Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CIA Secret File Tests Obama's Pledge

By Jason Leopold
June 18, 2009

President Barack Obama’s promise of a more open government faces a new test this week as his administration weighs whether to release details of a May 2004 internal CIA report about the agency’s use of torture, including how at least three detainees were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Read on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Obama has already failed the test (unless of course one ascribes to the "15th dimension chess" nonsense).

FBI agent Ali Soufan's testimony doesn't seem to have registered with the public. It should have because he not only stated that legal interrogation methods worked but that CIA torture was counterproductive. Soufan was one of the USS Cole investigators who was written about by Lawrence Wright in his book The Looming Tower. Wright stated that CIA conduct in relation to Soufan's Cole investigation "was tantamount to obstruction of justice." That CIA conduct enabled the 9/11 plot to procede as al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar remained free to roam around the US.

It should be pointed out that Helgerson also reviewed all the bizarre CIA conduct in relation to 9/11. His report called for the convening of disciplinary panels for several high ranking CIA officials. Shockingly, Goss and Hayden refused to do so. The public has never seen the full report (just the executive summary was declassified) because the public image of CIA officials is evidently more important than anything else (including national security).

The executive summary was sufficient to demonstrate that Tenet lied. One, 50-60 people at the CIA had seen cables that mentioned al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar's US visas. Tenet had claimed nobody read the cables at that time. Journalist James Bamford reported that two FBI agents assigned to Alec Station in 1/00 were ordered to withhold the fact that al Qaeda operatives were coming to the US. That seems like a rather important detail. The IG summary also mentions that Tenet diverted CT funding to other areas which refutes the tried and true complaint that there simply wasn't sufficient funding.

I know some journalists like to suggest that there is no correlation between bizarre pre-9/11 conduct by CIA officials and post 9/11 claims that police state tactics were absolutely required to prevent terrorist attacks. This is known as the "overreaction theory." Adovocates of this theory say the torture was implemented in good faith by panicked officials who felt guilty for dropping the ball in the lead up to 9/11. It doesn't make sense for a couple of reasons. One, all the pre-9/11 dots don't add up to good faith conduct. In fact just the opposite. Two, the torture program dots don't add up to good faith. Again, it's the opposite.