Monday, April 27, 2009

The CIA Memos – What was Obama thinking?

I have just finished reading the entire 40 page CIA interrogation memo, and there are some observations I have made. The notion that the United States tortures is a political charade of immense proportions. These documents should never have been released, and the only people who will benefit from the disclosure of these documents are Al-Queda and other Islamic extremist groups looking to destroy the West. Make no mistake: This is not about transparency as Obama says; it is about further discrediting the eight years President Bush has kept us safe. Barack Obama has effectively convinced the world that the United States tortures, and that the Bush administration was wrong in using enhanced interrogation techniques to prevent additional attacks on U.S. soil.

The major polemic of liberals with regards to the Bush administration is the issue of waterboarding, so here are just a few questions you can ask your liberal friends.

  1. On how many detainees has the United States used waterboarding?
  2. When was the last time waterboarding was used?
  3. What are the conditions in which the United States uses waterboarding?

Here are the answers. The answer to number one is three detainees, Kalid Sheik Mohammed, (KSM), Zubaydah and Al-Nashiri. The answer to number two is March 2003, (only a year and a half after the 9/11 attacks) and the last question is the use of the waterboard is limited requiring "credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent; and the detainee has "knowledge of imminent threats" or has been directly involved in the attacks." (pg 29, CIA released interrogation memos.) Be forewarned – you will be accused of lying. After you are accused of lying, tell your friends they can find it on page 6 and on page 29 of the CIA interrogation memos. But then, your liberal friends will say the memos are not true without any proof to backup their assertions. They will obfuscate and twist the truth because they refuse to accept the fact that President Bush has kept this nation safe for seven years after the 9/11 attacks.

I was against Bush abandoning capitalism for socialism, but as a terror warrior, he reigned supreme. Now we have an administration that is waging a political vendetta against the Bush administration. How is this for decisive leadership? First Obama says he will not go after the CIA, then because of pressure from his far-left constituency and other Democratic leaders he says he would leave the doors open for prosecutions against the CIA. He then sees the Rasmussen polls that say 58% of voters view that the release of the CIA memos endangers national security and only 28% of voters think that Obama should continue any further investigations against the Bush administration, and so he goes back to his original stance of not going after the CIA. We have Radical Muslims still seeking the demise of the U.S., but the focus of the administration has changed from Radical Muslims who really want to kill us to made-up groups who want to kill us using Janet Napolitano's propaganda hit-piece on the rise of radical right wing groups using Timothy McVeigh as the sole example for recruitment to these groups. Powerline sums up the central theme of this report as follows:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

How is that for proof of right wing extremism in lieu of Radical Islam? But what do you expect when the administration doesn't believe there is a war on terror; the war on terror is now called the overseas contingency operation. John McCain (whom I wish would fade into the woodwork never to be seen again) repeatedly has stated that waterboarding does not work. Of course, he couldn't be more wrong. What did waterboarding actually yield us?

With the Interrogation of KSM

  1. Led to the discovery of a "Second Wave" to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into a building in Los Angeles (pg 10).
  2. Led to the capture of Riduan Bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17 member Jemaah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the "Second Wave."
  3. Discovered that KSM admitted that he had tasked Maϋd Khan with delivering a large sum of money to an Al-Queda operative. Khan then identified the associate, Zubair, who was then captured. (pg 10)

Interrogation of Zubaydah

  1. Revealed information about Al-Queda's organizational structure, key operatives, and modus operandi.
  2. Identified KSM as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
  3. Provided significant information on two operatives including Jose Padilla who planned to detonate a dirty bomb in Washington D.C.
  4. Revealed information about Al-Zarqawi and his network.

In 2002, the intelligence derived from CIA detainees provided 6,000 intelligence reports and in 2004 accounted for half of CTC's reporting on Al-Queda (pg 11). The substantial majority of this intelligence came from enhanced interrogation techniques. Because of waterboarding, the Bush administration has saved countless of lives. The memos yielded us information about the inner workings of Al-Queda including its financial structure and which countries the cells were operating in.

18 U.S.C. sec. 2340 provides defines torture as:

  1. "torture" means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended
    to inflict
    severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other     than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
  2. "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged
    mental harm caused
    by or resulting from--

    (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

Enhanced interrogation techniques used Nudity (pg 12), Dietary Manipulations, Sleep Deprivation (pg 14), Walling (pg 14), Water dousing, Stress positions and Waterboarding (pg 15). There was no method used that rises to the level of torture as defined by 18 U.S.C. sec. 2340 including waterboarding. The interrogation methods were separated into three categories, 1) conditioning 2) corrective and 3) coercive. The conditioning was the lightest of the techniques, and if it didn't work, the interrogator would move on to conditioning techniques and so forth. These techniques were only used on high value detainees. 94 detainees by the CIA were considered high value, and of these 94 individuals, enhanced interrogation techniques were only used on 28 of these detainees. Just the fact that the techniques were used on only 28 detainees demonstrates how infrequently these methods were ever used, and how careful the CIA was in deciding on whom the CIA would use the techniques. The two methods I have heard discussed the most were walling and waterboarding. So let me talk about these specific two techniques.

