Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening. I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.
Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11. This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats. Continue reading “The CIA Lost Its Soul and Took Ours With It” →
Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor
We have seen and heard the claims from Donald Rumsfeld and others that the leaked Senate torture report is off base because the enhanced interrogation techniques were not only legal according to the Office of Legal Counsel, but they also produced results. Putting aside the idea that just because an allegedly illegal act is claimed to have been successful in producing actionable intelligence, does not make it any more legal or illegal, is there a reason why we should listen to the participants who authorized the waterboarding and other torture procedures when they claim that all is well?
Now it seems that Donald Rumsfeld has company. “In an uncompromising and wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, his first public remarks since he was linked to the program in 2007, James Mitchell was dismissive of a Senate intelligence committee report on CIA torture in which he features, and which is currently at the heart of an intense row between legislators and the agency.
The committee’s report found that the interrogation techniques devised by Mitchell, a retired air force psychologist, were far more brutal than disclosed at the time, and did not yield useful intelligence. These included waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation for days at a time, confinement in a box and being slammed into walls.
But Mitchell, who was reported to have personally waterboarded accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remains unrepentant. “The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.” ‘ Reader Supported News Continue reading “The CIA Psychologist Who Designed the Torture Program Claims It Was Not Torture” →