April 5, 2014

"I ran the CIA interrogation program."

"No matter what the Senate report says, I know it worked."

ADDED: Meanwhile:
A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide this week from injuries sustained after jumping off a building in northern Virginia, according to sources close to the CIA.
Name not yet released. 

41 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

Mothers often 'know' their kids are geniuses until they get a report card. Let's see the report and make our own decision.

Freder Frederson said...

Self serving war criminal.

William said...

Roosevelt said that Italians were a "bunch of opera lovers" and declined to intern them during the war. Romanians were not so lucky. They were rounded up and put in camps. The internment program was arbitrary and fickle and a worse violation of civil rights than anything that happened with McCarthy. It is never presented as anti fascist hysteria or as a New Deal program gone awry. It is usually described as an example of white America's racism, and FDR's involvement is muted.......A similar thing is happening with the CIA's torture and rendition programs versus Obama's drone strikes. I would personally much rather be water boarded than blown up. I'm sure my friends and relatives feel the same way, especially as they too would also stand a fair chance of being blown up.

Michael said...

Freder F. We can stipulate his criminality but that does not obviate the fact that his criminality produced accurate and timely information.

MarkD said...

I doubt many opinions will be changed by this report. Party trumps country in DC, and I expect self serving lies.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael said...
but that does not obviate the fact that his criminality produced accurate and timely information.


This is exactly what is at issue. There is no compelling evidence that the torture program produced intelligence leads that could not have been obtained in other ways.

surfed said...

Three seconds of water on my face and I'm giving up my children...and then being perfectly healthy enough to regret it for the rest of my life.

surfed said...

@William - Exactly kimosabe.

Anonymous said...

AReasonableMan said...
Michael said...
but that does not obviate the fact that his criminality produced accurate and timely information.

This is exactly what is at issue. There is no compelling evidence that the torture program produced intelligence leads that could not have been obtained in other ways.

4/5/14, 8:51 AM

__________________________________

After a lot more time and in war time is of the essence.

Michael said...

ARM.

This is the oft repeated but never proven assertion that "other ways" work just as well and just as quickly as force.

There is no compelling evidence that a theory is more effective than a practice.

Big Mike said...

It's a pity if the intelligence his program produced saved the lives of ARM and Frederson. I'm pretty happy if it saved mine or the lives of anyone in my family.

There is no compelling evidence that the torture program produced intelligence leads that could not have been obtained in other ways.

Exactly to the point, provided you edit what ARM wrote as follows:

There is no evidence that any member of the left wing lunatic fringe would find compelling that the torture program produced intelligence leads that could not have been obtained in other ways.

Not to mention the time component, of course. Figuring out that an attack was imminent weeks or days after it happened isn't of much consolation to those who lost loved ones.

Rusty said...

. There is no compelling evidence that the torture program produced intelligence leads that could not have been obtained in other ways.

And there is no compelling evidence that it didn't.

War sucks, huh.

AReasonableMan said...

Clearly we are all in agreement, we need to see the report in order to understand the value or otherwise of the torture program.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about Obama being in office is that conservatives can finally admit we have been torturing people.

paminwi said...

I say who gives a shit about a few people that were water boarded. They did not give one shit about us.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I say who gives a shit about a few people that were water boarded.

Three people were waterboarded:
Abu Zubaydah, (who's waterboarding lead to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed)

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who was identified as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" by the 9/11 Commission

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri who was behind the USS Cole bombing.

Hagar said...

The waterboarding was wrong regardless of what level of Government approved it.
It was wrong if civilian crimes were being investigated, and even wronger if there was a war on.

And it is not about them. It is about us. There are no rights without obligations, so if we demand our rights under the Constitution, we must also comply with its obligations.

khesanh0802 said...

I would like to agree with ARM except that I fear the report is based on the preconceived premise that there WAS torture and it WAS ineffective.

