US Torturing Suspected Al Qaeda Terrorists? (MLP)
Fri Dec 27th, 2002 at 01:07:30 AM EST
The Washington Post is reporting on the "stress and duress" interrogation tactics being used by the CIA and the US armed forces against Al Qaeda and top Taliban operatives.
From the article:
Those who refuse to cooperate inside this secret CIA interrogation center are sometimes kept standing or kneeling for hours, in black hoods or spray-painted goggles, according to intelligence specialists familiar with CIA interrogation methods. At times they are held in awkward, painful positions and deprived of sleep with a 24-hour bombardment of lights -- subject to what are known as "stress and duress" techniques.
The article goes on to report that those who do not cooperate are often subject to "extraordinary renditions," the name for the practice of turning over suspects to foreign intelligence agencies, notably those from countries which are known to use torture. So far it seems the US has sent suspects to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan to be questioned. Although official CIA policy prohibits its operatives from engaging in or encouraging the use of torture, including turning suspects over to third parties knowing that they will be tortured, The Washington Post characterizes the response of an unnamed Bush administration official saying:
the CIA, in practice, is using a narrow definition of what counts as "knowing" that a suspect has been tortured. "If we're not there in the room, who is to say?"
At a Sept. 26 joint hearing of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Cofer Black, then head of the CIA Counterterrorist Center, spoke cryptically about the agency's new forms of "operational flexibility" in dealing with suspected terrorists. "This is a very highly classified area, but I have to say that all you need to know: There was a before 9/11, and there was an after 9/11," Black said. "After 9/11 the gloves come off."