Torture memos’ release to impact US counter terrorism: StratforApril 30th, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 30 (IANS) The Obama administration’s release of four classified memos authorising “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terror suspects has had a “chilling effect” on US clandestine services working on counter-terrorism issues, according to Stratfor.
Realistically, those most likely to face investigation and prosecution are those who wrote the memos, rather than the low-level field personnel who acted in good faith based upon the guidance the memos provided, the global intelligence company noted in an analysis Wednesday.
Despite this fact and President Barack Obama’s promise not to prosecute those who carried out such interrogations, the release of the memos has had a discernible “chilling effect” on those who work on counter-terrorism issues in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Stratfor said citing its “contacts in the intelligence community”.
Critics of the techniques, such as Senator Patrick Leahy have called for the formation of a “truth commission” to investigate the matter, and House member Jerrold Nadler has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to launch a criminal inquiry into the matter.
According to media reports Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged Pakistani mastermind of the Sep 11, 2001 terror attacks, was waterboarded 183 times in one month by CIA interrogators. Waterboarding or simulated drowning was one of the techniques approved by the memos. Obama Wednesday said he considered waterboarding as torture.
In some ways, the debate over the morality of such interrogation techniques has distracted many observers from examining the impact that the release of these memos is having on the ability of the US government to fulfil its counter-terrorism mission, the intelligence group said.
Noting that this impact has little to do with the ability to use torture to interrogate terrorist suspects, it said: “Politics and moral arguments aside, the end effect of the memos’ release is that people who have put their lives on the line in US counter-terrorism efforts are now uncertain of whether they should be making that sacrifice.”
Stratfor said it was a lack of intelligence that helped fuel the fear that led the former President George W. Bush’s administration to authorise enhanced interrogation techniques.
Ironically, the current investigation into those techniques and other practices, such as renditions, may very well lead to significant gaps in terrorism-related intelligence from both internal and liaison sources, not primarily because of the prohibition of torture, but because of larger implications, it said.
- Justice Department memos will have a chilling effect on US counter terrorism: Stratfor - Apr 30, 2009
- 'Bush could be arrested abroad over sanctioning 'waterboarding' of terror suspects' - Nov 10, 2010
- US appoints prosecutor to investigate detainee abuses - Aug 25, 2009
- 'Waterboarding' of terror suspects warded off attacks on Britain, claims Bush - Nov 09, 2010
- Pak-born Qaeda suspect revealed name of Osama's key courier - May 05, 2011
- Seven ex-CIA chiefs urge Obama not to reopen torture cases against CIA employees - Sep 19, 2009
- Torture Memo Authors Did Not Commit Misconduct, Says DOJ - Feb 21, 2010
- Obama releases CIA interrogation memos - Apr 17, 2009
- Waterboarding used 183 times against September 11 mastermind - Apr 20, 2009
- US obliged to go after CIA torturers, says UN monitor - Apr 18, 2009
- Former CIA Director Approved Destruction Of Torture Tapes, Reports Reveals - Apr 18, 2010
- Obama administration to continue terrorism trials in civilian court despite criticism - Nov 19, 2010
- UK PM Cameron challenges Bush's water boarding saved lives claim - Nov 11, 2010
- CIA interrogation methods are almost illegal, says lawyer - Apr 17, 2009
- George Bush says that he would waterboard 9/11 plotter again - Jun 04, 2010
Tags: arun kumar, barack obama, central intelligence agency, clandestine services, criminal inquiry, enhanced interrogation techniques, eric holder, global intelligence, intelligence community, intelligence company, intelligence group, jerrold nadler, patrick leahy, senator patrick leahy, sep 11 2001, sheikh mohammed, special prosecutor, stratfor, terrorism issues, torture memos