Saturday, May 5, 2012

The war within a war

Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's clandestine service,  has written "Hard Measures," a book in which he defends the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on high-level Al Qaeda detainees. Here is a review of the book by Husna Hag, a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, followed by a two-part video interview with Rodriguez aired on the CBS television news program, "Sixty Minutes." Both the book review and the interview appeared on April 30. Look them over and offer your thoughts, opinions or beliefs -- if you have any ....

Enhanced interrogation:
Good idea or bad policy?

By Husna Hag
The Christian Science Monitor

Talk about explosive. We can already see the policy arguments, newsroom discussions, and dinnertime brawls emanating from the latest terrorism book to hit shelves, one that already has the blogosphere buzzing.

In “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives,” by former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, Jose Rodriguez, and the CIA’s former top spokesman, Bill Harlow, Rodriguez argues for the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” like waterboarding, methods some consider torture.

In the book, Rodriguez, who for years was unable to publicly respond to criticism of his interrogation techniques, defends his waterboarding program and his order to destroy videotapes of harsh interrogation sessions in which suspected Al Qaeda members were held down and subjected to simulated drowning. He also goes on the counterattack, pointing a finger at those he says hindered the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

According to the Daily Beast, which earlier obtained a copy of the controversial memoir, those targets include the government of Pakistan, Washington’s supposed ally in the war on terror, whom Rodriguez says is actually assisting terrorists.

“We got close to [9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed / KSM] a couple of times,” Rodriguez writes.

“At one point we had narrowed down his whereabouts to a few square miles in Karachi. Working with Pakistani liaison, we tried to narrow it down. But then a corrupt Pakistani policeman who had somehow learned of the effort tipped off KSM. An email from the crooked cop was intercepted. In it, he told KSM, ‘They know where you are.’”

Rodriguez also goes after the FBI, whom he said publicly criticized the CIA’s interrogation methods and hampered its efforts. “Could we have gotten the same information using FBI practices?” Rodriguez asks. “Maybe. If we had all the time in the world, perhaps we could have. But we did not.”

He also skewers CIA critics in Congress, none more so than House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, challenging her assertion that she was not informed about the use of waterboarding.

“Pelosi said that we only briefly mentioned waterboarding and left the impression that it had not been used,” Rodriguez writes, explaining that he himself briefed her about waterboarding and its use, according to the Daily Beast review. He also says Pelosi posed no objection to the technique. “I know she got it.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that she, like almost all Americans less than a year after, wanted us to be aggressive to make sure that Al Qaeda wasn’t able to replicate their attack…. Pelosi was another member of Congress reinventing the truth.”

Rodriguez even goes after the CIA inspector general’s office, which reprimanded him for the destruction of the interrogation videotapes and the Obama administration, whom he says has become too reliant on missile-armed drones to kill, instead of capture, terrorists.

“Drones can be a highly effective way of dealing with high-priority targets,” Rodriguez writes in the book. “But they should not become the drug of choice for an administration that is afraid to use successful, legal and safe tactics of the past.” He adds, “Needless to say, there is no opportunity to interrogate or learn anything from a suspect who is vaporized by a missile launched by a keystroke executed thousands of miles away.”

We’re pretty sure this won’t be the last we hear of “Hard Measures.”


Bitch said...

I don't bother to read the text. I got to admit, that I am zero when it comes to politics!!

Thank you for your comments for all my posts..
I cant get enough, lol...

Sweet greetings all the way!!

Fram Actual said...

I am surprised, Monika. I would have guessed that you are very political in opinion and, perhaps, in action.

My own political interest rises and falls and, as I have mentioned, is peaked a bit this year because it is a presidential election year in the U.S. Once, I was so active that I even worked as the press secretary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. At other times, I have paid no attention to issues and candidates, and not even bothered to vote. My consistency is inconsistency.

As for your blog, I enjoy seeing a bit of Greece through your eyes. Thank you.

seirios said...

there is something very simple about pain...
if someone is in pain can says anything in order to stop this...
humanity is not an idea, is a way of life!

unfortunately... our society creates monsters...

kitt@ro... said...

unfortunately i saw many, and learned me even more ... but all they forget only one... hate only hate generates! this is not policy is not anything else, except than perversion.

Fram Actual said...

It is not so much pain that is being applied in these situations, Seirios, as it is fear while breaking down an individual's physical and mental resistance through things like sleep deprivation and, in three instances only, waterboarding.

