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Interrogation Techniques

June 23, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian, Washington Bureau
Gen. David H. Petraeus, President Obama's choice to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told senators Thursday that the U.S. should consider a policy for using special interrogation techniques when a detainee is withholding information that is immediately needed to save lives. In the vast majority of cases, Petraeus said, the "humane" questioning standards mandated by the U.S. Army Field Manual are sufficient to persuade detainees to talk. But though he did not use the word torture, Petraeus said "there should be discussion … by policymakers and by Congress" about something "more than the normal techniques.
May 31, 2011 | By David H. Rittgers
The successful raid on Osama bin Laden's safe house in Pakistan has reinvigorated debate over the role that "enhanced interrogation techniques" have played in fighting Al Qaeda. No one is switching sides, which has turned the argument into a theological one between two sets of true believers. Each views the other as heretics. Get over it. The whole of the debate is pointless posturing. There is no way to prove or disprove the real worth of America's experiment with waterboarding and coercive techniques.
May 13, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian, Washington Bureau
Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee expect to release findings this summer from an 18-month investigation into the CIA's interrogation of terrorism suspects, a review that could provide some clarity on whether harsh techniques — or even torture — played a role in helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden. Since Bin Laden's death, there has been a dizzying back-and-forth between current and former U.S. officials — some with direct knowledge, some without — making claims they can neither prove nor disprove since classified information is involved.
May 12, 2011 | By Ken Dilanian
None of the crucial information that led the Central Intelligence Agency down the trail to Osama bin Laden came from coercive interrogation techniques, Sen. John McCain said on the Senate floor Thursday morning, contradicting the accounts of current and former U.S. officials. McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, has always opposed the U.S. use of waterboarding and other abusive techniques employed after the 9/11 attacks—banned by President Obama when he took office--to elicit information from detainees.
May 5, 2011 | Ken Dilanian
An Al Qaeda suspect who was subjected to harsh interrogation techniques at a secret CIA prison in early 2004 provided a clue, the nom de guerre of a mysterious courier, that ultimately proved crucial to finding Osama bin Laden, officials said Wednesday. The CIA had approved use of sleep deprivation, slapping, nudity, water dousing and other coercive techniques at the now-closed CIA "black site" in Poland where the Pakistani-born detainee, Hassan Ghul, was held, according to a 2005 Justice Department memo, which cited Ghul by name.
April 21, 2011 | Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
The Obama administration initiated its first Guantanamo Bay military tribunal Wednesday, charging a Saudi with masterminding the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole that killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 in October 2000. A conviction is uncertain, however, because U.S. interrogators repeatedly subjected Abd al Rahim al Nashiri to techniques widely considered to be torture. Information obtained through such methods cannot be used as evidence against him. According to the CIA, the onetime top Al Qaeda lieutenant was held for four years at an undisclosed "black site" where interrogators waterboarded him, placed a handgun beside his head and fired up an electric drill.
November 9, 2009 | Patrick J. McDonnell
Carmen Padron, a commercial laundry worker in Pomona, said a rival union tried to persuade her to abandon her longtime local. "They should be organizing workers who don't have a union, not harassing us," Padron said. George Ibarra, a hotel worker in Texas, said an organizing drive in San Antonio collapsed when a competing union swooped in and made a deal with management. "That was completely underhanded," Ibarra said. The two incidents are among numerous episodes in a vicious civil war that is roiling the U.S. labor movement and diverting attention from its core goals -- better contracts for workers, new organizing drives and a far-reaching political agenda in Washington.
August 24, 2009 | Anne E. Kornblut
President Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key suspected terrorists, part of a broader effort to revamp U.S. policy on detention and interrogation, senior administration officials said Sunday. Obama signed off late last week on the new unit, named the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. Composed of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the interrogation unit will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council -- giving the White House direct oversight.
August 12, 2009
If Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. believes that crimes may have been committed in the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against suspected terrorists, he has no choice but to ask a respected prosecutor to weigh the evidence and, if appropriate, bring charges. But the appointment of such a figure, which The Times has reported is imminent, won't provide critics of the CIA with the legal equivalent of a wide-ranging "truth commission" they have been seeking. Nor is it likely to illuminate the conduct of White House lawyers or policymakers.
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