News24

US drops most CIA torture probes

2011-07-01 09:08

Washington - The US Justice Department has dropped nearly all the probes into CIA agents over alleged abusive interrogation techniques, and will instead focus on the deaths of two detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

"The department has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted," Holder said in a statement.

Holder had in 2009 directed assistant US attorney John Durham to review the CIA interrogations of over 100 detainees at secret sites overseas to determine whether any laws were broken.

"Durham and his team reviewed a tremendous volume of information pertaining to the detainees... I have accepted his recommendation to conduct a full criminal investigation regarding the death in custody of two individuals," Holder added.

CIA chief Leon Panetta praised the decision as he left the CIA on Thursday to take over the helm of the Pentagon from Robert Gates.

"On this, my last day as director, I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us. We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency's history," he said.

Comments
  • Irené - 2011-07-01 09:24

    Really now, detainees DYING in custody, they will probably clame they slippe on a bar of soap...sound familiar?. when will the world face the fact that the CIA are a bunch of psychopaths with no regard for law or human right. If anu other country had a group like the CIA, the Us would sweep in and destroy them, so why is the rest of the world tollerating them? They are a evil lot that get away with anything, shouldnt the UN look into these cases?

      Utopian - 2011-07-01 09:46

      There is always a bleeding heart liberal around when you don't need one. How do you think the SANDF were able to gather intelligence during the Angolan war. When dealing with an enemy that is willing to do anything to achieve their goals you need to ask your self what are you prepared to do to thwart that. I am sure if intelligence could be gathered by offering a detainee a hot meal and having a chat, that would be the preferred method. Unfortunately in the real world that is not the case.

      LJ Graey - 2011-07-01 09:53

      I agree that the CIA does seem to be a little brash when it comes to detention and interrogation. But then again do you expect the US to just sit back and take it while a bunch of extremist Muslim organisations go around blowing up planes or flying them into buildings or going into hotels and shooting only those with US pasports? The US might be heavy handed, but the terrorist organisations and those who help them are just as much to blame. If you poke a big dog with a stick you shouldn't be surprised if he bites off your arm. And just to gert some clarity, these terrorist organisations in their various forms have taken several times more lives in their random bombings and attacks than any US military initiatives ever have. They use their own women and children as shields and happily blow up hundreds of their own countrymen to get at a few foreigners and then have the gaul to go around complaining when ONE of theirs is tortured and killed.

      Irené - 2011-07-01 10:07

      Utopian, so you are justifying the torture of individuals who have not even been formally charged with any crime? So it is fine to infringe on human rights, as long as they are not yours. Wow such enlightened world view you have there. I have done considerable research into detainee centres, specifically in Eastern Europe. Do you understand that by forcefully taking people of a certain country to an undisclosed prison on the other side of the world, and waterboarding them is not democracy, it is not just, it is against several hundreds laws- look at the trouble poland is in now- but I am sure the CIA will manage to sweep everything under the rug, including several dead bodies. Do you really think the family of the detainees are going to hail America as some some kind of heros, after taking their fathers, sons or brothers in covert operations and never hearing from them again?

      Irené - 2011-07-01 10:21

      @LJ, the US started the fight, so they shhould expect some casualties. They use much mre hard handed tactics- and please we have covered the 9/11 issue- there is absolutely no proof OBl or AlQaeda were responsible, otherwise you would think the FBI would have made that OBL biggest crimes, strangely they didnt, they never charged him with 911 attacks- which was an inside job- it is as clear as day for anyone who have looked at the accounts of that day. Fianlly LJ, your last statement is grossly inaccurate, but just what I would expect from someone wwho hasnt done any research for themselves. I think you need to go read about the casualties- actually there was an article just a couple of days ago that broke down SOME of the casualty numbers. This issue is wrt ABDUCTING people who have not been charged with a crime, we're not even talking about sentenced criminals, but randoms of the streets of Kabul etc. heres the link to the news24 article about http://www.news24.com/World/News/US-cost-of-war-at-least-37-trillion-20110629 Also Check out the related links- see CIA PRISONS IN POLAND ILLEGAL- whats so hard to understand? The CIA do not follow any laws- so if you want to justify that, then we should also allow any extremist group to break laws to furthwer their cause- same thing isnt it??

