A Former FBI Interrogator Testifies Under Oath that Torture Doesn't Work

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 13, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    The Senate is holding torture hearings today (as I type).

    Ali Soufan is a former FBI interrogator who was present for the CIA interrogations of Abu Zubaydah during the spring of 2002.

    Abu Zubaydah is the high-value terror suspect that was waterboarded by the CIA 83 times.


    The former FBI interrogator has just flatly contradicted (under oath) the claim from the 2002 torture memos (which were cited by Cheney and others as proof) that harsh interrogation techniques worked.


    Ali Soufan is the FBI agent that got Abu Zubaydah to talk without torture.

    --------------------

    Here's some quick background info. This is from a Newsweek article published a couple weeks ago:

    The arguments at the CIA safe house were loud and intense in the spring of 2002. Inside, a high-value terror suspect, Abu Zubaydah, was handcuffed to a gurney. He had been wounded during his capture in Pakistan and still had bullet fragments in his stomach, leg and groin. Agency operatives were aiming to crack him with rough and unorthodox interrogation tactics—including stripping him nude, turning down the temperature and bombarding him with loud music. But one impassioned young FBI agent wanted nothing to do with it. He tried to stop them.

    The agent, Ali Soufan, was known as one of the bureau's top experts on Al Qaeda. He also had a reputation as a shrewd interrogator who could work fluently in both English and Arabic. Soufan yelled at one CIA contractor and told him that what he was doing was wrong, ineffective and an affront to American values. At one point, Soufan discovered a dark wooden "confinement box" that the contractor had built for Abu Zubaydah. It looked, Soufan recalls, "like a coffin." The mercurial agent erupted in anger, got on a secure phone line and called Pasquale D'Amuro, then the FBI assistant director for counterterrorism. "I swear to God," he shouted, "I'm going to arrest these guys!"

    Ali Soufan Breaks His Silence | Newsweek National News | Newsweek.com


    --------------------


    Anyway. Ali Soufan, in his opening testimony this morning, credited his own use of non-torture interrogation techniques (traditional techniques) to extract the information we got.

    Read that again: The way the U.S. was able to extract intel from the detainee was through traditional (non-torture) interrogation techniques. Soufan testified nothing important was gotten through "enhanced" techniques: stripping them naked, dropping the room temp to freezing, blasting rock music, the coffin-sized torture box, waterboarding, stress positions, etc.


    This is a key moment, because a passage in the 2002 torture memo has been held up again and again as proof that torture did extract key info.

    But Soufan is saying itÂ’s false. And he was there.
     
  2. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Professor David Luban, a legal ethicist, just testified that the torture memos (the ones justifying torture) were "an ethical trainweck".

    All these enhanced interogation tactics were (are) illegal, so the Bush administration had to create and construct legal memos in 2002 to justify breaking international law (the Geneva Conventions).

    Luban said that the torture memos were reversed engineered to pre-determine the outcome.
     
  3. thadjock

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    is anybody really surprised to find out cheney and bush et al lied (and are still lying) about torture working and getting life saving information out of detainees.

    they lied about EVERYTYING FROM THE BEGINNING! and they're still LYING!

    cheney is dr evil, he got his rocks off torturing people, he never gave a shit whether it produced anything useful. and bush is the clueless fucking idiot who just signed off on everything cheney wanted. they are 8 years of the blackest stain on this country's reputation the world has ever witnessed.

    we should stop feigning stunned amazement and start prosecuting these bastards.
     
  4. SilverTrain

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    Remember in "Lethal Weapon II" when the main baddie kept getting out of trouble by smugly invoking "diplomatic immunity"? That's rather what it's been like the past few years. Every time the administration got in trouble it would trot out "national security" as a sort of "get out of jail, free" card, justifying any and every criminal abuse of power imaginable.

    It's about time someone got all Roger Murtaugh on their asses and "revoked" their assinine immunity.
     