How we quickly we can ignore context when it does not suit our own hypotheses. I am acquainted with children of those who died at the WTC who have still not gotten over their loss. More people (they were all civilians) died in the WTC than at Pearl Harbor and look at the consequences of Pearl Harbor. The attacks on US civilians by Al Quida were unwarranted and cruel and preventing further atrocities, at the time, was much more important than being prissy about how we did it.

One's perspective changes dramatically when one is being shot at.

Joe said...

The obfuscation is that the entire interrogation program very likely produced positive results. The question is what line is being drawn to where interrogation becomes torture and whether anything beyond that line produced positive results.

David said...

The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report. Without reviewing it, I cannot offer a detailed rebuttal.

That's stunning.

Rusty said...

madisonfella said...
One good thing about Obama being in office is that conservatives can finally admit we have been torturing people.

I think you mean the CIA. Conservatives haven't tortured anybody.

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
Clearly we are all in agreement, we need to see the report in order to understand the value or otherwise of the torture program.

just remember; if it saves just one life...............

David said...

I believe water boarding should be allowed in limited and crucial situations with multilevel approvals.

"The Constitution is not a suicide pact."

Nor are international treaties regarding treatment of prisoners. Or statutes, which may be murderous to Americans in harm's way but not suicidal.

Cedarford said...

The waterboarding was wrong regardless of what level of Government approved it.
It was wrong if civilian crimes were being investigated, and even wronger if there was a war on.

And it is not about them. It is about us. There are no rights without obligations, so if we demand our rights under the Constitution, we must also comply with its obligations.

==============
Preposterous wrapping oneself in a piece of paper and saying in wartime, its "rights" are even more rigid.
War is about taking life, maiming, and destroying property without "due process of law."

A Draft "trammels precious rights" and soldiers involuntarily put in uniform lose many "sacred liberties". Lincoln butchered 100s of thousands of "US citizens in unacceptable insurrection."

High value enemy prisoners will always be interrogated. Based on the premise that information they have saves lives, and American lives are worth more than the lives and "rights" of enemy captives committed to killing them.

Many liberals and libertarians have made a fetish out of Geneva and somehow maintaining a full set of "Sacred Constitutional rights" for enemy prisoners no different than which exist for US citizens.

All in context though, of the same libertarians loving "long range sniper shots by gun freedom loving Americans", and liberals similarly silent or even cheering about Obama's whacking of Islamsists without trial..

Hagar said...

I do not know about Cedarford, but I have lived in a country where my fellow citizens sank to the level of torturing each other to death.
Right enough, I was just a kid and not involved, but it certainly made an impression on me when it all came to light in the post-war trials. And the country was Norway, with that most superior liberal, well-educated, democratic citizenry of all. Insufferably so, to hear them tell you how superior they are.

That really is a slippery slope you don't want to get onto. It has happened here in retail; you don't want the Government to go for it wholesale.

Michael said...

Hagar

So the slippery Norwegian slope led where? To smug liberalism?
Not sur of your point.

Rusty said...

Hagar brings up an interesting point. There is torture in order to inflict pain on someone you don't like. Then there is torture to gain information.
I'm betting the CIA condoned the latter.

Robert Cook said...

Michael said...
"Freder F. We can stipulate his criminality but that does not obviate the fact that his criminality produced accurate and timely information."

We cannot accept as "fact" that his (unquestionable) criminality "produced accurate and timely information," as we don't know what information it actually provided.

AReasonableMan said...

Hagar said...
That really is a slippery slope you don't want to get onto.


You don't need any knowledge of history to know this. In my middle school the local sociopaths (also known as fellow students) tied one poor kid up to a fence, lit a small fire underneath him and then pelted him with fruit. The line between everyday life and complete sadistic barbarism is crossed regularly, despite existing social sanctions. A perfect example is the anal rape of Abner Louima with a broken broomstick by Justin Volpe while another man held Louima down. Stripping away those social sanctions rarely works out well for a society in the long term.

Robert Cook said...

"I say who gives a shit about a few people that were water boarded. They did not give one shit about us."

First, the torture we have committed is not limited to just waterboarding, and if anyone here accepts that we have only waterboarded three prisoners, they are in willful denial of reality.

