‘Stunning’: CIA Admits ‘Mistakenly’ Deleting Copy of Senate Torture Report

by Nika Knight – The CIA inspector general—the agency’s internal watchdog—admits to deleting its only copy of the U.S. Senate’s torture report, as well as a backup The CIA’s inspector general office admitted to reporters that the department inadvertently deleted its sole copy of the U.S. Senate’s report detailing the nation’s post-9/11 detention and torture of detainees, Yahoo News reported Monday. The department also deleted a hard disk backup of the report. “Clearly the CIA would rather we all forgot about torture,” Cori Crider, a director at human rights watchdog Reprieve, responded to the news in a statement. The admission comes only days after a federal court ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does not apply to the report, blocking its release to the public. Observers noted that the deletion coincides with widespread government efforts to suppress the document. Yahoo News described the bizarre circumstances that led to the...

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‘I Wished They Had Killed Me’: Victim of CIA Says Torture Worse Than You Know

by Nadia Prupis – Majid Khan, kidnapped by U.S. officials in 2003, said abuse was more brutal than anything which appeared in Senate’s investigative report last year A Guantanamo Bay detainee turned government witness has accused the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of using even more disturbing forms of torture and abuse during secret interrogations than were included in the U.S. Senate’s redacted report last year. In a newly declassified account published Tuesday by Reuters, Majid Khan said that agents subjected him to waterboarding, poured ice water on his genitals, sexually assaulted him, and threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks, and leather belts, among other abuses that were not detailed in the Senate report. “Khan said his feet and lower legs were placed in tall boot-like metal cuffs that dug into his flesh and immobilized his legs. He said he felt that his legs would break if...

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CIA Torture and the Imperialist Toolbox

by Gary Olson – Last August, our Nobel Peace Laureate, President Barack Obama, admitted that “we tortured some folks,” but then added, this is “not who we are.” At best, his statement was a half-truth. First, it’s not “some” folks but massive numbers over a long and sordid history. State-sponsored torture has been an implement in the imperialist toolbox at least since the early twentieth century when U.S. troops employed the “water cure” during the U.S. conquest of the Philippines. Alfred McCoy’s Torture and Impunity (2012) is only one book in a voluminous scholarly literature confirming that from the early 1950s to the present, the U.S. government has been the principal purveyor of direct and indirect torture around the globe. This background of torture in service to empire is the critical missing piece in the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee’s revelations of Oval Office-sanctioned CIA depravity. A few examples include the U.S....

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Abolishing the CIA

by Robert C. Koehler – The shock resonating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report isn’t due so much to the revelations themselves, grotesque as the details are, but to the fact that they’re now officially public. National spokespersons (except for Dick Cheney) can no longer deny, quite so glibly, that the United States is what it claims its enemies to be. We’re responsible for the worst sort of abuses of our fellow human beings: A half-naked man freezes to death. A detainee is chained to the wall in a standing position for 17 days. The stories have no saving grace, not even “good intelligence.” The Axis of Evil smiles, yawns: It’s home. The question is, what do we do with this moment of national self-awareness? Beyond demanding the prosecution of high-level perps, how about really changing the game? I suggest reviving S. 126, a bill introduced into the U.S. Senate on...

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What “Both Sides” Are Ignoring: Torture Did Work… to Produce Iraq War

‘The truth is that torture did work,’ writes Husseini, ‘but not the way its defenders claim. It worked to produce justifications for policies the establishment wanted, like the Iraq war.’ by Sam Husseini – Nothing solidifies the establishment more than a seemingly raging debate between two wings of it in which they are both wrong. Not only wrong, but in their wrongness, helping to cover their joint iniquities, all the while engaging in simultaneous embrace and fingerpointing to convey the illusion of debate and choice. Such is the case with the “debate” on whether torture “worked” following the release of the Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s “Detention and Interrogation Program.” On the one side, we have among others Dianne Feinstein: “The big finding is that torture doesn’t work and shouldn’t be employed by our country” she told PBS. Similarly, a headline in the Hill tells us: “McCain: ‘I know from personal...

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UN Experts to Obama: Don’t Bend to CIA Wishes on Torture Report

Open letter reminds Obama the world is watching, urges him to release transparent torture report by Andrea Germanos – A group of United Nations human rights investigators has written to President Obama to urge him not to yield to the CIA but to release in the most transparent way possible the still-classified Senate torture report on post-9/11 abuses. The Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has been innegotiations with the administration over redactions to the report, thus continuing to delay its release. As David Firestone wrote at the New York Times last week, Deferring to the C.I.A., the White House has blocked Democrats from informing the public as to how much torture went on in the previous administration, and how poorly it worked. The administration is refusing to allow the report to be released if it includes pseudonyms for the C.I.A. officers who participated in the torture program, claiming...

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3 Reasons the Guantánamo Military Commissions Need the Senate Torture Report

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project – On August 1, President Obama acknowledged again that “We tortured some folks.” Last week, one of those people, Abd al-Rahim Hussayn al-Nashiri, was back in the courtroom in the Guantánamo military commissions, where he faces the death penalty for his alleged role in the bombing of the USS Cole. While the CIA’s torture program is now shuttered, its consequences still reverberate in Washington and at the commissions. As the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee fight over the spy agency’s redactions to the Senate torture report summary, here are three key ways in which release of information in the report could impact the transparency and fairness of al-Nashiri’s military commission trial. Defense lawyers, the judge, and the public may get a more complete picture of the CIA’s torture of al-Nashiri and its impact on him and his case....

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