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KILLER_CLOWN
12-12-2007, 09:01 AM
Former CIA Interrogator: We Carried Out Torture Because The White House Told Us To
In an interview last night with ABC News, John Kiriakou — the CIA official who headed the team that interrogated al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah — said that Zubaydah was waterboarded, but defended those actions as having prevented “maybe dozens” of planned attacks and “probably saved lives.”

But despite his vigorous defense of his past conduct, Kiriakou says he now views what he did as torture and says that he would not recommend those tactics going forward. “We don’t need enhanced techniques to get that nugget of information,” he said in an interview with Matt Lauer this morning on The Today Show.

Lauer asked Kiriakou where the permission was given to carry out torture. “Was the White House involved in that decision?” Lauer asked. “Absolutely,” Kiriakou said, adding:

This isn’t something done willy nilly. It’s not something that an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides he’s going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner. This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department.

Lauer then referenced an earlier interview he did with President Bush, in which Bush said he was assured by the Justice Department “we were not torturing.” “I disagree,” Kiriakou said. Watch it:


As evidence increasingly builds for the argument that CIA interrogators carried out illegal acts of torture, the New York Sun reports that President Bush may soon decide to issue pardons:

With talk of a special prosecutor again in the air and the looming prospect of a Democrat taking over the White House, CIA officials involved in prisoner interrogations and the disputed handling of videotapes of those sessions may seek the only ironclad assurance against any criminal prosecution: a presidential pardon. […]

“I think there’s a real possibility one of President Bush’s last acts very well might be granting immunity to certain CIA employees,” a defense attorney who has defended military personnel accused of prisoner abuse, Frank Spinner, said. “I think it depends in part on the election.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/11/kiriakou-white-house/

Amnorix
12-12-2007, 09:21 AM
Good luck finding a paper trail.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 09:27 AM
Good luck finding a paper trail.

Good luck obtaining corroborating testimony, and evidence that will constitute proof that the legal standard for "torture" was violated.

One guy's purchased opinion, book deal, and fifteen minutes of fame, can make for good yellow journalism....but doesn't stand up in court.

Cochise
12-12-2007, 09:30 AM
I can't say that I'm against it in every circumstance, and I don't think that most people would be. They did it to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and (although I'm sure it's just a bunch of neocon lies) he provided a lot of valuable information.

The point of all of it is that we have to use discretion. The most severe techniques should only be used when the possible outcomes from it make it make sense. When you have a very high value prisoner or you believe time is essential then it might be necessary.

I can't say I would never give the order. We ought to keep all options on the table and use them all prudently depending on the situation.

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 09:35 AM
I can't say that I'm against it in every circumstance, and I don't think that most people would be. They did it to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and (although I'm sure it's just a bunch of neocon lies) he provided a lot of valuable information.

The point of all of it is that we have to use discretion. The most severe techniques should only be used when the possible outcomes from it make it make sense. When you have a very high value prisoner or you believe time is essential then it might be necessary.

I can't say I would never give the order. We ought to keep all options on the table and use them all prudently depending on the situation.

I agree. If we have to torture someone the POTUS alone needs to make that decision and it has to be on a case by case basis.

I agree with McCain on this issue for the most part since he was actually tortured and has the most credibility but if a scenario played out that we need to find a nuke and the only way is to torture then you have to do that.

Donger
12-12-2007, 09:36 AM
Does anyone actually think that it's a bad to interrogate captured terrorists? If so, why?

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 09:41 AM
Does anyone actually think that it's a bad to interrogate captured terrorists? If so, why?

To interrogate definitely not but to condone torture it depends.

Donger
12-12-2007, 09:42 AM
To interrogate definitely not but to condone torture it depends.

Depends on what?

Cochise
12-12-2007, 09:47 AM
I agree. If we have to torture someone the POTUS alone needs to make that decision and it has to be on a case by case basis.

There's never going to be a perfect decision-making process that is going to please everyone. One side of the aisle is always going to say it was unjustified, no matter what the circumstances. The other side is going to say, no matter what, this information could have saved American lives so any means are justified.

