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CIA report: 'Torture is a crime and those responsible must be brought to justice'

OWoN: Absolutely right, it's long overdue for them all to be indicted as War Criminals and this Drug Running, Torturing, Murdering Criminal Agency needs closing down. But they won't, because this is part of the Criminal Government who run America.

The former US vice-president Dick Cheney has defended the CIA torture programme as ‘absolutely, totally justified’ - Image: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

CIA report: 'Torture is a crime and those responsible must be brought to justice'

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights advocates say prosecutions must follow Senate’s CIA torture report

  • Shocking cases in CIA report reveal an American torture program in disarray

  • Damning conclusion: report brands programme ineffective and brutal

The Guardian
By Oliver Laughland
10 December 2014

The UN, human rights activists and legal experts have renewed calls for the Obama administration to prosecute US officials responsible for the CIA torture programme revealed in extensive detail following the release of a damning report by the Senate intelligence committee.

The report, released on Tuesday, found the CIA misled the White House, the Justice Department, Congress and the public over a torture programme that was both ineffective and more brutal than the agency disclosed.

“Today’s release once again makes crystal clear that the US government used torture. Torture is a crime and those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice,” Amnesty International USA’s executive director, Steven W Hawkins, said in a statement.

“Under the UN convention against torture, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever can be invoked to justify torture, and all those responsible for authorising or carrying out torture or other ill-treatment must be fully investigated.”

In Geneva, the United Nations’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, said CIA officers and other US government officials should be prosecuted.

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorised at a high level within the US government provides no excuse whatsoever,” Emmerson said in a statement. 

Amnesty International said the findings showed ‘exactly how free the US government felt to commit torture with impunity’ - Image: Paul J Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Former Bush officials had been critical of the report’s findings before they were made public. Former vice-president Dick Cheney told the New York Times on Monday that any attempt to portray the programme as a rogue operation was a “bunch of hooey” and defended its use as “absolutely, totally justified”.

But Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, told the Guardian that Cheney’s comments were undermined by the contents of the report.

“By bringing out that the CIA lied to Congress, to the executive branch, to the Justice Department, to the inspector general, to the courts and others, the report undermines any chance for Republicans like former vice-president Cheney to defend the CIA,” O’Connell said.

“The United States is obligated under both the Geneva convention and the convention against torture … to investigate and prosecute the commission of torture.”

Republican senator John McCain, tortured in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, was out of step with some fellow Republicans in welcoming the report and endorsing its findings.

“We gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer,” he said in a Senate speech. “Too much.” 

President Obama has cooled on commitments made during the 2008 election to pursue criminal investigations - Image: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

President Obama has cooled on commitments made during the 2008 election campaign to pursue criminal investigations if it were proved that “there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront”.

A 2009 DoJ investigation into the use of torture, which was commissioned by the former attorney general Michael Mukasey and headed by assistant US attorney John Durham, concluded in August 2012 that no charges should be brought.

Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, described the Senate report as an “exhaustive cataloguing not just of horrific details of the interrogation and torture programme, but also of the mismanagement and a chaotic CIA”.

Anders added that the statute of limitations had not lapsed for some incidents included in the report, particularly those that resulted in deaths.

The report documents the case of suspected militant Gul Rahman, who died from hypothermia after a CIA officer was approved to use “enhanced measures” during his interrogation and left him naked from the waist down and shackled to a wall in a cold cell.

Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, also called on governments in other signatory states to the UN convention against torture to prosecute officials should they enter their territory.

“Other countries have all the information they need should they wish to exercise universal jurisdiction and prosecute these officials should they appear in their borders,” Prasow said.

The director of Amnesty USA’s security and human rights programme, Naureen Shah, told the Guardian that among the most shocking disclosures in the report were revelations that the US paid more than $180m (£115m) to two contractor psychologists to help establish the programme.