      cooked - 2011-07-01 10:28

      @irene - are you kidding? EVERY country has an outfit like the CIA and sometimes worse. And they often work together, not "sweep in and destroy" each other. Its just that not all countries have the same level of public scrutiny as the States and so get away with much more. Naive

      brown_bread - 2011-07-01 10:39

      Good point there Irene. I dont understand why its so hard for people to understand the US way of doing things. US can do whatever they want outside their boundaries and nobody ever says anything about it. Very few people have actually followed the 9/11 story to actually know what happened there. They happily follow what the Americans say - which astounds me given the amount of evidence in everyone's face.

      Wonderboy - 2011-07-01 11:02

      @Alfred I wonder if torture is useless in gathering information, why the CIA or any other organisation would then still use it. Using something useless that just causes trouble for them hardly sounds plausible. Something does not add up. If torture is useless then so is terrorism as it is also a form of torture and yet it is rife in todays world. Maybe we do not really know what is going on and all our comments are worthless.

      Alfred - 2011-07-01 11:12

      @LJ Graey "And just to gert some clarity, these terrorist organisations in their various forms have taken several times more lives in their random bombings and attacks than any US military initiatives ever have." That has got to be one of the dumbest, most ignorant, delussional statement I have read. America murdered over 600 000 innocent Iraqis (John Hopkins Institute)in their quest for Iraqi oil under the fabricated lie of searching for non exsistant WMDs. Lets see how long it takes before news24 censors this comment?

      possum - 2011-07-01 12:27

      You fight fire with all the fire you have!! A means to an end!!

      LJ Graey - 2011-07-01 14:01

      @Irene: OBJ was originally a US ally. How do you think the Taliban got control of Afghanistan? And he openly admitted responsibility for the 9-11 attacks, so who am I to doubt the man's word? As for it being an inside job, I'm not much of a conspiracy theory fan. That the US screwed up and let it happen, that I'd believe, but doing it to themselves? There would have been much easier and less messy ways to get the same result.. You're right, I didn't do much research, so you can get off your high horse now. I never justified the CIA's actions. I merely poointed out that the terrorists themselves should carry as much, if not more of the blame for the death and anarchy in these wars. It's one thing sending your soldiers out to look for Terrorists and racking up a massive body count both enemy and civilian (Even if it is under false pretenses). But it's a completely different thing sending your soldiers out with the sole intent of killing as many civilians, including your own people, as you can in one go. Is all the death justified? No. Is the actions of the CIA in this regard justified? No. But seeing that the alternative is to just let every Tom Dick and Harry with a gripe against the US go around murdering as many innocent people as they like I'm thinking maybe the US has a right to at least try get to the terrorists before the terrorists get to them, even if it is in the dumbest way possible. You cry about the US being heavy handed but barely touch on their reasons why.

      LJ Graey - 2011-07-01 14:26

      @Alfred. Calling me ignorant, that's fine. I don't know the figures. Very irresponsible on my part. That however does not justify calling me dumb. (Delusional I might accept on the grounds that I do actually have one or two screws loose.) Based on that little insult alone News 24 might censor your comment, but probably only if someone complains about it. And thanks to you pointing it out I did have a quick gander at some of the stats. Out of the 654 965 deaths in the Lancet study I'm assuming you're refering to only 31% is attributed to the coalition. The majority of the rest seems to be dispersed between "Others"? (24%) and "Unknown"??(46%). It does subdivide into causes of death with 56% being from gunshot, but no distinction is made about who fired the shots. Also, a small but un-ignorable 13% was from car-bombs - Not a tactic the US army seems to favour. So please, bearing in mind these small but pertinent facts, please enlighten this dumb and delusional ignoramus exacly how the US is SOLELY responsible for all those deaths?

