'Oval Office.'

      Which has enough juice to quash your investigation and make your life very uncomfortable for trying.
    • by marcgvky (949079)
      "Obvious"... omg coolaid drinker. You have no idea about what your speak.

      You want better results? Hold "politicians" accountable for the act of entities over which they have oversight... then these people might act as if they are/were accountable. Otherwise these "hearings" are nothing more than a PR opportunity.

      • Exactly.

        This committee is acting like they were never informed of the "enhanced interrogation technique" program from the get-go. It's total horseshit. This committee knew it was happening, and they gave their approval right up until the New York Times (or whoever) published the first public reports of it.

        Then come the public hearings where they excoriate CIA lawyers rather than the senate confirmed administrators and directors. Oh, and when they purposefully ask questions with classified answers in open

    • by plopez (54068)

      Can't get them for torture as they were enemy combatants. Can't get them for violating POW rights and policies as they were enemy combatants.

      • Re:So Arrest Them (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cffrost (885375) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @04:48AM (#46637375) Homepage

        Can't get them for torture as they were enemy combatants. Can't get them for violating POW rights and policies as they were enemy combatants.

        The US government's designation/use of this term "enemy combatant" to refer to POWs — POWs generally being captured "enemies" engaged in "combat" — for the purpose of skirting international law — is tantamount to my getting out of a speeding ticket by telling the judge I wasn't speeding, but engaging in "enhanced-velocity travel" or some such bullshit. If we (as a supposed "nation of laws") are to accept this ridiculous, ongoing wordplay, we may as well resign ourselves to fully embracing the concept of a US government-produced "American Newspeak [wikipedia.org]" vocabulary, and the degradation of our ability to engage in meaningful dialog that such acceptance would entail.

        I'd be interested to see a list of the "American Newspeak" euphemisms coined for various war crimes and Constitutional violations over the years, categorized by US presidents' administrations. I'm willing to bet that this American Newspeak's vocabulary size has been expanding at an increasing rate during the past few administrations, much like we've witnessed the accelerated expansion of other facets of a totalitarian police state: mass surveillance; militarized police forces; world-record incarcerations (and the rise of the private prison industry that lobbies for draconian laws and sentences (and increasing the slave-labor workforce beyond pre-Civil War numbers); persecution/prosecution of whistle-blowers; over-classification of government documents (often to hide unconstitutional activities and war crimes); government infiltration of peaceful/law-abiding groups; mass arrests at peaceful protests; mass deportations (without regard for the families shattered); undermining the critical function of the free press; and so on...

        • Orwell wrote an essay about this mangling of language, Politics and the English Language [orwell.ru].

          Quoth,

          In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

    • by jrumney (197329)
      By blaming the CIA, Rumsfield et al wash their hands of the situation, and the individuals responsible within the CIA will never be identified and held responsible due to the barrier of secrecy under the guise of national security that the CIA operates under. There will be no arrests, this is just part of the operation to make sure of that.
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:22PM (#46635469) Journal

    CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

  • That's a shocker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:24PM (#46635483)

    This shakes my world view to its very core.

    Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired.

  • by billstewart (78916) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:25PM (#46635491) Journal

    Cowards. They're not willing to call it what it is, because they're still the Establishment Media, and don't want to lose access to the government people who are their big information sources.

    At least National Public Radio has the excuse that they're directly funded by the government (and "viewers like you", and grants from Exxon, Archer Daniels Midland, some recent movie, etc.) - it was 10 years after Gitmo before I first heard them use the T-word in a news story; before that it had only been guests on Terry Gross's interview shows (and Terry herself.)

    Don't let the right-wingers tell you that either of these are "liberal" media.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @08:31PM (#46635539)

      Wish I had mod points. This was the first thing I noticed as well. Lots of mentions of "harsh treatment" or "excruciating interrogation methods" and yet they can never bring themselves to admit that it was torture. The closest they come is in saying "methods that Obama and others later labeled torture."

      • by number6x (626555) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:08PM (#46636317)

        Also the 'T' word: Terrorism.

        The point of the torure and the extra judicial imprisonment beyond the norms of warfare is to spread terror and fear in those who are perceived as enemies. In other words, State Sponsored Terrorism.

        It does not keep anyone safe. It creates and breeds more hatred and desire for revenge. It isolates the US from allies. It does the exact opposite of ending terroism. Torture is like throwing gasoline on the bonfire of terrorism.

        All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

        • by erikkemperman (252014) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @02:15AM (#46636937)

          It does not keep anyone safe. It creates and breeds more hatred and desire for revenge. It isolates the US from allies. It does the exact opposite of ending terroism. Torture is like throwing gasoline on the bonfire of terrorism.

