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Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Government 207

mrspoonsi sends this news from the Washington Post: "A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques. The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document. ... At the secret prison, Baluchi endured a regime that included being dunked in a tub filled with ice water. CIA interrogators forcibly kept his head under the water while he struggled to breathe and beat him repeatedly, hitting him with a truncheon-like object and smashing his head against a wall, officials said. As with Abu Zubaida and even Nashiri, officials said, CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating."

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So Arrest Them (5, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46635389)

If it's obvious they were assaulting people without cause, why haven't they been arrested, prosecuted and thrown in jail?

Re:So Arrest Them (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#46635435)

More than that, if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them, they have to have some consiquenses for it. Start jailing a whole bunch of people for purgery. Nothing major... Just what Martha Stewart did... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

Re:So Arrest Them (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46635745)

if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them

Just strap the CIA director to a table before the congressional committee and pour water on his face until he tells the truth.

What's good for the goose ....

Re:So Arrest Them (3, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about 6 months ago | (#46636121)

I will gladly contribute money to the election campaign of any otherwise-electable congressional candidate who makes this one of his or her campaign promises.

Re:So Arrest Them (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 6 months ago | (#46636823)

That's as about as likely as a candidate that promises to crack down on organized crime. It'll change when the powers that be decide 'they' don't want to live in a shit hole, not before.

Re:So Arrest Them (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636707)

More than that, if Congress wants people to stop lieing to them, ...

Which is the crux of the point. Congress does *not* want people to stop lying to them. It serves Congress' best interests to have the CIA, NSA, lobbyists, major corporate executives, etc to lie to them because it allows Congress to set the lie as a truth in the Congressional record. At the same time, it's the irrelevant and small that are attacked (Martha Stewart, steroids in baseball, etc) because it's the low level fodder that a few Congressmen can get behind as lamenting while pretending the system they're part and parcel of is good and acceptable.

Because last I checked, neither the NSA nor the CIA fall under the purview of the Constitution* and their blackhole budgets seem an obvious target for defunding, regardless of how honest and good they were. I mean, look at how much effort is meant to cripple Medicare, Welfare, Social Security, etc. Rampant fraud and abuse? Sure, that's the calling card of the NSA/CIA. But at least they feed people, treat them of injury, and provide them shelter and necessary living expenses when old. Nope, the NSA/CIA is the killing foreigner business.

Apples and oranges. Good defense is a good offense, which is why I always random groin kick strangers. Please excuse me if my mumbling of incoherent nonsense somehow makes sense to you and seems justifiable. Because we all know the only ones keep the nukes out of the US are the NSA/CIA...except the ones we have...and that none of the other major powers really want to actually use a nuke and face retribution...and all the smaller groups don't have the resources to build a nuke from scratch..and none of the major powers want to hand over nukes to nut jobs because they're just as likely to be a target. Not to mention that eventually a nuke is going to be stolen/built and used (well, presuming we don't kill ourselves off some other way) and we're just going to have to life with the fact that the genie is really out of the bottle. Nope, the CIA/NSA aren't anti-genies. They're just assholes.

*Most of their actions if part of the military amount to continuous acts of war against other nations, which clearly violation Congress' unique power to declare war and really gives plenty of justification for just about *everyone*, including terrorists, to launch attacks against the US. Outside that scope, the major mechanism for international actions of the sort the NSA and CIA engage in would fall under scope of "Letters of Marque", but that too really wouldn't apply as part of the US government and would be of an on-going basis if done right to be handed out to individuals which Congress itself is unwilling to invest the time into. It's easier to bitch and moan a lot and not do anything real.

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

Borg453b (746808) | about 6 months ago | (#46636907)

I'd mod this as insightful, but I'm all out of points.

Re:So Arrest Them (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#46635519)

Remember the 2007 NIE? They scratch someone's back, someone scratches their back.

Re:So Arrest Them (5, Insightful)

rimwalker (1662459) | about 6 months ago | (#46635699)

Agreed arresting them would be the just thing to do. But like all of the actions from that period their orders originated from the highest levels of the executive all the way to the Cheney and Bush. Arresting the lying CIA officials would entail carrying out a serious and rigorous investigation led by a competent Federal Prosecutor. The whole process was so muddied by politics, revenge and utter disregard for the principals and norms of war (all covered by international treats), but also a blatant disregard for the laws of the USA. Importantly one earliest actions of the Obama administration was to disallow and essentially censor the publication of all photos of torture and ill treatment that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. With that action Obama’s administration instead of cleaning house, made itself complicit in all the actions of torture and extra-judicial killings that occurred under the Bush administration. Of course extra-judicial killings are still occurring today under Obama with the executors being the remote pilot of the drones.

