UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seeks prosecution

World Today

According to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, those who are responsible for the brutal interrogations at “CIA black sites” must face criminal charges. The investigator said “not” to prosecute would be “illegal and immoral.” CCTV America’s Kate Fisher reported from Washington, D.C.

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seeks prosecution

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture seeks prosecution

According to the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture, those who are responsible for the brutal interrogations at "CIA black sites" must face criminal charges. The investigator said "not" to prosecute would be "illegal and immoral." CCTV America's Kate Fisher reported from Washington, D.C.

From the moment a Democrat-led Senate panel released a scathing report on CIA interrogation practices, there’s been no let-up in the condemnation. Dick Cheney, who was the U.S. vice president at the time the events took place, was blunt in his criticism. “I think it’s a terrible piece of work, deeply flawed.” he said.

He was asked about the numerous instances of interrogators water boarding 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

“What are we supposed to do is to kiss him on both cheeks and say,’Please, please, tell us what you know’. Of course now! We did exactly what needed to be done in order to catch those who were guilty on 9/11 and prevent a further attack, and we are successful on both parts.” Cheney said.

However, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, said torture can never be excused. “Nothing that happened at 9/11 or afterwards justifies this descent into cruelty and into destruction of human dignity. Nothing justified it, and the report also goes a long way in saying that this kind of tactic was much more counterproductive than the results that it got,” he said.

Juan Mendez was himself subject to abuse at the hands of the Argentinian secret police. He said merely exposing the CIA’s secrets was not enough and criminal charges must be brought.

“A policy of non-prosecution would be a violation of international obligations, and it basically would condone the torture that has happened, so it would be not only illegal but also immoral,” Mendez said.

James Mitchell, who is a psychologist, was one of the CIA contractors who helped develop and operate the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. His firm was paid more than $80 million, despite having no experience in counter-terrorism.

“It’s not always pretty, and I think there should be an honest debate in the United States,” he said.

However, for President Obama, the debate was already over. He ended the CIA enhanced interrogation program when he took office in 2009. He said he hopes the publication of the report means that those techniques can be left where they belong in the past.