They are never going to please everyone. All you can do is put prudent people in charge and give them guidelines. But the unique situation that intelligence assets operate in demands that they have authority to operate in the field as they feel they need in a timely fashion. They can't be sitting there in a basement in Baghdad, with a guy who knows where an explosives cache is, waiting for a panel of 10 Congressman to get back with them on whether it's ok to slap a guy in the face a couple of times or give him a shiner or something.

Brock
12-12-2007, 09:59 AM
Does anyone truly imagine that this country went through WWII and the cold war without torturing people, and I mean a lot of people?

Radar Chief
12-12-2007, 10:09 AM
Depends on what?

The value of the prisoner, I would assume. We don’t want to go torturing every Hadji caught up in a sweep. Thats what al Qaeda does and those tactics have turned a once semi supportive public against them.

Radar Chief
12-12-2007, 10:11 AM
There's never going to be a perfect decision-making process that is going to please everyone. One side of the aisle is always going to say it was unjustified, no matter what the circumstances. The other side is going to say, no matter what, this information could have saved American lives so any means are justified.

They are never going to please everyone. All you can do is put prudent people in charge and give them guidelines. But the unique situation that intelligence assets operate in demands that they have authority to operate in the field as they feel they need in a timely fashion. They can't be sitting there in a basement in Baghdad, with a guy who knows where an explosives cache is, waiting for a panel of 10 Congressman to get back with them on whether it's ok to slap a guy in the face a couple of times or give him a shiner or something.

Or have Lindy England point at his peepee and giggle. ;)

StcChief
12-12-2007, 10:11 AM
Did we cut his head off when were done... Ok then.

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 10:16 AM
There's never going to be a perfect decision-making process that is going to please everyone. One side of the aisle is always going to say it was unjustified, no matter what the circumstances. The other side is going to say, no matter what, this information could have saved American lives so any means are justified.

They are never going to please everyone. All you can do is put prudent people in charge and give them guidelines. But the unique situation that intelligence assets operate in demands that they have authority to operate in the field as they feel they need in a timely fashion. They can't be sitting there in a basement in Baghdad, with a guy who knows where an explosives cache is, waiting for a panel of 10 Congressman to get back with them on whether it's ok to slap a guy in the face a couple of times or give him a shiner or something.

Once again I agree. I don't care if they rough someone up I don't consider that torture but waterboarding is and should only be used on a case by case basis.

The value of the prisoner, I would assume. We don’t want to go torturing every Hadji caught up in a sweep. Thats what al Qaeda does and those tactics have turned a once semi supportive public against them.

Yep that is exactly what I think.

banyon
12-12-2007, 10:20 AM
Does anyone truly imagine that this country went through WWII and the cold war without torturing people, and I mean a lot of people?

Uh, yes?

http://www.goodtimeoldies.com/Files/john.mccain.jpg

McCAIN: I am astonished that Mitt would think such a torture would be inflicted on anyone who we held captive and anyone could believe that that's not torture. It's in violation of the Geneva Convention. It's in violation of existing law. If we're going to get the high ground in this world and we're going to be the America that we have cherished and loved for more than 200 years. We're not going to torture people. It's clear the definition of torture. [Waterboarding] is in violation of laws we have passed.

Cochise
12-12-2007, 10:23 AM
Once again I agree. I don't care if they rough someone up I don't consider that torture but waterboarding is and should only be used on a case by case basis.


I don't think we should cause any permanent damage, or probably any serious bodily injury at all. We shouldn't be cutting off fingers or tearing out nails... well, in all except the gravest of circumstances.

I don't see waterboarding as being in that category. I don't see firing an empty gun or a blank at them as being in that category either. Legbreaking or something like that is different. If I'm not mistaken there's no risk of actual death if it's done properly and there's no permanent damage.

In fact, we might be better off if we officially condoned this and a proper process was laid out with people educated on what to do and not do if it's to be used, to keep them from accidentally hurting them permanently.

Pitt Gorilla
12-12-2007, 10:29 AM
One guy's purchased opinion, book deal, and fifteen minutes of fame, can make for good yellow journalism....but doesn't stand up in court.It's interesting that so many that come out against the administration are branded as having a "purchased opinion" or the like.

Brock
12-12-2007, 10:30 AM
Uh, yes?


http://crookedtimber.org/2007/12/07/torture-in-germany-after-world-war-ii/

You and Mr. McCain are invited to wake up.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 10:38 AM
It's interesting that so many that come out against the administration are branded as having a "purchased opinion" or the like.

