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Tag: Waterboarding

CIA Director Says His Agency Would Not Resume Torture, Despite GOP Rhetoric

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said on Sunday that his agency would not resort to torturing terrorism suspects despite rhetoric from GOP presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,”Brennan told NBC News.

Trump and Cruz have advocated using waterboarding and other torture techniques against terrorism suspects.

“If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from people,” Trump said after the Brussels terrorist attacks.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said they would not resort to torture.

When asked about waterboarding Sunday, Brennan responded, “I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”

Ex-CIA Officer Defends Waterboarding

Sen. McCain Opposes Torture; Says Waterboarding Did Not Lead to bin Laden Courier

John McCain/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain (R-Az) wrote Thursday in a Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post that he opposed torture, and said it just isn’t true that waterboarding lead authorities to the trusted courier of the Osama bin Laden.

“Much of this debate is a definitional one: whether any or all of these methods constitute torture. I believe some of them do, especially waterboarding, which is a mock execution and thus an exquisite form of torture. As such, they are prohibited by American laws and values, and I oppose them.

As for the courier, he stated:

“Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed that ‘the intelligence that led to bin Laden . . . began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.’” That is false.”

“I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.”

He also stated that he was against anyone being prosecuted for using any of the methods he opposes.

To read full column click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Bush Memoir Says He Personally Gave CIA Go Ahead to Waterboard

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Bush writes in his about to be released memoir that he personally gave the go ahead to waterboard 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who currently awaits trial in federal court.

The Washington Post reports that Bush, in his book “Decision Points”, writes when the CIA asked if it could waterboard Mohammed, he replied “Damn right.”

The Post reports that Bush told an interviewer a week before leaving the White House: “I firmly reject the word ‘torture,” and he repeats that sentiment in the book.

The book is due out Tuesday.

To read more click here.

Ex-CIA Spy Retracts Statement About Waterboarding

spy bookBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — There’s no shortage of B.S. in this town.

Enter John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative.

Reporter Jeff Stein has penned an article in Foreign Policy magazine saying that Kiriakou’s claim that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists was simply misleading.

Stein writes that “Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency’s intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC’s Brian Ross and Richard Esposito in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water.”

But Stein writes: ” Now comes John Kiriakou, again, with a wholly different story. On the next-to-last page of a new memoir, The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror (written with Michael Ruby), Kiriakou now rather off handedly admits that he basically made it all up.”

Ouch!

Read more »

Ex-Homeland Chief Tom Ridge Criticizes Waterboarding and Indefinite Detention

Tom Ridge/gov photo

Tom Ridge/gov photo

It’s too bad this happens in every administration: Some high-ranking people only seem to be willing to  speak up after it’s all over. The lesson here: express yourself to the powers that be when you’re there, not when you’ve left and decided to cash in with a book.

By Michael Scherer
Time
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge does not want to “second-guess” the motivations of his former colleagues in the Bush Administration.

But with a new memoir, The Test of Our Times, about to hit bookstores, he is ready to talk about all the second thoughts he has been having.

For instance, he thinks waterboarding “was and is torture,” and he wishes the Bush Administration had not permitted it.

He thinks President George W. Bush should have gone to Congress sooner to get permission to expand the National Security Agency’s domestic-spying program.

He even frowns upon the Bush policy of indefinite detention for suspected terrorists, a policy that the Obama Administration has hinted it may continue to some degree.

For Full Story

Government Psychologists Told Bush Folks Waterboarding al Qaeda Was 100% Effective

Even though we’ve heard over time that waterboarding may not always net accurate information, government psychologists gave it a hearty endorsement. That may have been what the administration needed to hear before using it.

By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Newsweek
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration approved the use of “waterboarding” on Al Qaeda detainees after receiving reports from government psychologists that it was “100 percent effective” in breaking the will of U.S. military personnel subjected to the technique during training, according to documents released today by a Senate Committee.
The Senate Armed Services report concludes that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques-including forcing detainees to stand naked, subjecting them to growling dogs and depriving them of sleep-were discussed by top members of the National Security Council and other senior administration officials inside the White House.
Some officials expressed strong concerns about the legality of the methods. But the techniques were ultimately given the green light, based on government assessments that showed such methods were quick and effective in breaking down the resistance of U.S. military officers who were subjected to them in so-called Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) classes.
For Full Story