The CIA Torture Report

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Zinegata » 2014-12-11 09:38pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Damn. Torturing your own informants for information? That's... cold. And stupid. Coldstupid.
The CIA was never a bastion of competence at any level to begin with. When their job interviews even after 9-11 focus on which Ivy League school you went to (or worse how cute/pretty you are for female candidates) rather than what languages you speak for analyst positions becomes abundantly clear how it's not a serious "intelligence" agency and is instead a retarded social club living off public money and masquerading as doing work for the people.

The real kicker is the $80M paid to some hacks for the interrogation techniques, which apparently got approved on the basis of "It's good cop/bad cop with a really evil bad cop"

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Gandalf » 2014-12-12 04:21am

I find it darkly amusing that the responses to the report by the Foxbots, such as "it happened a while ago, who cares?" and "this is unpatriotic" are exactly the same as one hears from people defending the Chinese government's actions on Tiananmen.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-12 03:03pm

Well, there will always be shitheads defending government abuse who fall into a tribalistic us vs them view. Sadly the US is no exception here.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-12 08:34pm

Former Director Hayden was on NBC news Tuesday and actually claimed that if every prisoner worldwide was treated to CIA standaeds, their average quality of life would go up.

As for the portrayals in entertainmnt, it is sad that Zero Dark Thirty counts as a nuanced portrayal as compared to most such depictions. Shots from it were even used on the news during the torture got Bin Laden debate. What I personally found just as bad was the fact that DNA samples were taken from his children by CIA during routine vaccinations, ruining the chance to kill off polio after it led to a loss of trust in doctors in Pakistan. That detail was conveniently left out of the movie.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Flagg » 2014-12-12 09:54pm

Thanas wrote:Sadly the US is no exception here.
I take exception to this. The US didn't write the textbook on tribalistic headfuckery, but it wrote several chapters.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Grumman » 2014-12-13 03:37am

Adamskywalker007 wrote:As for the portrayals in entertainmnt, it is sad that Zero Dark Thirty counts as a nuanced portrayal as compared to most such depictions. Shots from it were even used on the news during the torture got Bin Laden debate.
What separates Zero Dark Thirty from most depictions of torture is that it is a misrepresentation of real crimes committed by real people the real government is actively protecting from justice. That it was made to look nuanced and accurate is precisely why it is so disgusting.

And this woman is on the short list to direct Wonder Woman. Fuck that!

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-13 05:08am

Yeah, fuck that. Zero Dark Thirty was the most disgusting movie I saw in the last decade. What's even worse is that it was boring.

Oh and nuance? When the hell did ZDT ever have nuance? This movie is as nuanced as WWII sub movies.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Metahive » 2014-12-13 06:36am

There are actually fairly nuanced WW2 submarine movies, "The Enemy Below" for example paid quite a lot of respect to the german enemy and even ended with both captains parting on amiable terms. Of course there's also absolute shit like U-571 which I would however still rank higher than ZDT simply because it isn't as annoyingly pretentious.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-13 06:53am

Having read more details from the report, the two cases I found the most disturbing were those of people that were detained based on intelligence gained from torture. It was literally the logic of the Salem Witch Trials.

As for Zero Dark Thirty, I wasn't saying that it was good, I was merely stating that it was somewhat more ambiguous than many other portrayals in terms of the results shown. It was one of the few stories to actually show realistically negative results, despite glorifying it and implying that torture was a major factor in giving initial leads*. It is at least far better than something like 24, which never shows any downsides. My point was that it is sad that ZDT comes across better than many other depictions, not that it itself was good. Obviously the fact that it was real events does make it worse in that sense, however.

In both main cases of torture depicted in the film it had ambiguous results at best. In the first, based on Ammar al-Baluchi, he is reduced to speaking gibberish when the possibility of another attack is brought up. And while it is still under duress, he only gives anything useful once they stop torturing him**. In the second case, based on Abu Faraj al-Libbi, he repeatedly lies under interrogation and begins making up stories.

