.
August 24th, 2009
02:27 PM ET

Five questions for the CIA IG's interrogation report

Bobby Ghosh
TIME

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush Administration might have had a tense weekend. After months of delay and controversy, the Obama Administration is expected on Monday to declassify the 2004 CIA inspector general's report into the agency's interrogation program. Cheney, the most prominent of several Bush-era officials who have vociferously defended the program, faces either vindication or more vilification.

Over the past two days news reports have quoted unnamed officials as saying the IG's findings include instances where CIA interrogators used power drills and even a gun to threaten a detainee; on another occasion, as first reported by Newsweek, they allegedly staged a mock execution. If true, these tactics would go well beyond the coercive techniques permitted by the Bush Administration's legal counsel.

Read more...

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    Well, lets get things going here:
    1. Non-American / cowards/ traitors/wimps: A few terms for those that continually spout how wrong we are in trying to protect this nation!
    2. WE, the american people have NO business trying to find out what the CIA – FBI – NSA are doing, or how they are operating! It should be a criminal charge for ANYONE, leaking secrets, or trying to obtain them, with LONG prison terms given, and NO plea bargains! When it come to secrets this country has become a joke!
    3. For all those "do-gooders": YOU are a big part of the problem and only serve to promote our enemies "propaganda"
    4. OUR WARS: We, the people do not support them! We have been there way to long. WE as a nation need to either support it totally, send EVERYONE and give our military a green light to END IT! If these other countries say NO, then we need to get EVERYONE out!
    Personally, I think we need to leave right now. We are not being truthfull with ourselves, in thinking that we are going to change their beliefs. These "people" are brainwashed from diaper to adult in their hate of us.

    August 25, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  2. David Haahr

    The problem with the current situation is that NOTHING WILL BE DONE!!!!! There will be a very expensive investigation and possible hearing costing more money and by the time it is all settled people will not care. The ones that gave the orders WILL NEVER BE TOUCHED....because those 2 at the top cannot be allowed to be touched,,,George Bush and Dick Chaney....IF and I say that tongue in cheek....IF there is going to be anybody taking the fall...it will be at the lowest step on the food chain...it always is...the guys who thought all this up and gave the orders WILL NEVER IN OUR LIFE TIME EVER BE PROSECUTED!

    August 25, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  3. David Haahr

    Please explain why during WWII, Korean War and Viet Nam war, the American people, CIA and FBI were all against torture of any kind and ESPECIALLY WHERE IT CAME TO AMERICAN GIs and captives.........and now they all think it is OK and ACCEPTABLE? When john McCain was a captive the Viet Namese were just trying to GET INFORMATION as the UNITED STATES IS now. MY question is....what is the difference??? WHY is there a difference being made? WHY does everybody think it is OK now and did not, when AMERICANS WERE CAPTIVES? Funny....when the tables are turned so are the RULES!!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  4. Pvt. E

    I promise this is my last one. People need to remember just because we don't see tanks rolling down our streets doesn't mean we aren't at war. I would never go out in my neighborhood an shoot some one, but in combat it does happen. You can't judge a persons actions in war by a civilian code, or most of our armed forces would be in jail.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:38 am |
  5. Hassan El Mashad

