What’s the harm?

CIA officials have said that they never tortured the detainees and that they operated within the law.

Ultimately, some of the terrorism suspects confessed. But the coercive techniques made even some CIA officials skeptical of whether their confessions were believable, much less sustainable in any court, one former CIA counter-terrorism covert officer said.

 
Khalid Shaikh MohammedThe LA Times explains that the FBI has been brought in to reconstruct the cases against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and fourteen other accused Al Qaeda leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The CIA used “enhanced interrogation techniques” (aka torture) to obtain information from the detainees. The FBI has been using other, non-coercive methods to obtain evidence that might actually be useful at trial.

Mohammed has claimed that he was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

During the more than three years he spent in CIA custody [Mohammed] boasted that he had killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and orchestrated more than two dozen other terrorist plots. Several senior counter-terrorism officials said they believed that Mohammed falsely confessed to some things, including the Pearl slaying, under duress or to obscure the roles played by operatives who might still be on the loose.

U.S. authorities are worried that Mohammed might win the right to a trial. If that happens, the prosecution would not want to rely on evidence obtained through the use of torture. Such evidence might be declared inadmissible and might expose CIA agents to legal jeopardy. Moreover, the techniques themselves would likely become the focus of public attention during the trials.

Federal law enforcement officials believe they have gathered enough admissible evidence to try the high-value detainees. “We’ve redone everything, and everything is fine,” one official said. “So what’s the harm?”

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. nebcanuck
    Oct 21, 2007 @ 10:13:44

    Such evidence might be declared inadmissible and might expose CIA agents to legal jeopardy. Moreover, the techniques themselves would likely become the focus of public attention during the trials.

    Can’t think of a better reason that we would want it to be made so, then! I hope they have nothing but torture evidence, and that they are forced to come out with just what the harm is!

    Reply

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