CIA lied on torture to US Justice Department

This video from the USA is called Rachel Maddow Discusses CIA Torture Report With Newsweek‘s Michael Isikoff.

From The Washington Independent in the USA:

CIA Withheld Medical Information From the Justice Department to Obtain Torture Approvals

By Spencer Ackerman 8/24/09 4:58 PM

It’s almost enough to generate sympathy for Jay Bybee [see also here] and John Yoo, the two heads the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2002 who signed off on the infamous torture memos. According to the 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on torture, Bybee and Yoo didn’t make their decisions based on complete information, and information CIA provided to them on the efficacy of torture was, in some cases “appreciably overstated,” “exaggerated” and “probably misrepresented.”

Jason Leopold: US Republicans Use Scare Tactics to Discourage Torture Probe: here.

Report: CIA Used Power Drills, Guns, Threats Against Children: here. And here.

CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims: here.

US appoints investigator into CIA abuse: here.

The American Civil Liberties Union has hailed Washington’s decision to launch a limited criminal inquiry into CIA prisoner abuse, but charged that it was “nowhere near as thorough as we need”: here.

Blackwater Tie Expains Lawmakers’ Outrage Over CIA Asassinations Plan: here.

Deaths, Missing Detainees Still Blacked Out in New CIA Report: here.

CIA probe shields architects of US torture regime: here.

New Documents Describe in Extraordinary Detail Process of “Rendition,” Torture: here.

As Americans continue to debate the torture era of the Bush administration, a new report has emerged about the alleged existence of a third secret prison used by the CIA in Europe. According to ABC News, the CIA operated a “black site” prison in Lithuania until the end of 2005: here.

Spanish Prosecutors Demand Answers from Holder About Torture Lawyers: here.

Amnesty International has condemned the British government for its failure to sign up to a UN convention, which it helped draft, which aims to put an end to state-sponsored kidnapping [rendition]: here.

16 thoughts on “CIA lied on torture to US Justice Department

  1. No immunity in any CIA abuse cases: U.N. rights chief

    Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:09pm EDT

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Tuesday there should be no immunity from prosecution for torture of terror suspects in a U.S. probe of alleged CIA prisoner abuse cases.

    The next step would involve criminal liability for anyone who broke the law, Navi Pillay said in a statement calling for greater transparency about “secret places of detention and what went on in them.”

    “I hope there is a swift examination of the various allegations of abuse made by former and current detainees in Guantanamo and other U.S.-run prisoners and if they are verified, that the next steps will involve accountability for anyone who has violated the law,” she said.

    On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder named a special prosecutor to probe CIA prisoner abuse cases.

    The move came after the Justice Department’s ethics watchdog recommended considering prosecution of Central Intelligence Agency employees or contractors for harsh interrogations in Iraq and Afghanistan that went beyond approved limits.

    Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge, said that the use of secret places of detention must be curbed and she called for the release of the names of detainees currently being held there.

    “Secrecy has been a major part of the problem with this type of detention regime,” she said. “When guards and interrogators think they are safe from outside scrutiny, and legal safeguards are circumvented, laws become all too easy to ignore.”

    Former officials of the George W. Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, have denied that torture was used and defended their interrogation practices as legal.

    Pillay reiterated her support for U.S. President Barack Obama’s commitment to close the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by 2010.

    She also urged his administration to urgently review the status of detainees at the Bagram facility in Afghanistan.

    She welcomed the recent release from Guantanamo of an Afghan youth, Mohammed Jawad, saying that the U.S. justice system had “finally delivered justice.”

    Jawad, accused of war crimes for throwing a grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers in 2002, was one of the youngest detainees to be held in Guantanamo. In July, a U.S. judge threw out his confession because it had been obtained through abuse.

    He said on Tuesday after his return home that he had been abused and humiliated during six years of custody. [nISL399803]

    His lawyers argue that he was about 12 when he was arrested in 2002 but the Pentagon disputes that and has said bone scans indicated he had turned 18 when he was sent to Guantanamo.

    “In Jawad’s case and those of other people held in detention for unacceptably long periods, without any charges being proven, or who were tortured or otherwise treated unlawfully, compensation and other remedies are essential,” Pillay said.

    (Editing by Louise Ireland)


  2. Posted by: “bigraccoon”

    Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:46 pm (PDT)

    Torture Investigation Launched

    As a result of shocking revelations in the CIA Inspector General’s report,
    which was brought to light by an ACLU lawsuit, Attorney General Eric Holder
    has announced the appointment of a prosecutor to investigate prison abuse
    cases carried out as part of the Bush torture program.

    As anyone who has seen the details of this appalling report can tell you,
    this investigation is necessary and long overdue, and Attorney General
    Holder should be commended for taking this important step.

    However, the very limited scope of the investigation he launched today is
    nowhere near as thorough and broad as the torture investigation America
    really needs.

    Urge Attorney General Holder to conduct a thorough examination of the Bush
    torture program.

    According to early reports, prosecutor John Durham’s mandate will be limited
    to roughly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have
    violated U.S. torture laws and other statutes. Moreover, Durham will conduct
    a ‘preliminary’ investigation meant to determine whether a full
    investigation is appropriate.

    But justice demands an investigation without such limits — a comprehensive
    investigation that doesn’t exempt high-ranking officials.

