10 December 2014

fridgepunk: (Laughing Man)
From the flag fading across the title bar, you find yourself wondering where the other cliches of satirical hyper-patriotism are; Whither the bald eagle crying the single tear? Where the references to 'murka's freedoms and its love there of? Not to be found here, alas. Though it does refer to the memoirs by the former CIA wonks who were directly responsible for getting CIA really publicly into the torture game, and who presumably are entirely happy having their names placed immediately next to what is clearly marked as NOFORN documents on the world wide web, where FORN'ers like myself are able to access them.

But to summarise the general line of argument these wonks (and by extension the pro-torture camp inside the CIA they represent) are making, you have to just follow the, by now, tried and true four fold path of torture denialism which goes:
  1. We didn't do anything wrong.
  2. If we did something wrong, we checked if it was okay first and were told it wasn't wrong
  3. If we did something we knew and were told was wrong, but it was okay because it was useful.
  4. If we did something we knew and were told was wrong and it wasn't useful, well you have to understand the historical context, 9/11, imminent attacks with nuclear weapons, ticking time bombs, etc...
They reach #4 on the site's main page fairly quickly;

Absent from the report is any discussion of the context the United States faced after 9/11. This was a time we had solid evidence that al Qaida was planning a second wave of attacks against the U.S.; we had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons; we had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City; and we had hard evidence that al Qaida was trying to manufacture anthrax. It felt like a "ticking time bomb" every single day.

You will, like I, be entirely familiar with that time nuclear weapons were smuggled into New York City, such was the deep trustworthiness of the CIA's intelligence and their ability to assess that intelligence for its actual threat potential at that time.

Of course this incompetence on their part is then reiterated again and again[LINK IS PDF] as their key defense; They sucked at actual HUMINT work, so they panicked when it suddenly became really important and then used torture as the equivalent of cramming for a test to make up for their complete lack of information about Al Qaeda.

So for instance they make the claim that after the Vietnam war the CIA had lost most of their capabilities to perform human interrogation programs due to how they let their vietnam era interrogators leave and then began out-sourcing interrogations to countries with terrible human rights records, which in all cases led to human rights abuses.

Indeed, they acknowledge that when they finally caught a major potential HUMINT source in the form of Abu Zubaydah, who is credited as the "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks. They first of all sent him to be interrogated by intelligence forces in [REDACTED but probably Pakistan] before the lack of progress and the inability of the CIA to properly micro-manage the torture sessions prompted the CIA to create the infamous "Black Sites" in the middle east where CIA interrogators could interrogate detainees in-country.

And of course the vital information[LINK IS PDF] they got from torture? How the people they'd detained had been, prior to detaining them, planning on organising attacks, and basically a flow chart of the internal management of AQ based off of guesses made by low ranking underlings in the organisation who'd seen Osama Bin Laden in the distance a few times.

Really saving lives out there guys, great success.

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