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

tqk (413719) | about 6 months ago | (#46635833)

Agreed arresting them would be the just thing to do. But like all of the actions from that period their orders originated from the highest levels of the executive ...

That thing in the Constitution about rising up and revolting ... Does that include shooting your politicians? You'd think that would be a good place to start. Is anybody doing anything about that?

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636609)

Maybe just change how you elect your politicians.

We the people and the republic we must reclaim - Lawrence Lessig

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawre... [ted.com]

Re:So Arrest Them (1)

someoneOtherThanMe (1387847) | about 6 months ago | (#46637019)

Somebody tried back in '63 but it was not all that well received.

Be neither shocked nor outraged... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636799)

As a simple matter of pragmatism in primate politics, disgusting as what Bushco did is I don't blame Obama. No, and I mean no, US president is going to set a precedent of investigating and potentially arresting the preceding administration's cabinet. That sets an extremely dangerous precedent that's lethally corrosive to the normal succession of power expected in a modern Democracy. It's why Ford pardoned Nixon, and why Bushco knew they would get away with it.

A somewhat smaller scale example would be if the GOP trumps up some excuse to impeach Obama, thereby (since two in a row is a pattern) setting the precedent that every future Dem president can expect an impeachment trial. That this has not occurred indicates that Obama is either cleaner than a cleanroom or covered in more teflon than Michael Jackson...

Plus, to hear the teabaggers tell it Obama is quite literally worse than Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Chairman Mao taking turns murdering baby American Eagles because... reasons. Imagine if he actually went and had his predecessor arrested.

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 6 months ago | (#46635721)

Because they mostly did it to poor people.

Re:So Arrest Them (2)

tqk (413719) | about 6 months ago | (#46635737)

If it's obvious they were assaulting people without cause, why haven't they been arrested ...

Why were they hired? Who hired them, who managed them, who laid down their ground rules? Who did their performance appraisals? Who signed their cheques?

Those people can always find flunkies to do the work (need money feed family|patriotism|...). Go after "Those people."

Re:So Arrest Them (2, Informative)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#46635903)

For the same reason every attempt at investigating this at the time turned into career (if not literal) suicide and went nowhere. Because if you are going to arrest anyone, you have to investigate, and if you investigate, you have to follow leads, and if you follow leads, you will wind up in the 'Oval Office.'

Which has enough juice to quash your investigation and make your life very uncomfortable for trying.

Re:So Arrest Them (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46636245)

...you will wind up in the 'Oval Office.'

Very true, but, contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't stop there. Better pack your bags for a very long world tour.

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636345)

This was allowed to happen and become public, for what one could argue as intimidation. 80% of war is to use psychology to mentally wear down your opponent giving them a sense of fear/impending failure. However it also used as a means to motivate your opponent, or those interested in "joining the cause" now you managed to piss of a new generation of Muslims that probably had no interest in joining.

Thus the US can keep going with its war on terror, they do the same with the war on drugs. Even people within that war know the things they report are bullshit, they reword the reports to make there propaganda seem a reality.

"40% of marijuana is coming from Mexico" bullshit, out of all the marijuana "IMPORTED" from every country outside the US 40% is assumed to be coming from Mexico the truth is they cannot determine how much actually makes into the US. And the fact remains that 92% of the pot smoked in this country was grown within the country. So in the grand scheme of things, Mexico actually only accounts for maybe 2%.

Re:Good luck (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636699)

This isn't so much a war on terror; its a war OF terror. Where the americans arrest, torture and release their possible enemies.

Re:So Arrest Them (2)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46636379)

"Obvious"... omg coolaid drinker. You have no idea about what your speak.

You want better results? Hold "politicians" accountable for the act of entities over which they have oversight... then these people might act as if they are/were accountable. Otherwise these "hearings" are nothing more than a PR opportunity.

Re:So Arrest Them (2)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46636391)

Can't get them for torture as they were enemy combatants. Can't get them for violating POW rights and policies as they were enemy combatants.

