Monday, July 20, 2009

Cadavers? Naked women? Electric shocks?

"No bad ideas when you're brainstorming," say the Imagination Movers, but perhaps they weren't thinking of the CIA.

Sunday's WaPo looks at the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, an article described by Emptywheel as "basically a summary of information already out there, supplemented by one "former US official" involved in the torture discussions who seems prepared to do just what I said--implicate the architects of the torture program."

Actually, if you imagine an equally dense but morally depraved Imagination Movers, in black jumpsuits I guess, that's about the level of thought we applied to the interrogation problem:
Agency officials had no firm notion of what a post-Sept. 11 interrogation of a terrorism suspect should look like.

"It was not a job we sought out," said one former senior intelligence official involved in early decisions on interrogation. "The generals didn't want to do it. The FBI said no. It fell to the agency because we had the [legal] authorities and could operate overseas."

In Mitchell, the CIA found an authoritative professional who had answers, despite an absence of practical experience in interrogating terrorism suspects or data showing that harsh tactics work.

"Here was a guy with a title and a shingle," recalled the participant in the Langley meeting, "and he was saying things that others in the room already believed to be true."
I would take with a grain of salt that part about "FBI said no," btw.


  1. Why does the phrase, "a solution, looking for a problem" come to mind when looking at the overall scenario of "post 9/11" interogations? Razor

  2. Exactly. It makes no sense unless we suppose that Cheney and Addington went in wanting the use of torture; my best guess is that they thought that would demonstrate their toughness and seriousness, in contrast with the wimpy liberal bleeding hearts.