The lonely truth

The lonely truth

In a darkened room sits a man whom the American government says is a senior al Qaeda official. His interrogator, a long-serving CIA agent named Glenn Carle, thinks the man is far from a terrorist mastermind, but a bewildered halfwit. Carle’s handlers tell him the man’s silence proves he knows something, and insist “enhanced interrogation techniques” – many would say torture – will produce answers. Carle demurs, but is ignored, and his prisoner, while never entering a courtroom, will spend the next seven years in a secret jail far from American shores before his quiet release.

These are the bare facts of Carle’s book, The Interrogator, which in the year since its publication has destroyed his life. It has caused outrage everywhere except America, where it has been smothered by what he claims is an insidious whispering campaign by friends of former American vice- president Dick Cheney. “Every word,” he says, intensely. “Every f—–g word is true.”

They called his publisher, he says, asking them to pulp his book; they rang every major network to prevent him going on air. They are, he says several times, “vicious” and have perpetrated a stain on America’s national character.

And so Carle has begun to travel. He has been well received in Germany, Australia, Canada; he has come to New Zealand because the Star-Times wanted to interview him and he wanted to go hiking. Over lunch, he says: “They realised they could not keep me from every interview everywhere, so their strategy is to keep me from the major networks, then it doesn’t matter if I talk to some guy in Auckland, or some guy in Butte, Montana, for a radio station that reaches 500 shepherds, for ‘if we keep him off the major networks, then he does not exist’.”

For those who listen, he has an amazing tale of how the War on Terror warped America’s foreign policy and tested their laws and morals. Carle is bitter about the neocons, the new American right, who redefined what was acceptable, legally and morally, in these uncertain times. In particular, he despises George Bush’s deputy attorney-general, John Yoo, who wrote the “torture memo”, which permitted and claimed as legal such practices as sleep deprivation, binding in stress positions and waterboarding. Carle’s prisoner, in his book codenamed CAPTUS, was surely subject to some of these, despite no evidence ever being tabled to suggest he was not a low-level money-changer, rather than, as the CIA speculated, Osama bin Laden’s banker.

 

Click to read more: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/6996281/The-lonely-truth

Interview: CIA got the wrong man, says ex-CIA agent

Interview: CIA got the wrong man, says ex-CIA agent

The use of the torture by the CIA post-9/11 has been revealed by one of its former agents, Glenn Carle. In 2002, Carle was tasked with interrogating a suspected high level al-Qaeda member using so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. But when he found the suspect was the wrong man, he found himself in the difficult position of criticising the value of a high profile CIA case and the institute’s use of torture. He sat down with the Wire’s Biwa Kwan to talk about the repercussions of the Bush administration’s torture policy, beginning with his insider’s account of what went on inside the CIA’s interrogation room.

Click here to listen to the interview: http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=9154

There is no defense for torture (letter to the editor of Washington Post)

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Date: May 7, 2012

Sources: Washington Post

We fundamentally disagree with Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.’s defense of what he called “enhanced interrogation techniques” [“How we really got bin Laden,” op-ed, May 1].

Mr. Rodriguez argued that these techniques were legal, but he based this assertion on a single memorandum: the “torture memo,” subsequently denounced by legal scholars and withdrawn. Mr. Rodriguez claimed that the ends justify the means and that these techniques were necessary and effective. But the techniques were designed to obtain compliance, not facts. The reliability of “facts” obtained from torture is harder to substantiate than information obtained from acceptable interrogation methods.

Torture is immoral and contrary to the teachings of all religions. It is degrading to the victim, perpetrator and policymakers. As a nation founded on religious and moral values, the United States cannot begin to move past the shameful use of torture until Americans ensure that government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Mr. Rodriguez’s justifications for the use of torture impede us from this important task.

Glenn L. Carle and the Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Washington

Glenn L. Carle was the CIA’s deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats from 2003 to 2007. Richard L. Killmer is executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

The CIA Interrogator – Interview with Glenn Carle (ZMAN Magazine)

The CIA Interrogator – Interview with Glenn Carle (ZMAN Magazine)

The 9/11 attacks changed America forever. No longer would it be enough to wait for terror to come to the US. It was time to take the battle to the terrorists themselves. Central to this effort was a campaign to identify and abduct terror suspects, whisking them off the street to secret locations and employing all methods necessary to extract information from them that might be used to save innocent lives.