      Irené - 2011-07-01 15:03

      @ LJ, here is a nice article on why we dont believe the OBL confession video is real. Also, try http://www.911truth.org/ Many people will respond by saying that this website is for conspiracy theorists, but you strike me as a reasonable man, and I hope you have a look at their research and supporters. It may open your eyes to a whole new set of truths. There is a whole community of well respected professionals and family members of the victims who have rejected the official stories and made it their task to find the truth- I for one find their evidence very compelling. Once you start spotting the inconsistencies of the US report you may change your mind on the whole issue. The following quote comes to mind: "When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic" We dont stand to benefit if we are right about our claims- the US govt and its allies had a lot to lose and a lot to gain from all of this- who would you rather believe??

      Alfred - 2011-07-01 15:25

      @LJ Graey 31% of 650 000 about 220 000, directly murdered by the allies. The other 430 000 would still be alive if it weren't for the illegal invasion, so that makes the allies directly responsible. And the americans secretly supported the Sunni 'terrorists' because they did not like the idea of a Shite majority government allied with Shite Iran, so the americans actively stimulated the civil war. That makes them responsible for the casualties of that war. That study was done in 05 or 06 so you can double those figures. So how many americans have been killed by terrorist again? Terrorists kill 3000 americans on 9/11 so america illegally invades Iran which by the way had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, directly killing hundreds of thousands and somehow the poor americans are the innocent victims and are now so mehow morally justified to torture? By the way dropping a bomb from 20 000 ft and killing hundreds of civilians is not morally superior to strapping a bomb to oneself and detonating it in a crowd, and it certainly takes infinetly more courage to do the latter. In fact I would argue that the suicide bombers case is morally stronger because amongst the mutilated bodyparts are his own. He has done unto others as he has done unto himself.

      Alfred - 2011-07-01 20:04

      @Utopian There is always a sadistic pro torture nazi pig when you don't need one. Funny how arsholes like you seem to think that compassion and empathy are negative traits used to insult. I bet this white trash also considers himself a christian. By the way the CIA found in its own investigation that torture is totally useless as a intelligence gathering tool. The victim tells the torturer exactly what he thinks he wants to hear. So the only reason for torture is pure sadism, something you obviously get off on. Apparently people like you by your own admission will "do anything to achieve your goals".

  • jabski - 2011-07-01 09:43

    cia, mi6, mossad rothschild enforcers. bought and paid for

  • I_Say - 2011-07-01 10:23

    The CIA probably have gas chambers as well.....

  • Badballie - 2011-07-01 10:51

    Well we can't very well have the so called "defender of justice and freedom" implicated in crimes against humanity can we. Even if the truth is that the US is responsible for more human suffering than any other government in the world including Nazi Germany of the second world war.

  • paypalawsuit - 2011-07-01 10:53

    what about human rights!! what a joke, they are doing what every they please

  • Utopian - 2011-07-01 10:57

    @Alfie. Do you actually believe the horse manure that you are tapping out on your keyboard. You see it is easy to preach pacifism while you sit comfortably on your leather lounge suite while watching documentaries about the horrors of war. I hope you will have the opportunity one day to jump off your high horse and experience what it is like to fight for your survival. And when you truly face evil, christian fairy tails will not save you.

      Fikile - 2011-07-01 11:30

      @Utopian, is is people like U that make this world a dangerous place. "fighting survival" is contradiction in terms you fight to kill. It people like you that make the horrors of war possible, and that only creates more people like u. Alfred great comment.

  • Fikile - 2011-07-01 11:14

    To ALL PRO CIA SAFS, imagine SA make Julius the head of the SA's Intelligence, and he abducts you from say, Aus where U are living speaking because you are speaking crap about him and SA. He takes U to ZIM and fricken tortures u close to death. would you still condone it. LOL you must just listen to yourselves imagine it is done to you. It's just plain wrong.

  • Laugh out Loud - 2011-07-01 11:21

    Loved the pun in the heading.... What does a "torture probe" look like? And how will it look like if one drops such a probe? :)

  • Shrek - 2011-07-01 11:22

    If you live by the sword you die by the sword!!

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