          This.

          Something else I find truly and jaw-droppingly shocking is that all the discussion of terrorism remains selectively detached from our own foreign policies. So on the one hand we always hear about terrorism shaping foreign policy, but never about foreign policy shaping terrorism.

          "They" don't hate us because of our freedom. And with the possible exception of a very small fraction of true believers, they don't hate us for not being Muslims. Most of them hate us because we've been overthrowing their democratic governments and propping up the brutal dictators in their countries.

    • There is some ridiculously inflammatory "liberal media" out there; make no mistake. I used to read cracked 24/7 until it turned into...well..liberal media.

      That being said this is not it! This is a report from people who would know about people we kind of suspected this of for well..ever.

      Obviously this is real, and anyone who thinks it's acceptable isn't a conservative - they're a dick. The republicans of today aren't "real conservatives" at least going by the conservative philosophy. Arguably no one is. How

    • I guess "harsh interrogation" is what you get when you aren't very good at torture???? The terminology is fundamentally stupid - if you are compelling someone to do something they don't want to do, and continue to do worse things, isn't that torture- whether its sleep deprivation, water-boarding or the rack really doesn't seem important.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The US is been careful with words in other ways too
      "....says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation "safety officers" rather than doctors. "
      "CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds" (4 November 2013)
      http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]
      Also see the Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS)
    • Cowards. They're not willing to call it what it is, because they're still the Establishment Media, and don't want to lose access to the government people who are their big information sources.

      "Don't want to lose access"? Really? Because Chomsky tells a much different tale of state filtered media for manufacture of consent. [youtube.com]

      Not that access can't be leverage, but in my experience no mainstream "journalists" ever really tell the news. You'll realize this once something sufficiently heinous goes down in your neck of the woods and you see how it's reported.

      • That's what gave me cold sweats after the Snowden leaks broke. Government spying, general warrants, unconstitutional insanity involving both parties up to the highest levels of government, truly terrifying things, and both CNN and Fox are running stories about how these terrible leaks could have happened and what can be done to stop them. Or maligning Snowden as a "terrorist nerd" with a stripper girlfriend. It was blatantly, blatantly obvious that American media is just a mouthpiece of the state.

  • CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

    If the reward for cooperating is torture and more torture, why cooperate? At least keeping silent (or lying in ways not easily checked) can be a form of revenge.

    • They're looking for the "big fish", the "kingpins". The focus on catching the "kingpin" works equally badly for informants in drug cases.

    • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:33PM (#46636421) Homepage Journal

      Well, just to play devil's (!!!) advocate, because you don't *know* Baluchi is cooperating as fully as he might be.

      Ammar Al-Baluchi was unquestionably involved with moving money and goods around for Al Qaeda and was clearly involved with helping many of the 9/11 hijackers. Although that does not necessarily mean he was an active *member* of Al Qaeda or knew exactly what the 9/11 hijackers were up to, he'd have to be remarkably incurious not to know something was up. And he was captured with correspondence that was destined for Osama bin Laden.

      So this is a person who, even if he had no specific knowledge of imminent attacks, knows a lot of useful things. But that actually poses a challenge for interrogators. He can give them an impressive amount of useful stuff while holding back even *more* useful stuff.

      But one thing is certain: if he *had* known more important stuff, it didn't come out under torture. Nor did torture produce *anything* useful that couldn't be produced using different techniques. And now Americans -- servicemen, agents, and innocent bystandanders -- face an increased threat of torture throughout the world at the hands of people who figure if America does it, Americans should get a taste of it too.

      It's important not to be too glib about dismissing torture, because in the future we're going to find ourselves in situations where it seems like a pretty good idea. And the person we're thinking of torturing may be a very bad person -- I don't think it's unreasonable to characterize Al-Baruchi's crimes as "heinous". But if ever torture was going to break the back of an enemy it would have done so with al Qaeda after 9/11.

      Well, we tried it and it didn't work. What *did* work was ordinary interrogation and intelligence tradecraft. Which should come as no surprise. We spent the 19th and 20th C perfecting those approaches, and the idea that we could do better by tearing a page out of the medieval playbook should, in hindsight, seem ridiculous.