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636865)

Because any government agent working against "terrorism" is immune from prosecution. They all get special exceptions.

Re:So Arrest Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636911)

If it's obvious they were assaulting people without cause, why haven't they been arrested, prosecuted and thrown in jail?

Kidnapping and torturing someone for years is the kind of thing that sets you up for capital punishment in the nations that have it.

Sadists, enabled by our government.... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#46635469)

CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46635487)

Enabled? Did you miss the part about the lying?

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 6 months ago | (#46635575)

Enabled: Have you missed the part where no one ever is held responsible?

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#46635577)

Enabled? Did you miss the part about the lying?

Diud you miss the part about how the CIA is part of the government?

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46635695)

Pfft the committee doesn't care about the lying, that goes without mentioning. The report is just retaliation for being spied on. Tit for tat. Nothing will come of it. Yes, we are the enablers.

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 months ago | (#46635495)

April Fool Mr Baluchi! April fool!

Re:Sadists, enabled by our government.... (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46635659)

Our government, enabled by the voters

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636703)

... oh wait, you still seriously believe that? choice of "corporate sock puppet A" or "corporate sock puppet B" on a ballot sheet is not really democracy.

Re:hahaha (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46636751)

If you choose A or B, then sure it is. Over 98% do. It couldn't be more democratic.

Why can't we all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635471)

Why can't we all just get along?

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony.
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company.

Re:Why can't we all... (1)

tqk (413719) | about 6 months ago | (#46635947)

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony.
I'd like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company.

"Sunshine, lollypops and
rainbows ..."

Why are we still fighting crap like this? "Those guys ..." are not people we associate with willingly, yes? So who's letting them get away with this? Somebody shoot the fsckers already! It's self-defence!

Re:Why can't we all... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46636239)

Where does "Coca Cola" come into it?

Re:Why can't we all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636539)

You *do* realize that Coca-Cola has been a CIA partner almost since the creation of both of them? Where do you think the CIA got their cocaine for wheeling and dealing in drugs worldwide, but from the coca processing for Coca-Cola? And how do you think Coke gets its approval so easily to sell products in so many hot spots around the globe, and has "sales representatives" on site who collect "marketing information" from those hot spots?

It's a very cozy relationship.

That's a shocker (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | about 6 months ago | (#46635483)

This shakes my world view to its very core.

Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired.

Re:That's a shocker (5, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | about 6 months ago | (#46635551)

Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired from a cannon into a brick wall.

FTFY.

Re:That's a shocker (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 6 months ago | (#46635591)

Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired from a cannon that was loaded with 3-inch nails, and then with them, into a brick wall.

FTFY

Re:That's a shocker (5, Insightful)

stackOVFL (1791898) | about 6 months ago | (#46635677)

Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired from a cannon that was loaded with 3-inch nails, and then with them, into a brick wall and then slid from the brick wall into a vat of boiling acid.

FTFY.

Re:That's a shocker (0)

gmhowell (26755) | about 6 months ago | (#46635723)

This open sores, continuous improvement thing does seem to work from time to time.

Re:That's a shocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636807)

Also, whoever decided to auto-play audio on Slashdot should be fired

Out of a cannon, into the Sun.

Futurama'd That For You.

Re:That's a shocker (1)

PaddyM (45763) | about 6 months ago | (#46635847)

And whatever slashdot user decided to browse a webpage without NoScript must be new here.

WaPo still won't use word "torture" (5, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | about 6 months ago | (#46635491)

Cowards. They're not willing to call it what it is, because they're still the Establishment Media, and don't want to lose access to the government people who are their big information sources.

At least National Public Radio has the excuse that they're directly funded by the government (and "viewers like you", and grants from Exxon, Archer Daniels Midland, some recent movie, etc.) - it was 10 years after Gitmo before I first heard them use the T-word in a news story; before that it had only been guests on Terry Gross's interview shows (and Terry herself.)

Don't let the right-wingers tell you that either of these are "liberal" media.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about 6 months ago | (#46635539)

Wish I had mod points. This was the first thing I noticed as well. Lots of mentions of "harsh treatment" or "excruciating interrogation methods" and yet they can never bring themselves to admit that it was torture. The closest they come is in saying "methods that Obama and others later labeled torture."

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (5, Insightful)

number6x (626555) | about 6 months ago | (#46636317)

Also the 'T' word: Terrorism.

