The White House has confirmed there will be a new interrogation team for key terror suspects.The new team will be called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.
This comes as the Justice Department launches a criminal probe of past CIA interrogation tactics during President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism.
News reports suggest that CIA interrogators used death threats, carried out a mock execution and threatened a suspected AL-Qaeda commander with a gun and an electric drill. It’s illegal to threaten a detainee with imminent death.
The U.S. Justice Department has recommended reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases. The recommendation could lead to the prosecution of CIA employees and contractors over the treatment of terrorism suspects. Is this fair? Are these torture methods too extreme or are they a necessary way to obtain vital information for terror suspects and protect the county? What is acceptable torture?
Blogger Jay Bookman says ‘torture persecutions need to start from the top down’.
But Republican senators have warned against the Holder CIA abuse inquiry stating that it would distract the agency, hamper U.S. intelligence efforts and ‘could leave US more venerable to attack’.
And former Vice President Dick Cheney told The Weekly Standard, a conservative journal, that the decision “serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.”
Is there not a good point in not wanting classified information such as these files to be investigated publicly? Doesn’t that undermine the work of agencies that by definition depend on classified information? Should security institutions be above the law?
This blogger says that sometimes those who make “difficult judgments’ and get caught doing so, it seems, suffer the consequences of being ostracised and prosecuted by the very institutions that ask them to make the ‘hard choices’ in the first place.
Are we not conditioning, too negatively, those who have to make ‘difficult judgments’, which are so inevitable in conflict?”
Also a couple of comments on this blog:
This one from Rob P
“I would ask. Why are TV shows like “24” so popular? Because as much as we wouldn’t want to admit it. We WANT people like Jack Bauer to do what is necessary to protect us. It may only be a TV show, but I’d bet some interrogations have been way outside the “Army Field Manual” and we are safer because of them… I am glad that there are parts of the military and intelligence community that understand that in war, and yes, we and our lifestyle are at war, the enemy we are fighting will try to win at all costs. Those that would undermine our way of life don’t care about any rules, written or unwritten.”
And this one from Jeff who asks what if there is a terror plot..
“Then it will be” why didn’t uncle Sam protect us and do more”… well the guy we had knew but and we asked nicely but he would not tell us the terror plot… LAUGHABLE JOKE!”
Most of the comments we got so far condemn torture and agencies that carry it out. But if it means keeping thousands of people safe around the world, by obtaining valuable information about potential terrorist attacks, should these agencies have some sort of immunity?