      • by Sique (173459) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @04:33AM (#46637333) Homepage
        We know the conundrum since 350 years, it's written down in Friedrich Spee [wikipedia.org]'s "Cautio Criminalis". Torture doesn't yield reliable results, if any. Because even if someone in the know might reveal something useful under torture, someone who isn't, won't, but they might just say anything, if true or not. And if you then, based on those confessions of unclear truth, arrest the next one, what will his interrogation yield? And someone in the know, who knows the unreliability of confessions under torture, might even blatantly lie to the interrogators, causing them to go after false leads and thus winning time for his cause, while someone innocent is taken into custody and tortured without any chance to ever produce something of use for the interrogators. All you get is a huge bunch of white (actually bloodish red) noise, and everthing possibly useful is drowned into lots of worthless or outright false statements.

        Torture only works for confessions of things you already knew for sure. Then you can force someone to give up and confess. But as an investigative method, it is just unproductive. If you don't know what the suspect knows, how can you tell if he reveals something of value? And how many not-so-bad guys came under torture because of misleading statements, produced more misleading statements (as they didn't know shit), but when they were released they bore a grudge against their torturers and had firsthand knowledge of their structure, mentality, inner workings and locations?

        • by jrumney (197329)

          Torture only works for confessions of things you already knew for sure.

          I think part of the problem is that there is still a section of American society today who "already know for sure" that all Muslims are terrorists. And around 2002 / 2003 there were many, many more who thought this way.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Its seems like different factions of contractors (interesting backgrounds, citizenships), varied control over US gov/mil ranks and location allowed for legal advice outside the expected:
      Request more FBI experts who could help, wanted to help and had years of real US legal expertise.
      Many nations tried hard to move beyond legal torture after the 1975 ++ Helsinki Accords. In 2014 the final US gov reports will be historically interesting when released.
    • CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

      If the reward for cooperating is torture and more torture, why cooperate? At least keeping silent (or lying in ways not easily checked) can be a form of revenge.

      It's very digusting behavior given that the formation of English law whence America gets many of its concepts of rights. Torture was recognized as ineffective in the 1300's because it works too well, anyone will confess to anything. Here's an illustrated guide for you and yours [lawcomic.net] demonstrating why the CIA practices can't yield justice. The threat of torture is meant as an example to others who go against the will of the CIA, it is effective as a threat, and those imprisoned are doomed to suffer as examples

  • It's a "boys club" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by no-body (127863) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:22PM (#46635811)

    with people totally disconnected from the consequences of their actions, driven by some idea and illusion in their head doing the "right thing", not to use he term "pervert", which in fact this is coming from.....

    • by hey! (33014)

      And a lot of those boys in the club are working out their Daddy issues.

  • by RJFerret (1279530) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @10:50PM (#46636225) Homepage

    Due to our own actions, the terrorists won yet another round...not a cry I'd championed previously.

    The future, scratch that, the present is looking really bleak now that the average civilian can expect to be spied upon, searches and home invasions are being done without cause, due process is ignored, travel is restricted, "Homeland Security" are targeting civilians for desiring sexual contact with minors, and those declared enemies of the state are outright tortured, everything that was considered "evil" about the opposition when I was a child (be it the Third Reich or the Soviet Union) is currently taking place in the United States.

    The only thing left is to disarm the populace to prevent revolt, and institute concentration or labor camps.

    I never imagined I'd grow up to be embarrassed by my government and everything it stands for. Is fear next?

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      To quote Captain America: "This isn't freedom. This is fear."

    • The rest of them are out the window, but at least we know the 3rd amendment is safe. Haliburton would be pretty pissed if they lost contracts building military bases because the government started quartering soldiers in people's homes.

  • People sold their soul and got nothing in exchange. I'd rather have been the martyr than the inquisitor, and that's saying a lot.

  • by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @11:17PM (#46636359)
    We would have to start with Bush and Cheney and the chain of command that obeyed orders. The proper charge might be murder as some of the people died of the torture that was inflicted upon them. Just as we executed German and Japanese war criminals we need to do the same with American officials. Naturally the low ranked guards were the scapegoats and they could not have said no as easily as those above them in the chain of command. Further we turned prisoners over to other nations with full knowledge that unlimited horrors including death would be applied to some of our prisoners. Use the same paint brush that the "too big to fail" jerks received. We are providing absolute proof that American values are a fraud and a falsehood displayed to the entire world including our own citizens. It is a matter of class and race. Certain people are exempt from all law in the US. Bush is one of them. I'm getting old and with luck I will not be alive to see the consequences when the public finally goes into rebellion or supports a foreign power invading this nation. I do think we are building towards an awful rebellion and chaos.
    • by plopez (54068)

      I would start with us. Through action or inaction we got the government we deserved.

  • The Washington Post is still too spineless to call it torture.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein

Working...