    Good morning AC360
    I have been watching AC 360 repeat itself all night while I am on duty. I am very interested on the argument on this matter of the interrogations of the CIA. I am a Muslim and an Arab as well; but now I live with in the United States of America in which I am a citizen to. Frances Townsend had a good point of view, but I completely disagree with her. People are forgetting one major aspect which is most of those prisoners have not been proven guilty of any charges. It is understandable to scare people to give evident or any kind of information, but in this case they where more likely trying to get back at those who have killed innocent people. But the suffering is going to those who have nothing to do with anything. The interrogation is taken by those who are racist them selves. The view point of a regular American is that every Arab or Muslim (which most Americans don’t even know the difference) is a terrorist. So they try to take their anger out on those who are just innocent. By the court of law there were no charges mad to those people so they may be interrogated but nothing more than just with respect and wisdom. I disagree with terrorists and I disagree with the American view as well. But I can most defiantly say that if a person is welling to kill him self or even bomb him self in to picas than nothing will scar him. If a person is not scared of death than how can u scare him?.... There are those who think that by shooting a gun next door or even killing some one than what difference will it make here. I will call that extortion. This is the USA where are the humans rights? Where are the prisoner’s rights? Is that why I put this person in the middle of the dessert and far away so no one can hear the screaming? What is happening? They say freedom but where? They say right? But how? I am so confused with the American law….
    May be those people deserve it may be not. But what I see is even a dog or an animal would have more rights than those who are prisoner. I mean of a dog pits some one and kills him; it doesn’t suffer but they kill it instantly. Maybe we better of killing them before they even get charged with terrorist act. That will make things so much easier. I see how Anderson is approaching the fact, but who do you have on your show? Some people who have nothing to do with any thing. Anderson may be you should think about getting a prisoner in your AC360 and ask them what they think about the facts and what they have seen. May be even get the police general of the prison and ask him what they have done it will be nothing but lies. Many people look at Arabs as terrorists but I am an Arab and I disagree with every thing they got. But when you put an innocent man in person and you make him suffer and you take his freedom away for years, then you tell him u haven’t been charged you are free to go. Where does u think he will go? You have destroyed his life and his families all he will think about is become an animal who wants his revenge. May be then they really become terrorists.
    Best regards,
    Thank you, Anderson

    August 25, 2009 at 6:36 am |
  6. Pvt. E

    I'm sorry to post so much but I didn't read all the other posts before I wrote. If we are just talking about the legality of this. These individuals are neither American citizens nor, according to the Geneva Convention's criteria, prisoners of war. It is the job of their home countries to protect them, not saying that we can do what ever we want to them mind you. Making good on these interrogator's threat would have still been deplorable, but as I understand there was never any intent to carry them out.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:25 am |
  7. Pvt. E

    And to the guy who said, "Is an American citizen worth more then a suspected terrorist?" the answer is YES! Absolutely yes!

    August 25, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  8. Pvt. E

    As a former infantry man I whole heartily agree with many of the other posters. This people aren't just random joes from down the block. They are terrorists. These are the kind of people who blow up buses and buildings full of civilians, including women and children. They behead prisoners of video, and last time I checked we were not causing any real physical injures to them. All the while gaining intell that saves lives. I believe we're still firmly on the moral high ground.

    August 25, 2009 at 6:07 am |
  9. Dean D. Ellis Lake Worth, Florida

    Thanks Mari, yu are absolutely corect.

    August 25, 2009 at 4:13 am |
  10. Tony

    Man, this is enough, all from the war, CIA, economy, critics on Obama, and why don't we finally start feeling what the citizens are going through, and PUT it in your minds (government) that this "IS NOT!!!!!!" recession, it is the next GREAT DEPRESSION!!!!!!!! Just think about it, this is the 1940's, SO many things have changed, so maybe the GREAT DEPRESSION is also different !?

    And GET OFF Obama's back, he had to walk in the White House with a ton falling on him............"MAN", just think about that
    It's all Bush's fault !!!!!!

    So much to say, with no ear's open 🙂

    August 25, 2009 at 3:16 am |
  11. Andrew

    What troubles me the most is that we, the United States, hold other country leaders to a standard of law and they are critizied and some have been held accountable at the urging of our government. If we are going to hold or articulate that we do hold these other leaders accountable we, Americans and our Government, must demand even higher standards for ourselves. The Obama administration MUST step forward, not look forward, a lead by example. The Bush administration, including George and Dick, must be held accountable for their admitted actions. The Obama administration must take the role and show the rest of the world that we too are human and make mistakes and those responsible for mistakes must stand and be counted.

