Analysis: Can Obama’s inter-agency interrogation unit overcome turf-wars?

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The task force set up by President Barack Obama to reform US interrogation policies will shortly be unveiling its long-awaited report. There are rumors in the US intelligence community that the report will call for a new inter-agency interrogation unit that will combine experts from several US military and intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI. But in a well-argued article in Time magazine, Bobby Ghosh asks the important question of whether such a plan is represents mere wishful thinking, by ignoring the “brief and bleak” history of inter-agency cooperation on interrogation. Read more of this post

Post-9/11 torture sparked internal dissent, rift between FBI and CIA

Abu Zubaida

Abu Zubaida

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Citing interviews with almost “two dozen [anonymous] current and former US officials” The Washington Post has revealed crucial new background information on the CIA’s torture methodology after 9/11. The exposé, by reporters Joby Warrick and Peter Finn, helps piece together some of the complex puzzle of internal decisions that led US interrogators to resort to waterboarding and other forms of torture against “war on terrorism” detainees. The article focuses on Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, two psychologists who were hired by the CIA to design an elaborate ten-stage harsh interrogation program (see previous intelNews report). According to The Washington Post, Mitchell, who was the program’s mastermind, told associates he had modeled it on the theory of “learned helplessness”, used by professional psychologists “to describe people or animals reduced to a state of complete helplessness by some form of coercion or pain, such as electric shock”. Read more of this post