CIA lacked safeguards to stop abuse in terror prisons: Report

August 24th, 2009 - 1:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Aug. 24 (ANI): Due to a lack of clear safeguards, the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) failed to prevent abuses of terror suspects in its network of secret prisons, a 2004 report surfaced for the first time has revealed.

The report, significant portions of which are scheduled for release on Monday, also found that some CIA interrogators had inadequate training and oversight.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to decide whether to launch a probe to determine if guidelines were violated in some cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The report by then-Inspector General John Helgerson, released following a freedom of information lawsuit, portrays an agency ill-equipped to imprison and interrogate terrorist suspects.

Helgerson’s team found that some officials crossed the program’s legal bounds. The report found that waterboarding was used excessively and suggested that the program violated international law.

“The CIA in no way endorsed behaviour — no matter how infrequent — that went beyond formal guidance,” said CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano.

Gimigliano said the CIA’s interrogation program had legal and operational guidance, and decisions to refer some conduct that went beyond legal guidance to the Justice Department “speaks to the strength of the safeguards that existed.”

He added that agency interrogators “were carefully chosen and trained. Examples of inappropriate behaviour in the high-value detainee program were, to my knowledge, rather rare indeed.”

The report is likely to give more ammunition to critics of Bush-era counterterrorism programs, and provide further material for detainee lawsuits against the US.

It may also unleash fresh fights over the CIA’s 2005 destruction of 92 videotapes of interrogations.

The Obama administration, which shut the CIA prisons, is now weighing a proposal to establish a team of trained interrogators from intelligence and law-enforcement agencies for important detainees. (ANI)

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