Comprehensive Review of U.S. Torture Program


Richard Moore

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From: “The Wisdom Fund” <•••@••.•••>
Date: 14 December 2012 13:41:39 GMT+01:00
To: “Richard Moore ” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Zero Dark Thirty

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December 13, 2012
Human Rights First

Senate CIA Torture Report Adopted, Provides Factual, Comprehensive Review of U.S. Torture Program
Washington, DC – Human Rights First applauds the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) for voting to adopt a 6,000 plus page report on the former CIA detention and torture program.  This vote marks an important step towards ensuring that past policies and practices of torture and official cruelty in U.S. intelligence operations will not be repeated.  The committee, led by Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and joined by 8 members, including Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), voted 9-6 to adopt the report, which will now go to the Obama Administration for review and comment.
“By voting to adopt this report, the committee has sent a clear message that torture and abuse have no place in U.S. intelligence operations,” said Human Rights First’s Melina Milazzo. “The American people deserve to know the truth, and the committee should now commit to publicly releasing the report with as few redactions as possible.” . . .

December 10, 2012
The Guardian (UK)
Zero Dark Thirty: new torture-glorifying film wins raves

By Glenn Greenwald

Earlier this year, the film “Zero Dark Thirty”, which purports to dramatize the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, generated substantial political controversy. It was discovered that CIA and White House officials had met with its filmmakers and passed non-public information to them – at exactly the same time that DOJ officials were in federal court resisting transparency requests from media outlets and activist groups on the ground that it was all classified.

With its release imminent, the film is now garnering a pile of top awards and virtually uniform rave reviews. What makes this so remarkable is that, by most accounts, the film glorifies torture by claiming – falsely – that waterboarding and other forms of coercive interrogation tactics were crucial, even indispensable in finding bin Laden.

In the New York Times on Sunday, Frank Bruni wrote: “I’m betting that Dick Cheney will love the new movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty.'” That’s because “‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ like waterboarding are presented as crucial” to finding America’s most hated terrorist. Bruni explains [emphasis added]:

“[I]t’s hard not to focus on them, because the first extended sequence in the movie shows a detainee being strung up by his wrists, sexually humiliated, deprived of sleep, made to feel as if he’s drowning and shoved into a box smaller than a coffin.

“The torture sequence immediately follows a bone-chilling, audio-only prologue of the voices of terrified Americans trapped in the towering inferno of the World Trade Center. It’s set up as payback.

“And by the movie’s account, it produces information vital to the pursuit of the world’s most wanted man. No waterboarding, no Bin Laden: that’s what “Zero Dark Thirty” appears to suggest.”

Referencing Jane Mayer’s reporting that it was ground-level CIA officers who were the first to object to these torture techniques as both immoral and counter-productive, Bruni notes: “‘Zero Dark Thirty’ doesn’t convey that, nor does it reflect many experts’ belief that torture is unnecessary, yielding as much bad information as good.” . . .

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