It can be argued that these measures are torture, but the counter-argument might be something like to what lengths should an interrogation go if a threat is imminent? For the record, I once went through a prisoner of war "school" during which I experienced waterboarding.

I am glad you chose to express your thoughts on this topic. Thank you.

Fram Actual said...

There is no question in my mind, Kittaro, that evil exists in the world and that every day we pass psychopaths and sociopaths on the streets and do not realize it. The point to remember, I think, is that some people use "enhanced interrogation" (which others define as torture) to protect themselves and the public from the evil, from the psychopaths.

Turning the other cheek does not work well when someone wishes to kill you.

I sort of wish I had not posted this material, but I am happy you visited me and left your thoughts/words here.

Anonymous said...

the text is to long.think i agree with monica.Its a mans stuff hihihi are you?

here we have wet spring and the syttende may will sure be wet too!!our national day you know..
only wantee to say hello!

have not forgotten all about you :)

Fram Actual said...

Well, man's stuff, Anita? I was under the impression that women ruled the universe. All right, I am teasing, but I think it is a topic in which everyone's voice should be heard.

Since you ask, I am my usual cynical, misanthropic, skeptical self, which means I am fine. Which reminds me, how is your son? Have his arms healed satisfactorily?

I know you come and go, so I do not worry when you are absent for a while. Thank you, for your visit now and for your kisses.

Anonymous said...

hi again Fram!
i had to laugh about your comment.."woman rules the world!
i dont know anbout that,think i am getting old..uffff..i like a man to be a man and a woman to be a it always has been.repectful to each other.but in a way..the man is the master..i dont know how to explain,,but i think you understand what i mean. is a topic for everybody!

The war within a war

and everybody should care about it..have a oppinion at least in one way or another..people that dont care are fools ..i think!

About my son.He is doing well.Plays with his wrestlings men at his room.We have just eaten eggs bacon and beans and choccolatte hot!!his arm is doing worries about it!he is also beginning to look at the just an old fashion woman..he sais hahahha!

But i still canngive him a hug..goodnight hugs!

He wants to go to millitary when he is big enough..i say he must do what he feels for but get a good edcucation.

Here it still is bad weather.Iam begiining to knit stockings again.Soon winther ..Time fly away so rapidly..

Yes..i will always talk to you as long as i am able.Icome and go to.Sometimes i have other things to do.Sometimes you make me mad.Sometimes happy.But i always come back.

Like a honey bee looking for a flower!

I see my new blog name occurs.So you know, may be.Ihave done something.I quess i needed a kick in my ass.and do something.thanx Fram ..So now i go to watch a movie.Someday i hope you can tell me some good movies like Band of brothers or so?

ok see you along!


Fram Actual said...

I hardly know how to respond to your comment, Anita. You are getting to be just as bad as I am when it comes to writing. Once you start, your fingers will not leave the keyboard. I am teasing, of course. Thank you, for your words.

I did track EstelleAnita to her blogs. Three of them? You will have time for nothing else. I saw no provisions for becoming a follower, though. Am I blind, or do you not wish to have followers?

So, I have another post coming tonight regarding the same subject matter as the last one. I did not plan for it, but it found me and I cannot neglect it. Maybe, I will see you there.

Thanks, for being here, Anita.

Anonymous said... is diccicult!!Fram!!i mean doing a blog!!yes i will add all those followers thing to it..

yes,,my fingers do it in a hurry.writing i mean..also it is because many times i am in bed and writing to you from my cellphone..sometimes i dont see a shit..

yes..i love your new topic..i come back later and write something on it..see you there!!voila!

Anonymous said...

yeah treee blogs.I have much energy!!

Smareis said...

Obrigada Fram Actual pela presença. Fiquei muito feliz com seu comentário. Será sempre bem vindo, e vou estar sempre aqui no seu blog lendo suas postagem.

Eu acredito que esse livro deve ser um livro muito bom de ler.

Deixo um grande abraço!

Fram Actual said...

I lost track of comments for this post, Anita, and did not realize you had made another return. Thank you ....

Fram Actual said...

I truly appreciate that you take the time to read my posts and to leave your words, Smareis.

And, yes, you are right. These books are very good books to read. Only fools do not wish to know and to understand the world which surrounds them.

Something special ....