    August 25, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  12. J.V.Hodgson

    Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze me, and as all good christians and Muslims know ( 90% at least probably more) two wrongs never made anything right,and will only encourage, more beheadings!!
    The US constitution was usurped in so many ways here by using national sovreingnty and devious or semantic changes from the correct definition of Prisoners of war ( POW'S) to avoid compliance with the Geneva convention.There are more freedom of religion, freedom of speech
    Sorry but Bush, Cheney and the legal geniuses who came up with the ideas and approved them ( irrespective of whether the "rules" were executed properly by interrogators) should be held responsible and accountable, just like any CEO running a company gets fired if his policies fail, and especially if he breaks the law of the land.
    However it is history, and nothing can change that and pursuing it is pure politics, for what benefit!?
    What Obama should do is review and amend the patriot act, and fund the CIA properly, and brief them to comply with the Geneva convention on POW"S
    Bush and Cheney declared a "WAR on terrorism" which it is not. I do not agree with Bin Laden and like minded followers but Muslims do have the right to pursue thier religion in its extreme, moderate or weaker interpretations. The Obama administration ( and UN) need to make that unequivocally clear.
    1) Please follow any style/sect of your muslim religion you wish.
    2) If you do it by guns and terror , to gain power at government level. The international community via the UN reserves the right to intervene.
    3) If you do it via normal respectful means of and for individuals demanded by Islamic teaching and sharia law applied at a nation level that's OK but also you must respect other faiths, and thier right constitutionally to exist without violence.
    It means that if you are a foreigner with different religious beliefs to your host nation and choose to live in a Christian or Islamic state you have to abide by the laws of the state you live in!!Not acceptable... stay in your Christian or Islamic state.You want to be a peaceful missionary, and win converts please feel free.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    August 25, 2009 at 1:06 am |
  13. Mark from Saint Louis

    Eric Holder is just another Liberal Stooge. This investigation will be a political ploy to deflect attention from Obama's poor poll numbers.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:38 am |
  14. Luis

    Can we please leave our brave workers(CIA) do their job. Their efforts are for Americas benefit. CIA, will you hire the right people? You have Parrots’ in your flock. Fight fire with fire, Go America!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  15. roy

    Abraham Vereide The International Foundation

    August 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  16. roy

    CIA/CNP/ c-street house/Expose the Christian Mafia. check it out

    August 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  17. roy

    operation mockingbird and operation northwoods

    August 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  18. roy

    Why doesn,t media ever report on history of CIA. OSS Prescott Bush,Allen Dulles 1947 became CIA, rightwing organization which brought Nazi scientists in with operation paperclip did not inform truman of thier crimes. Mk-ultra, operation Monarch, bluebird. George H W Bush covert agent around 1960 tru JFK assasination. Zapata Oil and bay of pigs, ships Zapata,Barbara and Houston, GHWB only one in country that didn,t recall his whereabouts on Nov 22 1963. CIA big role in watergate and the cover-up. worried about the bay of pigs thing. (kennedy assasination code words). Reagan Bush CIA Iran hostage delay to win election and arrangements for Iran contra affair. CIA links to pan flight 103. CIA blind eye to 911 terroists they knew. and now all the slimy Bush II stuff.

    August 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  19. barb schmeling

    We are turning into a nation of ninkinpoops! New is not news it's gossip, supposition, and what ifs
    We are outraged by telling a terrorists we will kill his children?
    Isn't this the same group that sends it's children out with bombs strapped to their bodies?
    NEWS (yup capitals) should not be pre -digested, but presented as news and let me process it - please.
    thank you for your precious time....barb

    August 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  20. s bloom

    Dear Anderson:

    I really like your program however recently I have noticed that the only people who are used a references on your show are the same pundits with the same opinions. This issue is very important to me since I believe that anyone who participated in torture of anyone should be prosecuted and have a jury trial to defend themselves. They should not be exempt from prosecution regardless of those OLC memorandums that were not based upon any US or international law. The originators of those memos should also be brought to trial and prosecuted, Even Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Rove and the lot of them including Ms. Townsend if she participated should have to be investigated for their participation, encouragement or direct orders given to the Commanders who carried out these illegal, immoral and unethical orders should have to answer to the Public for these acts against humanity. As Mr. Bush lied he vehemently stated that WE DO NOT TORTURE when all along he was party and signed memos as far back as 2002. These lies and the conspiracy of lies will always haunt our nation until a VALID AND THOROUGH investigation is conducted. These acts are a blight upon our land and upon our NATIONAL CONSCIENCE and the Public Trust has been violated with this most basic principle where the US Government acted on our behalf in unspeakable acts without our consent in a WAR that has never been declared by Congress to this day. These wars are fraught with abuse of power, waste, fraud, greed and horrors that is draining our nation of the billions of dollars each month. Out soldiers were mistreated by the Bush Cheney Team many of your pundits include these same criminals. Please contact organizations such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, Interview men, women and children who were tortured during this era in IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, and secret prisons. Interview some of the people held in Abu Gharab, interview people who knew of family members and friends who were killed in IRAQ and found with DRILL HOLES IN THEIR HEADS, HANDS AND OTHER PARTS OF THEIR BODY.....Could their be a link that the issues revealed in the CIA IG report actually were carried out in war torn IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN and other secret prisons. Is this the next big story that people actually trained others in these techniques and they were carried out during the war. Reports were made of many bodies showing up in IRAQ with drill holes in their heads...I remember that report.....Please conduct new investigative reports with other sources.....