Moreover, how do you know that those we have tortured--and I don't limit my question to merely the three who the government has actually admitted to have waterboarded, as we know the methods and the victims of our torture go well beyond them--how do you know what they are "guilty" of? Without due process of a trial, without evidence produced before the public, we cannot know anything other than what the government claims...and we know our government lies...as all governments always do.

The government's declaration that it waterboarded three subjects--and that this is the sum total of the torture we have inflicted--is akin to their saying, pace James Clapper, that we did not torture prisoners..."wittingly,"...i.e., it is a lie.

Moreover, it is a lie intended to sabotage any further inquiry into the crimes of state, as the conversation is halted and moves no further than arguing back and forth over the matter of the "three waterboarding" victims.

Aside from the impassioned grunts of approval for torture by those who think it's peachy keen "if it saves just one life," torture is a crime under domestic law and internationally, and resorts to the "it saved lives" excuse--which remain unproven--are immaterial. Torture is a crime.

The acceptance of torture as official policy cannot fail to corrupt the government and the nation and the people that accept it, and the limits to whom may be tortured, to what extent, using what methods, and under what circumstances or oversight, quickly slacken until it is simply a matter to be ruefully (or enthusiastiacally) accepted and even joked about, as we do about the ongoing travesty of rape of prisoners (itself torture) in our penal system.

We are consigning ourselves to our own doom through our willingness to tolerate any torture against anyone for any purpose.

Hagar said...

The point is about "it can't happen here." It can.

Hagar said...

and Rusty,
It is not about "CIA condoning;" it is about us condoning.

Robert Cook said...

"Hagar brings up an interesting point. There is torture in order to inflict pain on someone you don't like. Then there is torture to gain information.
I'm betting the CIA condoned the latter."



Neither is acceptable, or legal.

Moreover, once one accepts torture as acceptable when used to "gain information," it will be used to "inflict pain on someone you don't like."

Hagar said...

And another point; If we condone our authorities to employ torture for whatever reason on people we fear and/or don't like, it is only a small step for those authorities to use it on people they fear and/or don't like, which in some cases may turn out to be none other than your very own self.
Perhaps just by mistaken identity, but you are still going to be hurting.

Rusty said...

Hagar said...
and Rusty,
It is not about "CIA condoning;" it is about us condoning.

Once again. One of the primary responsibilities of our state is to protect us. It would constitutionally illegal should they NOT defend us. This is one of the tactics our government uses to protect us.
You are looking for morality where none exists.


War sucks.

gk1 said...

Yes well, this administration went after John Yoo too over "torture" Say, how did that turn out?
http://www.truth-out.org/archive/item/87872:justice-department-clears-torture-memo-authors-john-yoo-jay-bybee-of-misconduct

Robert Cook said...

One can hardly say "this administration went after John Yoo...." Rather, they intended to absolve him--and by extension, anyone in the previous administration--of any guilt in any crimes of facilitating and committing torture.

And they did as they intended.

Robert Cook said...

"One of the primary responsibilities of our state is to protect us. It would constitutionally illegal should they NOT defend us. This is one of the tactics our government uses to protect us."

Using torture does not protect us, and our use of it simply reveals we are base and cruel and lawless as any of those we condemn as "evil," any we call our enemies.

"You are looking for morality where none exists."

This is tragically true; in affairs of state there is no morality, no question of right behavior; there is only the raw projection of power and terror, in service of gaining and maintaining dominance over others.

Hagar said...

John Yoo and his torture memo is like the story about Lincoln and the 5-legged dog.
Legs are legs and a tail is a tail regardless of what your lawyer may try to tell the jury.

Anonymous said...

So Hagar, you think there is a bright line between what is torture and what is not. Do tell us, where does that line lie?

Hagar said...

When you inflict unnecessary pain - physical or mental - on a person under your control, that is torture.

(The term "unnecessary" because under field conditons there may be situations where prisoners must necessarily share in the hardships of their captors.)