Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harry Reid, Super Genius: Income Tax Voluntary

This has to be seen to be believed:

Alternate post titles:

Harry Reid: Logic Chopper
Harry Reid: Subtle Scholastic
Harry 'Duns Scotus' Reid

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, Ethical Considerations: Mulling the KSM Case.

As more reliable primary-source accounts begin to emerge as to the use of EITs by the CIA, we are in a better position to consider the ethical status of such practices. Now we better know how they were used and how effective they were, i.e., what exactly the CIA was able to accomplish by utilizing them. This puts us in a better position to consider the ethics of EITs.

This is the first in a series of posts (how many I don't know) that will take up this task. I intend to consider the matter from various 'contrarian' angles, i.e., the most frequently occuring objections to their use. I intend to do this with the factual background we now have firmly in focus.

So, first we should get the facts straight. That is the goal of the initial few posts. Future parts will ask and answer the ethical questions, and will also consider the ethical and strategic repurcussions of making the techniques and procedures public, and what this says about our "way ahead" in the war against radical Islamic enemies. This will take several posts.

First, this initial post's task..

Answer the question: What were the EITs used?

The techniques that were approved for use as detailed in the 2004 Inspector General's Report p. 20:

• The attention grasp consists of grasping the detainee with both hands, with one hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the grasp, the detainee is drawn toward the interrogator.

• During the walling technique, the detainee is pulled forward and then quickly and firmly pushed into a flexible false wall so that his shoulder blades hit the wall. His head and neck are supported with a rolled towel to prevent whiplash.

• The facial hold is used to hold the detainee's head immobile. The interrogator places an open palm on either side of the detainee's face and the interrogator's fingertips are kept well away from the detainee's eyes.

• With the facial or insult slap, the fingers are slightly spread apart. The interrogator's hand makes contact with the area between the tip of the detainee's chin and the bottom of the corresponding earlobe.

• In cramped confinement, the detainee is placed in a confined space, typically a small or large box, which is usually dark. Confinement in the smaller space lasts no more than two hours and in the larger space it can last up to 18 hours.

• Insects placed in a confinement box involve placing a harmless insect in the box with the detainee.

• During wall standing the detainee may stand about 4 to 5 feet from a wall with his feet spread approximately to his shoulder width. His arms are stretched out in front of him and his fingers rest on the wall to support all of his body weight. The detainee is not allowed to reposition his hands or feet.

• The application of stress positions may include having the detainee sit on the floor with his legs extended straight out in front ofhim with his arms raised above his head or kneeling on the floor while leaning back at a 45 degree angle.

• Sleep deprivation will not exceed 11 days at a time.

• The application of the waterboard technique involves binding the detainee to a bench with his feet elevated above his head. The detainee's head is immobilized and an interrogator places.a cloth over the detainee's mouth and nose while pouring water onto the cloth in a controlled manner. Airflow is restricted for 20 to 40 seconds and the technique produces the sensation of drowning and suffocation.

Now, these guidelines were not always followed. Unauthorized departures from the prescribed waterboarding technique are described in the IG document. Other departures include threats using handguns, mock executions, and threats to family members.

Next, the individuals that were subject to IETs:

High value Al Qaeda operatives, with operational knowledge

1. Kahlid Sheik Mohammed

2. Abu Zubaydah

3. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Subjects for future "fact establishing" posts:

2. Activities, and operations curtailed. Attacks prevented. Persons apprehended due to the intelligence.

3. The general procedure and guidelines for request and use of EITs, and reasoning behind their formuation.

Last bit for this post

Here are the sources of information: