Last week’s release of the mouth-full, “The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” has exploded so impactful, now it’s recognizable/understood by just three words, ‘CIA Torture Report,’ or ‘Torture Report‘ for short — and all kinds of blowback side-issue shit has been regurgitated.
Use of torture to create a way-false impression in the lying lead-up to the Iraqi invasion, one of them side-issues, that’s really a major linchpin in this whole tortured mess. In the foam off the ‘Torture Report,’ Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, snagged an oldie-but-goodie CIA lie about the link between al-Qaeda and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, and threw it into the fabricated air.
Levin revealed a CIA cable that repudiated the whole shebang — yet George Jr, and his companions in nefarious dealings pretended otherwise. Levin presented (via a statement from his office): ‘But Director Brennan’s letter includes, and therefore finally declassifies, this very clear statement from the cable: “[T]here is not one USG [counterterrorism] or FBI expert that … has said they have evidence or ‘know’ that [Atta] was indeed [in Prague]. In fact, the analysis has been quite the opposite.”
Bullshit as lying.
And worse — tortured at random for nothing, yet continued to lie.
Key element in the squeeze for any-kind of al-Qaeda/Iraq link, from Patrick Cockburn and the real-bottom line on how it all worked:
The CIA tortured al-Qaeda suspects because it wanted evidence that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11 in order to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The agency was under intense pressure from the White House and senior figures in the Bush administration to extract confessions confirming co-operation between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaeda, although no significant evidence was ever found.
The CIA has defended its actions by claiming that it was “unknowable” if torture had produced results, although the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, maintains torture produced nothing of value.
Telling evidence about the motives of the CIA in instituting its torture programme comes in a report on detainee abuse issued by the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2009.
It cited a former US Army psychiatrist, Major Charles Burney, who had been stationed at Guantanamo Bay, as saying interrogators were compelled to give priority to one line of questioning.
“A large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al-Qaeda and Iraq,” he said.
When interrogators failed to do this “there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results”.
On being told repeatedly by the CIA that there was no reliable intelligence about such links, Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld insisted harsher methods be used.
The officer said: “There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder.”
Cockburn is one of the way-better, astute foreign correspondents around.
And, too, the ‘Torture Report,’ despite cries of otherwise, didn’t alarm the world — most knew the shit already. One good look at this reality comes in a piece at the Guardian by Dr Nussaibah Younis, senior research associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy, and America’s real downer:
Almost all state-run media in the region ignored the report entirely, keen to play down their complicity in rendition programmes and their own rampant use of torture in domestic prisons.
And the public in Arab countries took the revelations simply as confirmation of facts that they had long believed to be true.
That the report has prompted such uproar in the US is comic to a region that expects dastardly behaviour from the US.
If anything, many in the Arab world suspect that these admissions are just a small part of a much wider set of abuses yet to be exposed.
Concerns that the release of the Senate torture report would undermine US moral standing in the Middle East fail to recognise the vast damage that has already been done.
Both US inconsistencies in its pursuit of democracy and human rights in the region, in conjunction with a fuelling of anti-American sentiment by state-run press in the Arab world, have contributed to a profound cynicism about US intentions in the region.
The result is that even when the US tries to engage positively with the region, it is met with an unrelenting search for ulterior motives.
(h/t War In Context)
And another lie: Dick Cheney, on ‘Meet the Press‘ from yesterday claimed, among a shitload of other grievous, shitty things, that Hussein was not only a huge WMD threat, ‘“And he had a 10-year relationship with al-Qaida.”‘ Wait a fucking second — PolitiFact checked the facts, found The Dick lying out his ass.
Dan Froomkin at The Intercept nailed the real concept:
Cheney’s most telling response was to Todd’s questions about people who were detained completely by mistake but who were nevertheless tortured — in at least one case to death.
You have to be something other than a normal human being not to be troubled by that.
But Cheney’s response was: “I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.”
And he would famously do it all again. “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective,” he said. “‘I’d do it again in a minute.”
What Cheney was saying is basically: If you have a goal and you kill innocent people while you’re at it, tough shit. That is how terrorists think; it’s not how moral people think — or at least are supposed to think.
The Dick needs some jail time.
(Illustration above: A couple of soul-searching bros from the 1970s, found here).