So, you have knowledge that he is NOT being paid for these interviews, or exploring that famous "book deal"??? :shrug:

If so, I'll be happy to retract my statement.

Pitt Gorilla
12-12-2007, 10:43 AM
So, you have knowledge that he is NOT being paid for these interviews, or exploring that famous "book deal"??? :shrug:

If so, I'll be happy to retract my statement.Of course not, as I didn't state or imply any such thing (your logic skills have really gone to pot). However, you must have knowledge that he IS being paid for these interviews, or exploring that famous "book deal," given your statement. Feel free to share.

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 11:01 AM
I don't think we should cause any permanent damage, or probably any serious bodily injury at all. We shouldn't be cutting off fingers or tearing out nails... well, in all except the gravest of circumstances.

I don't see waterboarding as being in that category. I don't see firing an empty gun or a blank at them as being in that category either. Legbreaking or something like that is different. If I'm not mistaken there's no risk of actual death if it's done properly and there's no permanent damage.

In fact, we might be better off if we officially condoned this and a proper process was laid out with people educated on what to do and not do if it's to be used, to keep them from accidentally hurting them permanently.

Waterboarding is a crime in the United States.

Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

Under the laws of the land, U.S. personnel who order or take part in waterboading are committing criminal acts—torture, assault, and war crimes—which are punishable as felony offenses. The Department of Justice should clarify this to all U.S. personnel, and prosecute violations of the law.

With that being said I agree once again with the majority of your post my concern is that waterboarding should only be done on a case by case basis and has to be approved by the executive branch.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 11:14 AM
Of course not, as I didn't state or imply any such thing (your logic skills have really gone to pot). However, you must have knowledge that he IS being paid for these interviews, or exploring that famous "book deal," given your statement. Feel free to share.

:spock:

YOU responded to my post, stating I was "branding" him as offering a "purchased opinion."

Excuse me for making a reasonable and rational assumption, given the state of politics, common practices in the media, and the trend in sensationalistic journalism and book deals.

I don't KNOW if he was paid; but you don't know he wasn't either. I consider it a reasonable assumption though. I'd love to find out though....and am willing to bet, I'm right. If not, as I said...I'll happily retract my statement.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 11:16 AM
Waterboarding is a crime in the United States.

With that being said I agree once again with the majority of your post my concern is that waterboarding should only be done on a case by case basis and has to be approved by the executive branch.

Link to the actual law, or source???? :shrug:

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 11:21 AM
Does anyone actually think that it's a bad to interrogate captured terrorists? If so, why?

What is a "captured terrorist"??

Chief Henry
12-12-2007, 11:25 AM
What is a "captured terrorist"??


Its too bad we had to water board. But, did it help ?

patteeu
12-12-2007, 11:30 AM
I don't doubt that this guy's opinion is really his opinion. The vast majority of the things he says in the interview substantiate what this administration has been saying all along. The only major point of contention is this guy's opinion that waterboarding constitutes torture. I think that reasonable people can differ on this issue and it's very clear that the official position of the administration is that it is not. It's no surprise to anyone that waterboarding took place. That's been public knowledge for years. There's no gotcha here in the form of mounting evidence that "CIA interrogators carried out illegal acts of torture". That's just biased reporting intended to sell a point of view.

BTW, what do all the people who claim that "torture" doesn't work have to say about the results of this guy's interrogation of Abu Zubaydah?

Cochise
12-12-2007, 11:34 AM
Waterboarding is a crime in the United States.

So? Just about anything that is ever done in an interrogation is illegal in some other circumstance.

Not to mention that unless I'm mistaken, it didn't happen in the Unites States.

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 11:40 AM
Link to the actual law, or source???? :shrug:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170_pf.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100402005.html

We actually prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes for using waterboarding.

Just for the record I am not against waterboarding I just don't think it should be used all the time and should be used only be executive order or as an extreme last option.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 11:43 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170_pf.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100402005.html

We actually prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes for using waterboarding.

Just for the record I am not against waterboarding I just don't think it should be used all the time and should be used only be executive order or as an extreme last option.

