The United States brutalized scores of terror suspects with interrogation tactics that turned secret CIA prisons into chambers of suffering and did nothing to make America safer after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Senate investigators concluded Tuesday. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reported this story.
Senate probe calls CIA tactics brutalThe United States brutalized scores of terror suspects with interrogation tactics that turned secret CIA prisons into chambers of suffering and did nothing to make America safer after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Senate investigators concluded Tuesday. CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reported this story.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report, years in the making, accused the CIA of misleading its political masters about what it was doing with its “black site” captives and deceiving the nation about the effectiveness of its techniques. The report was the first public accounting of tactics employed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it described far harsher actions than had been widely known.
Tactics included confinement to small boxes, weeks of sleep deprivation, simulated drowning, slapping and slamming, and threats to kill, harm or sexually abuse families of the captives. The report produced revulsion among many, challenges to its veracity among some lawmakers and a sharp debate about whether it should have been released at all.
Democrats on the committee spent $40 million and five years looking into enhanced interrogation techniques that U.S. President Barack Obama and many outside human rights groups call torture. The report says of the 119 known detainees, 26 were wrongfully held.
“The finding’s inclusions will make clear how this program was morally, legally and administratively misguided and that this nation should never again engage in these tactics,” Diane Feinstein, U.S. Senator said. The report details the quote “brutal treatment” of detainees who were kept naked and in darkness, sleep-deprived and subjected to water boarding which simulates drowning. One even died of hypothermia.
According to the report, Khaled Sheik Muhammad, considered the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, was water-boarded 183 times. And, al-Qaeda’s former operative Abu Zubaydah’s repeated water-boarding left him, “completely unresponsive, bubbles coming out of his mouth.” And alleged U.S. naval ship bomber, Abd al-Nashiri stopped providing threat information altogether after being subjected to threats with a gun and a drill.
Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war for seven years in Vietnam, believes Americans are entitled to know the truth about the program.”I know, from personal experience, that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence,” he said.
Even before the report’s release, both former U.S President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in. Cheney calling the enhanced interrogation program “justified”.
“These are patriots and whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contribution to our country, it is way off base,” Bush said.
The CIA points out that not a single agent was interviewed for the report and says its programs do work, and that the interrogation of detainees did quote “thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.” The agency also rejects the notion that it intentionally misled the White House and Congress about its interrogation techniques.
Morris Davis talks about Senate probe on CIA tactics
CCTV America was joined by Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay and currently a professor at American University in Washington, to talk about the Senate’s report on CIA’s tactics.