    That’s especially true in the aftermath of today’s release of the
    long-secret CIA Inspector General’s report detailing outrageous CIA prisoner
    abuses including mock executions and holding guns and power tools to
    people’s heads.

    We have to be confident that abuses like those documented in this report
    will never happen again. That won’t be the case if everyone knows that
    horrendous crimes were committed and that those ultimately responsible faced
    no consequences.

    Urge Attorney General Holder to conduct a thorough examination of the Bush
    torture program.

    For justice to truly be served, we must have an investigation that holds
    high-ranking officials accountable for any role they played in the Bush
    torture program’s horrendous violations of the law.

    Now that a long-awaited torture investigation is underway, let the Attorney
    General know it’s essential for it to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

    Urge Attorney General Holder to conduct a thorough examination of the Bush
    torture program.


    Anthony D. Romero
    Executive Director
    American Civil Liberties Union


  3. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009

    CIA sacked Baghdad station chief after deaths of 2 detainees


    WASHINGTON The CIA removed its station chief in Iraq and reorganized its operations there in late 2003 following “potentially very serious leadership lapses” that included the deaths of detainees in U.S. custody, according to a newly released document and former senior officials.

    The memorandum and other partially declassified documents shed a rare light on the abuse and death of detainees in CIA custody, a subject the agency has long sought to shield from public view.

    The CIA’s Baghdad station chief was reassigned just weeks after two Iraqis, Manadel al-Jamadi and Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, died, reportedly while being interrogated in November 2003.

    The heavily censored document, in the form of “talking points” for a senior agency official to brief the House Intelligence Committee, doesn’t reveal the exact reasons for the removal of the station chief. He was one of three station chiefs in Baghdad in less than 10 months, according to the former officials – an embarrassing record at a time when Iraq was the top U.S. national security priority.

    The May 4, 2004, memorandum, which describes serious problems in the agency’s Baghdad station – the biggest CIA presence overseas following the March 2003 U.S. invasion – was included in thousands of pages of documents that the Justice Department released late Monday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

    The CIA’s Directorate of Operations “responded to missions we were given for which in some cases our officers were not properly trained/experienced (i.e. jailers),” the memo says.

    Also in May 2004, then-CIA Director George Tenet formed a special Detainee Working Group to coordinate the agency’s response to a growing outcry fueled by revelations of sadistic behavior by Army personnel at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

    Other documents show the CIA responding to requests for files from Navy and Army lawyers involved in prosecutions after the al-Jamadi and Mowhoush deaths, in which military personnel were also implicated.

    In contrast to well-documented abuses at Abu Ghraib and the Guantanamo Bay detention center, much remains unknown about the fate of detainees under CIA control.

    At least five are thought to have died, and the whereabouts of dozens of other “ghost detainees,” whom the U.S. government has never acknowledged holding, is unknown.

    Most of the material involving such cases was blacked out from the 2004 report by the CIA’s inspector general on the agency’s detention and interrogation program that was released Monday.

    Declassified portions of the report by Inspector General John Helgerson, who’s since left the agency, refer only to the beating death of an Afghan, Abdul Wali, at a joint Army-CIA base in Asadabad, Afghanistan, in June 2003. A CIA contractor, David Passaro, was convicted of assault in that case.

    Helgerson investigated other potentially criminal abuses and referred them to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. Overall, the military and CIA referred two dozen cases to Justice during the Bush administration; Passaro’s case was the only one involving the CIA that went to trial.

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that he was opening a preliminary probe into whether CIA officials or contractors should be criminally investigated for going beyond interrogation guidelines set by the Bush-era Justice Department.

    Helgerson, in a telephone interview Tuesday, declined to comment on specific cases, and said he wouldn’t “second guess” the Justice Department’s past decisions not to prosecute.

    “The fact that we do a crime report does not necessarily mean that we believe it should be prosecuted,” he said.

    Attorneys from the Eastern District of Virginia “spent countless hours in our work spaces,” Helgerson said. “I don’t second guess Justice ever on what they prosecute and what they don’t.”

    CIA spokesman George Little declined comment on the May 2004 memo, which suggests serious lapses regarding detainees and other issues at the agency’s Baghdad station.

    The problems were serious enough that the chief of the CIA’s covert arm, the deputy director for operations, convened an Accountability Board, which can reprimand or discipline agency officials. The DDO at the time was James Pavitt, who couldn’t be reached for comment.

    CIA station chiefs normally operate under cover and their identities aren’t made public.

    A former senior CIA official familiar with the events said the agency had an “unhappy” experience with Baghdad chiefs and had three in less than a year.

    The first lasted only briefly after the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal CIA business.

    The second, whose removal was described in the heavily redacted CIA memorandum, was a relatively junior officer who, overwhelmed by the job, “wasn’t paying enough attention to the detainee situation” and the ghost detainee issue, the former official said.

    The third station chief bragged after his posting about mistreating detainees in Iraq and was investigated, the official said. The investigation determined “he was exaggerating,” for reasons that remain unclear, he said.

    The document illustrates how the agency struggled to manage its mushrooming presence in Baghdad.

    “Leadership was not experienced enough to manage this size operation as it grew together with such a complex playing field in an extremely … dangerous environment,” it says.

    (McClatchy Newspapers correspondents Marisa Taylor and Margaret Talev contributed to this report.)


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