I also think it is odd.. in the line I highlighted in italics how they termed it, that "President Obama calls torture". Well so do I, what do they call it?
There are two things I need to reference here to show what I mean. First is an ABC story which is actually a clarification of a story they did earlier. Either they were trying to make things look better and then realized the error of their way, or it was an actual mistake no one will ever know, but the story is now being told as this:
As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.
According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington.
Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates.
Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with the CIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and implemented the CIA's interrogation program.”
These are the two men who were responsible for most of the torture and waterboarding in the CIA, they were contractors, hired by Bush/Cheney and the rest of that bunch for the express purpose of carrying out these atrocious acts.
This, I think is the reason Pres. Obama felt he could state NO CIA employees should be punished for torturing detainees, because he was aware there really wasn't anyone there who had done it, it was all contractors.
These jerks were paid... get this.. $1,000 a day.. that's right ONE THOUSAND BUCKS A DAY, to hurt, to maim, to inflict intense pain, to do things to people that should never be done.
“But it turns out neither Mitchell nor Jessen had any experience in conducting actual interrogations before the CIA hired them.
"They went to two individuals who had no interrogation experience," said Col. Kleinman. "They are not interrogators."
The new documents show the CIA later came to learn that the two psychologists' waterboarding "expertise" was probably "misrepresented" and thus, there was no reason to believe it was "medically safe" or effective. The waterboarding used on al Qaeda detainees was far more intense than the brief sessions used on U.S. military personnel in the training classes.”
So, on top of everything else, not only were they well paid, they didn't even know what they were doing. Had limited training, and evidently loved their job. But they are psychologists, so they have some background in the medical field and to me that makes their crime that much worse.
That's what I am reading from the ABC report.. then we go on to another report, which is left out from theirs. I guess they don't want to upset their readers or viewers and let them actually see what was done in the name of the USA.
So, lets pick up with the “Church Report” named after Vice Admiral Albert T. Church, the former Naval inspector general, who conducted the investigation at the request of Rumsfeld. Yes, can you believe it, Rumsfeld asked him to do it.. guess he thought he would be a loyal soldier and not tell it like it was.
That 360-page report, delivered to Congress in March 2004, said there was “no policy that condoned or authorized either abuse or torture,” which critics of the Bush administration believed was a cover-up. But the declassified Pentagon documents, coupled with a report issued last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee, tell a different story and lend credence to claims by civil libertarians and critics of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that refusal to release a fully classified version of the Church Report several years ago amounted to a cover-up.
“We suspected that these two pages [from the Church Report] related to the deaths of prisoners who were tortured to death was done only to protect the Bush administration from embarrassment and illegal activity, said Amrit Singh, an ACLU attorney and co-author of the book Administration of Torture, in an interview with The Public Record. Singh said the documents demands that former Bush administration officials, and the interrogators, be held accountable for torturing detainees.
“There needs to be an independent investigation,” Singh said.
According to the declassified Church Report documents, on Dec. 4, 2002, a prisoner died while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Six days later, another prisoner died. Two days before the detainees were tortured and died, on Dec. 2, 2002, Rumsfeld authorized “aggressive interrogation techniques,” leading to “interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials [that] conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody,” the Senate Armed Services Committee report said.
Both deaths, the documents say, “share some similarities.”
“In both cases, for example, [the prisoners] were handcuffed to fixed objects above their heads in order to keep them awake,” the documents say. “Additionally, interrogations in both incidents involved the use of physical violence, including kicking, beating, and the use of “compliance blows” which involved striking the [prisoners] legs with the [interrogators] knees. In both cases, blunt force trauma to the legs was implicated in the deaths. In one case, a pulmonary embolism developed as a consequence of the blunt force trauma, and in the other case pre-existing coronary artery disease was complicated by the blunt force trauma.”
“In both instances, the [detainee] deaths followed interrogation sessions in which unauthorized techniques were allegedly employed, but in both cases, these sessions were followed by further alleged abusive behavior outside of the interrogation booth,” the declassified documents say.
“None of these techniques have ever been approved in Afghanistan,” according to two pages of the declassified Church report. “Of these, three (marked with X) are alleged to have been employed during interrogations. These techniques—sleep deprivation, the use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family, and beating are alleged to have been used in the incidents leading to the two deaths at Bagram in December 2002, which are described at greater length later in this report.”
Moreover, the declassified documents names a private contractor, David Passaro, who conducted at least one interrogation that allegedly led to the death of a prisoner. Under the subhead “Migration of Interrogation Techniques,” the two-pages from the Church Report discusses an investigation undertaken by military officials to determine whether military interrogators or military police were responsible for the brutal interrogations that apparently caused the deaths of the prisoners, which the documents suggest was the case.
Following an investigation one day after a second detainee died, an Army lieutenant “prohibited several interrogation techniques implicated in the detainees’ deaths..”
Specifically, he prohibited the practice of handcuffing as a means of enforcing sleep deprivation, hooding a detainee during questioning, and any form of physical contact used for the purpose of interrogation,” according to the two-pages from the Church Report. “It should be noted that handcuffing as a means of enforcing sleep deprivation was never approved in any interrogation policy; and in any event…constituted the only interrogation guidance in Afghanistan at the time. Although some of the measures were later reversed in the March 2004 interrogation guidance, as described previously, they do not indicate initial action was taken.”
The report goes on to say that a criminal investigation concluded in October 2004 with the recommendation that criminal charges be filed “against 28 soldiers in connection with the deaths.” But the Bush administration officials who authorized and implemented the policies were not held accountable. Indeed, Vice Admiral Church, who conducted the investigation, never bothered to interview then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who, according to published documents was responsible for implementing the brutal interrogations, because he did not believe it to be necessary.”
Again, a private contractor was involved in the torture. And what happened to the criminal investigation that was conducted? Why were soldiers charged? If it was contractors doing the torturing and the killing, why are we putting our soldiers in prison and why are our soldiers being investigated?
I hope there is more of an investigation done. We need answers and we need to make sure that we don't drop the ball on this. We have all concentrated on torture, and yes we can't forget that, but we also need to remember that MURDER was committed. So, add to those charges against the Bush Mis-Administration.
For another perspective to this here is a link to another post about this same subject from Americablog.