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Senate Questions Interrogation Methods

Senate Questions Interrogation Methods, Study Proves Torture

"If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong." So says John Fredman, then chief counsel to the CIA's counter-terrorism center, explaining in minutes of a 2002 meeting released yesterday, concluding that torture "is basically subject to perception". The minutes were released in conjunction with the Senate Armed Services Committee investigation into the origins of harsh interrogation tactics used on prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

In a hearing yesterday that spanned eight hours, US military lawyers revealed details showing how techniques like sensory and sleep deprivation and simulated drowning were modeled on training given soldiers on how to resist questioning. Chairman Carl Levin said that explanation "twisted the law to create the appearance of legality".

Correspondence brought to light in the hearing showed concern about such techniques as far back as 2002 with one quote saying, “if we mistreat detainees, we will quickly lose the [moral] high ground and public support will erode.” Then despite objections by military lawyers, then Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved sensory deprivation, sleep disruption, water-boarding and stress positions. “Officially it is not happening,” Lt. Col. Diane Beaver said in the 2002 information, adding that commanders were concerned that the techniques would be discovered by the Red Cross. To see the White House response, and a new study proving torture,


White House spokesman Tony Fratto refuted the allegations yesterday saying:

Abuse of detainees has never been, is not and will never be the policy of this government. The policy of this government has been to take these detainees and to interrogate them, and get the information that we can get to help protect this country.

The investigation comes in conjunction with a new study released by Physicians for Human Rights who said they have evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders. One of the researchers said, "Some of these men really are, several years later, very severely scarred. It's a testimony to how bad those conditions were and how personal the abuse was."

Is the use of anti-interrogation training methods to create ways to interrogate, twisting the law to create the appearance of legality like Senator Levin says? Is concern over the Red Cross finding out, proof that there was knowledge the techniques were wrong?


Join The Conversation
stephley stephley 9 years
Way to take charge! I'm out.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Stephley, stay out of this. This is between me, the old black woman and the tree. Doesn't matter what she meant or what she didn't mean. She wrote it and now she has to answer for it. Just step aside and let our sarcastic, angry comments be.
stephley stephley 9 years
"we knew all along it was torture" YY, Raci - I don't Bella's blowing it off, I think (and I could be wrong) her point is that we're past debating 'what is' torture and should move to doing something about it.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I agree. Whenever people are detained illegally for years and tortured without mercy, we should just sort of move on. Constitutional illegality is so 2007.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
bella, what do you mean "move on"? um, this is kind of a big deal.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Okay, I thought we knew all along it was torture - let's move on.
stephley stephley 9 years
First we need an Administration and Congres that wants to make sure they aren't torturing people under our employment.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I agree Meg. Tourture has long been proven to provide false leads...which can really hurt your operation. What I am really curious about, is the fact that at Abu Ghraib they let "contractors" do the interrogation. What laws are they held to? If the Army Field Manual doesn't apply to CIA, and it doesn't apply to "contractors" like Blackwater. How can we make sure they aren't tourturing people under our employment?
megnmac megnmac 9 years
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Well like momma used to say you ain't gotta hide what ain't wrong.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
“if we mistreat detainees, we will quickly lose the [moral] high ground and public support will erode.” It is shameful, and in the end means we cannot ever hold people accountable. There is always the hypothetical 'how many peoples lives would have to be on the line before you'd torture for information to save them.' I've always seen that as a false hypo, b/c it assumes torture gets you reliable information. If someone has no information, they'll still talk and try to tell you when they're being interrogated like this.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
so much doublespeak. what is a 'detainee' anyway? a prisoner. america needs to wake up and call it like it is: we are holding prisoners, in off shore prisons, without trial, for undetermined amounts of time, and torturing them to get information we can't even prove they have. i'm ashamed.
stephley stephley 9 years
Saying we torture more humanely than another country is like saying it's better to be blown up than ripped apart by wild animals.
stephley stephley 9 years
Concern over the Red Cross finding out isn't proof, but it's a very strong indication that lawmakers should go to these detention centers and find out. Stories like this are better proof: The Pentagon announced yesterday its decision to dismiss charges against Mohammed al-Qahtani, suspected of plotting to become the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11. No reason was given for the decision. Officials close to the case told the Washington Post the case against Qahtani was weak because most of the evidence against him consisted of coerced confessions. Defense lawyers told the Post their client likely will not be tried because he was subjected to aggressive interrogation techniques such as stress positions, nudity, long-term solitary confinement and intimidation by dogs. Defense lawyer ARMY LT. COL. BRYAN BROYLES told the newspaper the entire case against Qahtani was based on “evidence derived from torture."
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Torture is wrong whether the person dies or not but I am sure America must have more humane methods of torture than Burma, North Korea, Iraq...:oy:
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