Trump Administration Keeping Senate Torture Report From Public

The CIA, CIA inspector general and director of national intelligence will return their copies of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s massive 6,700-page report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program under the George W. Bush administration, a Senate aide confirmed to CNN on Friday.

The decision means it’s highly unlikely the report — which concluded that interrogation techniques such as waterboarding did not elicit useful intelligence from detainees — will be made public so long as Republicans control the Senate and the White House. Democrats are concerned it will never see the light of day if the copies are destroyed.

The report, written under then-intelligence chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein when Democrats controlled the Senate, has remained classified, except for an executive summary that was released when the report was completed in 2014. The report concluded that interrogation techniques such as waterboarding did not elicit useful intelligence from detainees.

The Senate report was sent to federal agencies in the hope that it could eventually be made public, but committee chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, has asked the administration to return the copies to the Senate.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the report was a congressional record, which is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, which Burr said was why he has asked that the agencies return the documents.

“I have directed my staff to retrieve copies of the congressional study that remain with the Executive Branch agencies and, as the committee does with all classified and compartmented information, will enact the necessary measures to protect the sensitive sources and methods contained within the report,” Burr said in a statement.

Republicans have criticized the report as unfairly targeting the CIA and ignoring the intelligence gained under the interrogation program.

The administration’s decision to return the reports to the Senate was first reported by The New York Times.

The intelligence panel’s Democrats slammed the Trump administration for giving the copies back, and Burr for making the demand they be returned.

Sen. Mark Warner, top Democrat on the committee, said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.

“This study must be preserved for history, and the Senate intelligence committee will continue to conduct vigorous oversight of our nation’s intelligence agencies to ensure that they abide by both the spirit and the letter of the law that bans the practices outlined in the report,” he said in a statement.

Feinstein called Burr’s move “divisive” and claimed Democrats on the committee had not been notified or consulted.

“No senator — chairman or not — has the authority to erase history,” the California Democrat said. “I believe that is the intent of the chairman in this case.”

And Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon accused Burr and the Trump administration of seeking to “pave the way for the kind of falsehoods used to justify an illegal and dangerous torture program.”

“For the sake of future generations of Americans, this report should be immediately returned to the government agencies who gave it up, disseminated widely within the government and most importantly, declassified for the American people,” Wyden said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to make the full report public, but its case was dismissed.

“It would be a travesty for agencies to return the CIA torture report instead of reading and learning from it, as senators intended,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.

The committee sent the report to seven federal agencies: the CIA, CIA inspector general, FBI, director of national intelligence and the Justice, State and Defense Departments.
But even if all those copies are returned to the committee, there is another way the report could eventually be made public.

When President Barack Obama was still in office, the White House felt it was caught between congressional Democrats who wanted the full report made public and the CIA and intelligence community that felt strongly against it, according to a former administration official.

But in December, the White House declared the document a presidential record, which means it’s part of the Obama presidential record, which remains classified for 12 years.
“It doesn’t mean it will be automatically declassified after 12 years, but at least in this case, a copy will be preserved,” the official said.

[CNN]

Trump on Waterboarding: ‘We Have to Fight Fire With Fire’

President Donald Trump said he wants to “fight fire with fire” when it comes to stopping terrorism, suggesting that he could be open to bringing back torture because he “absolutely” believes it works.

By reinstating enhanced interrogation, Trump would violate a US law ratified by the Senate in 2015 and go against the view of Defense Secretary James Mattis. CIA Director Mike Pompeo told senators earlier this month that he wouldn’t sanction the use of torture, though he later said he would consider bringing back waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation measures under certain circumstances.

In an interview with ABC News, Trump said “people at the highest level of intelligence” have told him that torture does work, something military experts have refuted. He went on to say, however, that he will listen to what his Cabinet secretaries have to say about the issue.

“When ISIS is doing things that no one has ever heard of, since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding?” Trump said. “As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.”

Trump’s argument was that ISIS is beheading people and posting the videos online, but that the United States is “not allowed to do anything.”

“We’re not playing on an even field,” Trump said. “I want to do everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally. But do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works.”

