It’s now been 10 days since the release of the Executive Summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) study of the CIA detainee program—almost certainly to be known to posterity as the “torture report.” One of the emerging themes of much of the commentary the report has precipitated is what might best be called “torture agnosticism”—where commentators profess that they either don’t or can’t know whether torture is ever “effective,” and so are reluctant to take a categorical position as to the
Latest in Interrogation: Abuses
Polarization surrounding the SSCI Report (see here for Lawfare’s coverage) has been most pronounced on the efficacy of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs). The Report and its supporters have proclaimed that EITs never produce useful information. Unfortunately, that pat assertion undermines the possibility of a consensus on future interrogation tactics, including a consensus that rules out coercion.
I have now spent enough quality time with the SSCI interrogation report---and with minority views and the CIA response---that I am ready to begin commenting upon it. This is not to say I have finished reading it all; far from it. A plane flight to Israel and a lot of other hours have only gotten me started.
We are told there is a privacy crisis. The Snowden revelation and other such things have given the sense that we are in a crisis. I think what we have is a privacy panic. What I would call the Snowden left, joined by the Tea Party right, are churning this up way past any reasonable limits. And then, of course, the press chimes in because that’s what the press does. The press has not been particularly good on this subject. In fact, as I will illustrate to you, they regularly report some technological innovation or some event and say it raises privacy concerns. Their ability to analyze th
Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Five
Here is the fifth and final installment in our running, side-by-side comparison of the twenty findings and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's Study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program---along with responses by the Committee Minority and the CIA.
Summaries of Study findings seventeen through twenty can be found below.
James Connell III, lawyer for 9/11 accused Ammar al-Baluchi, had this to say today:
"The CIA and its defenders are using Mr. al Baluchi as a scapegoat for its illegal and reprehensible use of torture," said James Connell, civilian attorney for Mr. al Baluchi. "The United States spent incredible amounts of money, energy, and American credibility, and now the CIA is pointing at Mr.
No news source in any medium captures the CIA interrogation debate more fully than this video from the Onion, which bears reposting this week:
Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Four
In this post, we proceed with Lawfare's ongoing, side-by-side comparison of the SSCI Study's key findings, and responses to them by both the SSCI Minority as well as the CIA.
By way of reminder, the SSCI's Study made twenty findings and conclusions about the CIA's detention and interrogation practices after 9/11---twelve of which the blog has summarized so far, along with any corresponding Minority and CIA remarks.
A breakdown of findings 13-16 can be found below, the lone goal being to
At approximately 1:40 p.m., John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will make a statement on the SSCI's detention and interrogation study.