Saturday, April 25, 2009

CIA & MilitaryTorture in Afghanistan & Iraq - It's back & it's worse

A stellar investigative report in the Washington Post today by Peter Finn and Joby Warrick details:

* Warnings in 2002 from the Pentagon against the use of torture to extract confessions; Besides obtaining unreliable information, such methods of interrogation would justify other nations in torturing captured U.S. military;

* Patterns of squelching dissent, and suppressing memos that expressed warnings of the downside of whatever the former administration wished to proceed with;

* Failing to present the cons as well as the pros of torture, and presenting torture as the only option for interrogating under the circumstances;

* Presenting the methods as safe and effective, and re-defining methods such as waterboarding as not constituting actual torture;

* Presenting the methods as a way to extract reliable information from known terrorists and thereby saving lives;

* Failing to recognize or mention that the same methods had been used by Communist Chinese operatives on U.S. personnel and certainly deemed torture in those cases;

* Failing to recognize or mention that torture victims are very likely to offer any information, true or not, in order to make the pain stop, thus resulting in very unreliable information.

The article mentions and offers a link to a PDF from the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency here.

There is a related Post article by Dan Eggen about former Vice-President Dick Cheney requesting President Obama to release 2 CIA reports that are still classified in order to prove that the torture techniques resulted in useful information.

And finally, the entire stirring of this has been because the ACLU requested release of information under the Freedom of Information Act. See here for their website with very helpful links to full text of:

* Press release (original link)
* Department of Defense Letter
* Links for more than 100,000 pages of torture documents ACLU has managed to get released, from 2005-2009, and will probably be adding more.
* Link for a book, Admission of Torture, which compiles the documents and adds analysis.
* Don't overlook links on the right-hand side of the page, which include related torture links, including legal and legislative documents. A very helpful collection for the researcher.

1 comment:

- said...

I can't tell if this is better or worse than this - now it's less outsourced by the CIA.