What I personally thought was worse than the depictions themselves, as disturbing as they were, was that not one character ever questioned the value of it all. They simply accepted it as working despite clear evidence to the contrary, even complaining once it was shut down. This is something that has came out with the report, that internal descent in the CIA was quashed, as were the objections from the FBI as high up as Director Mueller. One of those to quit over the issue was Egyptian-American FBI agent Ali Soufan, the only FBI agent natively fluent in Arabic, who would engage in drawn out discussions with prisoners in Arabic in which they would reveal details over time. This was also the same time that many in the CIA were forced out over their objections to the intelligence involving Iraq, most publicly Valerie Plame.

In terms of the entertainment value of the movie, it was a pretentious snuff film with high productions values. What I found interesting from a film making perspective was just how boring it actually was in its final act. During the raid in Abbottabad, in its desire to be "realistic" it threw out the rules of good drama by not actually having a true enemy. This is on top of the bizarre idea of making a thriller about the hunt for Bin Laden. What is truly sad about the film is that many people who watched it probably thought that it was truly accurate.

As for Bigelow directing Wonder Woman, it is probably because she is one of the few female directors in Hollywood.

* Something Peter Bergen debunked almost immediately after it came out. All of the useful intelligence came before torture was applied in literally every case.
** As a sad commentary on America, the creators of ZDT apparently had more access to files about the real torture than al-Baluchi's own lawyers, despite Obama supposedly wanting to move beyond torture.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Grumman » 2014-12-13 08:05am

Adamskywalker007 wrote:As for Zero Dark Thirty, I wasn't saying that it was good, I was merely stating that it was somewhat more ambiguous than many other portrayals in terms of the results shown. It was one of the few stories to actually show realistically negative results...
The original Star Wars? Torture fails to make Princess Leia talk, and when they threaten her loved ones she sends them on a wild goose chase to Dantooine, resulting in Tarkin throwing a tantrum and ordering her execution.
As for Bigelow directing Wonder Woman, it is probably because she is one of the few female directors in Hollywood.
It was, explicitly so. But at least picking her for her ovaries is less offensive than picking her because they thought Zero Dark Thirty made her well suited for a movie featuring a "Lasso of Truth".

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2014-12-13 08:59am

What I found interesting from a film making perspective was just how boring it actually was in its final act. During the raid in Abbottabad, in its desire to be "realistic" it threw out the rules of good drama by not actually having a true enemy.
The raid on Abbottabad was the only part of the movie I liked. No other mainstream action movie has the guts to show a scene like that. There were no enemies, AND no heroes. The American soldiers were portrayed essentially as cold-hearted killers, rather than the usual dramatically jumping away from an explosion to save a kitten type of thing you find in most major action movies. I agree with you about the rest of the movie, but I think, at least from a filmmaking standpoint, the raid scene was brilliantly executed. It was dark, quiet, quick, and thoroughly un-dramatic. Seriously, when else has a major mainstream movie EVER showed combat like that?

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-13 12:09pm

Metahive wrote:There are actually fairly nuanced WW2 submarine movies, "The Enemy Below" for example paid quite a lot of respect to the german enemy and even ended with both captains parting on amiable terms. Of course there's also absolute shit like U-571 which I would however still rank higher than ZDT simply because it isn't as annoyingly pretentious.
I was referring to the ones actually produced in WWII. My apologies for the confusion.

Ziggy Stardust wrote:The raid on Abbottabad was the only part of the movie I liked. No other mainstream action movie has the guts to show a scene like that. There were no enemies, AND no heroes. The American soldiers were portrayed essentially as cold-hearted killers, rather than the usual dramatically jumping away from an explosion to save a kitten type of thing you find in most major action movies. I agree with you about the rest of the movie, but I think, at least from a filmmaking standpoint, the raid scene was brilliantly executed. It was dark, quiet, quick, and thoroughly un-dramatic. Seriously, when else has a major mainstream movie EVER showed combat like that?
I don't know, if you are one of those "brown people are not real people" types then it gets real easy to wank to that as the unstoppable force killing dirty savages.
Adamskywalker007 wrote:In terms of the entertainment value of the movie, it was a pretentious snuff film with high productions values. What I found interesting from a film making perspective was just how boring it actually was in its final act. During the raid in Abbottabad, in its desire to be "realistic" it threw out the rules of good drama by not actually having a true enemy. This is on top of the bizarre idea of making a thriller about the hunt for Bin Laden. What is truly sad about the film is that many people who watched it probably thought that it was truly accurate.
I don't know, the raid scene isn't that more boring than any other scene. I think Bigelow just didn't have decent editing.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Siege » 2014-12-13 03:50pm

CIA morale 'deeply hurt' following Senate report wrote:The US Senate report on the CIA's interrogation methods has unleashed a fierce debate about America's intelligence services. CIA director John Brennan has defended his agency's program, in contrast to President Obama.