Thanks. Understood.

I appreciate it.

StcChief
12-12-2007, 11:44 AM
So? Just about anything that is ever done in an interrogation is illegal in some other circumstance.

Not to mention that unless I'm mistaken, it didn't happen in the Unites States.there is a reason Git-mo is Cuba.

these enemy combatants are not fighting for a recognized World State. IRAQ,IRAN, etc. so they are terrorists and not part of Geneva convention rules.

chagrin
12-12-2007, 11:52 AM
Does anyone truly imagine that this country went through WWII and the cold war without torturing people, and I mean a lot of people?

How about, every other culture, everywhere has tourtured captives since the dawn of time.

I am finding it difficult to believe that people don't realize this - worlds don't get created by kindness to prisoners.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 11:55 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170_pf.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/04/AR2006100402005.html

We actually prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes for using waterboarding.

Just for the record I am not against waterboarding I just don't think it should be used all the time and should be used only be executive order or as an extreme last option.

According to what's been published, we've only used it on 3 high-value detainees. The technique and safeguards were approved by the President after being reviewed by his Justice Department. And each time it is used, the request must be approved for the specific application up through every level of the "chain of command" (for lack of a better phrase) to the deputy director of operations. It sounds to me like this government has taken a pretty prudent approach to using this extraordinary technique and to preventing it's unwarranted abuse.

HolmeZz
12-12-2007, 12:00 PM
What is a "captured terrorist"??

Anybody we choose to seize.

The sad disconnect here is that people differentiate between innocent Americans and innocent foreigners. Complaints about torturing have nothing to do with not wanting to hurt legitimate terrorists. It has to do with protecting the potentially innocent. Could you imagine what this country would be like if we worked in that manor here?

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:03 PM
I don't know if it's been posted in this forum or not (it probably would have been if a less biased source than ThinkProgress had been used), but John Kiriakou indicated that Abu Zubaydah lasted less than 40 seconds once they started waterboarding him. Kiriakou indicated that that was a pretty long time relatively speaking. He said that Zubaydah came to his interrogation the next morning and indicated that Allah had visited him in his cell and told him to cooperate with his captors fully in order to make things easier on his brothers in captivity. He also indicates that Zubaydah was completely cooperative after that point. LMAO

Another thing Kiriakou talks about in his interview is the way prisoners are interrogated in general. It's pretty much common sense, but he confirms that they start off with very benign techniques and only work their way toward more harsh techniques over a period of time when they run up against a stubbornly uncooperative subject. They don't just jump to the waterboard as soon as they snag a high value target (although I suppose they probably would if they were certain he had extremely valuable information that was also extremely time sensitive).

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:05 PM
Anybody we choose to seize.

The sad disconnect here is that people differentiate between innocent Americans and innocent foreigners. Complaints about torturing have nothing to do with not wanting to hurt legitimate terrorists. It has to do with protecting the potentially innocent. Could you imagine what this country would be like if we worked in that manor here?

How many innocents do you imagine have been subjected to waterboarding?

StcChief
12-12-2007, 12:05 PM
How about, every other culture, everywhere has tourtured captives since the dawn of time.

I am finding it difficult to believe that people don't realize this - worlds don't get created by kindness to prisoners.

no this is a new PC world full of countries that need a group hug.
can't we all just get along.

The new world whiners didn't grow up knowing about WWII Hitler etc
and want to forget about the dictators that followed.... in Africa,ME,SE Asia and USSR.

USA "interrogations" are childs play compared to those countries.

HolmeZz
12-12-2007, 12:09 PM
How many innocents do you imagine have been subjected to waterboarding?

I have about as good an idea as you do. But you're certainly opening up the possibility of that if you begin to rely on getting information from torture.

Would any of you condone this stuff if it happened on US soil?

Cochise
12-12-2007, 12:24 PM
I have about as good an idea as you do. But you're certainly opening up the possibility of that if you begin to rely on getting information from torture.

Would any of you condone this stuff if it happened on US soil?

I don't have any different opinion whether it happens here or abroad.

HolmeZz
12-12-2007, 12:25 PM
You wouldn't have a problem with the government detaining US citizens and torturing them without even a trial?

