Beltway Insider: CIA Torture Report Released; Key Tactics Surface; Protesters March on Washington

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President Obama, negating the methods of sensitive information extraction among those responsible for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, criticized the Bush Administration's use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques that dehumanized, demoralized and violated the global moral authority of the United States.


According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, remained constant at 43% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased one percentage point to 52%. 

CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Report

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released an abbreviated and exhaustive 525 page report, this week, outlining The Central Intelligence Agency Detention and Interrogation Program which drew swift and immediate condemnation over the methods in place to extract information from detainees immediately following the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on September 11, 2001.

The report, vast, and unusually clean, without the typical, every other word, redaction that accompanies most released government documents, explained in detail the methods employed by CIA interrogation specialists, the subsequent inaccuracies used to maintain the programs, and an examination and review of specific points.

Chairwoman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), in the foreword, indicated she had not petitioned for full release and declassification of the complete report and "decisions will be made later on the declassification and release of the full 6.700 page study."

President Obama announced the terror techniques detailed with the voluminous report have no place in his administration.

"On the President's second day in office, he initiated the kinds of reforms that provided greater oversight, that provided greater clarity, that provided clear guidelines to ensure that as these individuals were being held and interrogated that it was being done in a way that's consistent with our values and consistent with a way that upholds our moral authority around the globe," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Sharp Reaction

The CIA torture report drew swift and immediate condemnation over the methods in place to extract information from detainees, those suspected Al Qaida operatives and associates who were captured immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The criticism drew sharp exchanges on both sides of the torture argument as Arizona Senior Senator John McCain (R), himself a survivor of five years in a Hanoi Prisoner of War Camp during the Vietnam War, is an outspoken detractor of the use of torture.

Party politics notwithstanding the depth and detail associated with the report has created the desire to distance oneself from it.

Potential 2016 GOP Presidential contenders, Senator's Marco Rubio, (R-FL),Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have all, either in mild or strong language denounced the tactics.

Citing the need for sensitive information, central to the core of Al Quida, the methods utilized by the guards did produce limited sensitive information.

McCain, considered the foremost expert in POW torture, has said numerous times, "Torture produces more bad than good intelligence."

To which it is like a suspect regurgitating everything known to stop the interrogator and having them shift through a pointless pile of vomit.

In wartime, and after September 11, 2001, American whether or not it had formally entered into war with retaliation, was at war and therefore the rules and engagement of war were realized.

The CIA Report details the Bush Administration Interrogation polices and his then Vice President Dick Cheney took to the Sunday airwaves to defend the use of torture on detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

"Torture, to me is an American citizen on a cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11. There's this notion that somehow there's moral equivalence between what the terrorists and what we do. And that's absolutely not true," Cheney said on the Sunday Political Show, Meet The Press.

An Affront to a Normal Mind

The details of the report are shocking and more than a decade after the fact, the enhanced torture tactics are an affront to the mind of a civilized people.

The torture tactics used were not carried out on a civilized people. They were used on a terrorist organization that commandeered jet airliners, to carry out a plan that would drive the planes into the World Trade Center, into the Pentagon and into the White House and in the process murder as many United States citizens as possible. Al Qaida's plan would have shaken the very core of the American people and be used to instill a subjugating fear in the population.

Standing in New York City one day after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks brought down the World Trade Center and destroyed a section of the Pentagon and the fourth and final airliner lie crashed in Shanksville, one could see this was not the work of a civilized people.

These benchmarks of terrorism negated the idea that a civilized people would not employ every necessary tactics to gather credible threats. 

CIA Detention and Interrogation Program

Reports, emails and other damning evidence of accepted tactics, attitudes are cited in the report. The report also presented, descriptively, the most egregious methods of enhanced interrogation techniques.

"The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policy makers and other," the released report read.

The tactics began with detainee, Abu Zubaydah and continued with others "the CIA applied its enhanced interrogation techniques with significant repetition for days and weeks at a time. Interrogation techniques such as slaps and "wallings" (slamming detainees against a wall) were used in combination, frequently concurrent with sleep deprivation and nudity," stated the

Waterboarding, a non-immersive technique to replicate the terror of drowning, is accomplished as the person is restrained and water is poured through a cloth that is placed over the face, mouth and nose, and breathing passages.

The CIA report indicated the Zubaydah became "completely unresponsive, with bubbles rising through his open mouth. The report also details the psychological effects of prolonged torture.

Sectioned also in the report, "The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others."

Detainees were held in COBALT detention facility, where a myriad of psychological torture techniques, commonly known to cause mental, emotional distress and breakdown the human spirit including isolation, loud blaring, pulsating screech music, less than nominal facilities, stress positions with arms locked, paraded naked while interrogators physically and verbally hit, punched or slapped a hooded detainee.

Wrongful detention was also singled out as one of the most serious and egregious violations of an overzealous interrogation team, citing that many of the initial detainees did not me the minimum standard for detention and yet were subject to the tactics.

The CIA also recognized the depths of their imaginations weren't enough and utilzed a private firm, with an $80million dollar price tag, to create and carry out torture tactics.

Rectal Feeding, probably the most offensive, was also listed as one of the most serious offenses.

"CIA medical officers discussed the effectiveness of rectal rehydration as a means of behavior control. As one officer wrote "while IV infusion is safe and effective we were impressed with the ancillary effectiveness of rectal infusion on ending the water refusal in a similar case." 

The use of rectal rehydration is a deeply disturbing and egregious revelation which causes even the most hardliner to develop sympathies. It is an abhorrent tactic which has no place in any interrogation methodology.

These tactics are noted to have caused deep and lasting emotional and psychological problems. The idea of course was to intentionally cause a mental, psychological breakdown until either the detainee found a way to commit suicide or died as a result.

There are causalities in any war, this one was no different. When there are no restraints, or checks and balance systems in place or a belief that absolute authority the opportunity for corruption exists.

President Obama and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

President Obama has made it clear the tactics detailed within this report have no place within his administration. 

"Well, at least in one way -- one way I can explain that is to tell you that those individuals who are serving the President of the United States right now are not engaged and are not supporting a policy of enhanced interrogation techniques.  And the reason they're not doing that is because the President unequivocally banned it on his second full day in office.  I suppose if those individuals didn't agree with that policy, they wouldn't be serving the President," said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

Moreover, the Obama Administration's Olive Branch Foreign Policy, and a willingness to embrace every former enemy of the United States and our allies, without securing peace agreements, is as much a concern to the people of the United States as it is to allies.

President Obama is faced with a terror group, so insidious and sinister in ISIS/ISIL, that the day may come when he to or at minimum, a member of the global coalition is faced with the same interrogation situation.

ISIS/ISIL, has been called by exiting Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as "unlike any terror organization we have seen" which lends itself to the natural conclusion of possibility.

National Day of Resistance - I Can't Breathe Protests

A nation took to the streets this weekend, in continued protests, with thousands marching along the Washington Mall chanting "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe" with hopes igniting a complacent judicial system, with a clear message and objective.

As protests, demonstrations and peaceful marches were held across the nations, the nucleus of this movement, led by the Reverend Al Sharpton, the leader defacto of The National March Against Police violence.

The 2014 March had garnered large scale interest and took on a new identity as The National Day of Resistance, gathering support from Maine to Washington and Kentucky of California as communities moved forward stimulated with a new message and renewed hope.

President Obama has yet, and has admitted seeing the Eric Garner tape, he has yet to speak out against the decision of the grand jury and in all probability he will not.

I can't breathe, while in this case, words spoken by a dying man, are in reality the words that describe the effects of injustice on a society. The larger message, behind the words spoken by Eric Garner, is the fact that injustice is stifling. Injustice creates an inability to breathe as the harsh realities tighten and constrain life.

For the president to make a statement in any way contradicting the decision, right or wrong, is to make a determination on evidence he did not see. And in some cases the evidence is no more than a video tape and while clearly compelling, the jury found the force to be within boundaries for the situation.

Newtown Massacre

Two years ago, on December 14, 2011, a slightly odd boy with a love for guns, and hunting, finally snapped.

Before shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary school, a short drive from his home, Peter Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother in her bed. Police reported she died of a single shot to the head while still in bed and clad in pajamas. She was shot four times.

After the initial murder, Lanza made a decision. For whatever the reason, this day was it. Dressed in all black clothing, with an olive green hunting vest large enough to hold several magazine clips, he wore sunglasses and inserted earplugs, he was prepared and nothing would stop him.  

Finally accomplishing something, he paused, courageous, armed with three weapons, and plenty of ammunition, totaling nearly 300 rounds, he headed over to the elementary school, bloodthirsty, with four hundred potential victims.

The idea of finding another mass group of people was too challenging for the mentally deranged twenty year old. He was chasing numbers and would finally make a name for himself.

Shooting his way through, a full length plate glass window, which oddly was not replaced with bullet proof or some high resistant shatter proof material, as the school Principal Dawn Hochsprung, had successfully advocated for tighter security controls that included visual identification and self locking doors.

In the span of five minutes 156 rounds had been fired and 20 children, five and six year olds and six educators were killed.

Lanza would die of a self inflicted shot to the head and by his hand, at day's end, 28 people would be dead.

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