The report concludes that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al-Qaeda and other captives in secret prisons worldwide between 2002 and 2006, and details a list of torture methods used on prisoners, including waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks, and medically unnecessary “rectal feeding.” The report also confirms the CIA ran black sites in Afghanistan, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Thailand, and a secret site on the Guantánamo Naval Base known as Strawberry Fields. So far no one involved in the CIA interrogation program has been charged with a crime except the whistleblower John Kiriakou. In 2007, he became the first person with direct knowledge of the program to publicly reveal its existence. He is now serving a 30-month sentence. We speak with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, who has written several reports on prisoner mistreatment in the war on terror, including a 2011 report which called for a criminal investigation of senior Bush administration officials.
CIA Torture Report Incomplete as Key Documents Remain Withheld
The Real News
Marcy Wheeler is the author of Anatomy of Deceit , a short primer on the pre-war intelligence and the CIA Leak. She blogs under the name “emptywheel” at The Next Hurrah and live-blogged the Scooter Libby trial. She has a PhD from University of Michigan relating to politics and journalism. Marcy lives in Michigan, where she works as a business consultant.
Obama Would Not – Cannot – Deem Any Activities Authorized by Gloves Come Off Finding Illegal
Published December 9, 2014
Romero’s proposal (if it is intended as anything beyond a modest proposal meant to call Obama’s bluff) fundamentally misunderstands the situation – a situation the ACLU has been at the forefront in exposing.
Obama would not – categorically cannot – admit that what Tenet and Bush and Cheney did on torture is illegal. That’s because he has authorized war crimes using the very same Presidential Finding as the Bush Administration used to authorized torture.
As I have laid out at length, the torture program started as a covert op authorized by the September 17, 2001 Gloves Come Off Memorandum of Notification. And along with torture, that Finding also authorized drone strikes. The drone strikes that Obama escalated.
Just 3 days after he assumed the Presidency, a drone strike Obama authorized killed as many as 11 civilians, including one child, and gravely injured a 14 year old boy, Farim Qureshi. And several years into his Administration, Obama ordered the CIA to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki with no due process. As far as we know, both of those things were done using that very same Finding, the Finding that Romero would like Obama to declare authorized war crimes.
When the 2nd Circuit ruled the President – President Obama, not President Bush – could keep a short phrase hidden making it clear torture had been authorized by that Finding in ACLU’s very own torture FOIA, it did so because the Finding still authorized intelligence activities. The Finding authorizing torture was still active – President Obama was still relying on it – at least as recently as 2012.
For Obama to pardon Bush, Cheney, and Tenet, he would have to admit that the same Finding that he used to authorize drone strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians authorized war crimes. There is absolutely zero chance Obama is going to do that.