Tuesday, 11 December 2007

A different kind of interrogation...

The CIA head will have to answer some tough questions about the destruction of tapes showing torturous interrogation.

The CIA director will face two days of questioning by the House and Senate intelligence committees in a probe into the agency's destruction of videotapes showing interrogation techniques used on terror suspects, panel leaders said.

CIA Director Michael Hayden is set to appear in closed-door hearings Tuesday before the Senate panel and Wednesday before the House committee.
U.S. officials said the recordings were made as "an internal check" on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques, thought to include waterboarding -- which involves restraining a suspect and pouring water on him to produce the sensation of drowning. The practice has been considered torture since the days of the Spanish Inquisition and was prosecuted as a war crime after World War II.

Here's what I would ask Hayden if I were in a position to do so:
  • Did you know about these tapes?
  • If so, did you learn of their destruction?
  • Did you give the order for their destruction?
  • Has your agency committed acts of torture?
  • Do you consider waterboarding to be a form of torture?
  • Will your independent investigation look into evidence of torture?
  • Why do you think the destruction of these tapes is not a serious matter?
  • What warranted — or could warrant — this destruction?
  • To your knowledge, did the tapes portray anything illegal — that includes torture?
  • Who gave the order to destroy the tapes? Was it really a low-level official?
  • How could you — or whoever destroyed the tapes — be blind enough to believe that they might not be used in future legal cases?
  • Do you know the extent of the Justice Department's knowledge of the tapes?
  • In your mind, is torture ever warranted? This is especially pertinent to the actions and atmosphere of your agency as an ex-CIA agent recently stated that the US had used torture, and, in his view, it worked. The agent's statement on torture directly contradicts your assertion that the CIA does not torture.

    There are of course more questions; but many of the above will doubtless not be asked, or at least go unanswered, over the next couple of days.


    cwilcox said...

    Hey Clearthought,
    What do you think of this, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/08/AR2007120801664.html?referrer=emailarticle It seems Pelosi and others knew about waterboarding a long time before they said anything. It's a pretty disappointing commentary on the Democratic leadership. Man, and I used to scoff at the people who said "we should throw them all out." when they were talking about Congress.

    clearthought said...

    Thanks for pointing out that article, Red Hog. I agree, but we are doing better with a Democratic majority than a GOP one, and I would rather it stay that way.