"The CIA is going through a huge morale problem," said US security expert Harlan Ullman in an interview with DW, commenting on the recent US Senate report on the CIA's interrogation methods, which has made serious torture allegations against the secret service. "CIA employees believed they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They find this to be a devastating critique."
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Metahive » 2014-12-13 03:53pm

You know what should be bad for morale? Being in an organization that employs sadistic psychopaths to torture people for no reason but maybe petty revenge.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Irbis » 2014-12-13 05:26pm

Remember the Kiejkuty saga?
CIA torture in Poland

Detention Site Blues

Poles are not happy about CIA torture, but they need America too much to start a row

ZBIGNIEW SIEMIATKOWSKI may yet end up with the dubious honour of being the only person in the world to face legal proceedings over the torture programme carried out by America's Central Intelligence Agency—and he is not even American. The former head of Polish intelligence was at the helm of his country's spy agency when the Americans asked for, and received, permission to hold prisoners on Polish soil in 2002. That has made him the target of a slow-moving, top secret Polish investigation, now in its seventh year. The newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reported two years ago that he was being charged with violating Polish and international law in allowing the CIA to interrogate prisoners at a secret facility in Stare Kiejkuty, a town in northern Poland.

Just what went on in the villa there during 2002 and 2003 was revealed in graphic detail by the report on CIA torture released by the American Senate on Tuesday. Although the report had country names redacted, the phrase “Detention Site Blue” correlates with Stare Kiejkuty, where five prisoners were held. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of being one of the planners of the September 11th attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he got to the site. The treatment was so brutal that a medical officer noted: “We are basically doing a series of near drownings”. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi suspected of being behind the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, was kept in a “stress position” with his hands above his head for more than two days, threatened with a mock execution and a power drill and told his mother would be raped.

The Poles apparently had doubts when the Americans asked to expand the facility from two to five prisoners, and had to be cajoled with a dollop of money. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the Polish intelligence agency received $15m in cash. The Stare Kiejkuty facility was closed in late 2003, after Aleksander Kwasniewski, then Poland's president, told his American counterpart George Bush that he had become “uneasy” about what was going on there.

When the Americans turned to the Poles for help after the 2001 attacks, Poland was a very different place than it is today. The country was much less self-confident. It had only joined NATO in 1999, and the governing Democratic Left Alliance, largely composed of former communists, was keen to stress its bona fides as a solid western ally. “We had concerns, but they did not include that the Americans would break the law in a knowing and uncontrolled way,” Mr Kwasniewski said in a radio interview this week.

Poland remains one of the most pro-American countries in Europe. The annual Transatlantic Trends poll finds that 78% of Poles have a positive opinion of the US, higher than the European average. Despite Poland's painful memories of the torture its own secret police meted out under communism, there has been little public outrage over the American revelations. Nonetheless, the CIA mess has exacted a political cost. Ewa Kopacz, Poland's prime minister, insisted that Polish-US ties remained strong after chatting with President Barack Obama just before the report's release. But Mr Kwasniewski was more cutting, saying Poland should have “limited trust” in dealing with America.

To some extent, Poland has no choice but to follow up on reports of CIA crimes. Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by allowing prisoners to be maltreated on its territory. It ordered Warsaw to pay two prisoners €230,000 in damages. The Senate report may prompt Poland to speed up its lethargic investigation into Mr Siematkiowski, an ironic situation given that the Americans who carried out the torture have yet to face any charges. But there has been no progress reported in that case in the last two years. And for all the tension, Poland's anxiety over Russian aggression in Ukraine leaves it more reliant than ever on its close security relationship with America. Poles may not be happy that the CIA used their country as a torturing ground, but with an expansionist Russia in their neighbourhood, they are reluctant to press the issue too hard.
So, yeah. Our dear bootlickers broke constitution in at least 3 places (torture, violation of state sovereignty, and extra-parliamentary war deals), but since they kept being replaced by other US bootlickers (since 2001 we had 3 governments with very different ends of political spectrum, all kept the cooperation tied to torture site secret) it doesn't look like anyone will pay for it anytime soon. Democracy? Rule of law? What's that? Oh, right, we're "threatened" by Russia so nothing of that matters :roll:

The reactions of the people in charge then to the report were interesting - one, ex-PM, claimed "we just defended Christianity" :banghead: The other, ex-president Kwasniewski claimed (again) he knew nothing about torture and, more importantly, George Bush told him in White House the site produced great deal of information and the cooperation was a big success. He wondered if Bush lied to him, or was lied to by CIA. He also let slip very interesting detail, that West Europe helped with the extraction of intelligence, too, but since they were more careful nothing was tied to them. He supposedly saw NATO notes of Cosmic Top Secret clause level which was part of reason he agreed.

I still remember Miller and Kwasniewski rubber stamping everything USA demanded in 2002 and smugly telling population that we're going to have a great boon to economy with all post war rebuilding contracts. Sadly, we're not Halliburton, and the end result of Bush wars looked a bit different: 80 killed, 900+ wounded, 12 billions of dollars spent/destroyed without returns. Say what you want about Soviet Union, but somehow "puppet" Warsaw Pact didn't sent tens of thousands of soldiers to die for Socialism in Afghan conflict, despite the cause being far more justified back then.
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That's some The Blacklist level incompetence, guys.
Ha ha ha.

That's nothing. Imagine utter moron installed as boss of Polish Military Intelligence with help of US neocons back in 2005, just because he was prominent anti-communist activist (therefore anti-Russian). Then said imbecile publishing (in press) list of all informants and experts of said Military Intelligence, accusing them of being part of organized crime gang.

Read, helping said MI Agency. Just because it reminded him of Soviet times secret police (!). Of course, every single one of them sued the state for slander damages, and they all won. The damage was done though and the MI agency had to be disbanded, right in the middle of preparing Polish bases in Iraq/Afghanistan security network.

And said brain dead imbecile didn't suffer anything because hist party helped him dodge it claiming he didn't do it as state representative, but for free, in his spare time (!!). The minor detail publishing secret documents still being illegal and him having insignia of his office on his desk as he published it being conveniently ignored.

Really, I wish I was making this shit up :banghead:

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-13 05:49pm

Grumman wrote:The original Star Wars? Torture fails to make Princess Leia talk, and when they threaten her loved ones she sends them on a wild goose chase to Dantooine, resulting in Tarkin throwing a tantrum and ordering her execution.
I was comparing it to other stories in which the "heroes" use torture. Obviously bad guys using it is different, and features several cases similar to this. ESB also had the same thing, with Vader never even bothering to interrogate Han as the purpose was creating a disturbance in the Force for Luke.
Thanas wrote:I don't know, if you are one of those "brown people are not real people" types then it gets real easy to wank to that as the unstoppable force killing dirty savages.
Despite being better overall, Captain Philips largely had the same ending, as another notable example. It feels quite odd to be encouraged to root for the Goliath. To an extent superhero movies are the same phenomenon, and arguably caused by it. Contrast this to the original Star Wars in which the good guys were obvious as they were in the smaller ship.
Thanas wrote:I don't know, the raid scene isn't that more boring than any other scene. I think Bigelow just didn't have decent editing.
It was probably a desire to feel "realistic" and thus proper drama is secondary.
Metahive wrote:You know what should be bad for morale? Being in an organization that employs sadistic psychopaths to torture people for no reason but maybe petty revenge.
It was bad for morale. Between torture and the Iraq debacle in which the experts were ignored, the CIA lost a lot of their best people in the middle of the Bush years. Their replacements are those with the current morale problems, who considered themselves to be at war in which anything was justified.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Grumman » 2014-12-13 05:52pm

CIA morale 'deeply hurt' following Senate report wrote:The US Senate report on the CIA's interrogation methods has unleashed a fierce debate about America's intelligence services. CIA director John Brennan has defended his agency's program, in contrast to President Obama.
"The CIA is going through a huge morale problem," said US security expert Harlan Ullman in an interview with DW, commenting on the recent US Senate report on the CIA's interrogation methods, which has made serious torture allegations against the secret service. "CIA employees believed they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They find this to be a devastating critique."
And really, doesn't hurting the CIA's feelings make us the real torturers?*

* No.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-14 04:09am

Adamskywalker007 wrote:Despite being better overall, Captain Philips largely had the same ending, as another notable example. It feels quite odd to be encouraged to root for the Goliath. To an extent superhero movies are the same phenomenon, and arguably caused by it. Contrast this to the original Star Wars in which the good guys were obvious as they were in the smaller ship.
Bullshit. Captain Phillips had a clear message that the pirates were only doing bad things due to circumstances. ZDT? "Because they hate us".
Captain Phillips treated people like people. In ZDT they might just as well be robots.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-14 08:03am

Thanas wrote:Bullshit. Captain Phillips had a clear message that the pirates were only doing bad things due to circumstances. ZDT? "Because they hate us".
Captain Phillips treated people like people. In ZDT they might just as well be robots.
While obviously Captain Philips was a much better movie in every way, primarily its sympathetic antagonists, it is still part of a major trend in American cinema in which one is expected to root for the Goliath.

As a side note, Greengrass also made the excellent and underrated Green Zone, a thriller about the WMD hunt in Iraq, also starring Matt Damon. It was rather critical of the initial American response to "victory" in Iraq.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by jwl » 2014-12-14 10:38am

In the dark knight batman used completely ineffective torture on the joker. It didn't have any negative side effects, but it didn't have any positive ones either.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-12-14 01:34pm

While there are still a lot of root-for-David stories going into American media, the root-for-Goliath aspect is there now that I think about it. Although I'm not sure superhero movies are a good example of this. To take the highest profile success yet, Avengers, the heroes are arguably Goliaths... but they're up against a demigod with an unlimited energy source, mind-control powers, and his own army of aliens with jetbikes and ray guns.

So it's more like "root for good Goliath against bad Goliath." Or possibly "root for Achilles against Hector."

[Although Achilles was arguably the bad guy. ;) ]

Also, antiterrorism stories are arguably a new twist on the old "hunt for the criminal" storyline, which is time-honored. The main difference is that the criminals are more likely than normal to be irredeemable mass murderers, while the 'detectives' are replaced by state antiterrorism agents. If you view antiterrorism stories as an outgrowth of detective stories, then the detective is nearly always the side of Goliath.
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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by jwl » 2014-12-14 03:13pm

root for goliath: superman vs lex luthor?

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-12-14 05:56pm

jwl wrote:In the dark knight batman used completely ineffective torture on the joker. It didn't have any negative side effects, but it didn't have any positive ones either.
I had almost completely forgotten that movie. Wasn't much of a fan myself, but I didn't dislike it enough for it to be memorable in that sense either.
Simon_Jester wrote:Although I'm not sure superhero movies are a good example of this. To take the highest profile success yet, Avengers, the heroes are arguably Goliaths... but they're up against a demigod with an unlimited energy source, mind-control powers, and his own army of aliens with jetbikes and ray guns.
I hate to take this discussion even further off topic, but I would say it is more than arguable. Loki is tough and the Chitari are numerous, but the Avengers have a stronger demigod, a man with a nearly invincible suit of armor, an invincible force of nature, and a super soldier. They are backed up by an organization with seemingly unlimited resources. The only threat in the second Captain America movie is that organization being turned inwards.

This is another trend in modern espionage/government thrillers, that of the internal enemy, generally from the same nation as the hero. Classically there was generally an external enemy rather than the internal one. Look at the Bourne novels versus the films. In the books the threat was not the CIA chasing him, it was his current enemy finding him while he was amnesiac.
Simon_Jester wrote:So it's more like "root for good Goliath against bad Goliath." Or possibly "root for Achilles against Hector."

[Although Achilles was arguably the bad guy. ;) ]
That is a rather apt example given that Achilles was all but guaranteed to win.
Simon_Jester wrote:Also, antiterrorism stories are arguably a new twist on the old "hunt for the criminal" storyline, which is time-honored. The main difference is that the criminals are more likely than normal to be irredeemable mass murderers, while the 'detectives' are replaced by state antiterrorism agents. If you view antiterrorism stories as an outgrowth of detective stories, then the detective is nearly always the side of Goliath.
This is an interesting angle that I hadn't really though of much, but even this is actually still something of an example. In classical mystery novels, from Sherlock Holmes to Sam Spade, the hero was almost always a private detective of some sort with limited resources and no real authority. It is only more recently that the heroes became police officers the majority of the time.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by General Brock » 2014-12-14 11:59pm

While some details of CIA torture admitted to/boasted of may be more in-depth, the revelations are not necessarily a surprise to antiwar watchers.

Recent articles have come out asking to abolish the CIA. Its all very interesting, but this one from Jacob Hornberger says:
The CIA is at the rot at the center of the U.S. Empire. It does the dirty work – the torture, the murders, the assassinations, the regime changes, the coups, the secret prison camps. The secrecy of its operations is guaranteed. No one dares to jack with the CIA. Other federal departments and agencies, as well as Congress, essentially operate in a support role.
Which leaves one wondering why he just wrote an article that jacks the CIA. Hornberger is a Somebody; not your average everyblogger lost in the shuffle. Its not the first time someone has called for the abolishment of the CIA, though.

Canegie Endowment (2005) Link
In his memoir, Present at the Creation, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson expressed his misgivings about the creation of the CIA in 1947. "I had the gravest forebodings about this organization and warned the President that as set up neither he, the National Security Council, nor anyone else would be in a position to know what it was doing or to control it." In 1991 and again in 1995, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan introduced bills to abolish the CIA and assign its functions to the State Department, which is what Acheson and his predecessor, George Marshall, had advocated. But Moynihan's proposal was treated as evidence of his eccentricity rather than of his wisdom and never came to a vote.
So it seems the CIA has rivals within the military industrial complex. For one, the State Department's Bureau of intelligence and Research. The same organization advocated by Senator Moynihan.

Dissent Magazine
... but then as now the case for transferring the CIA’s analytical functions to another government agency remains strong. Perhaps the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research could be expanded: it was alone in the government in refusing to subscribe to absurd predictions of the imminent collapse of the Vietnamese Communists. More recently, it was correctly reticent when the CIA legitimated the charlatans who fabricated evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
There's also the story that a CIA faction helped Edward Snowden blow the whistle on the NSA.
We have no way of knowing whether NSA is actually being brought down by CIA or not. What we do know is that Snowden’s transition from zero to immaculate spy was managed by Booz Allen and CIA; that if he was not a Chinese recruitment in Hawaii (still our preferred explanation) then this report rises in credibility; and that NSA has clearly crossed over too many boundaries with Wall Street elites and their political servants. CIA is known to have been running operations on the US Congress for decades, but those are ham-fisted and marginal in value compared to NSA’s being able to grab every call, every webcam, every text on anyone. From a revolutionary stand-point, if this story is even partially true, the war between CIA and NSA (as well as the war between CIA and FBI) is representative of a collapse of the elite police force, and along with the stories of banking suicides, arrests, retirements, and murders, a clear milestone toward a public uprising to put down an out of control government that has sold out to a deeply evil cabal in constant betrayal of the public trust. We do not know the facts. We sense opportunity in chaos — “fire in the lake” — and pray that good will come all this.
Odds are the CIA won't stay down for long, being Wall Steet's most favoured, but neither is it the centre of their shadowy universe anymore.
February 21, 2012 "Information Clearing House" --- One of the most successful frauds ever perpetrated upon the American people is the notion that the CIA exists to provide intelligence to the president. In fact, the CIA’s intimate links to Wall Street strongly suggest that the CIA was created to serve the perceived interests of investment bankers. The well documented links to Wall Street can be traced to the founding of the agency.