“This is the kind of thing that goes beyond horrific,” Shah said. “It shows exactly how free the US government felt to commit torture with impunity. It’s brazen in its detail and also in its abdication of legal responsibility – the idea that you would outsource to contractors the design of a programme that at base was about torture and ill treatment.”

The report reveals that use of torture in secret prisons run by the CIA across the world was even more extreme than previously exposed, and included “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding”, sleep deprivation lasting almost a week and threats to the families of the detainees.

The names of other countries – including Britain – who cooperated with the US programme by assisting the rendition of suspects were redacted from the published report.

Asked about British involvement, David Cameron said the question that a parliamentary inquiry was “dealing with all those issues” and that he had issued guidance to British agents on “how they have to handle these issues in future”

“Torture is wrong, torture is always wrong. Those of us who want to see a safer and more secure world, who want to see extremism defeated, we won’t succeed if we lose our moral authority, if we lose the things that make or systems work and countries successful,” the prime minister said.

The Senate committee published nearly 500 pages of its investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme during the Bush administration’s “war on terror”. The full report is over 10 times longer, but the declassified section is dense with detail and declassified communications between the officials involved.

Associated Press contributed to this report.



  1. EXCLUSIVE: CIA Spent $40 million, Hacked Senate Computers to Suppress Torture Report

    Struggling to control the CIA’s crumbling torture narrative, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, attempted to derail US Senator Diane Feinstein today live on CNN, by interrupting the Senator repeatedly, insinuating that the report was wrong, almost acting as an apologist for Washington’s 13 year-long torture boondoggle. What followed in their exchange is some of the most explosive revelations yet…

    Feinstein went on to drop the biggest bombshell yet, stating, “The CIA spent $40 million dollars to prevent us from issuing this report. That is fact. We did not spend the money, we used our staff to do this report.”

    She then accused the CIA of foul play, explaining, “They went into our computers, literally, to take out information, not once, not twice, but three times. I believe that this is a separation of powers violation”.

    “This to me shows that the CIA pulled out all the stops to prevent this from coming out.”

    Blitzer dutifully continued pumping up CIA chief John Brennan, whom Blitzer proudly referred to as, “a man I know”, citing Brennan’s highly dubiously claim that torture, “continues to inform our counter-terrorism efforts to this day”.

    Feinstein flatly rebuffed the Brennan statement. “An an examination of these records going back to the beginning of the program, indicates that this is simply not true”.

    Feinstein also went on to describe how ‘tapes were burned’, and challenged anyone who disagrees with the report’s findings to go and actually examine the evidence inside it.

    This criminal element needs to be dealt with swiftly...there is no excuse- this is blatant "lawlessness."

  2. Not just torture: the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, John Lennon and many heads of state; MK-Ultra; Operation Mockingbird; The Phoenix Project; funding, arming and training numerous terrorist organisations; destabilising foreign nations; overthrowing elected leaders; drug and arms running; extrajudicial murders including drone warfare; developing exotic weapons and using them even on American citizens; 911 and other false-flag attacks; black ops; blackmail; crimes against humanity and treason.

    Criminally Insane Arseholes.

    1. Such a display of blatant abuse of power, such a level of criminality; remember Benghazi, going to war in Iraq under false pretense...many innocent murdered at the behest of these criminals; also Syria and the UsA creation of ISIS and much that is exposed....and still nothing is done? Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Ritual Pedophilia at the highest ranks...Smart Meters...everything is toxic and we cannot continue as a nation...when are real men going to show up for the "party?"

    2. The REAL Reason Guantanamo Is Being Kept Open

      “We Can Never Let The World Know What I Have Done To You”

      Most of the prisoners at Guantanamo have been found innocent and found innocent and cleared for release.

      But as we wrote last year:

      Top counter-terrorism experts say that indefinite detention – such as we have at Guantanamo – increases terrorism. Colin Powell’s chief of staff says that the Bush administration knew that most of the inmates at Guantanamo were innocent, but kept them locked up indefinitely to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that they’d tortured innocent people.

      In other words, Guantanamo is being kept open – and innocent detainees imprisoned forever – in order to try to cover up the torture of innocents. Prosecuting – instead of covering up for – the torturers would allow the innocents to be released … thus taking away one of the main causes of terrorism: indefinite detention.

      Evidence for this theory is contained in the following passage from the Senate’s torture report:

      One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because “we can never let the world know what I have done to you.”

      This along with all the other criminal acts cannot be overlooked...this must end, and the buck stops here. Hell or high water, we must see justice done...for future generations...

  3. Stop believing the lies: America tortured more than 'some folks' – and covered it up
    CIA defenders are out in force now that a historic report has exposed a decade of horrific American shame. Torture didn’t work, but why aren’t the architects of torture in jail?
    Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: how the CIA tortured its detainees
    Follow live updates: CIA torture report released
    Plus: Complete coverage of the CIA torture report

    It wasn’t that bad, we’ve been told, over and over again, for more than a decade. “We only waterboarded three people” goes the line American officials have been force-feeding the world for years. “We tortured some folks,” Barack Obama admitted recently, still downplaying war crimes committed in America’s name.

    But beyond all the the depravity, perhaps the most shocking part of this exposed history is the action of US officials who knew these horrors were unfolding – and covered them up.
    Senator calls for 'purge' of officials who violated anti-torture laws – live

    Senator Mark Udall blasts CIA on Senate floor (video)
    Udall accuses White House of aiding CIA at president’s expense
    Rights watchdog calls for criminal investigation
    ACLU calls for special prosecutor

  4. These are evil, criminal murdering scum who need bringing to justice and jailing. They must NOT be above the law.
    This is what kills America worldwide. Americans don't get they are hated, because of them! Hated! Whole generations will now hate America. God help Americans caught by them We are reviled by ISIS, but these scum are 10 times worse. Evil begets Evil.

    1. The One Man Jailed For CIA Torture Tried To Expose It

      In an interview with ABC News in 2007, former CIA agent John Kiriakou was one of the first to acknowledge the existence of the CIA's torture program. Federal authorities brought criminal charges against him in 2008 for revealing the name of a covert agent to a reporter. Kiriakou pleaded guilty to those charges in 2012 and is currently serving a 30-month federal prison sentence.

      "I believe I was prosecuted not for what I did but for who I am: a CIA officer who said torture was wrong and ineffective and went against the grain," Kiriakou said last year. Federal authorities say Kirakou had caused a security breach by leaking the name of another agent.

      White House press secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday that the Department of Justice would have to determine whether to bring charges against officials involved in the CIA interrogation program. But charges seem unlikely. Attorney General Eric Holder concluded a three-year investigation into the program in 2012, saying he would not charge anyone involved in waterboarding or other forms of torture.

      After the Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary of its torture report on Tuesday, there were calls from the international community to prosecute those responsible for the torture program.

      Under international law, the U.S. is obliged to prosecute torture "where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction," Ben Emmerson, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigator on counterterrorism and human rights, said in a statement. "States are not free to maintain or permit impunity for these grave crimes." (more)
      Depose entire UsA government...they are all guilty of "dereliction of duty" They swore to uphold their office, they swore to abide by the laws...they should all be accountable for the failure...this is gross neglect and abandonment of the UsA population...worldwide criminality...

  5. CIA Torture Report: China, North Korea Slam US 'Hypocrisy', Call for UN Action

    China and North Korea have slammed the US government for being hypocritical on the issues relating to human rights. The criticism comes on the heels of the controversial US Senate report on the gruesome torture of detainees by Central Intelligence Agencies.
    "As Human Rights Day approaches, high-profile cases of violations within American borders and by its agencies abroad are being scrutinised, especially as it pertains to be a defender of civil liberties globally," the government-owned official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary on Tuesday.
    North Korea also issued its condemnation against the "inhuman torture" methods of the US as highlighted by the report. Pyongyang said the revelations posed a major test to the credibility of Security Council, which it accused of "shutting its eyes" to rights violations by one of its permanent members while discussing North Korea's rights record.
    "If (the Security Council) wants to discuss the human rights issue, it should ... call into question the human rights abuses rampant in the US," a spokesman cited by the official KCNA news agency said, as reported by AFP.
    The remarks seem to be a desperate effort by North Korea to throw the ball on US side after being rattled by UN condemnation of its human rights record.

    A situation where the "pot calling the kettle black..." We need to clean up our own yard before we point fingers at other countries while UaA is guilty of the very same crimes against humanity...

  6. US Military Officials, UN, Human Rights Groups Call On Responsible American Officials to be Prosecuted for Torture

    Prosecute … Or They Will Do It Again

    Reuters reports today:

    Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

    “As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. “The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.”


    “It is now time to take action.
    Now the US Military is calling for prosecutions...this should be the line in the sand...this actually represents the "fat lady singing." In my honest opinion; I believe that this exposure saves American lives...think of what they plan for our population under Agenda 21?

    1. White House Petition To Prosecute

  7. All know my sayings here - but not all understand that I would be happy if we all go forward towards our common future TOGETHER. Nobody is against America - Russians were not against America. If NATO stayed the way as it was agreed by Sr and Gorbatchov - then we have peace and cooperation...

    Now - after some hopes through past couple of years how it can be done that DC will be cleansed options were limited - there is still good chance that US military can come and do the job - just a big military coup without no mercy -

    All truth out - justice in - ask for forgiveness to each nation groups that crimes were committed against -

    People would forgive and Americans would be accepted back as a nation that stands for justice and truth ..... the best still would be to break USA into few states that would cooperate - this would satisfy some just anger that many nations would hold but it would eventually evaporate .....

    Americans could be back on world stage within 5 years - as alliance of North American nations .....
    Russians came back - they understood only way to be fully accepted is to stand of international law and promote justice and fairness -- it is a start. The nation was broke. Things that happened to Russia through period of last 130 years would break down the nation - Russia survived ....

    If Russia survived other can survive as well .....

    In case you will try to sneak truth and justice under the table - it will not help in a long run. Beside nations know and people will know truth and be always suspicious ...

    My words were harsh and right at point .....

  8. An excellent comment (author unknown) was just forwarded to me.

    Consider the words of Winston Churchill, a man not well-known for shirking confrontation or combat, written after World War I while he was secretary of state for war:

    ""All the horrors of all the ages were brought together, and not only armies but whole populations were thrust into the midst of them. The mighty educated States involved conceived – not without reason – that their very existence was at stake. Neither peoples nor rulers drew the line at any deed which they thought could help them to win. Germany, having let hell loose, kept well in the van of terror; but she was followed step by step by the desperate and ultimately avenging nations she had assailed. … When it was all over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and they were of doubtful utility.""

    It is those last words that most completely damn the Bush administration as barbarians unfit for leadership of the free world. Few would find appeals to national security very compelling if the president insisted that victory in the War That Dare Not Speak Its Name required feeding the armed forces on the flesh of fallen Iraqis, and yet there is very little evidence, historic or current, that indicates torture will be of any use in turning back the forces of expansionist Islam.

    Enthusiastic use of the most brutal torture did not help the French hold Algeria against Islamic rebels, nor did it bring victory to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Debates about whether “water boarding” is more acceptable than the rack or thumbscrews are meaningless; the point is that civilized societies do not indulge in such activities since they are evil and effectively useless.


  9. Israeli high court decision enables widespread torture of Palestinian detainees

    Notice how it's usually the "master races" that behave like animals, while boasting about their superiority over others. Mentally unhinged, morally degenerate, barbaric, lacking compassion or empathy, self-centred and spiritually backward scum.

    1. The only scenario I can come up with is, "they are not human." There is no humanity in them...and we need to be rid of their kind...I do not want to be governed by these monsters! I refuse to feed the much as I can I make sure that I am not supporting them, their holidays or anything else...their religions....

  10. Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'

    No comment....I can't find the words.

    1. Valdi, these are criminals and they need to be hunted down and swift retribution should be rendered...OmG!

  11. CIA report: 'Torture is a crime and those responsible must be brought to justice'
    Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights advocates say prosecutions must follow Senate’s CIA torture report
    • Shocking cases in CIA report reveal an American torture program in disarray
    • Damning conclusion: report brands programme ineffective and brutal

  12. CIA torture report: global reaction roundup
    UN calls for prosecution of Bush-era officials who sanctioned CIA torture programme detailed by Senate’s intelligence committee

  13. From FedUp's post:
    “As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. “The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.”

    Read more at:
    OWoN © All Rights Reserved

    What if they don't? To whom does the US answer?

    So on one side we have oil threatening commodities derivatives, and the other side we have records of illegal torture requiring prosecution and arrests. Let's hope that (a) the new financial system is ready to nullify the derivatives crash and (b) new untainted caretaker governments and/or officials are ready.

    Is the fat lady really walking out onto the stage? Fingers crossed.

    1. O doesn't want any prosecution for torturers...He is simply out of his mind...

      Obama: America "Exceptional" So We Don't Prosecute Torturers Legal experts and human rights advocates says prosecutions must follow Senate's report on CIA torture as president says grave violations of domestic and international law should be kept "where they belong—in the past"

      In his first official remarks following Tuesday's release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the torture program conducted by the CIA during the presidency of George W. Bush, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night indicated that the abuses detailed in the report conducted in the name of the American people—described as "horrific," "ruthless" and "much more brutal than previously thought"—should not be followed by further inquiries or prosecutions as many have long urged. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ With UsA consistently pointing out human rights violations within other countries and sanctioning these countries for these crimes through the UN...UsA is not above the law. The country did not perform these acts, and neither do we condone these acts, we are against our government for committing such horrendous crimes...swift prosecution is the only answer.

      Read more at:
      OWoN © All Rights Reserved

    2. The CIA Is Lying': On Senate Floor, Udall Blasts Continued Torture Cover-Up
      Outgoing Colorado senator calls on President Obama to "purge his administration of high-level officials who were instrumental to the development and running of this program"

  14. The worse thing on top of it is a simple fact -

    Iraq did not do anything wrong against US at the first place.....those who were tortured and killed might have stood up against US invading armies to protect their families - but in fact they have not done anything wrong. They did not do 9/11

    It was all fabricated ..... so was Palestine .....

  15. Long time reader, and lurker of your great site, and I have learned more than I have ever imagined, and I thank you for this. I do have a question though, and PLEASE do not think I am defending anyone or any policy. I do have a question though, while your site gives great insight I think you forgot to mention that the U.S. did not act unilaterally; in fact 54 countries were complacent and now implicated with 25 of them in Europe.

    The implications of the report stretch around the whole world, with much of the most controversial activity taking place off US soil. The map above shows just how many countries were participants in the CIA programme, according to the George Soros’ Open Society Foundation’s 2013 report.

    Though unofficial, that very detailed probe concluded that 54 countries around the world assisted the CIA’s programme – 25 of them in Europe.

    Again, I'm as ashamed and horrified at the actions of the U.S. government, so please don't take this as some sort of " defense" of any sort.

    As an aside, I have to admit that I feel as though I'm living in the twilight zone.. Putin and Soros...really?

    1. Those perpetrating and those complicate are two different levels of guilt, but all are GUILTY.

    2. Exactly, it's disgusting. I'm just shaking my head. Here so many try to make a good life, are proud to be Americans, and these jerks just undo any good we might have accomplished in the past. Very sad.

    3. I watch Harper do it here daily, so I know the feeling.

  16. And just one other comment on these other 54 countries, we should begin calling for similar I.C.C. War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity criminal charges against those within all of those Nations, including the USA.

  17. Normally I would never quote the American Conservative, but it's a helpful read, especially the quote that torture as a strategy originated in the elite.

    Unfortunately, the article never apologizes for the actions taken.

    1. The pro-torture lobby will never admit that torture is not good. They will justify this horrendous crime by saying that "something good came out of it."

      I would think that if a person is being tortured that they would say almost anything to make the abuse stop...this is just my their excuses are not justified...crimes were committed...
      Date: Dec 11, 2014 9:15 AM
      Subject: The lies of the pro-torture lobby

      BrasscheckTV Report

      Yes, there is a pro-torture
      lobby - and it's big and
      they get limitless face
      time on the news media.

      To justify their depravity,
      one of the favorite lies of the
      pro-torture lobby is that
      torture "works."

      What science knows - and
      knew when these criminals
      set up their operation.


      - Brasscheck TV

      P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV with your
      friends and colleagues.

  18. 24 and torture:

    The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show, broadcast on the Fox channel. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series - apparently hugely popular among the US military - was having a damaging effect on young troops.

    According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: "I'd like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires... The kids see it and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24'?
    "The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do."

    "The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum raised the question in a twitter post, in which she stated, "Still p….d at the creators of 24, who normalized torture every single week," the Daily Caller reported.

    She may be onto something. In the three years after the tragedy of 9/11, "24" was responsible for 70 out of 624 incidents of television fictional torture, the Parents Television Council told The Washington Post. Across the board, the torturers were more likely to be all-American good guys than Nazis, terrorists or drug cartel enforcers"

    1. Attribute to VoxDay comments section.

  19. CIA boss says 9/11 attacks justified CIA enhanced interrogations

    CIA Director John Brennan recounted the horrors of the 9/11 attacks in defending his agency’s use of enhanced interrogations.

    Mr. Brennan made the remarks in a rare press conference in the wake of a Senate report released earlier this week the outlined aggressive tactics used by CIA officers to extract information from suspected terrorists.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
    We all know and so do they, that 911 was exposed through many expert researchers as an inside job. It has nothing to do with Iraq

  20. Justice Department says it still won't pursue criminal charges over American torture program

    The public now knows even more graphic details about the extent of America's torture program, but it appears that won't be making any difference in the Justice Department decision to charge no one in the government with a crime.

    The Justice Department review considered "all potentially applicable substantive criminal statutes as well as the statutes of limitations and jurisdictional provisions that govern prosecutions under those statutes," according to department documents. At the time, Durham also made clear that nobody would be prosecuted who had "acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees."

    "This inquiry was extraordinarily thorough and we stand by our previously announced decision not to initiate criminal charges," the Justice Department spokesman said. [...]

    [T]he Obama administration has essentially shielded CIA officers involved in the program with its “look forward, not backward” focus. While determined to examine the agency's past actions overall, the White House has been equally insistent that the CIA officers not be scapegoated for the legal tap dance the George W. Bush administration used to approve the program.
    AG Eric Holder should be gone now...better sooner than later...this is reprehensible! These types of crimes yield no immunities...

  21. The Guardian view on the CIA torture report: there is a second scandal here
    The Senate report reveals that a private company played a central role in the CIA’s brutal interrogation regime. It adds more murk to what was already a catalogue of horrors

    Buried deep in the US Senate’s report on CIA torture is an account of how often brutal interrogation was outsourced to a private company in receipt of huge sums of US taxpayers’ money. The CIA transferred a total of $81m to a firm set up by two psychologists involved in the interrogation programme. The value of the CIA’s contract with this firm reached $180m in 2006, though in fact only $81m was paid out before the contract expired in 2009. In 2007 the CIA provided that same company with a multiyear indemnity arrangement to protect it and its employees from legal liability. The agency later paid out a further $1m in connection with this agreement.

    All this gives a fascinating glimpse into how private business interests became enmeshed in activity – the interrogation of suspected terrorists – that we would normally regard as the exclusive preserve of the state, namely the safeguarding of national security.


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