Skip to comments.I ran the CIA interrogation program. No matter what the Senate report says, I know it worked.
Posted on 04/05/2014 8:42:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
People might think it is wrong for me to condemn a report I havent read. But since the report condemns a program I ran, I think I have justification.
On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIAs program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committees staff, I dont have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.
The committees staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report. Without reviewing it, I cannot offer a detailed rebuttal. But there are things the public should consider.
The first is context. The detention and interrogation program was not built in a vacuum. It was created in the months after Sept. 11, 2001, when nearly 3,000 men, women and children were murdered. It was constructed shortly after Richard Reid narrowly missed bringing down an airliner with explosives hidden in his shoes. It continued while U.S. intelligence learned that rogue Pakistani scientists had met with Osama bin Laden to discuss the possibility of creating crude nuclear devices.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Great read. Thanks!
Jose, if you authorized torture, you are a pig and have assisted in ruining this country.
As a JAG Officer, I cannot tell you how many times I taught in Geneva-Hague Convention classes that, despite how other heathens conduct themselves, Americans are better than that. Our eschewing of torture as required by the Conventions we are signatories to caused many prisoners of war to prefer to be captured and neutralized because they were assured of decent treatment. Once you betrayed our principles, there was no reason for anyone to cooperate with us.
Jose, you can go to hell and take your depraved “program” with you. You made every JAG Officer a liar and we hate that.
If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t use it. It’s a waste of everyone’s time...and time was likely of the essence in most/some cases.
shortsighted and wrong
The left’s opposition is a good example of the idiotic spin the left puts on everything it doesn’t like: rather than admit that it’s effective but argue that we shouldn’t use these interrogation techniques based on moral grounds, they adamantly argue that it’s ineffective, destroying their own credibility. They do exactly the same thing to discredit their positions on the environment and economics.
Proves just how deeply the country was damaged that so-called “conservatives” are defending torture, doesn’t it?
(Also, thanks for your service. Several of my law school classmates went JAG, and to a man, they are some of the best lawyers—and defenders of liberty—I know).
JAG was a great experience, taught trial technique, getting out of the office to go check it out yourself and taking responsibility.
Thank you for your comments.
have you been in combat ?
There comes a point where you can’t restrict yourself to “Marquis de Queensbury” rules.
I think every JAG officer should be required to attend Escape and Evasion School just like pilots and others with high risk of being POW’S. Then they might have a better understanding that water boarding is not torture. We have never had an enemy that in any way shape or form observed the Geneva convention and we on many occasions have violated it where war fighting required it. When it comes to rooting out terrorism we will need people like our CIA to defend ourselves.
I have no sympathy for these terrorist monsters who were not state actors and deserve no protection whatsoever. They need to be eradicated like roaches.
What’s your definition of torture?
no airplane made this hole
Tinfoil hat time.
Our eschewing of torture as required by the Conventions we are signatories to caused many prisoners of war...
I hate to break it to you, but those are not prisoners of war, they are not covered by the Geneva Convention, are not signatories to the Geneva Convention and they target innocent civilians. Under the Laws of Land Warfare they can be shot on the spot as they are simply terrorists.
Whatever it takes to get information to protect American lives, I am all for. Better that those scum get a tough dose of justice rather than see Americans (which I swore an oath to protect) die.
If you are truly a JAG officer, you are a disgrace to the uniform you wear. I'm assuming you took an oath when you became a commissioned officer, so why are you castigating those who would protect American lives?
Our eschewing of torture as required by the Conventions..and every one of these factions are signatories on the same Conventions? And they can/will be held for breaches of this Convention? If they are not legally required to wear uniforms, etc., etc., etc do you, JAG, plan to sue them or the psychotics they represent? Who are these overlords? Name who we are fighting? A religion? Who is the head of that so-called religion? If they cut off the head of one our soldiers who do we redress? Like in Iran where they hung bodies from a bridge. American civilians! Sheesh! Where was the lawsuit then, and who did it go to?
God Bless You. You see through this bulls—ite.
You waterboard a man, Khmer Rouge style, he will tell you everything he knows. Everything. Every time. Every man.
If he is first cautioned that any info he gives up, if found to be un true...will result in additional, punitive board time, he will only tell the truth.
100% of the time, without fail.
Which act were "torture"?
Plan to serve tea and cookies to get murderers like kalid Sheikh to divulge plans.
Good luck with that.
Have you been on the waterboard?
I have. SERE/FASO West, 1978.
In my opinion it is torture by any definition.
To add to the above, I must say I SUPPORT the waterboarding of terrorists, out of uniform.
Zero Dark Thirty may not have been how it happened exactly, but it's close enough. The essential message of that movie... Waterboarding worked and Obama can't make a decision. That Jessica Chastain chick was pretty awesome looking too.
That was a very, very tame version of waterboarding.
God preserve the memory of CIA agent Johnnie Mike Spann, who was essentially torn to death by islamist savages in Afghanistan.
Exactly. As a former CIA OTS officer to the JAG officer: I understand the need to have boundaries for our troops - in general an effective war machine must be self-disciplined - but there is a place for limited and controlled application of hard interrogation (best done outside of the military structure). There is also a time and place for flat out torture although I would never make that legal because it needs to be rare.
I was captured during the evasion portion of SERE, handcuffed and a hood placed over my head. We were loaded onto a truck and driven a mile or so to another place where I heard shouting and screaming.