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 12:25 PM
It's funny. Saddam was a "bad" man because he killed and/or tortured people. Now the US is doing the same thing and people find it acceptable.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:30 PM
I have about as good an idea as you do. But you're certainly opening up the possibility of that if you begin to rely on getting information from torture.

Would any of you condone this stuff if it happened on US soil?

The same people who told us that the US government uses waterboarding (i.e. the government itself) tells us that it has only been used 3 times and they've named two of those subjects: Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I doubt that the third one was a US citizen, but I guess we don't know for sure.

Aside from the Constitutional technicalities involved, the location of these interrogations doesn't matter to me. I am against using this technique on US citizens taken into custody in US territory in noncombat situations though.

dirk digler
12-12-2007, 12:30 PM
According to what's been published, we've only used it on 3 high-value detainees. The technique and safeguards were approved by the President after being reviewed by his Justice Department. And each time it is used, the request must be approved for the specific application up through every level of the "chain of command" (for lack of a better phrase) to the deputy director of operations. It sounds to me like this government has taken a pretty prudent approach to using this extraordinary technique and to preventing it's unwarranted abuse.

If that is the case I don't have a problem with it.

HolmeZz
12-12-2007, 12:31 PM
Aside from the Constitutional technicalities involved, the location of these interrogations doesn't matter to me. I am against using this technique on US citizens taken into custody in US territory in noncombat situations though.

Your morals only extend as far as the border?

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:32 PM
It's funny. Saddam was a "bad" man because he killed and/or tortured people. Now the US is doing the same thing and people find it acceptable.

You're wrong. The US isn't doing the same thing, but that's exactly why people like you want to expand the concept of torture to include things like shaking a guy by his lapels.

Lzen
12-12-2007, 12:35 PM
It's funny. Saddam was a "bad" man because he killed and/or tortured people. Now the US is doing the same thing and people find it acceptable.

Saddam did it to innocent people if they didn't bend to his will or just pissed him off for some reason. The US is doing it to terrorists for reasons that don't need explained. If you cannot see the difference, well, then there is no hope for you.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:37 PM
Your morals only extend as far as the border?

My morals are universal, but nuanced. I'm generally morally opposed to killing, but in defense of myself or my family or innocent strangers or my country, I can see occasions where killing is morally justified.

My caveats were included so that I could make a blanket statement in opposition to this technique. I'd also oppose it in other circumstances involving US citizens abroad, but there may be circumstances where that wouldn't be the case. I'm pretty satisfied with the measures that the administration appears to have taken to avoid excessive use of this technique.

HolmeZz
12-12-2007, 12:38 PM
Saddam did it to innocent people if they didn't bend to his will or just pissed him off for some reason. The US is doing it to terrorists for reasons that don't need explained. If you cannot see the difference, well, then there is no hope for you.

Would you condone the government doing this to US citizens, on US soil, that they suspected could provide them valuable intelligence?

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:39 PM
Saddam did it to innocent people if they didn't bend to his will or just pissed him off for some reason. The US is doing it to terrorists for reasons that don't need explained. If you cannot see the difference, well, then there is no hope for you.

And in addition to this astute observation, the "it" that Saddam was doing is quite a bit different than the "it" that the US is doing.

Cochise
12-12-2007, 12:41 PM
You wouldn't have a problem with the government detaining US citizens and torturing them without even a trial?

As far as I know, none of these people are US citizens, or in any other way subject to Geneva.

But, theoretically if they had an American citizen within the United States who knew of an impending attack, and traditional methods didn't work and the entire process pat described was followed, then I don't think we should take the option off the table.

The issue isn't where geographically it happens or whom it happens to really, it's: is this necessary to get the information we need, and is the information valuable in the sense of protecting lives?

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 12:41 PM
Saddam did it to innocent people if they didn't bend to his will or just pissed him off for some reason. The US is doing it to terrorists for reasons that don't need explained. If you cannot see the difference, well, then there is no hope for you.

What's a "terrorist"? For reasons that don't need to be explained? Sounds like something a bloodthirsty dictator would say. Don't question us, we know what is needed.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:45 PM
What's a "terrorist"? For reasons that don't need to be explained? Sounds like something a bloodthirsty dictator would say. Don't question us, we know what is needed.