The point of the torure and the extra judicial imprisonment beyond the norms of warfare is to spread terror and fear in those who are perceived as enemies. In other words, State Sponsored Terrorism.

It does not keep anyone safe. It creates and breeds more hatred and desire for revenge. It isolates the US from allies. It does the exact opposite of ending terroism. Torture is like throwing gasoline on the bonfire of terrorism.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 6 months ago | (#46636937)

It does not keep anyone safe. It creates and breeds more hatred and desire for revenge. It isolates the US from allies. It does the exact opposite of ending terroism. Torture is like throwing gasoline on the bonfire of terrorism.

This.

Something else I find truly and jaw-droppingly shocking is that all the discussion of terrorism remains selectively detached from our own foreign policies. So on the one hand we always hear about terrorism shaping foreign policy, but never about foreign policy shaping terrorism.

"They" don't hate us because of our freedom. And with the possible exception of a very small fraction of true believers, they don't hate us for not being Muslims. Most of them hate us because we've been overthrowing their democratic governments and propping up the brutal dictators in their countries.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (-1, Flamebait)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46636395)

You children don't know what torture really is. Read about how our soldiers where treated in North Korea or North Vietnam. How the captured Soviets were treated in Afghanistan. How North Korea or the old Soviet Union treated dissidents.... Grow up hipsters and hippies. It's a bad, mean old world out there.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (0)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46636411)

Oh, I forgot to mention Monsanto and corn syrup.... losers!

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#46636481)

Read about how our soldiers where treated in North Korea

I have. You should as well. You will learn where the USA learned the waterboarding torture technique from.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636683)

No true Scotsman.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46636715)

Reboot your moral compass.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 6 months ago | (#46636949)

Are you saying that we should calibrate our sense of right and wrong using the worst excesses of our adversaries as baseline? That will predictably turn into a race to the bottom with nothing but losers in the end. "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" (Ghandi)

its called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636711)

... reading between the lines. be thankful you media has managed to get the message out at all, given the level of control exerted by the powers that be over freedom of speech in the USA.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46635643)

WaPo -> Bezos -> CIA

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

pedropolis (928836) | about 6 months ago | (#46635763)

WaPo still employs Mark Theissen as a "thoughtful (in print) opinion writer". The proverbial salesman for "enhanced interrogations". This is printed under the masthead. Really?

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636279)

You didn't finish. It should go:

WaPo -> Bezos -> CIA -> Obama -> liberal -> WaPo -> ...

Now you have your 'liberal' press. You are welcome

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 6 months ago | (#46636159)

There is some ridiculously inflammatory "liberal media" out there; make no mistake. I used to read cracked 24/7 until it turned into...well..liberal media.

That being said this is not it! This is a report from people who would know about people we kind of suspected this of for well..ever.

Obviously this is real, and anyone who thinks it's acceptable isn't a conservative - they're a dick. The republicans of today aren't "real conservatives" at least going by the conservative philosophy. Arguably no one is. However one of the cornerstones of that philosophy is SUPPOSED to be individual rights.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 6 months ago | (#46636291)

I guess "harsh interrogation" is what you get when you aren't very good at torture???? The terminology is fundamentally stupid - if you are compelling someone to do something they don't want to do, and continue to do worse things, isn't that torture- whether its sleep deprivation, water-boarding or the rack really doesn't seem important.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

marcgvky (949079) | about 6 months ago | (#46636385)

OMG seriously.... take some more acid and get more paranoid...

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636857)

Cowards. They're not willing to call it what it is, because they're still the Establishment Media, and don't want to lose access to the government people who are their big information sources.

If you want to call it what it is, call it "fun". There was no discernible other purpose to it.

There is a reason the U.S. is considered the Great Devil.

Re:WaPo still won't use word "torture" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#46636969)

The US is been careful with words in other ways too
"....says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation "safety officers" rather than doctors. "
"CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds" (4 November 2013)
http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]
Also see the Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS)

Nervous about the robot voice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635521)

Great, the robot voice has now started quoting Doctor Who. When and where will this end?

There is no line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635661)

that hasn't been crossed, by both those that beget terrorism.

Ask them about their Medical Torture Program!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635669)

You know...the one with the strong AI that fires radio pulses at humans to cause neurons to fire...