Democrats and Republicans alike have shot down the idea of bringing back torture methods that were used by the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Pompeo said earlier this month that he would “absolutely not” restart the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation tactics that fall outside of Army Field Manuals.
“Moreover, I can’t imagine I would be asked that by the President-elect,” Pompeo said during his confirmation hearing.

But in a series of written responses to questions from members of the Senate intelligence committee, Pompeo later said that while current permitted interrogation techniques are limited to those contained in the Army Field Manual, he was open to making changes to that policy.

The Senate voted overwhelming to ban torture across the US government in 2015, codifying a ban President Barack Obama issued by executive order shortly after he was sworn in in 2009. Obama then signed the updated defense authorization bill into law.
Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said the use of torture is “settled law” and that “Congress has spoken.”

The Senate intelligence committee produced a nearly 7,000-page classified report on torture, detention and interrogation after the George W. Bush administration brought back the practice. The authors of the report found the practice was ineffective and did not produce actionable intelligence.

“Reconstituting this appalling program would compromise our values, our morals and our standing as a world leader — this cannot happen,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We can’t base national security policies on what works on television — policies must be grounded in reality.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump’s proposed reliance on tactics used by Bond villains as a practical response to the terrorist acts of the Islamic State should be leaving people feeling aghast and concerned.

Unlike fictional TV shows, like 24 where Jack Bauer runs around and tortures his way to the bad guy or movies like Zero Dark Thirty who include torture scenes that never happened which lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, reality is quite different.

Waterboarding, and other forms of torture, is considered a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions and is not reliable for obtaining truthful, useful intelligence.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” There was no proof, according to the 6,700 page report, that information obtained through waterboarding prevented any attacks or saved any lives, or that information obtained from the detainees was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.”

In-fact, we’ve know for centuries that torture is not effective. Here is Napoleon’s own words on the subject:

“It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know.”

Instead, rapport-building techniques are 14 times more effective in extracting information than torture and has the upside of not being unethical.

Media

ABC GO

Donald Trump Touts Waterboarding, Stokes Immigration Fears in Border State

Donald Trump on Sunday warned his supporters in this border state that Hillary Clinton “wants to let people just pour in,” saying without evidence that hundreds of millions of people could enter the US under a Clinton presidency.

And speaking just nine days before Election Day, the Republican nominee also bemoaned criticism of waterboarding and appeared to once again call for bringing back the since-banned technique for use in the fight against ISIS.

“These savages are chopping off heads, drowning people. This is medieval times and then we can’t do waterboarding? ‘It’s far too tough,'” Trump said, mocking critics of the technique used by the CIA in interrogations of terror suspects under President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 administration.

Trump has previously called for reinstating waterboarding and “much worse” methods of torture if he becomes president.

“We have to be tough and we have to be smart. And we have to be in some cases pretty vicious I have to tell you,” he added.

The Republican nominee also issued a dire — and baseless — warning to Americans that a Clinton administration could usher a flood of hundreds of millions of people crossing into the US.

“You could have 650 million people pour in and we’d do nothing about it. Think of it. That’s what could happen. You triple the size of our country in one week. Once you lose control of your borders you just have no country folks, you have no country,” Trump said, speaking in this Democrat-leaning border state.

Trump also stoked fears about undocumented immigrant crime, warning that continued illegal immigration would result “in the loss of American lives,” even though undocumented immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than legal US residents.

Trump’s stop here came a day before Trump stumps in Michigan, also a state likely to swing in Clinton’s favor, as the Republican nominee and his campaign are hoping to make late gains to help secure the 270 electoral votes Trump needs to secure the presidency.

Trump’s stops in these blue-leaning states also helps bolster the campaign’s message that Trump’s candidacy is on the rise and that the campaign is going on the offensive the final slog to Election Day.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump’s proposed reliance on tactics used by Bond villains as a practical response to the terrorist acts of the Islamic State should be leaving people feeling aghast and concerned.

Unlike fictional TV shows, like 24 where Jack Bauer runs around and tortures his way to the bad guy or movies like Zero Dark Thirty who include torture scenes that never happened which lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, reality is quite different.

Waterboarding, and other forms of torture, is considered a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions and is not reliable for obtaining truthful, useful intelligence.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” There was no proof, according to the 6,700 page report, that information obtained through waterboarding prevented any attacks or saved any lives, or that information obtained from the detainees was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.”

