Here’s why there needs to be a formal, public investigation into what crimes were committed during the Bush years in the name of The War On Terra. The news will come out, and the world will be paying attention to how the United States follows its own rules prohibiting such atrocities. Are we a rogue nation? or a nation of liberty?
CIA interrogators carried out mock executions and threatened an al Qaeda commander with a gun and an electric drill, according to an internal report that provides new details of abuses inside’s the agency’s secret prisons, two leading U.S. newspapers reported on Saturday.
The tactics — which one official described to the Post as a threatened execution — were used on Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri by CIA jailers who held the handgun and drill close to the prisoner to frighten him into giving up information.
Nashiri, who was captured in November 2002 and held for four years in one of the CIA’s “black site” prisons, was one of three al-Qaeda chieftains later subjected to a form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding, the paper said.
The report, completed in 2004 by the inspector general, John L. Helgerson, also says that a mock execution was staged in a room next to one terrorism suspect. CIA officers fired a gun in the next room, leading the prisoner to believe that a second detainee had been killed, the Times said.
A federal judge in New York has ordered a redacted version of the classified CIA report to be made public on Monday, in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.
[Click to continue reading CIA report has new details of prisoner abuse | U.S. | Reuters ]
There’s no excuse for government officials condoning torture, none. There isn’t really an excuse for sadists conducting the torture either, but even worse, in my eyes, are the bosses who thought this would be a good policy to approve.
Further information about the CIA torture case from the NYT:
The Justice Department’s ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects, according to a person officially briefed on the matter.
Former government lawyers said that while some detainees died and others suffered serious abuses, prosecutors decided they would be unlikely to prevail because of problems with mishandled evidence and, in some cases, the inability to locate witnesses or even those said to be the victims.
A few of the cases are well known, like that of Manadel al-Jamadi, who died in 2003 in C.I.A. custody at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq after he was first captured by a team of Navy Seals. Prosecutors said he probably received his fatal injuries during his capture, but lawyers for the Seals denied it.
Over the years, some Democratic lawmakers sought more details about the cases and why the Justice Department took no action. They received summaries of the number of cases under scrutiny but few facts about the episodes or the department’s decisions not to prosecute.
The cases do not center on allegations of abuse by C.I.A. officers who conducted the forceful interrogations of high-level Qaeda suspects at secret sites, although it is not out of the question that a new investigation would also examine their conduct.
That could mean a look at the case in which C.I.A. officers threatened one prisoner with a handgun and a power drill if he did not cooperate. The detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was suspected as the master plotter behind the 2000 bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole.
All civilian employees of the government, including those at the C.I.A., were required to comply with guidelines for interrogations detailed in a series of legal opinions written by the Justice Department. Those opinions, since abandoned by the Obama administration, were the central focus of the Justice Department’s internal inquiry.
It has been known that the Justice Department ethics report had criticized the authors of the legal opinions and, in some cases, would recommend referrals to local bar associations for discipline.
But the internal inquiry also examined how the opinions were carried out and how referrals of possible violations were made — a process that led ethics investigators to find misconduct serious enough to warrant renewed criminal investigation.
[Click to continue reading Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases – NYTimes.com]