    I believe in your capability to do this investigation for the sake of our national conscience and legitimate standing in the world as a beacon of liberty, justice and the rule of law....

    August 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  21. richsottilaro

    Prosecute Bush and Cheney because they authorized everything that went on more so cheney than Bush. The lawyers need to be dis barred as well trying to bend the law!!! Amazing we are a country of laws only to be broken at will for any back door deal needed to be done. The fore-fathers of this country would be blown away as to what this country has become. This is NOT Obama's responsibility but the Attorney General's duty to find out who lied and when. We can't go forward if we don't know about all the laws broken!! If we are to be the greatest country in the world then act like it!!

    rich

    August 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  22. kw

    How could anybody be so stupid. These thugs are not a army of a state or country, so they don't qualify for any kind of rights. One can argue about what's right or wrong. After 9-11 I don't think anyone was concerned about being right are wrong. Now that the democrats are in control of everything ,the U.S. is seen as weak and ignorant. I would like to thank msnbc , especially keith olbermann, maddow , cris and mister ED for their constant battering of conserative and republians. That should make people sick enough to vote out the dems. in 10 and 12.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  23. Payne

    Hey A and E. I would draw a parallel between Bernanke and the CIA. Not directly however. P.S. I would reinstate Bernanke for his performance under duress. Are you with me. Thank Ya'll!

    August 24, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  24. Kevin Kelly

    I'm absolutely seething over here after Cooper's interviews this evening. Several people were queried as to whether they thought the CIA's tactics were acceptable and none of them could answer simply "NO". That is the only correct answer. NO! If you can't answer the question with a NO then you're doing it wrong!

    August 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  25. Kathy

    I seen threw all thier lies Why did it take so long for eveyone else to .
    We spend millons on a blow job but we could go after Bush & company

    August 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  26. elizabeth

    This is a question that is troubling to me-My anger says these techniques are justified-My fury at the cruelty that only humans are capable of, when I see the videos of beheadings-The glee or total lack of emotion is mindboggling and hearbreaking that there are those among us capable of such.However it also boggles the mind that the killing that is sactioned by war is acceptable but the infliction of pain to acquire information to save lives is not-I am a most kind hearted person-but I find the time has come to do unto others as they do unto you-Some people understand nothing less.There are some groups that are literally living in a time warp-and it would be very foolish to assume they can be dealt with in a fashion befitting the year 2009.

    August 24, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  27. Clint D Baker

    The FBI's job is to police the US not the CIA or is it the job of the CIA to police the FBI. The CIA is in the spy business. That is there job get intel. for us so we can get the bad guy. Now what part of this is now getting though to people in power at this time. It is like telling someone go do this job and say job will done and you get to go to jail you done get $200 you just get jail. Ha! it would like playing with someone and they keep changing the rules all the time. Your not living in the real world. These people (terrorist) are out to kill us. We are in two wars and are not done yet.......... let get real.

    August 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  28. Annie Kate

    The Constitution does not address the subject of terrorism or torture. The Geneva Convention is probably the closest thing we have to something that addresses torture. And we did sign that treaty so we ought to go by it – however, for terrorists whose organization routinely kill our soldiers, cut off the heads of innocent civilian captives, etc. we may need something with "more teeth" in it than the usual POW treatment. If there is wrong found in what they did then I hope Cheney gets most of the blame since he was the most vocal and forceful about it all.