If you had to spend some alone time together with a guy you don't know, would you rather do it with someone that George W. Bush describes as a terrorist (e.g. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) or someone Saddam Hussein describes as a terrorist (e.g. Ariel Sharon before the coma)?

Cochise
12-12-2007, 12:49 PM
And in addition to this astute observation, the "it" that Saddam was doing is quite a bit different than the "it" that the US is doing.

What do you mean?

Pouring water over someone's head... throwing a guy into a wood chipper... moral equivalence.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 12:54 PM
What do you mean?

Pouring water over someone's head... throwing a guy into a wood chipper... moral equivalence.

Really. There are quite a few of the anti-Bush/Neocon/GWoT/Iraq arguments that I find annoying, but the "we're as bad as the terrorists" argument against harsh interrogation techniques is in the top 5 I think.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 12:57 PM
How many innocents do you imagine have been subjected to waterboarding?

Nice! LMAO


rochambeau




:rockon:

Cochise
12-12-2007, 12:57 PM
Really. There are quite a few of the anti-Bush/Neocon/GWoT/Iraq arguments that I find annoying, but the "we're as bad as the terrorists" argument against harsh interrogation techniques is in the top 5 I think.

Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but besides the garden variety executions and chemical gas attacks and rape houses and whatall, ...didn't they have a private zoo where one of his sons had fed people to malnourished zoo animals? Lions or tigers or something?

patteeu
12-12-2007, 01:04 PM
Maybe I'm not remembering this correctly, but besides the garden variety executions and chemical gas attacks and rape houses and whatall, ...didn't they have a private zoo where one of his sons had fed people to malnourished zoo animals? Lions or tigers or something?

I don't know if that's a confirmed fact or a just a rumor. I've heard it before but I don't know if I've ever seen it reported as fact.

memyselfI
12-12-2007, 01:05 PM
The truth will set us free...

http://www.cannabisculture.com/forums/uploads/1071293-war_criminal-st.jpg

patteeu
12-12-2007, 01:07 PM
You're pathetic.

memyselfI
12-12-2007, 01:08 PM
You're pathetic.

Coming from you that is quite a compliment. Thank you.

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 01:11 PM
I'm pretty satisfied with the measures that the administration appears to have taken to avoid excessive use of this technique.

Maher Arar

patteeu
12-12-2007, 01:15 PM
Maher Arar

I don't think there is any reason to believe we waterboarded him. I don't think he even claims as much. Do you have reason to believe otherwise?

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 01:18 PM
I don't think there is any reason to believe we waterboarded him. I don't think he even claims as much. Do you have reason to believe otherwise?
Sub-contracting the torture of innocent people is okay?

banyon
12-12-2007, 01:18 PM
I don't think there is any reason to believe we waterboarded him. I don't think he even claims as much. Do you have reason to believe otherwise?
AMY GOODMAN: Maher Arar was the first person to mount a civil suit challenging the U.S. government policy known as “extraordinary rendition.” In October 2002, he was detained at JFK Airport while on a stopover in New York. He was then jailed, secretly deported to Syria. He was held for almost a year without charge in an underground cell not much larger than a grave. Charges were never filed against him.

In a ruling earlier this month, the federal judge, David Trager, said he could not interfere in the case because it involves crucial national security and foreign relations issues. In an 88-page judgment, Trager wrote, quote, “One need not have much imagination to contemplate the negative effect on our relations with Canada if discovery were to proceed in this case and were it to turn out that certain high Canadian officials had, despite public denials, acquiesced in Arar’s removal to Syria.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights launched the lawsuit on Arar’s behalf in January 2004 against former attorney general John Ashcroft and other U.S. officials, seeking undisclosed damages.

Maher Arar joins us on the line right now from Ottawa. Michael Ratner is still in the studio with us from the Center for Constitutional Rights. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Maher Arar.

MAHER ARAR: Thank you for inviting me.

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to the judge’s dismissal of your case?

MAHER ARAR: Well, it was quite shocking. I was not expecting him to dismiss the entire case. All I can say is that in his ruling it seems that the court system is risk of becoming complicit with the Bush administration when it comes to torture.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain briefly what did happen to you, how you ended up in the U.S. government’s hands at JFK Airport?