 

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Torture useless in hunt for bin Laden

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“I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden,” Matthew Alexander told The Huffington Post.

Alexander, an Air Force interrogator, was able to successfully locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.

Alexander, along with other intelligence professionals, said the use of torture may cause people to lie or make false confessions.

“They gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us,” Alexander said of several Guantanamo Bay detainees.

“[Osama bin Laden’s death] vindicates the Bush administration, whose intelligence architecture marked the path to bin Laden’s door,” John Yoo, the former Justice Department official under the Bush administration who authored the secret ‘torture memos,’ said on Monday. Under Bush, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e. torture, was legally sanctioned.

A 2006 study by the National Defense Intelligence College found that rapport-based interrogations are very effective in obtaining information, whereas coercion involving physical brutality consistently builds resistance and resentment.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, repeatedly misled interrogators on a key al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Sheikh Mohammad, who has reportedly been waterboarded 183 times in one month, has been subjected to other physical abuses upon being detained by US authorities.

“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” spokesman for the National Security Council Tommy Vietor said.

Glenn L. Carle, a retired CIA officer said that torture, “didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information,” in tracking down bin Laden.

LF/PKH/MMN

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Bin Laden raid renews debate on interrogations: USA Today

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When Barack Obama became president, he announced an end to the enhanced interrogations of al-Qaeda leaders at secret detention facilities that his predecessor, George W. Bush, said were essential to breaking up terror networks in the long-term.

Obama instead ramped up the targeted killing of terrorists with drone strikes, taking out many more than under Bush.

But the revelation that tips prodded from captured al-Qaeda members subjected to “enhanced interrogations” led to the capture of Osama bin Laden has ignited a debate over whether Obama should revisit the policies he cast aside.

John Yoo, the Bush White House lawyer who ruled that terror suspects were “enemy combatants” could be handled outside the criminal justice system said the United States is “losing vital intelligence opportunities if we are killing bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders when we have the opportunity to capture them.”

Michael Vietor, spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council, said the value of the enhanced interrogation techniques has been overblown.

“It’s impossible to know whether information obtained by EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) could have been obtained by other forms of interrogation,” Vietor said. “There’s no way that information obtained by EITs was the decisive intelligence that led us directly to bin Laden.”

Other CIA operatives say the program was ineffective in the long-term.
Glenn Carle, a former CIA operations officer who interrogated a suspected al-Qaeda leader, said the Bush detainee program was “a hugely labor-intensive operation” that’s “not sustainable for a large number of people over an extended period of time.” Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was eventually found and killed without enhanced interrogation techniques, said Matthew Alexander, a retired Air Force officer and interrogator.

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Former CIA Interrogator: Painstaking Intelligence Work, Not Torture, Responsible For Bin Laden Capture

What if a tiny piece of information that led to bin Laden came from torture or EITs? Today, Glenn Carle — who served 23 years in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and for a time led the interrogation of a high value detainee — told ThinkProgress that if it the answer is yes, the right-wing will use that and say, “See torture works.” While Carle said it’s possible that EITs might provide information, that doesn’t mean they should ever be used:

CARLE: Well I change the tense and say not that they will use that but that they are using that within I think four hours of the announcement that bin Laden’s death.

Ultimately you get to an ends means debate. … The ends does not justify the means and you don’t build a policy, in this instance with regard to acceptable legal procedures, based upon the hypothetical, theoretical case which is five or ten standard deviations from the norm which happens one time in 5 million. What you do is you base your policies on an ever-changing calculus of probability likelihood and what is considered liked and works. And the answer to all of those questions should quite clearly exclude EITs. Is it possible that a specific piece of information from time to time would come from EITs? The answer is yes. To be fair the answer is yes. Does it justify using them? A categorical flat no.

Carle also said that during his time at CIA, “almost all the information obtained from EITs was recalled…because it was viewed as unreliable.”

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Bin Laden’s Death Rekindles Torture Debate

The killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has reignited the debate over torture. Advocates of “enhanced interrogation techniques” argue the mission validates their position, while others contend that tough questioning played a small role.

Former Bush administration officials, such as John Yoo, who authored memos justifying the techniques, and members of Congress, such as House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., were quick to claim vindication. However, The New York Times reported that the techniques played a small role at best in identifying the courier that led to bin Laden’s lair.

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