In-fact, we’ve know for centuries that torture is not effective. Here is Napoleon’s own words on the subject:

“It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know.”

Instead, rapport-building techniques are 14 times more effective in extracting information than torture and has the upside of not being unethical.

Media

Trump: Geneva Conventions Are ‘Out of Date’

Speaking at a press conference, Donald Trump agreed with the statement that the Geneva Conventions outlawing war crimes were “out of date,” and reiterated his support for “enhanced interrogation” of terror suspects.

“Do you think the Geneva Conventions are out of date?” asked NBC’s Katy Tur.

“I think everything’s out of date,” responded Trump. “We have a whole new world.”

Trump repeated his much-scrutinized comments that NATO was obsolete. “Three days later, people that study NATO said, ‘You know, Trump is right.’ You know what, we have a lot of things that are out of date because they’re 20 and 30 and 40 years old.”

“What would you renegotiate?” asked NBC’s Katy Tur. “The enhanced interrogation aspect of it…?”

“Katy, I would renegotiate so much of everything,” he responded.

Tur asked the question again after he gave a long answer that nonetheless avoided the question: “The Geneva Convention and enhanced interrogation, do you think they should allow for that given the rise of ISIS?”

“I am a person that believes in enhanced interrogation, yes,” Trump responded. “And, by the way; it works.”

Reality

No it doesn’t.

Trump’s proposed reliance on tactics used by Bond villains as a practical response to the terrorist acts of the Islamic State should be leaving people feeling aghast and concerned.

Unlike fictional TV shows, like 24 where Jack Bauer runs around and tortures his way to the bad guy or movies like Zero Dark Thirty who include torture scenes that never happened which lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, reality is quite different.

Waterboarding, and other forms of torture, is considered a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions and is not reliable for obtaining truthful, useful intelligence.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” There was no proof, according to the 6,700 page report, that information obtained through waterboarding prevented any attacks or saved any lives, or that information obtained from the detainees was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.”

In-fact, we’ve know for centuries that torture is not effective. Here is Napoleon’s own words on the subject:

“It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know.”

Instead, rapport-building techniques are 14 times more effective in extracting information than torture and has the upside of not being unethical.

Media

Trump Calls For Torture Saying ‘I Like Waterboarding a Lot’

Republican Donald Trump has repeated calls for the return of waterboarding against Islamic State militants, saying: “I like it a lot.”

His comments at a rally in Ohio came hours after suicide bombers killed 41 people at an airport in Istanbul.

“You have to fight fire with fire,” said the Republicans’ likely nominee, after referring to IS beheadings.

Waterboarding, described by President Barack Obama as torture, was banned by the US in 2006.

The Turkish authorities believe the so-called Islamic State was behind the attacks at Ataturk International Airport on Tuesday.

“We have to fight so viciously and violently because we’re dealing with violent people,” Mr Trump said.

At one point, he asked the crowd: “What do you think about waterboarding?”

They cheered as he gave his answer: “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

The New York tycoon lamented that the US is prevented from waterboarding but “they [Islamic State] can do chopping off heads, drowning people in steel cages, they can do whatever they want to do”.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

Trump’s proposed reliance on tactics used by Bond villains as a practical response to the terrorist acts of the Islamic State should be leaving people feeling aghast and concerned.

Unlike fictional TV shows, like 24 where Jack Bauer runs around and tortures his way to the bad guy or movies like Zero Dark Thirty who include torture scenes that never happened which lead to the capture of Osama Bin Laden, reality is quite different.

Waterboarding, and other forms of torture, is considered a war crime according to the Geneva Conventions and is not reliable for obtaining truthful, useful intelligence.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that “the CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” There was no proof, according to the 6,700 page report, that information obtained through waterboarding prevented any attacks or saved any lives, or that information obtained from the detainees was not or could not have been obtained through conventional interrogation methods.

In-fact, we’ve know for centuries that torture is not effective. Here is Napoleon’s own words on the subject:

“It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know.”

Instead, rapport-building techniques are 14 times more effective in extracting information than torture and has the upside of not being unethical.

