Lies About Torture – more diverse perspectives on this breaking story

RAY McGOVERN
McGovern is a former CIA analyst whose responsibilities included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and conducting early morning briefings of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He recently wrote the piece “CIA’s Torturous Maneuvers on Torture.” He said today: “It is bizarre; the Executive and Congress both live in fear of the thugs of the CIA, who have now been joined by Secretary of State John Kerry (probably after checking with the White House) issuing spurious warnings regarding the dangers of releasing the report — as if the ‘bad guys’ have not yet heard of CIA torture! No one — Democrat or Republican — wants the truth to get out about torture techniques authorized by the Bush/Cheney administration, techniques actually demonstrated multiple times in the White House itself to the administration’s most senior national security and justice officials, and then implemented by CIA thugs.

“Far too many ‘notables’ approved the torture or, at least, had guilty knowledge — House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, for example. Likely, an eviscerated (‘redacted’ is the euphemism) Senate report on CIA torture is all we will be permitted to read. At that point, the ball will be squarely in lame-duck Sen. Mark Udall’s court. Will he feel bound by the Omerta-style oath of silence typical of Establishment Washington, or will he have the courage to get the truth out, using his Constitutionally protected right to do so without legal jeopardy?” (McGovern was recently arrested while trying to question retired Gen. and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, see: “Stifling Dissent on the Upper East Side.” His trial date in New York city criminal court isFeb. 4.)

GLENN CARLE
Carle was a career CIA field officer, who retired in 2007 as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats. His book, The Interrogator, details his involvement in the “enhanced interrogation program.” He recently wrote the piece “Torture is Wrong,” which states: “The ‘ticking time bomb’ scenario rests on the flawed assumption that, somehow, torture would provide desperately needed information not otherwise obtainable in enough time to stop the threat. But when people are tortured, they will say anything to try to stop the pain.” See from March in the Guardian: “No proof torture helped U.S. find Osama bin Laden, Senate report concludes.”

MARCY WHEELER
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She blogs at emptywheel.net and writes the “Right to Know” column for ExposeFacts.org, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

She just wrote “Some Torture Facts” which highlights critical information, including: “Torture was authorized by the same Finding that authorized drone killing, heavily subsidizing the intelligence services of countries like Jordan and Egypt, cooperating with Syria and Libya, and the training of Afghan special forces. …

“In late 2002, then SSCI [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] Chair Bob Graham made initial efforts to conduct oversight over torture (asking, for example, to send a staffer to observe interrogations). CIA got Pat Roberts, who became chair in 2003, to quash these efforts, though even he claims CIA lied about how he did so. …

“[Former CIA director] John Brennan has admitted to using information from the torture program in declarations he wrote for the FISA Court. This means that information derived from torture was used to scare [FISA judge] Colleen Kollar-Kotelly into approving the Internet dragnet in 2004.”

Other related pieces by Wheeler include “CIA’s Own Records of CIA’s Lies to Congress.”

SAM HUSSEINI
Communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini wrote the piece “How Colin Powell Showed That Torture Works.” He said today: “Many presumably well-meaning people say that torture doesn’t work. But that’s not true. Torture does work, just not in the way its defenders claim. It’s great at producing false but useful information — like when the U.S. turned Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi over to the Egyptian dictatorship, which tortured him into saying that Iraq was cooperating with al-Qaeda. That figured prominently in Colin Powell’s war speech at the UN, helping provide propaganda for a pretext for war. So torture can actually work quite well.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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