Allegations of abuse

Marc Thiessen:

On Monday the Obama administration released a 2004 CIA inspector general's report on the agency's detention and interrogation program. Yesterday, the New York Times reported some gruesome abuses on its front page, above the fold: "Excessive physical force was routinely used, resulting in broken bones, shattered teeth, concussions, and dozens of other serious injuries over a period of less than two years, a federal investigation has found. . . . [D]espite rules allowing force only as a last resort. 'Staff at the facilities routinely used uncontrolled, unsafe applications of force, departing from generally accepted standards,' said the report."

Actually, these abuses were not committed by the CIA. They were committed by officials at four juvenile residential detention centers in New York state. The details came from a Justice Department report that recounted how "workers forced one boy, who had glared at a staff member, into a sitting position and secured his arms behind his back with such force that his collarbone was broken."

While officials at the New York state detention facilities failed to report the abuses ("the ombudsman's office charged with overseeing the youth prison centers had virtually ceased to function," the Times reported), the CIA inspector general's report describes a well-run, highly disciplined CIA interrogation program, where clear guidelines were established and abuses or deviations from approved techniques were stopped, reported and addressed.

Indeed, the CIA report makes clear from its first paragraphs that it was those who ran the program who brought abuses to the IG's attention: "In November 2002, the Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) informed the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that . . . he had just learned of and had dispatched a team to investigate [REDACTED]. In January 2003, the DDO informed OIG that he had received allegations that Agency personnel had used unauthorized techniques with a detainee, Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri . . . and requested that OIG investigate."

Once the IG report was completed, the agency referred it to the Justice Department for review for possible criminal prosecutions. This review was conducted not by Bush political appointees. It was conducted by career prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia. They recommended against prosecutions in all but one case—that of a CIA contractor, not in the official interrogation program, who had beaten a detainee in Afghanistan. (The detainee later died and the contractor was subsequently convicted of assault.)

Now Attorney General Eric Holder, a political appointee, is overruling the decisions of career Justice Department officials and appointing a special prosecutor. If the Bush administration had done the same thing to its predecessor, the mainstream media would be howling.

...


Maybe. There is clearly a double standard which suggest that liberals are looking for opportunities to pursue their political agenda at the expense of our national security. It is one reason why I don't trust liberals.

Dealing with non compliant prisoners is never easy, but it appears that the CIA was much better than the juvenile authorities in New York, which is a state run by liberal Democrats.

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