According to former CIA director Richard Helms, when Allen Dulles was tasked in 1946 to “draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency,” he recruited an advisory group of six men made up almost exclusively of Wall Street investment bankers and lawyers. Dulles himself was an attorney at the prominent Wall Street law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell. Two years later, Dulles became the chairman of a three-man committee which reviewed the young agency’s performance. The other two members of the committee were also New York lawyers.i For nearly a year, the committee met in the offices of J.H. Whitney, a Wall Street investment firm.ii

According to Peter Dale Scott, over the next twenty years, all seven deputy directors of the agency were drawn from the Wall Street financial aristocracy; and six were listed in the New York social register.iii So we see that from the beginning the CIA was an exclusive Wall Street club. Allen Dulles himself became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence in early 1953.

The prevalent myth that the CIA exists to provide intelligence information to the president was the promotional vehicle used to persuade President Harry Truman to sign the 1947 National Security Act, the legislation which created the CIA.iv But the rationale about serving the president was never more than a partial and very imperfect truth.

Abolishing the CIA may or may not be necessary, and at least two agencies could call dibs on its portfolio. The NSA could duplicate and exceed the CIA intelligence gathering mandate. The State Department can handle its own dirty work. Yet, its not likely any of the acronymic organizations are about to fail or even at war. Looks like the CIA is getting a 'there is no 'I' in 'team' slapdown by the military-intelligence-industrial complex, with an all-clear call given for a little public roasting. Its not like any of the other security elites are condemning the use of torture.

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Re: The CIA Torture Report

Post by Thanas » 2014-12-15 08:50am

Elfdart wrote:Especially since Obama has decided to be Joe Paterno to Bush's Jerry Sandusky.

And here's the reason why Obama has forever lost any respect I had for him:
ULM, Germany — Khalid al Masri is a broken man today. A decade after the CIA snatched him by mistake, flew him half way around the world in secret, and questioned him as part of its detention and interrogation program, he’s yet to recover.

He’s abandoned his home. He no longer is part of the lives of his wife or children. Friends can’t find him. His attorneys can’t find him. German foreign intelligence will say only that he’s “somewhere in a western-leaning Arab nation.”

When his Ulm attorney and confidant Manfred Gnjidic last saw him, he was broke, unkempt, paranoid and completely alone. He’d been arrested twice and sent once to a psychiatric ward, once to jail. He was in deep need of psychological counseling but with no hope of the extensive help he needed.

Masri’s case is one of the 26 instances detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee report where the CIA snared someone in its web of secret dungeons by mistake, realized its error after weeks or months of mistreatment and questioning, then let them go. But the report, made public Tuesday, does not recount what that mistake meant to al Masri’s life.

“I was stunned by the torture report,” Gnjidic said. “They had known and privately admitted for years that they had made a mistake regarding Khalid,” who is a German citizen.

And yet the CIA, which realized its error within weeks of al Masri’s January 2004 detention, remained silent, as did the Senate Intelligence Committee, which learned of the mistake in 2007.

“For a decade, a decade in which his life has been shattered, he’d asked for . . . an apology, an explanation, a chance to go ahead with his life,” Gnjidic said. “They knew this, they admitted this and they didn’t share this with him?

“How cowardly must they be, how weak must they be, to fear apologizing when they knew they were completely in the wrong.


Masri’s CIA detention, which combined with Macedonian intelligence detention which Gnjidic believes was at the request of the CIA, totaled 35 days by CIA count, but closer to four months by Masri’s.

The Senate report does not discuss his treatment in detention. But al Masri has insisted over the years that he was tortured. He’s described being shackled to the ceiling while naked, unable to sit for days, existing on nothing, in the dark, a scenario that appears to be common in the torture report. A European court ruled in 2012 that he’d been sodomized and drugged.

The shadow cast by that detention saw him labeled by German media as an “Islamist extremist.”

Neighbors shunned him. Potential employers turned him away. In 2010, the German national newspaper Bild ran a story about him under a headline asking “Why do we allow ourselves to be terrorized by such a man?”

The article went on to state that “for months the Islamist who claims to be a victim of CIA torture has terrorized the federal government, parliament and the public.” His terrorism of the federal government apparently was in asking for redress and an explanation for what had happened to him.

