The Apex of CIA Hypocrisy | The Atlantic

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden was fielding questions about the Senate torture report during a BBC interview Wednesday when he voiced what may have been the least self-aware complaint in the history of the U.S. intelligence community.

Hayden avers that he and the CIA have been treated unfairly. [Read more]

Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon | The Daily Beast

At the CIA’s detention site Cobalt, the lights were never turned on.

The site was blacked out at all times, with curtains and painted exterior windows. It was this location where some of CIA’s the most gruesome detainee abuse occurred, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of the CIA’s interrogation programs released Tuesday. Ultimately Cobalt housed, at one point or another, nearly half of the 119 detainees identified by the report. [Read more]

Torture report’s big bombshell: How a glaring double standard was exposed | Salon

Here’s what it’s come down to in America. The newly released Executive Summary of Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report lays bare that the CIA makes propaganda its business, and the propagandists and perpetrators of torture are enjoying their freedom. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has made truth-telling a crime, and truth-tellers are in jail.

The Executive Summary of Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report brings to light gruesome and shameful details about the U.S. torture program. It describes horrific acts of human degradation (such as “rectal rehydration” when not medically necessary) and the chilling implementation of policies that specifically authorized the abuse far worse than we ever imagined or were ever told. [Read more]

John Brennan’s extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination | The Guardian

Prior to President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush’s programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming “strong criticism in some quarters prompted by [his] previous service with the” CIA. [Read more]

Extraordinary Rendition Report Finds More Than 50 Nations Involved In Global Torture Scheme | Huffington Post

The U.S. counterterrorism practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were quietly moved to secret prisons abroad and often tortured, involved the participation of more than 50 nations, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Open Society Foundations.

The OSF report, which offers the first wholesale public accounting of the top-secret program, puts the number of governments that either hosted CIA “black sites,” interrogated or tortured prisoners sent by the U.S., or otherwise collaborated in the program at 54. The report also identifies by name 136 prisoners who were at some point subjected to extraordinary rendition. [Read more]

Instead of prosecuting torturers, Obama prosecuted the guy who revealed the program | Vox

The details in the Senate report on Central Intelligence Agency torture, released today, are shocking. But don’t expect anyone to be held responsible. The only person the Obama administration has prosecuted in connection with the torture program is a man who revealed its existence to the media.

Much of the information in the report is new to the public, but a lot of it would have been uncovered during a detailed torture investigation Attorney General Eric Holder conducted during President Obama’s first term. After carefully examining the evidence, Holder decided not to prosecute anyone for the CIA’s torture. “The department has declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt,” Holder said when he dropped investigations into two torture-related deaths in 2012. [Read more]

Why Dick Cheney Is Wrong About the CIA Torture Memos | truthout

The Senate Intelligence Committee had to release details on its multi-year investigation into how, under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the Central Intelligence Agency employed tactics that the world understands as torture. A decision to sit on the findings of what the 500-plus-page summary of the report begins by describing as a “brutal” and “flawed” program that was “in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values” would have put senators who are elected to serve and advance the public interest at odds with a basic American premise: the idea that a government acting in the name of the American people must regularly seek and obtain their informed consent.

This premise does not deny the necessity of action in an emergency. Nor does it require consultation so constant or picayune that all flexibility would be lost. But it does expect that officials can and shall be honest with the American people about long-term initiatives, about accepted tactics and about the values that guide this country as it engages domestically and internationally. In particular, it expects frankness and cooperation in interactions with the Congress that the people elect to check and balance the executive branch. [Read more]

There Is Something Worse Than Torture in the Senate Torture Report | Mother Jones

There is something more troubling in the Senate intelligence committee’s torture report than the brutal depictions of the extreme (and arguably illegal) interrogation practices employed by CIA officers in the years after the 9/11 attacks: the lying.

The accounts of rectal rehydration, long-term sleep deprivation, waterboarding, forced standing (for days), and wrongful detentions are shocking. And the committee’s conclusion that CIA torture yielded little, if any, valuable information (including during the hunt for Osama bin Laden) is a powerful counter to those who still contend that so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are effective. But the report presents a more basic and profound question that the nation still faces in the post-torture era: Can secret government work? In fact, while pundits and politicians are pondering the outrageous details of the executive summary, not many have realized that the report, in a way, presents a constitutional crisis. [Read more]


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