MAHER ARAR: Well, I had traveled to the States before I had worked in the States. I was not expecting anything really that serious to happen. I was stopped and asked routine questions at the beginning. I cooperated fully. Of course, they denied—they didn’t want—didn’t allow me to make a phone call. But all of a sudden they, you know, after two days of intense interrogation, they chained and shackled me and took me to the Metropolitan Detention Center and, you know twelve—ten days later, they just secretly deported me to Syria, without having—they didn’t—I mean, I was not afforded any kind of due process. I was not afforded the basic rights of—I do not want to say “an American”—the basic rights of a human being.

AMY GOODMAN: What did they do to you in Syria?

MAHER ARAR: Well, you know, they sent me to a country where it is common knowledge that they torture detainees. I was—I spent there a year, ten months of which I was placed in an underground cell. Of course, this is not to mention the beatings, the physical beatings I endured at the beginning when I arrived in Syria. But I can tell you that the psychological torture that I endured during this ten-month period in the underground cell is really beyond human imagination. It is beyond human imagination. I wanted—through my lawsuit, I wanted to hold these people accountable for what they did to me. But, unfortunately, the judge dismissed the entire case. It is really sad.

AMY GOODMAN: Michael Ratner, what about the rationale that the judge used to dismiss thiscase?

MICHAEL RATNER: You know, this was one of the most remarkable and infamous and worst decisions I’ve ever read by a federal judge. I mean, what it really is saying is it gives a green light to the U.S. to take people like Maher Arar and send them overseas for torture. You understand that he had to accept the allegation that the United States government, the Bush administration, intentionally sent Arar over to Syria to be tortured. And on that allegation, he said, “We cannot go into this case because of national security.”

And even worse, in my view, even worse, he wrote an opinion that said it might be one thing to torture somebody for purposes of getting evidence for a criminal case; “that,” he said, “I agree is unconstitutional, but it’s not yet sure under the Constitution or it’s still an open question of whether if you torture someone for purposes of preventing terrorism, whether that is unconstitutional.” In other words, he is buying into the argument, buying into it that you might be able to torture people if your purpose is to prevent terrorism. This is coming from a federal judge.

What’s happened here is the idea that torture is somehow a legitimate means in the so-called war on terror is now seeping into not just the administration and the executive, into the judiciary, into obviously the pundits and everything else. It is one of the most—I mean, I was incredibly flabbergasted when I read that. In other words, you can torture for one reason, but you can’t torture for another. What else do we have to say? This is Pinochet. This is Pinochet saying I can torture in the name of national security, and this is our client on the phone, Maher Arar, who had this happen to him, who was sent to a place by the United States to be tortured.

AMY GOODMAN: We wanted to go for a minute to Alfred McCoy. We interviewed him a few days ago. He’s a professor of history at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of A Question of Torture: C.I.A. Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror. The book gives an account of the C.I.A.’s secret efforts to develop new forms of torture, spanning a half-century. This is a clip of what Professor McCoy had to say.

ALFRED McCOY: Now, this produced a distinctively American form of torture, the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in centuries, psychological torture, and it’s the one that’s with us today, and it’s proved to be a very resilient, quite adaptable, and an enormously destructive paradigm.

Let’s make one thing clear. Americans refer to this often times in common parlance as “torture light.” Psychological torture, people who are involved in treatment tell us it’s far more destructive, does far more lasting damage to the human psyche than does physical torture. As Senator McCain said, himself, last year when he was debating his torture prohibition, faced with a choice between being beaten and psychologically tortured, I’d rather be beaten. Okay? It does far more lasting damage. It is far crueler than physical torture. This is something that we don’t realize in this country.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Professor Al McCoy. Maher Arar, from your experience of being held for almost a year in Syrian jail, your response?

MAHER ARAR: Well, I do agree 100% with what I just heard. I can tell you, for example, during the first two weeks of my stay in Syria, I was physically beaten. What happened during this initial period is I just wanted them to leave me alone, even in that dark and damp underground cell. But after a while, the psychological torture that I endured during this lengthy period, I was ready—I was ready, especially by the end of my stay, by the end of the ten-month period in this underground cell, I was ready, frankly, to confess to anything. I would just write anything so that they could only take me from that place and put me in a place where it is fit for a human being. I was—not only that, I was ready to endure more physical beatings, more physical beatings just to get rid of this place.

