Senate Torture Report Faults C.I.A. for Brutality and Deceit

Introduction — Dec 9,2014

One has to wonder what the purpose of this report really is? Many of these events happened nearly a decade ago, yet with the help of a media that was more focused on the scandal and gossip of the time they remained largely hidden from public scrutiny.
The fact that that the media should have been exposing them but instead was looking at other “news”, makes it complicit in concealing them.
Senator Dianne Feinstein. Click to enlarge

Senator Dianne Feinstein. Click to enlarge

Now after nearly a decade they are being officially acknowledged and condemned. That was inevitable, with the passage of time. Unfortunately, it wont alleviate the pains of those who underwent the CIA’s sanctioned torture.
Loud condemnation of the reports findings by the likes of Sen. Dianne Feinstein wont  either; it is only part of the charade. Nor is it likely to end the systematic culture of abuse and deceit that now seems an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. As illustrated by claims about Saddam Hussein’s mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Remember them? The alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction that paved the way for the invasion of Iraq but were found to never have existed.
Is this report part of a similar pattern of deceit? Is it intended to make us think that those who transgressed moral boundaries in fighting the “War on Terror” are now being held accountable?
US Predator. Click to enlargeOr is it intended to allay growing public concern? Making us think the transgressors will be held to account when in fact they will be allowed to enjoy a comfortable retirement without charge?
Crucially, the fact that this report focuses on events that occurred more than a decade ago diverts public attention from crimes still taking place. Such as the ongoing and unrelenting campaign of drone strikes across the globe.
Of course “militants” are the target — just as they were in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program — but innocents often are getting caught up nonetheless. It has been estimated that for every “terrorist” killed in a drone strike 28 civilians are killed; making them acts of terror in themselves.
Time and again we hear of drone strikes taking innocent lives in far-off lands. Will this report put an end to such crimes? Or is it intended to divert public attention while yet more strikes are carried out?

Senate Torture Report Faults C.I.A. for Brutality and Deceit

Mark Mazzetti — New York Times Dec 9, 2014

Inmates at Guantanamo detention facility. Click to enlarge

Inmates at Guantanamo detention facility. Click to enlarge

A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.

The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.’s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.

Detainees were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, and were sometimes told that they would be killed while in American custody. With the approval of the C.I.A.’s medical staff, some C.I.A. prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” — a technique that the C.I.A.’s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.” C.I.A. medical staff members described the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the chief planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, as a “series of near drownings.”

The report also suggests that more prisoners were subjected to waterboarding than the three the C.I.A. has acknowledged in the past. The committee obtained a photograph of a waterboard surrounded by buckets of water at the prison in Afghanistan commonly known as the Salt Pit — a facility where the C.I.A. had claimed that waterboarding was never used. One clandestine officer described the prison as a “dungeon,” and another said that some prisoners there “literally looked like a dog that had been kenneled.”

During his administration, President George W. Bush repeatedly said that the detention and interrogation program, which President Obama dismantled when he succeeded him, was humane and legal. The intelligence gleaned during interrogations, he said, was instrumental both in thwarting terrorism plots and in capturing senior figures of Al Qaeda.

Mr. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and a number of former C.I.A. officials have said more recently that the program was essential for ultimately finding Osama bin Laden, who was killed by members of the Navy SEALs in May 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan (allegedly. Ed.)

Continues …


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