August 30th, 2009


"We don't torture"

For instance, Cheney's claim that torture was done by trained professionals is directly contradicted at

> With just two weeks of training, or about half the time it takes to become a truck driver, the CIA certified its spies as interrogation experts after 9/11 and handed them the keys to the most coercive tactics in the agency's arsenal.

> It was a haphazard process, cobbled together in the months following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington by an agency that had never been in the interrogation business. The result was a patchwork program in which rules kept shifting and the goals often were unclear.

The CIA doesn't come off well in this document dump. Jeff Muskus of Huffington Post looked into mock executions - conducted with power tools a la the Saw movies, and contrary to direct orders from Bush:

> The mock executions were illegal by any definition. But they were also ineffective. Al-Nashiri was assessed to be "compliant" in December 2002, and on his first day of interrogation, he provided "lead information on other terrorists," according to the report.

> A senior operations officer, however, decided he was still withholding information and "reinstated ... hooding, and handcuffing."

(The ellipses indicate a redaction, which appears to be another technique the officer reinstated.)

> Al-Nashiri was also told, "We could get your mother in here," and "We can bring your family in here."

That's not to say Al-Nashiri wasn't tortured before the guns and the drill came out. The report indicates that he was subjected to "enhanced" interrogation on his first day, before he was deemed "compliant." But he was later tortured in ways that might keep even John Yoo up at night.

Muskus notes these tactics were used for months on end, with increasing ferocity and improving special effects. Months, because each time this failed the CIA decided they hadn't been scary enough.
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