12/09/2014

Notations On Our World: On the #CIA Report on #Torture

It has been a terrible day for the United States as the United States Senate Committee on Intelligence has issued its' long-awaited report on Torture.  Although the program ended in 2003, the findings (many of them classified and will never see the light of day) has documented how profound the extent of the deception was by the CIA at the time.    It is even more disconcerting as Haaretz of Israel noted how the CIA relied on a ruling from Israel's Supreme Court to justify torture.     This also unmasks the true nature of Israel and its' justice system that justifies torture and has insured that a defacto system of Separate But Equal is enshrined in its' law.

The Chair of the US Senate Committee, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, has gone point by point detailing the indictment of the CIA on this question.    The BBC just noted the 20 Key findings in this report which is noted in its' entirety here along with the full report: 

CIA interrogation report: The 20 key findings

A guards sits in a tower overlooking Guantanamo detention camp at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba, Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Guantanamo Bay camp, where many interrogations were carried out
The US Senate Intelligence Committee has released a summary of a report into the CIA interrogation program established by US spy chiefs after the terror attacks of 11 September 2001.
The full report is 6,000 pages long and the unclassified summary is 480 pages - but it highlights 20 key findings.
We've summarised them below, and more details on each are available in the full release..
line
What did the Senate committee find out about CIA interrogation?
1) The CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining co-operation from detainees.
2) The CIA's justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.
3) The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.
4) The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others
5) The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.
6) The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.
7) The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.
8) The CIA's operation and management of the program complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other executive branch agencies.
9) The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA's Office of Inspector General.
10) The CIA co-ordinated the release of classified information to the media, including inaccurate information concerning the effectiveness of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques.
11) The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.
12) The CIA's management and operation of its Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout the program's duration, particularly so in 2002 and early 2003.
13) Two contract psychologists devised the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.
14) CIA detainees were subjected to coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorised by CIA headquarters.
15) The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA's claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced interrogation techniques were inaccurate.
16) The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques.
17) The CIA rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable for serious and significant violations, inappropriate activities, and systemic and individual management failures.
18) The CIA marginalised and ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections concerning the operation and management of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.
19) The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program was inherently unsustainable and had effectively ended by 2006 due to unauthorised press disclosures, reduced cooperation from other nations, and legal and oversight concerns.
20) The CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States' standing in the world, and resulted in other significant monetary and non-monetary costs.

Some 55 Countries were involved--over 20 of the European countries.     Although the program was ended when Barack Obama took office in 2009,  it still underscores the profound challenges faced by the United States today as it deals with the threat from Dayesh (also known as IS/ISIS/etc.).     What is also tragic is that the CIA Director under whose watch such tactics began, George Tenet, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.    

Although the reports notes that the White House and Congress were lied to by the CIA,  the real truth may never be laid out.   This is as Congress continues to block the closure of  Guantanamo here many of these acts took place.  It was of note how Senator McCain of Arizona rose up to underscore how torture is ineffective, against the law ans against all the traditions America stands for.   It is even more sickening as Senator McCain underscored what many understood already:   Such efforts do not yield results and in many ways will lead to misinformation just to please the torturers.   Although supposedly the "facts on the ground" were known for years, it is still a challenge as the Obama Administration was lobbying Congress to avoid release of the report until the last minute.

Beyond the particulars, what is ever so tragic how the CIA forgot the admonition from one of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, when he noted, "...."Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety...".    





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