Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Congressmen React To CIA Special Prosecutor

Two influential members of Congress are, today, applauding Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of terrorist prisoner abuse at the hands of the CIA or its surrogates.

“I applaud the Attorney General’s decision to appoint a special US Attorney to review the interrogation abuse cases that were rejected for prosecution by George Bush’s Justice Department,” said Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

“The Obama administration also deserves praise for the release of the 2004 CIA Inspector General report as well as related DOJ memos. These materials are truly disturbing, including the CIA’s basic conclusion that ‘unauthorized, improvised, inhumane, and undocumented detention and interrogation techniques were used’ in its program. Reading about misdeeds such as threats to kill a detainees’ children or the staging of mock executions leaves us appalled."

Rep. Jerold Nadler, chair of the Judiciary constitution subcommittee, joined Conyers in issuing the statement.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Though some news outlets are already synopcising the released documents as "proving" that tactics such as waterboarding, etc., do not work, I suggest people READ the documents.

re: http://washingtonindependent.com/56310/obtained-the-cia-documents-dick-cheney-says-vindicate-torture

The Independent has likewise concluded that the documents prove both abuse and the inefficiency of things like waterboarding.

I'm reviewing the documents myself. Thus far (and I'm barely into them) I am reading the background information.

It begins with "KSM" not wanting to discuss certain things. Sounds to me like KSM felt he was in control of things, rather than his captors. We shall see if the CIA documents conclude that waterboarding doesn't work.

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Okay, here we go. Anti-Cheneyites are claiming that "there's nothing in the report to show that all the waterboarding worked." So far, here is what KSM spilled to the CIA:

1) A plot (post 911) to fly a plane into the tallest building on the west coast and a secondary action by Jose Padilla to set bombs off in high rise buildings throughout America.

Bear in mind, KSM is talking about already thwarted attempts (he was arrested in 2003, this confession is dated to 2005).

2) He also said that three others were involved in an al-Quida based plot to produce anthrax.

But here's something of interest. "information that KSM provided to us on Majid Khan in spring of 2003 (shortly after KSMs capture) was the first crucial link in the chain that led us to the capture of prominent JI leader and al-Quida associate, Hambali in August of 2003..."

Given that KSM had his own decade long travel through terrorism before he was captured and stopped, I think it's a good thing that Hambali was stopped also, don't you?

-Next installment forthcoming (boy gary, this could be your can-o-worms today lol)

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Okay, from what I can tell, the report neither confirms NOR DENIES that waterboarding works. Though... something got these guys to spill the beans. Different plots that had been planned for after the capture of these persons included a plan to attack Camp Lemonier military base using explosives-laden water tankers.

In reference to the anthrax item, according to the CIA document, KSM "...apparently calculates- incorrectly- that we had this info already..."

Wait- you mean to tell me that KSM, a nice, family loving terrorist kind of guy, was trying to feed the CIA only the stuff that he thought they already knew?

Well, doh!

I wonder if this was before or after he was waterboarded? The report doesn't indicate.

The report also states that Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in 2002, coughed up information within just a few months of his capture. This information included details about al-Quida's structure, operations and MO.

Again, the report doesn't specify if this was with or without the waterboarding incentive.

One of the points made in the report is that "detainees, by virtue of their circumstances, have an adversarial relationship with their debriefers..." That's pretty much a given, but pertinent just the same.

The bottom line for me is simply this: The report neither confirms nor denies the role of waterboarding in obtaining information. But I have a funny feeling that much of what has kept us from experiencing another 911 style attack probably came because of this technique.

For those who think it's inhumane to waterboard for information, let me ask: would it be more humane to do nothing and let another catastrophic attack occur?

If you don't like the concept of waterboarding, please offer an alternative to obtaining necessary information that may prevent future attacks. I would be interested in hearing some.

-LD McLellan

Anonymous said...

Okay, from what I can tell, the report neither confirms NOR DENIES that waterboarding works. Though... something got these guys to spill the beans. Different plots that had been planned for after the capture of these persons included a plan to attack Camp Lemonier military base using explosives-laden water tankers.

In reference to the anthrax item, according to the CIA document, KSM "...apparently calculates- incorrectly- that we had this info already..."

Wait- you mean to tell me that KSM, a nice, family loving terrorist kind of guy, was trying to feed the CIA only the stuff that he thought they already knew?

Well, doh!

I wonder if this was before or after he was waterboarded? The report doesn't indicate.

The report also states that Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in 2002, coughed up information within just a few months of his capture. This information included details about al-Quida's structure, operations and MO.

Again, the report doesn't specify if this was with or without the waterboarding incentive.

One of the points made in the report is that "detainees, by virtue of their circumstances, have an adversarial relationship with their debriefers..." That's pretty much a given, but pertinent just the same.

The bottom line for me is simply this: The report neither confirms nor denies the role of waterboarding in obtaining information. But I have a funny feeling that much of what has kept us from experiencing another 911 style attack probably came because of this technique.

For those who think it's inhumane to waterboard for information, let me ask: would it be more humane to do nothing and let another catastrophic attack occur?

If you don't like the concept of waterboarding, please offer an alternative to obtaining necessary information that may prevent future attacks. I would be interested in hearing some.

-LD McLellan