Former Vice President Dick Cheney has made it clear that he thinks the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report is 'full of crap' and has led a parade of George W. Bush administration officials who denounced the report on harsh interrogation techniques used against terrorism suspects, saying he would "do it again in a minute." The report concluded that the so-called enhanced interrogations didn't yield any actionable intelligence. Ali Soufan, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, who was one of the first people to interrogate the first high-profile al Qaida terror suspect captured after the 9/11 attacks tells Anderson that the most of the information that help disrupt terror plots were obtained without torture.
The report on torture released by the Senate Intelligence Committee has shaken the CIA. It moved Director John Brennan to speak today. He laid out a very carefully-worded and sometimes contradictory version of the truth as he sees it. Barbara Starr takes an up close look at Brennan’s defense.
Glenn Carle and Gary Berntsen are former CIA officers and they have very different opinions on the issue of torture.
Gary Berntsen and Glenn Carle are both former CIA officers, but they have very different opinions on the use of torture. Mr. Berntsen read the Senate’s report and calls every sentence "an attack on the Agency." Mr. Carle argues that torture is not just illegal, but it doesn’t work.
The Senate Intelligence Committee spent five years looking at more than six-million pages of CIA documents. The report today is a scathing review of the interrogation techniques used after 9/11. It concludes the methods of torture were far more extensive than previously known, more brutal than officials had said and it found the techniques did not work. Barbara Starr breaks down some of the report's grisly details.
Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin looked at the report and pointed out that America never tortured enemies of previous wars like Nazis or Viet Cong like this. It was part of a discussion that also included Col. Morris Davis. a former Chief Prosecutor for Terrorism Trials at Guantanamo Bay and CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/11/13/khalid.sheikh.mohammed/story.khalid.sheikh.mohammed2.gi.jpg caption="The trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is 'perhaps the biggest challenge in the history of federal law enforcement'"]
Jeffrey Toobin | Bio
CNN Senior Legal Analyst
New Yorker Columnist
The federal courts face an unprecedented challenge in trying accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo detainees for the terrorist attacks that took 3,000 lives, says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and four other Guantanamo detainees are being transferred to New York to face trial in a civilian court for the September 11 attacks, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday.
They will face trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York - a short distance from the World Trade Center towers that were destroyed in the September 11 attacks. Holder said he expects the government to seek the death penalty in the cases.
Mohammed is the confessed organizer of the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. But his confession could be called into question during trial. A 2005 Justice Department memo - released by the Obama administration - revealed he had been waterboarded 183 times in March 2003, a technique that President Obama has called torture.
CNN spoke with Toobin on Friday morning. A former assistant U.S. attorney, Toobin is a senior analyst for CNN and author of "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/22/torture.health.effects/art.guantanmo.afp.gi.jpg caption="A U.S. miliary guard stands inside the Camp V area at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba"]
Michael V. Hayden
Special to CNN
I know that the story has moved on, that the outline of the journalistic narrative has been set, and that the "first draft" of history has been just about finalized. Before the ink dries though, I would like to offer at least a footnote.
And this footnote has to do with President Obama's decision in April to release opinions drafted by the Department of Justice that detailed the CIA's interrogation program for high-value al Qaeda detainees.
Specifically, it has to do with the argument made publicly and privately by the administration that its hand was being forced by a pending decision in a Freedom of Information Act case by the American Civil Liberties Union before Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York.
Indeed, when Obama visited the CIA the Monday after the release of the documents, he specifically cited this argument in his remarks to the work force.
He said that he released "... the Justice Department Office of Legal Council (OLC) memos as a consequence of a court case that was pending and to which it was very difficult for us to mount an effective legal defense. ..."
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/28/navarrette.cia/art.ruben.navarrette.newwapo.jpg caption="Ruben Navarrette Jr. says the administration's probe of CIA interrogations will demoralize agents who fight terror."]
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
The Obama administration actually has me feeling sorry for the Central Intelligence Agency. This week, the administration hit the CIA with both barrels.
First, it announced that the intelligence agency would no longer be responsible for interrogating suspects in terrorism cases. This task will now be conducted by a new group of interrogators overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
There's hope and change for you. Those who applaud the change probably hope it means no more headlines like the one this week about how CIA interrogators threatened al Qaeda prisoner Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri with a gun and an electric drill to get information.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/25/gloria.borger.cia/art.cia.gi.jpg caption="The Central Intelligence Agency is under fire for harsh interrogation techniques used after 9/11."]
CNN Senior Political Analyst
No matter which way you look at it, the question is painfully difficult: What - if anything - do we do about the post 9/11 behavior of some CIA agents who worked feverishly to interrogate prisoners they believed had information that could save American lives?
First, we now know definitively what we always suspected - that agent actions were sometimes abusive, perhaps even illegal, as they tried to obtain information.
The just-released Justice Department report shows, among other things, that agents choked one detainee repeatedly and threatened to kill another prisoner's children. Not pretty stuff.
But here's what we also know, thanks to another report (purposefully) released by the CIA as a response to the Justice document: Some interrogations worked.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/29/art.cheneyexit0529.gi.jpg caption="Dick Cheney is criticizing the latest Obama move."]
CNN Ticker Producer
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is again taking aim at President Obama, issuing a statement Monday suggesting the administration's decision to name a prosecutor to investigate CIA interrogations under President Bush fuels "doubts about this administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security."
"The people involved deserve our gratitude," Cheney said in the statement. "They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions."
The former vice president also said documents released Monday prove enhanced interrogation techniques yielded valuable information that "provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda."
"This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks," Cheney said. "These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002."