AMY GOODMAN: And what did—

MAHER ARAR: And I do agree 100% with what—it’s a personal experience I lived, and I think if you ask other torture victims who have been psychologically tortured, they will tell you the same thing.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what did you confess to?

MAHER ARAR: Well, the false confession was, frankly, at the beginning. They wanted me to say that I’ve been to Afghanistan, which I ended up saying anyway. But what I’m referring to here, even by—after ten months of that psychological torture, if they asked me to sign another false confession, and they told me, “Listen, if you sign this, we will take you to a different place where you could live as a human being,” I would have signed anything.

AMY GOODMAN: The effects on you today, Maher Arar? You have been released. You haven’t been charged. But the effects of what happened to you in Syria?

MAHER ARAR: You know, I’m completely a different person. I still have fears. I don’t take the plane anymore. I don’t fly. I lost confidence in myself. I feel overwhelmed. My—there is some kind of emotional distancing between me and my kids and my family. They ruined my life. They ruined my life, and I have not been able to find a job. People try to—you know, some people I know, they try to distance themselves from me. It’s—you know, I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t think there is any word I could use to describe what I am going through. And I thought when I came back it would take me a month or two months or a year or two years to get back to normal life. It has been two years and four months since I came back to Canada, and there are things that are improved a little bit, but I’m still not the same person, and I’m still suffering psychologically.

AMY GOODMAN: Will you appeal the decision?

MAHER ARAR: One thing I know is I’m not going to give up, whether it’s through appealing or some other process. I have not discussed the details with my lawyers yet, but apparently and most likely we’re going to be appealing the decision.

AMY GOODMAN: Maher Arar, I want to thank you very much for joining us from your home in Ottawa, Canada, and Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, that has taken on Maher’s case. The Center has put out a new book. It’s called Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush.

http://www.democracynow.org/2006/2/27/theyve_ruined_my_life_torture_survivor

banyon
12-12-2007, 01:21 PM
So I think it was just a series of physical beatings.

Chief Henry
12-12-2007, 01:24 PM
Would you condone the government doing this to US citizens, on US soil, that they suspected could provide them valuable intelligence?


If it was going to give us critical information to save an impending attack
to save Americans and our families, you dam right I would condone.

If it would give us critical information to funnell out terrorist right here in the USA, I would hope they would use it if they had too.

Cochise
12-12-2007, 01:25 PM
Sub-contracting the torture of innocent people is okay?

If you know they are innocent, no.

patteeu
12-12-2007, 01:27 PM
Sub-contracting the torture of innocent people is okay?

Are you agreeing that we didn't waterboard him and that you want to change of subject?

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 01:35 PM
So I think it was just a series of physical beatings.

According to who?

:hmmm:

banyon
12-12-2007, 01:42 PM
According to who?

:hmmm:

The guy who was beat. The Canadian Government. Republicans in Congress.

Not Alberto Gonzales, whose reputation for honesty and candor, of course, is beyond reproach.

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 02:02 PM
The Canadian Government. Republicans in Congress...

:spock:

The Canadian Government and Republicans in Congress were beaten too??? Or they were there, to act as corroborating witnesses for the guy who claims to have been beaten?

Either way, I'm appalled.

Bush is the devil, afterall!!!!


;)

Chiefnj2
12-12-2007, 02:05 PM
Are you agreeing that we didn't waterboard him and that you want to change of subject?
Would you rather sit next to Kermit the frog or Ariel Sharon?

banyon
12-12-2007, 02:30 PM
:spock:

The Canadian Government and Republicans in Congress were beaten too??? Or they were there, to act as corroborating witnesses for the guy who claims to have been beaten?

Either way, I'm appalled.

Bush is the devil, afterall!!!!


;)

You asked:


:hmmm:
According to who?

They investigated into the matter and that was their finding of fact. Not sure what else you want. A confession from his Syrian torturer is the only thing that would satisfy you?

Mr. Kotter
12-12-2007, 02:39 PM
You asked:

They investigated into the matter and that was their finding of fact. Not sure what else you want. A confession from his Syrian torturer is the only thing that would satisfy you?

"Finding of fact"?

According to who???




;)