  5. pym

    pym New Member

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    I just saw this on Yahoo.....Mr. Obama wants to block releasing the photographic evidence of physical ABUSE {read: TORTURE} of prisoners of war on the advice of generals on the ground in IRAQ.
    The reason is that it will insight more violence in RETALIATION.
    I am guessing that there are some really nasty goings on in those photo's.
    Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos
     
  6. pym

    pym New Member

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  7. tripod

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    Those pictures are fucking INSANE!! Is that first dude covered in shit? :eek:

    The truth is out, torture doesn't work.
     
  8. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    The fact that people are actually trying to debate or even VALIDATE torture at this point is beyond sickening.
     
  9. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    pym:

    The reason these photos are important is because they provide a link to understanding that the torture abuse at Abu Ghraib was not an isolated incident or the work or a few "bad apples", as the Bush administration claimed.

    These new pics showed systematic abuse, a pattern. They showed the same torture techniques being used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and at military prisons in Afghanistan as well as at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

    In court, this could be used as evidence that Bush administration officials (Donald Rumsfeld for starters) were consenting to enhanced interrogation techniques, that approval came right from the top, because these techniques were systemic, pervasive, they were techniques that suddenly cropped up in mid-2002 and were used in ALL secret U.S. military prisons and CIA black sites that operate outside of US territory and legal jurisdiction.

    We prosecuted the kids at Abu Ghraib for what they did. Now, we have new photos (that the ACLU sued to get declassified, a lawsuit they won) that show the same abuse all over again in many locations.
     
  10. pym

    pym New Member

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    I don't think that the photo's posted by MSN.com come anywhere near as bad as the one's Mr.Obama is seeking to keep from release.....if that can be believed.
    And the fuck of it?
    I am not so bleeding heart liberal that i can't understand the need to ocassionally "Do what ya gotta Do" in a clear and PRESENT danger situation.
    This is different though...from what i can see{clearly}
    I saw GLEE in the eye's of the captors.They have clearly lost there humanity.
    America MUST surrender the moral highground. It has become perfectly clear what we as a nation are willing to tolerate.
    I KNOW.....no matter how many people in this forum try to de-humanize him.....Barack Obama would NOT have endorsed this.
    That is why i voted for the man.
     
    #10 pym, May 13, 2009
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  11. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    What a remarkable skill to possess. You can see emotion in a man's cornea. What, are you one of the *X-men* if so, what is Wolverine like? He seems pretty cool.


    You voted for him simply just because he wouldn't have allowed enhanced interrogation procedures?

    You are dead wrong. If Obama were in that situation, he would have signed off so quickly on those methods your head would spin.

    He's still having suspected terrorists shipped off to other countries to be tortured, so your so called 'moral high ground' is a load of bullshit.
     
  12. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

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    Well, Star, I respectfully disagree. I believe President Obama is a better man than GWB and Dick Cheney. Perhaps when he is tested in to a similar degree, we will know.

    I think it's an interesting defense of the Bush administration -- 'we were really really scared, so we HAD TO TORTURE!' Not that it was helpful (it wasn't), not that it makes us safer (it does not), not that it is legal (it is not).
     
  13. bigbull29

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    I agree with you, buddy. I don't side with anti-torture zealots on here no more than I do the anti-circumcision ones.

    Have any of you worked in national security? Do you have any idea what goes into keeping this country free every day? Protecting us from outside evils?

    Obama is a sneak: he would authorize torture if this country were really at a last resort to get answers to protect us from a horrible attack on our soil.

    What is truly laughable is that all of you who are so opposed to enhanced interrogation techniques would not hesitate to use if you knew that your own life was at risk. It's just an example of "esprit de contradiction", as you all could really care less about the well-being of a terrorist or "suspected" terrorist.

    Again, moral zealots on here, who say: "Yeah, women, go get an abortion at 9 months, but don't ever torture a man who would do anything to see the demise of your country. Truly absurd!
     
    #13 bigbull29, May 13, 2009
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  14. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    bigbull29 writes: Obama is a sneak: he would authorize torture if this country were really at a last resort to get answers to protect us from a horrible attack on our soil.

    --------------------

    We are not talking about "last resort".

    Cheney and Rumsfeld made a FRANCHISE out of torture techniques.