    August 24, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  29. Mark from Saint Louis

    Clinton cuts the Intelligence community to nothing and we get attacked and Bush and Congress were not given the best information which led to larger problems. Drop the witch-hunt and move forward. We could play the blame game all the way back Clinton too. We should investigate all of his dealings with China which have jeopardize our national security.
    Come on libs, give it a rest.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  30. Greg

    People who say we should not care about this are appalling and sick people. first off we go around waging war with others who violate rights of humanity.. that is what we did. secondly no one said the people being put through this were in fact terrorists. yes i wouldnt deny doing that to osama but until we find him i say we stick to what the constitution says. and i believe it says we dont torture people. regardless of what they may have done to us. any natural born terrorist would never had been put through this.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  31. KIm

    When you visit ground 0 are you worried about a terrorist being threatened by a drill for information that kept you safe and 911 never happening again ? What does our Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton say about all this ? Is the FBI and CIA working as a team for national security under the current administration ?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  32. Mari

    Here is the thing, the Unites States is a nation of laws and justice. We are not a rogue nation.

    To say that terrorists can torture and kill, so we, the U.S. should do the same thing, is .......... insane!

    What separates us from terrorists IS our Laws and our System of Justice!

    IF we are going to condone torture because "they do it" then we MUST CHANGE our LAWS! Waterboarding has been ILLEGAL in the United States since the 1800's........ look it up!

    And...... when we torture, kill or brutalize terrorists, all we get IS MORE terrorists!

    Bush & DICK are war criminals they should be dragged into the Hague and tried!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  33. DawnL,CA

    Wow! A interrogation "Czar"? They "threatened" prisoners with a gun & a drill. I take it they did not use said implements.
    Did everyone forget our people jumping out of the world trade centers before they fell? Or the people who had their heads cut off by these terrorists? The CIA threatened them. Good Grief! How awful!
    Buy the terrorists a good steak, maybe apple pie with a nice cup of frappe mocha. Now that's the american way.
    Leave it alone for now.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  34. Anthony

    The thing to keep in mind here is we used these techniques on suspected terrorists. There seems to be a resonating ideal that we can do whatever we want to terrorists because they hurt others, I won't even try to argue against that mob reasoning. But these men weren't convicted of anything. In many cases they were implicated by foreign intelligence services, which we should believe why?

    So if this sort of practice is acceptable why can't we start doing it on American citizens? I'm sure if we scare and torture information out of suspected murderers, thieves, molestors, etc we would get quicker information. Is an American citizen worth more than a suspected terrorist?

    August 24, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  35. Rumdawg

    Hello AC 360 – I am writing about the White House to appoint oversee a new interrogation team....Wholly Ba Jesus" – micro management of interrogations? Building a team of experts? Looks like the Experts Americans trusted, are not so expert after all! Now a new name for the same ole stuff?

    This is an all time high for our country. Now the bureaucratic system is improving their ability to develop red tape; has wondered into the land of intelligence. To recap – bureaucratic and intelligence, isn't that the most perfect prevocalic to oxymoron?

    What is really amazing? What is the adopted law or policy that determines if they are operating detainee's/POW's correctly and within the constitution? So I would ask, what planet do these people operate from, and would further say; we need to stop the madness, "throw the bums out"!

    Freak show tickets on sale, now! Excuse the sarcasm, but this is ridiculously the same.

    August 24, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  36. RLWellman

    Let me get this straight. We used a drill and shot a gun in another room to make a detainee think we shot someone.

    I guess you don't remember they cut the heads off of some of our guys, but I guess you don't think this was torture? Especially since these people were still alive when their heads were cut off!

    August 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  37. Murali

    WOW! Is this a matter to discuss in first place?

    Terrorist can torture and kill you but you don't want to FBI/CIA to touch them? Do you expect them to reveal all truth by giving a Mc D Burger/SB Coffee?

    Give him nice shower and a massage with scented oil so that they will tell truth.

    Looks like terrorist don't need to spend too much time in training too now.

    Protect the innocent not the ruthless terrorists.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  38. Enough

    Who cares already?? While these terrorists are responsible for killing thousands of Americans, they are worried about mean treatment these thugs received. They were not permanently harmed in any way. Heck all they do is chop off Americans heads.

    August 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  39. Michael C. McHugh

    Let's put this nicely. After 9-11, the CIA and other intelligence agencies got a blank check from Bush-Cheney and certain officers were a little excessive in their "zeal", went a little "beyond their orders", things like that. Of course, I can see why the people in the field might get a little upset if they have to take the fall, while not a hair on the heads of the people who actually gave the orders is touched.

    Obama should say nothing, but just put some kind of investigative and judicial process at work and let the chips fall where they may–even if it all goes to the top. Let's do a house cleaning, if that's what is necessary, but not make it "political".

    August 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm |