13 December 2013, 18:11

Senate pressures CIA re interrogations of suspected terrorists

Senate pressures CIA re interrogations of suspected terrorists

By Crystal Park

WASHINGTON (VOR)– The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is finishing up its report of the CIA's controversial interrogation techniques.

Although the report is expected to be highly critical of the CIA, defenders of the spy agency's tactics say the committee doesn't have all the pertinent info, because some of it is classified.

Eugene Fidell, who teaches at Yale's law school, says the political environment after 9/11 paved the way for an aggressive antiterrorism approach.

"People in positions of responsibility, and I'm thinking now of President Bush the younger, as well as Vice President Cheney
and people who were in their orbit, seizing an opportunity that was presented by 9/11...to advance their own vision of an extraordinarily powerful executive branch, giving the interest in security very strong priority over competing interests such as the interest in personal dignity, privacy, civil liberties."

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who is leading the probe, has asserted the CIA's techniques have damaged the U.S. government's reputation, and furthermore, resulted in no useful information about terrorist activities.

Fidell agrees. He says the fact that the torture tactics weren't fruitful isn't the main issue.

"It's not just a question of does it work or not. I mean, the Nazis probably thought it worked when they used torture to get information from people concerning the assassination attempt on Hitler during World War II. That's not the question. The question is what are our values as a society? Even if you could demonstrate to my satisfaction that you can get certain kinds of information through torture that you couldn't get any other way, I would still be against it because it is so deeply wrong. That's the judgment the civilized world has made on this subject."

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