    It was not "last resort". It became the way business was conducted against all detainees.


    Anyway. Witness after witness (CIA & FBI interrogators alike) now revealing these enhanced interrogation tactics "don't work". More reliable intel was obtained from "traditional" non-torture techniques. Vent your anger towards the FBI & CIA agents. They're providing the intel today in the senate hearings.
     
  15. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

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    Bull --

    Here is the problem with the ethical dilemma you posit. Of course, a person would do almost anything in a crisis to survive, even heinous, despicable acts. The survivors of the whaling ship Essex turned to cannibalism, the mother hiding from the Nazis in Schlinder's List smothered her own child, etc. History is littered with these reminders that we are, in fact, animals. We can think of a scenario in which we would take extraordinary steps to save a family member. I likely would.

    What the Bush administration did was entirely different. The administration attempted to redefine the law to fit their needs and establish yet another precedent for unconstrained executive power. Bush could have gone to Congress and asked for anything in the light of day. He did not. The OLC was asked to give a redefinition and justification for torture. This was really 'sneaky' to use your word. Bush has attempted to *institutionalize* torture.

    If (and that is an IF the size of a small planet) there ever is a ticking time bomb, the President should authorize it, but also be responsible for that singular decision.
     
  16. dreamer20

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    pym needs no special skills to see that glee in the eyes of the U.S. captors who did evil to their Abu Grahib detainees and kept them in appalling conditions. He, and anyone else, need only look at the Abu Grahib photos to confirm this. I recommend watching "The Prisoner" to remind you of their misdeeds in Iraq.

    The Prisoner: Or How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair | Top Documentary Films


    56
     
  17. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    You'll also find former FBI Interrogators that will swear by "enhanced interrogating."

    Maybe this guy just wasn't a very good listener. :scratchchin:
     
  18. thadjock

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    prosecuting and convicting soldiers or agents for carrying out orders handed down from the commander in chief is bullshit.

    they are duty bound to execute their orders no matter what they are, or they'll face court martial.
     
  19. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    There's a good reason, I suppose, that Obama is now being extremely cautious and backpeddling on previous remarks.

    The ACLU won a lawsuit. They won the right to get the new torture pics declassified (the date given: May 28th). Again, the pics are important because they prove that torture was not "a last resort". They prove that the enhanced techniques were standard CIA operating procedure, was the way the CIA interrogators were doing business as usual in Iraq, in Cuba, in Afghanistan.

    If Obama were to acquiesce and release the photos (as he promised), then this whole thing will only get bigger and blow up in all our faces.


    It's clear torture was sanctioned. It's clear Cheney and Rumsfeld sanctioned it. It's clear that these techniques were not used sparingly, as a "last resort", by a few "rotten apples", but were the modus operandi.

    If we move deeper into this torture controversy, it will only serve to split this country violently. It will endanger our american troops like it did with Abu Ghraib. It will completely suck all the oxygen out of Obama's plans to move forward with healthcare reform and his Big Picture agenda because it could become all-encompassing.

    I wish there were a way to put Cheney on trial and not have the issues explode in our faces. We need to LEGALLY get back to the Geneva Convention. It's a no-win situation if you're Obama and wish to move on and get your healthcare program and domestic agendas implemented.

    We've learned, however, that the 83 times Zubaydah was waterboarded yielded no special intelligence. FROM A GUY WHO WAS THERE. We've learned that stripping the detainees naked and dropping the temperature to freezing and getting out the attack dogs and slamming heads into walls yielded no special intelligence.

    The FBI interrogator said in the senate hearings today, under oath, that all the good reliable intel we obtained from Zubaydah and others was gotten through traditional non-torture methods. And he should know because he got Zubaydah to talk through traditional means.


    This is not some random CIA/FBI insider story. This is THE insider story, the FBI interrogator that witnessed it all.
     
    #19 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 13, 2009
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  20. Guy-jin

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    It doesn't matter what people "swear by".

    If they testify and bring evidence that "enhanced interrogation" yielded something of value, then it matters.
     
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