marcus_sez_vote: (Default)
[personal profile] marcus_sez_vote
Hmmm...I guess it's a case of try try again?

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

I wonder how sessions 170 and 70 went? When do you accept that perhaps you are going to get no or bad intel? At that point is it just sadism?

I also thought this was amazing. I myself wasn't aware of some of the origins of these techniques. My "torture lore" is sadly lacking. You would think though that the people involved would have thought about it just a little bit?

The program began with Central Intelligence Agency leaders in the grip of an alluring idea: They could get tough in terrorist interrogations without risking legal trouble by adopting a set of methods used on Americans during military training. How could that be torture?

In a series of high-level meetings in 2002, without a single dissent from cabinet members or lawmakers, the United States for the first time officially embraced the brutal methods of interrogation it had always condemned.

This extraordinary consensus was possible, an examination by The New York Times shows, largely because no one involved — not the top two C.I.A. officials who were pushing the program, not the senior aides to President George W. Bush, not the leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — investigated the gruesome origins of the techniques they were approving with little debate.

According to several former top officials involved in the discussions seven years ago, they did not know that the military training program, called SERE, for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, had been created decades earlier to give American pilots and soldiers a sample of the torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War, methods that had wrung false confessions from Americans.

Even George J. Tenet, the C.I.A. director who insisted that the agency had thoroughly researched its proposal and pressed it on other officials, did not examine the history of the most shocking method, the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.

The top officials he briefed did not learn that waterboarding had been prosecuted by the United States in war-crimes trials after World War II and was a well-documented favorite of despotic governments since the Spanish Inquisition; one waterboard used under Pol Pot was even on display at the genocide museum in Cambodia.

They did not know that some veteran trainers from the SERE program itself had warned in internal memorandums that, morality aside, the methods were ineffective. Nor were most of the officials aware that the former military psychologist who played a central role in persuading C.I.A. officials to use the harsh methods had never conducted a real interrogation, or that the Justice Department lawyer most responsible for declaring the methods legal had idiosyncratic ideas that even the Bush Justice Department would later renounce.

The process was “a perfect storm of ignorance and enthusiasm,” a former C.I.A. official said.

American soldiers are trained this way so it can't be bad! We prosecuted people who did this SO LONG AGO...and besides it was the Axis powers who did that! It's not torture if Americans do it! The torturer...I mean interrogator...has to be a GOOD GUY on the side of GOOD which makes his, or her (break down that glass ceiling in the exciting career of harsh interrogations!), actions GOOD.

Please. The hypocrisy and sanctimony is nauseating. If you are going to commit evil acts then do not try and pass them off as anything else. You may believe them necessary and justified, but do not try and say they are LEGAL or accepted. General Sherman, who with his army gutted the South and burnt Atlanta to the ground, said: “War is cruelty. There's no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” I can understand then the reasons behind these actions if it is for a "War on Terror" but this kind of thing was done in secret! Still doesn't change the fact that it is barbaric and probably causes more people to rise up and fight in protest.

Really it's the emotions of fear and a need for revenge that simply pushed people to do things they would not want to do normally and should not have done. American citizens, and citizens of other countries, endured these same methods in prior conflicts and those responsible were labeled as monsters or convicted of war crimes. Just because an American, or one of our allies, does this does not mean it is correct! It was torture then and it is torture now.

Bringing the people who are truly responsible to justice will involve so much time and money it boggles the mind. It also sets a nasty precedent of the party in power persecuting the party out of power. Still, someone needs to be punished for people to see that America's ideals are not completely hollow and as a deterrence against this kind of thing continuing.

Be well.
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