As Gnjidic notes, and the Senate report makes clear, those answers were available to Masri years before he finally broke. A grocer and a mechanic before he was detained, he was arrested the first time in 2007 for setting fire to a store over a dispute over a broken iPod. His second arrest came when he attacked the mayor of Ulm in 2009, reportedly over the city’s approval of a permit for a legal brothel.

But the truth of his case was evident just days after CIA agents stuffed Masri’s head into a hood and chained him to the floor of an aircraft that took him from Europe to Afghanistan in January 2004. The Central Intelligence Agency officers tasked with getting at his terror connections soon expressed doubts about whether he had any.

In emails contained in the Senate report, CIA officers in Afghanistan noted that Masri, who’d been on a cheap bus vacation to Macedonia, “seemed bewildered on why he has been sent to this particular prison . . . adamant that [CIA] has the wrong person.” The officers agreed with this, as did their “RDG,” an acronym that is not otherwise defined in the report.

He’d been picked up, after 23 days of similarly pointless interrogation in Macedonia, because counter terror Alec Station officers reported that “al Masri knows key information that could assist in the capture of other al Qaida operatives that pose a serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests and who may be planning terrorist activities.”

As the CIA became convinced it had the wrong guy, the question became what to do with him. Their decision was simple, fly him back to Macedonia, dump him on a roadside, hand him 14,500 euro (about $17,000 at the time) and tell him to make his way back home.

According to the Senate report, the CIA Inspector General concluded in a secret report on al Masri’s detention that “[a]vailable intelligence information did not provide a sufficient basis to render and detain Khalid al Masri.” The inspector general concluded that the “agency’s prolonged detention of al Masri was unjustified,” according to the Senate report.


On Oct. 9, 2007, the Senate report said, the CIA informed the Senate Intelligence Committee that it had “lacked sufficient basis to render and detain al Masri” and that the judgment by operations officers that al Masri was associated with terrorists who posed a threat to U.S. interests “was not supported by available intelligence.”

That finding was never made public, however, and there were no consequences for those who made the mistakes. The Senate report notes that the CIA argued against punitive action because “[t]he Director strongly believes that mistakes should be expected in a business filled with uncertainty and that, when they result from performance that meets reasonable standards, CIA leadership must stand behind the officers who make them.”

Neither the report nor the available CIA documents discuss what to do about the victim of that mistake, however.

In subsequent years, German officials insist that the CIA made investigating al Masri’s claims impossible by refusing to provide information. In the United States, the case he pressed over his torture failed, with the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear it in October, 2007 – the same month the Senate was informed that there had been no valid reason for his detention.

U.S. attorneys in their briefs to the Supreme Court never confirmed or denied his allegations, but said hearing the case could jeopardize American security secrets.


In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Macedonia to pay al Masri 60,000 euros, at the time about $80,000, saying he’d been sodomized, drugged, flown to Kabul via Baghdad against his will and that his surrender by Macedonian authorities to the United States exposed him to “a real risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

The CIA refused to comment for this story. CIA director John Brennan did not address and was not asked about the mistaken detentions in an unprecedented televised news conference he held on Thursday.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the Human Rights Program at the American Civil Liberties Union, represented al Masri in his U.S. case, and still represents him in a case pending before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He said every American should pay attention to al Masri’s case because it’s a perfect example of the cost of allowing an intelligence agency run wild, without even minimal legal restraints.

“If you’re looking to show criminal conspiracy, look at this case,” he said. “His case is important in determining what went wrong.”

Why? It’s not as simple as the fact that Masri was wrongly arrested. He was. And it’s not as simple as the torture he had to endure, the life he lost. The great tragedy here is that there was no reason for him to be a part of the CIA rendition program. Yet he was, and the CIA has yet to publicly own up to that mistake.

“Masri brought his case, he told his story, and they knew it was true,” Dakwar said. “Yet he never received redress. He never received an apology. He never even received acknowledgment. His case gives you an idea of the level of lawlessness, the magnitude of this atrocity. His life was devastated. And the United States didn’t care.”
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