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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Justice Report Provides Gruesome New Details About CIA Program

Michael Isikoff Feb 21, 2010 06:40 PM
The long-awaited Justice Department report on the lawyers who wrote the so-called torture memos provides gruesome new details about the CIA’s harsh interrogations of high-level Qaeda suspects, highlighting issues that could ultimately complicate the Obama administration’s efforts to try the detainees in federal court or even before military commissions.
The Obama Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, has struggled to figure out ways to bring detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), and as many as 20 to 30 others to justice without having their trials get bogged down over claims that they were tortured or otherwise abused by the U.S. government.
But some of the fresh details in the report suggest the Justice Department’s challenge is even more daunting than they had publicly acknowledged and that concerns about what the CIA was doing troubled more than a few high-level Bush administration lawyers for some time.
Much of the attention so far has been over the CIA’s use of waterboarding (in effect, simulated drowning), a technique that was actually used against only three detainees: KSM, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged architect of the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.More

Michael Isikoff Feb 20, 2010 06:08 PM
A crucial CIA memo that has been cited by former Vice President Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials as justifying the effectiveness of waterboarding contained “plainly inaccurate information” that undermined its conclusions, according to Justice Department investigators.
Cheney has publicly called for the release of the CIA’s still classified memo and another document, insisting their disclosure will bolster his claim that the rough interrogation tactics he vigorously pushed for while in the White House yielded actionable intelligence that foiled terrorist plots against the United States.
But a just released report by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility into the lawyers who approved the CIA’s interrogation program could prove awkward for Cheney and his supporters. The report provides new information about the contents of one of the never released agency memos, concluding that it significantly misstated the timing of the capture of one Al Qaeda suspect in order to make a claim that seems to have been patently false. More


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