Media

After Terror Attack in Brussels, Trump Insults Then Calls For Torture

Asked by the Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo about the feasibility of his proposal to bar foreign Muslims from entering the United States, Mr. Trump argued that Belgium and France had been blighted by the failure of Muslims in these countries to integrate.

“There is something going on, Maria,” he said. “Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that — you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation. There is something bad going on.”

Warming to his theme, he added that Brussels was in a particularly dire state.

“You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it’s like living in a hellhole right now,”

Trump went on to promote war crimes as a reasonable response.

“Frankly, the waterboarding, if it was up to me, and if we changed the laws or had the laws, waterboarding would be fine,” Trump said. “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from these people.” He continued, “I am in the camp where you have to get the information and you have to get it rapidly.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Furthermore Trump’s hellhole comment was tasteless during a time of mourning and should highlight his repeated failures at foreign policy. His comments about the city inspired quite a backlash on social media, with Brussels denizens using the hashtag #hellhole, to defend their city.

Media

Links

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/world/europe/trump-finds-new-city-to-insult-brussels.html?_r=0

http://www.today.com/news/donald-trump-responds-brussels-attacks-it-s-very-dangerous-city-t81716

Trump on Waterboarding: ‘Torture Works’

During a campaign event at the Sun City retirement community, Donald Trump said that he supports waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques because “torture works” in the questioning of terrorists.

Trump was responding to a question from South Carolina state Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R), who asked the candidate a series of questions in a fireside-chat-style event that lasted 33 minutes.

“On that whole thing of politically correct, would you allow U.S. interrogators to waterboard terrorist prisoners in order to extract information?” Herbkersman asked Trump.

“Absolutely,” Trump said to strong applause from the audience of about 500 retirees, who often laughed as Trump discussed enhanced interrogation techniques.  Trump emphasized his intention to reinstate waterboarding and techniques that are “so much worse” and “much stronger.”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” Trump said. “Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

 

Trump Would Approve Waterboarding in a Heartbeat

Trump approves waterboarding in Columbus, OH

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he not only would bring back waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique discontinued by the Obama administration, but also would “approve more than that,” even if such tactics prove ineffective.

“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would — in a heartbeat.”

Trump said to loud cheers during a rally at a convention center here Monday night that attracted thousands.

“And I would approve more than that. Don’t kid yourself, folks. It works, okay? It works. Only a stupid person would say it doesn’t work.”

Trump said such techniques are needed to confront terrorists who “chop off our young people’s heads” and “build these iron cages, and they’ll put 20 people in them and they drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull them up 15 minutes later.”

“It works,” Trump said over and over again. “Believe me, it works. And you know what? If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing. It works.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

Links

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/11/23/donald-trump-on-waterboarding-if-it-doesnt-work-they-deserve-it-anyway/

Trump Says He Would Bring Back Waterboarding

Donald Trump would “absolutely” bring back waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation, he said today on ABC’s “This Week.”

Trump characterized waterboarding as a form of “strong interrogation” that is “peanuts” when compared to tactics used by ISIS against its hostages.

“I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “What they’re doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head, that’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”

Trump also said he does not want to close any mosques in the United States but he does want to put them under surveillance. He previously said it may be necessary to close some mosques if it is determined “bad things are happening” in them.

When asked if he wants blanket surveillance across all the nation’s mosques, Trump said “strong measures” are necessary.

“The people that are involved in those mosques, they know who the bad ones are and they know who the good ones are, but they don’t talk,” he said. “We have to surveil the mosques.”

Trump also said those on terror watch lists should be restricted from purchasing guns if they are a known “enemy of state.” Currently, someone one a terror watch list can legally purchase a gun in the U.S.

“If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely,” Trump said, while emphasizing that he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

“If we have an enemy of state, I don’t want to give him anything,” Trump said. “I want to have him in jail — that’s what I want. I want to have him in jail.”

Reality

Torture is illegal, unethical, and simply does not work. When a subject is in pain, people will say anything to get the pain to stop. Most of the time, they will lie, make up anything to make you stop hurting them. That means the information provided during the time of torture is useless. It is irresponsible to forget the lessons we learned during the war against terror for Donald Trump to suggest a war crime.

Media

http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/donald-trump-bring-back-waterboarding-35357550

Links

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-bring-back-waterboarding/story?id=35354443