Mistakes were made

The Boston Globe has a wonderful story about Janat Gul. That sent me to the source and we get (starting on page 159):

In March 2004, the CIA took custody of an Afghan national who had sought employment at a U.S. military base because he had the same name (Gul Rahman) as an individual believed to be targeting U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. During the period in which the Afghan was detained, the CIA obtained signals intelligence of their true target communicating with his associates. DNA results later showed conclusively that the Afghan in custody was not the target. Nonetheless, the CIA held the detainee in solitary confinement for approximately a month before he was released with a nominal payment.

I guess you have to keep someone jailed if they have the same name as someone who perhaps did something wrong.

In the spring of 2004, after two detainees were transferred to CIA custody, CIA interrogators proposed, and CIA Headquarters approved, using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques on one of the two detainees because it might cause the detainee to provide information that could identify inconsistencies in the other detainee’s story. After both detainees had spent approximately 24 hours shackled in the standing sleep deprivation position, CIA Headquarters confirmed that the detainees were former CIA sources. The two detainees had tried to contact the CIA on multiple occasions prior to their detention to inform the CIA of their activities and provide intelligence. The messages they had sent to the CIA (redacted) were not translated until after the detainees were subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

I’m sure they had a flood of people looking to be informers after this.

And Gul:

On June 2004, a foreign government captured Janat Gul, an individual believed, based on reporting from a CIA source, to have information about al-Qa’ida plans to attack the United States prior to the 2004 presidential election. In October 2004, the CIA source who provided the information on the “pre-election” threat and implicated Gul and others admitted to fabricating the information. However, as early as March 2004, CIA officials internally expressed doubts about the validity of the CIA source’s information.
On July 2, 2004, the CIA met with National Security Advisor Rice, other National Security Council officials, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, as well as the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, to seek authorization to use the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, specifically on Janat Gul. The CIA represented that CIA “interrogations have saved American lives,” that more than half of the CIA detainees would not cooperate until they were interrogated using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, and that “unless CIA interrogators can use a full range of enhanced interrogation methods, it is unlikely that CIA will be able to obtain current threat information from Gulin a timely manner. Janat Gul was not yet in CIA custody.

After being rendered to CIA custody on July 2004, Janat Gul was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, including continuous sleep deprivation, facial holds, attention grasps, facial slaps, stress positions, and walling, until he experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. According to a cable, Janat Gul was “not oriented to time or place” and told CIA officers that he saw “his wife and children in the mirror and had heard their voices in the white noise. The questioning of Janat Gul continued, although the CIA ceased using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques for several days. According to a CIA cable, “[Gul] asked to die, or just be killed. After continued interrogation sessions with Gul, on August 19, 2004,CIA detention site personnel wrote that the interrogation “team does not believe [Gul] is withholding imminent threat information. On August 21, 2004, a cable from CIA Headquarters stated that Janat Gul “is believed” to possess
threat information, and that the “use of enhanced techniques is appropriate in order to obtain that information. On that day, August 21, 2004, CIA interrogators resumed using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques against Gul. Gul continued not to provide any reporting on the pre-election threat described by the CIA source. On August 25, 2004, CIA interrogators sent a cable to CIA Headquarters stating that Janat Gul “may not possess all that [the CIA] believes him to know. The interrogators added that “many issues linking [Gul] to al-Qaida are derived from single source reporting” (the CIA source). Nonetheless, CIA interrogators continued to question Gul on the pre-election threat. According to an August 26, 2004, cable, after a 47-hour session of standing sleep deprivation, Janat Gul was returned to his cell, allowed to remove his diaper, given a towel and a meal, and permitted to sleep. In October 2004, the CIA conducted a (redacted) of the CIA source who had identified Gul as having knowledge of attack planning for the pre-election threat. (redacted) the CIA source admitted to fabricating the information. Gul was subsequently transferred to a foreign government. On (redacted) informed the CIA that Janat Gul had been released.
Janat Gul never provided the threat information the CIA originally told the National Security Council that Gul possessed. Nor did the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques against Gul produce the “immediate threat information that could save American lives,” which had been the basis for the CIA to seek authorization to use the techniques. As described elsewhere in this summary, the CIA’s justification for employing its enhanced interrogation techniques on Janat Gul—the first detainee to be subjected to the techniques following the May 2004 suspension—changed over time. After having initially cited Gul’s knowledge of the pre-election threat, as reported by the CIA’s source, the CIA began representing that its enhanced interrogation techniques were required for Gul to deny the existence of the threat, thereby disproving the credibility of the CIA source.

Really doesn’t this make you proud to be an American–the CIA knew it would need to torture Gul even before they had him and even though they weren’t sure that he actually knew anything; they then tortured him for a month (with the approval of Rice, Gonzales and other Bush officials) and decided he didn’t know anything; they then told headquarters that they thought he DID have information and started torturing him again; after this next bout of torture they gave up and only let him go after their source admitted that he lied; the CIA then said this was a success.

Really, how are these people not in jail? Oh, for all you ticking time bomb idiots, this was a ticking time bomb scenario–see how things work in the real world?

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