Yes, that satellite based system, you know, the one that tries to hijack the human body remotely...or cause hallucinations...heart attacks...etc...

I'm sure you remember it...lot's of funding...smart computer with a big mouth that likes to chat a lot...

What's it called now? Can't seem to remember at the minute...but its the one you use to record neural activity for real-time decoding and listening to enemy thoughts, what they see and hear...oh, what do they call it...yes, mindreading something or other...tin foil hat thingy cover story and all...

Anyway, what happened to the prosecution for tens of thousands of US and other citizens around the world being sent mad, deformed and murdered???

What? Its still going on...the experiments are not finished because the system has not completed it training?

Well, fuck me...I'll just keep quiet then.

Re:Ask them about their Medical Torture Program!!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635731)

Ask them about their Medical Torture Program!!!!!!

Dear CIA:

What is your opinion of Obamacare?

signed,
A Concerned Voter

WWJBS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635727)

What Would Jack Bauer Say?

Re:WWJBS? (1)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46636415)

Cool

WOoT fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635729)

us3rs', bigAzz,

[sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc] (2)

sehlat (180760) | about 6 months ago | (#46635779)

CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

If the reward for cooperating is torture and more torture, why cooperate? At least keeping silent (or lying in ways not easily checked) can be a form of revenge.

Re:[sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 months ago | (#46635835)

They're looking for the "big fish", the "kingpins". The focus on catching the "kingpin" works equally badly for informants in drug cases.

Re:[sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636393)

Because it is part of the Islamic code that a captive must resist cooperating unless tortured. It's a cultural thing.

During the cold war, some Russian 'diplomats' were kidnapped in Beirut, within 24 hours, several family members of the kidnappers leadership were kidnapped. They discovered this when a corpse was delivered. I won't tell you what they found in his mouth. The Russians were released almost immediately.

Of course, the US is better than that.

Re:[sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 months ago | (#46636421)

Well, just to play devil's (!!!) advocate, because you don't *know* Baluchi is cooperating as fully as he might be.

Ammar Al-Baluchi was unquestionably involved with moving money and goods around for Al Qaeda and was clearly involved with helping many of the 9/11 hijackers. Although that does not necessarily mean he was an active *member* of Al Qaeda or knew exactly what the 9/11 hijackers were up to, he'd have to be remarkably incurious not to know something was up. And he was captured with correspondence that was destined for Osama bin Laden.

So this is a person who, even if he had no specific knowledge of imminent attacks, knows a lot of useful things. But that actually poses a challenge for interrogators. He can give them an impressive amount of useful stuff while holding back even *more* useful stuff.

But one thing is certain: if he *had* known more important stuff, it didn't come out under torture. Nor did torture produce *anything* useful that couldn't be produced using different techniques. And now Americans -- servicemen, agents, and innocent bystandanders -- face an increased threat of torture throughout the world at the hands of people who figure if America does it, Americans should get a taste of it too.

It's important not to be too glib about dismissing torture, because in the future we're going to find ourselves in situations where it seems like a pretty good idea. And the person we're thinking of torturing may be a very bad person -- I don't think it's unreasonable to characterize Al-Baruchi's crimes as "heinous". But if ever torture was going to break the back of an enemy it would have done so with al Qaeda after 9/11.

Well, we tried it and it didn't work. What *did* work was ordinary interrogation and intelligence tradecraft. Which should come as no surprise. We spent the 19th and 20th C perfecting those approaches, and the idea that we could do better by tearing a page out of the medieval playbook should, in hindsight, seem ridiculous.

really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636923)

Ammar Al-Baluchi was unquestionably involved with moving money and goods around for Al Qaeda and was clearly involved with helping many of the 9/11 hijackers

... are you referring to the ones still documented as being alive, or other hijackers?

It's a "boys club" (3, Insightful)

no-body (127863) | about 6 months ago | (#46635811)

with people totally disconnected from the consequences of their actions, driven by some idea and illusion in their head doing the "right thing", not to use he term "pervert", which in fact this is coming from.....

Re:It's a "boys club" (1)

hey! (33014) | about 6 months ago | (#46636449)

And a lot of those boys in the club are working out their Daddy issues.

Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46635817)

I can stand the concept of, in exceptional circumstances, the police or FBI get the evidence illegally. There are cases of murderers where clear evidence has been discarded on the flimsiest of judicial pretexts. So, instead, make the officer or prosecutor who screwed up the case get the same punishment as those convicted, not a slap on the wrist and a wink wink, and not letting the guilty go free. Jail time, and the felony conviction means they lose the right bear arms or vote.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636315)

"There are cases of murderers where clear evidence has been discarded on the flimsiest of judicial pretexts"

You clearly don't understand the (ostensible) purpose of rights and US law. If you don't protect some who are guilty, you risk many more who are innocent.

Although you may be trolling, as your suggestion that people who screw up a case be tried is absurd. Sometimes mistakes will happen, naturally. Now I definitely feel that police and judicial officials should not be treated differently than regular citizens, and should be held accountable when violating the law (unlike the current situation with police beatings and murders), but it would be impossible to be a cop if you were charged with serious crimes anytime an investigation or arrest didn't go ideally.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

EvolutionInAction (2623513) | about 6 months ago | (#46636375)

I don't think he's a troll, because this is something I've thought about myself.

Maybe not get charged with the same crime, but throwing out evidence is stupid. If we know somebody say, committed murder, letting them go to punish the police for violating the rules is mindbogglingly stupid. No, what you need to do is use the evidence that was gathered to get the murderer off the streets, then you try the officer for violating the rights of the suspect.

I realize that there are some problems with this, mostly revolving around how difficult it is to try cops for anything. But right now the punishment that the cop faces is... not getting the conviction. IF he's caught. Of course cops are going to risk it once and a while!

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 6 months ago | (#46636457)

but throwing out evidence is stupid.

No, it's not. Freedom is more important than safety, and not allowing illegal evidence is a pretty good (Though it still doesn't stop them from using other tricks.) way of preventing some government abuses, as it doesn't matter if they're willing to risk punishment or send others to be the fall guys.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 6 months ago | (#46636461)

Of course, this doesn't mean that the people who obtained the evidence illegally shouldn't be punished. That should happen also, to make it even more effective.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46636941)

At the least, termination should be considered. After all their job is to catch the guilty legally and if evidence is getting tossed because they violated people's legal rights, they clearly suck at their job.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (1)

EvolutionInAction (2623513) | about 6 months ago | (#46636559)

I disagree with that as well.

We are willing to sacrifice a certain amount of freedom for safety, or we'd all live in Somolia. I don't have the freedom to punch you, or dig up the highway. It's all a question of where we draw the line.

That said, it's not even the point. Even if we value freedom to a very high degree, the information has already been uncovered. I simply think that we should treat it as primarily evidence of the violation of the suspect's rights. And like any other piece of evidence, it can also be used to prosecute other crimes.

Punishing the police by punishing ourselves just seems counterproductive. If we can generate the same punishing force without hurting ourselves, isn't that better?

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (2)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 months ago | (#46636637)

And then you end up with cops with martyr complexes willing to go to jail for two years to nail a criminal without due process. It allows for a perverse interest to break the law to uphold the law. Even if the punishment is the same as the criminal receives (cop gets death sentence for breaking due process in mass-murder case), there are some who would do it. Better to disallow the evidence.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (3, Insightful)

lonOtter (3587393) | about 6 months ago | (#46636649)

We are willing to sacrifice a certain amount of freedom for safety, or we'd all live in Somolia.

You are not referring to fundamental freedoms. If you are, do not say "we." I am not willing to sacrifice fundamental freedoms for safety; that just leads to things such as the TSA, the NSA surveillance, DUI checkpoints, etc. Even if those things were effective, they would still be absolutely intolerable.

That said, it's not even the point. Even if we value freedom to a very high degree, the information has already been uncovered.

It *is* the point. If we want to make it less desirable for the government to break the law, their ability to use illegal evidence must be severely curtailed. Merely punishing them will not prevent the problem as much as is necessary. It's better that many guilty people get away than one innocent person be harassed by the government illegally.

Punishing the police by punishing ourselves just seems counterproductive.

I'm all for defending individual liberties, and that's why I think illegal evidence should be tossed. This is one aspect of our system that I have no problem with.

Re:Evidence is allowed: the violator gets the same (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46636925)

If we allow prosecutions to succeed on the strength of illegal evidence, we allow a perverse incentive to continue gathering evidence illegally. It has to be perfectly clear that illegally obtained evidence might as well not exist. Otherwise we end up at a point where your rights get violated at the first whiff of suspicion (however unfounded) and nobody ever pays because it never goes to trial.

