11 April 2016

Of Course DCIA Brennan's Not Telling the Truth. His Lips are Moving.

Over at Emptywheel, Marcy Wheeler observes that CIA Director John Brennan's assurances that CIA officers would not torture people would not have ended any of the prior instances of torture:

But it’s funny, too, because Brennan’s assurances about waterboarding would hold true even for the period when CIA was waterboarding detainees. Because CIA officers didn’t do the waterboarding.

As a reminder, at least four detainees were known to be waterboarded under the Gloves Come Off Memorandum of Notification. The first, Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, was waterboarded by Egyptian intelligence, though with Americans present.

The others were waterboarded as part of torture led by Mitchell and Jessen, who were not CIA officers, but instead contractors. CIA officers were definitely involved in that torture (as they were present for our outsourced Egyptian torture). But the torture was technically done by contractors.

Don’t get me wrong: CIA officers did engage in a whole lot of torture directly.

But Brennan’s squirmy language should only emphasize the fact that even when CIA was in the business of waterboarding, CIA officers didn’t do the waterboarding. So Brennan’s guarantees that CIA officers won’t do so in the future are pretty meaningless guarantees.
Not a surprise.  Brennan has been objectively pro-torture for over a decade.

The control of our state security apparatus has been ceded to people who aggressively pursue evil, self-destructive, and ineffective policies and programs.

The down-slope of empire for your perusal.


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