  1. Walling – This technique is performed by placing the detainee against what seems to be a normal wall, but what is in fact a flexible wall. The interrogator pulls the detainee towards him and then quickly slams the detainee against the false wall. The false wall is designed and a c-collar or similar device is used, to help avoid whiplash or similar injury. The technique is designed to create a loud sound and to shock the detainee without causing significant pain. The CIA regards walling, "as one of the most effective interrogation techniques because it wears down the detainee physically, heightens uncertainty in the detainee about what the interrogator may do to him and creates a sense of dread when the detainee knows he is about to be walled again. At no time is the technique employed in such a way that would cause severe physical pain.


  2. Waterboarding –is only used if there is a belief that an attack is imminent and it is considered to be the most traumatic of the enhanced interrogation techniques. The detainee is placed face-up on a gurney with his head inclined downward. A cloth is placed over his face on which cold water is then poured for periods of at most 40 seconds. This creates a barrier through which it is either difficult or impossible to breathe. The technique induces a sensation of drowning. The waterboard may be authorized for, at most, one 30 day period, during which the technique can actually be applied on no more than five days. There can be no more than two sessions in any 24 hour period. Each session – the time which the detainee is strapped to the waterboard – lasts no more than two hours. There may be at most six applications of water lasting ten seconds or longer during any session, and water may be applied for a total of no more than 12 minutes during any 24 hour period. These limitations have been established with extensive input from the Office of Medical Services,(OMS) based on experience to date with this technique. Although the waterboard induces fear and panic, it is not painful.

Moreover, medical personnel are always standing by.

Barack Obama says he released these memos because he wants to be transparent. Of course, this begs the question where was the transparency when he rammed the bailouts down our throats without giving the voters or congress a chance to even read the bills. Barack Obama invents meretricious arguments for the perceived sins of the Bush administration. If Barack Obama is so concerned about transparency, then why are there entire sections of the memo blacked out which relate to the success of this program? Dick Cheney has stated that there are other documents showing the results of the interrogation methods. If Barack Obama were so concerned about transparency, where are these documents? Europe believes that the United States is some sort of Beelzebub that engaged in all sorts of torture during the Bush administration, and Barack Obama is the savior that has come down from the heavens who will put a stop to such dastardly deeds. If Barack Obama were so concerned about transparency, he should have the memos translated in several different languages so the people can read the memos themselves instead of receiving the information from left wing outlets (which is most of Europe's media.) Former CIA chiefs Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet and John Deutch all warned against the release of these documents, and that it would compromise our intelligence- gathering. On 60 minutes in April of 2007, George Tenet, (a Clinton appointee) said "I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."
And now to put the nail in the coffin, Barack Obama is about to release detainee photos which supposedly show abuse. But of course, we know this is not about transparency – this is about a political vendetta against the Bush administration to appease his far-left constituency.

If a terrorist organization had a loved one of yours, and you knew the only way to get the person released was through enhanced interrogation methods, you would do it. And if you say you wouldn't do it, you are lying. I would even go further than the enhanced interrogation methods. If my daughter were captured by terrorists, I would do the torture myself.

We can surmise what the result of the release of these documents will be. No one will want to sign up and join the CIA knowing that the president himself tries to impugn the integrity of the individuals working for the organization. Who would want to join an organization knowing that someday some radical president might go after you? How does this keep us safe? Al-queda can now move around safely and without fear. Its agents know that the CIA will not use any coercive type style of interrogation to get any information. They can plan future attacks on the U.S. without fear of reprisal. The CIA will now be bound by the Army Field Manual (pg 35). The Army Field Manual generally describes techniques using verbal and emotional tactics. In the emotional love approach for example, the interrogator might exploit the love a detainee feels for his fellow soldiers and use this to motivate the detainee to cooperate. In the fear-up (harsh) approach, the interrogator behaves in an overpowering manner with a loud and threatening voice, and may even feel the need to heighten the detainee's implanted feelings of fear. Apparently, yelling at the detainees is the limit of our interrogation methods. We will surely be able to stop attacks now. The CIA memos stated that both KSM and Zubaydah had expressed their belief that the general US population was weak. In that, Barack Obama is determined to prove them right.

It is time for the children to stop governing this country and for the adults to take over. Barack Obama and his administration are engaging in a witchhunt. The Bush administration has kept this country safe, and we now know in the process the administration has saved thousands of lives. The CIA was originally organized as a covert agency. That is how I want it to be. I do not want to know all the secrets of the United States when it comes down to my safety. If Barack Obama wants to truly confess the sins of the United States, why doesn't someone just get him a priest?



DanielleV said...

Wow, I think a lot of people would be surprised to read this - especially those first hard-hitting points about how many and when water boarding was used! Thanks for doing the research!

Anonymous said...


Jessica said...

Wow, you did an amazing job helping me to understand this stuff, it really opens up the truth behind some of these points. And as to Anonymous... Having lived in another country, one learns that you can't always judge another cultural situation with the eyes of your own culture. I'm sure that some of the people we're dealing with don't stop at throwing a detainee against a fake wall.

Mark said...

yeah, and anonymous didn't sign it. I don't have a problem with different viewpoints, but I do with anonymous viewpoints. The way you hear the media talk about it, you would think we waterboard as a matter of routine. This was also right after 9/11 when everyone thought there would have been another attack, (and there most likely would have been) and everyone was on pins and needles.

Anonymous said...

To the other anonymous - so, Let's just take an example. This is to the other anonymous who says in capital letters, "It's torture.." If I killed your family and I knew someone was going to kill another, would you stop me or would you sit with me over coffee and ask me to be reasonable to tell you who and what? You can dress a turd in a dress but you're still a turd! Would you do anything, anything at all?

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