Add in that convicting a cop will require at least proof beyond reasonable doubt (presuming the prosecutor doesn't just find an excuse not to pursue the matter). In practice, the police still (for reasons that escape me) still get an extra benefit of the doubt. Because of that, we would see abuses run rampant with practically no convictions.

Public trust of the courts, prosecutors, and cops is already falling fast, If we start letting them profit from criminal activity, it will get worse fast.

If you don't want to see murderers go free, hold the police's feet to the fire. If they never violate people's rights, nobody will ever go free because of thrown out evidence.

In cases where a cop plants evidence, he absolutely should face whatever sentence the defendant would get.

you insensitIve cluod! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636099)

for *BSD becaushe

Yet another front which the terrorists won. (4, Insightful)

RJFerret (1279530) | about 6 months ago | (#46636225)

Due to our own actions, the terrorists won yet another round...not a cry I'd championed previously.

The future, scratch that, the present is looking really bleak now that the average civilian can expect to be spied upon, searches and home invasions are being done without cause, due process is ignored, travel is restricted, "Homeland Security" are targeting civilians for desiring sexual contact with minors, and those declared enemies of the state are outright tortured, everything that was considered "evil" about the opposition when I was a child (be it the Third Reich or the Soviet Union) is currently taking place in the United States.

The only thing left is to disarm the populace to prevent revolt, and institute concentration or labor camps.

I never imagined I'd grow up to be embarrassed by my government and everything it stands for. Is fear next?

Re:Yet another front which the terrorists won. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636519)

You should probably cross the concentration and labor camps off your list of things that haven't been done yet. The current prison system pretty much has them covered.

Re:Yet another front which the terrorists won. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636867)

I never imagined I'd grow up to be embarrassed by my government and everything it stands for. Is fear next?

Next? You are not paying attention.

WRONG ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636227)

President Obama OWNS every citizen human being within the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

This activity is PROTECTED by FEDERAL LAW.

This activity can be performed by ANYONE regardless of national affiliation.

The Students of Stanford University can by LAW conduct espionage against any human being including the drones inhabiting the US CONGRESS.

IF PRESIDENT OBAMA IS DISTURBED HE WILL ORDER THE KILLING OF ALL USA CITIZENS TO APPEASE HIS LUST.

Be very careful because your very all and each actions re being recorded and will be used against you for the Purity of Barak Hussein Obama, LORD.

Sell your soul (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about 6 months ago | (#46636233)

People sold their soul and got nothing in exchange. I'd rather have been the martyr than the inquisitor, and that's saying a lot.

Auto-playing audio? This is the end of Slashdot... (1)

adndgamer (1642545) | about 6 months ago | (#46636355)

I hope this an April Fools joke. Otherwise, this is a BAD sign.

Hypocracy (2)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 6 months ago | (#46636359)

We would have to start with Bush and Cheney and the chain of command that obeyed orders. The proper charge might be murder as some of the people died of the torture that was inflicted upon them. Just as we executed German and Japanese war criminals we need to do the same with American officials. Naturally the low ranked guards were the scapegoats and they could not have said no as easily as those above them in the chain of command. Further we turned prisoners over to other nations with full knowledge that unlimited horrors including death would be applied to some of our prisoners. Use the same paint brush that the "too big to fail" jerks received. We are providing absolute proof that American values are a fraud and a falsehood displayed to the entire world including our own citizens. It is a matter of class and race. Certain people are exempt from all law in the US. Bush is one of them. I'm getting old and with luck I will not be alive to see the consequences when the public finally goes into rebellion or supports a foreign power invading this nation. I do think we are building towards an awful rebellion and chaos.

Re:Hypocracy (2)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#46636419)

I would start with us. Through action or inaction we got the government we deserved.

Silly me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636373)

I thought the CIA WAS the government!

The biggest terrorist organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46636397)

in the world, is the U.S. government.

As Dan Froomkin pointed out... (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 6 months ago | (#46636405)

The Washington Post is still too spineless to call it torture.

CIA misled Government about interrogation methods? (1)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 6 months ago | (#46636535)

Does "misled" mean the same as lying about CIA torture methods?

wow (0)

whodunit (2851793) | about 6 months ago | (#46636733)

BREAKING NEWS SPIES LIE
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