Two men laid me down on my back, onto a board and tightly strapped every part of my body to it. Ankles, knees, waist, chest, and two places along my arms. Heavy straps, and I found them unbreakable.
Then the hood was removed and I saw a man dipping a large beach towel into a bucket of water. Beside him was another with a waterhose. The towel was folded several time then suddenly placed over my entire face and was held very tight with the man kneeling over me, his hands on either side of my head holding the towel very tightly over my face.
I could not breath. I could not move. All the while the other man was pouring the waterhose over the towel. After what seemed like eternity they released the towel and I gasped for breath.
Then they started asking another man, "what aircraft do you fly? what was your mission?" etc.
When he refused to answer, they placed the towel over my face again and started pouring water over it.
On the fourth run, I lost consciousness.
When I awake there was a Corpsman or doctor checking my pulse and ensuring my airway was open...then to "the boxes" where I was awarded my War Criminal number.
The man was awarded a 100% PTSD disability.
Such an experience will permanently rewire your brain.
Thanks. I was hoping someone who was qualified to say that would do so.
Sad that a JAG doesn’t even understand the purpose of the Geneva Convention. It applies to legal combatants only whose countries are cosignatories. The reason we participated in the Geneva Convention is to avoid mistreatment of our prisoners. It is wrong for us to extend Geneva treatment to these Al-Qaeda animals. It shows our enemies that they can do whatever they feel like to our troops, but that we’ll still treat theirs with kid gloves.
Having to deal with these sea-lawyer JAG’s during my time in the Marines brings back some horrible memories. They are non-combatants and they just don’t get it. They are there to cover the commander’s ass and find a way to avoid taking action or making a decision whenever possible.
you make me sick
Live tough or die weak.
Its both necessary and justified when dealing with mass murderers.
I'm proud that I have been able to help refine the techniques.
I guess you consider what was done at Abu Ghraib as torture. We are defining torture down. What's next? Loud music? A non-halal dinner entree?
Only the waterboard is torture, and a necessary one at that.
Read my post #28 and tell me how you would characterize that event.
I'd be interested in knowing the answer to this question, yldstrk.
I don't consider something that is done to our own people as part of training, as torture when done to the enemy. It was done under controlled conditions with medical personnel in attendance.
WWII was the last war we have been involved in that threatened our very survival. We fought to win with the objective being the unconditional surrender of the enemy. We killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions of civilians including women and children. The fire bombings of Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo were designed to kill as many as possible. And so were the two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
We have created the expectation of antiseptic wars with little or no collateral damage. We go to extreme lengths to spare civilians even it means placing our own troops at greater risk. We have this luxury because of technology and the fact that our very national survival is not at risk in these conflicts like it was in WWII. That could change very quickly if the terrorists detonate a nuclear weapon inside this country or launche a biological attack that kills hundreds of thousands of Americans. We will then become more concerned about the welfare of our own citizens than the "rights" of the terrorists.
According to CIA docs provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee circa 2009, every CIA officer who volunteered and was subjected to the waterboard...when given the chance to capitulate, capitulated within 20 seconds.
They did not release the number of agents who went through it.
But if you assume 2 for every SERE class (FASO West, it's reported other services never allowed the technique) and 5 CIA guys per year, the number of US Citizens who have experienced the waterboard is certainly less then 5000 and probably around 1000.
The US also signed and ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture, not just the Geneva Convention. This requires signatories to not allow torture of anyone in territory under their control. This gives illegal combatants protection as well. This is described as an absolute prohibition meaning that torture may not be used even in an emergency.
You can disagree with being a signatory to this treaty but the fact remains that we did sign it and we should honor our word.
I bet cows will fly before you get an answer...lol. This one hates having her motives questioned.
“Under the Laws of Land Warfare they can be shot on the spot as they are simply terrorists.
Whatever it takes to get information to protect American lives, I am all for. Better that those scum get a tough dose of justice rather than see Americans (which I swore an oath to protect) die.”
Is there any doubt terrorists want us dead? No! So we owe them no apologies for doing what we have to do.
As you said, “Whatever it takes...”
Whether or not it was done to our people is irrelevant. The US is obligated not to perform acts which meet the following conditions (we set these conditions ourselves):
(1) ...the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting fromhttps://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-9&chapter=4&lang=en#EndDec
(1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(3) the threat of imminent death; or
(4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality...
I do, but I support it 100% for illegal combatants and mass murders.
By that definition, ratified by the US Senate under the Constitution, waterboarding is most certainly torture.
I guess you don’t have to worry about the muzzies attacking Vermont, the hippies have already destroyed the place.
1 it is not severe, uncomfortable and unpleasant, but not severe
2 it's not a drug
3 there is NO threat of imminent death
4 no one else is being threatened
Ah yes...we must never make a hardened terrorist uncomfortable. Thousands of innocent lives at risk? Who cares, eh?
It's certain you've never been on the board.
It is severe. Number 3 and 4 of your statement are also incorrect.
Even the CIA has admitted it causes permanent, physiological changes to the brain (from unclassified sources).
SERE West is the only place it's still employed if it hasn't been stopped there by now, too.
Air Force and Army SERE didn't ever employ it according to official docs, but if there's somebody on this forum from one of those services who has been boarded we'd sure like to hear from them.