Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   13 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

CIA Watchdog Report Says Detainees Died During Interrogations

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 4   Valuable 4   Well Said 3  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H1 4/21/09

Become a Fan
  (7 fans)
- Advertisement -
According to New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, Helgerson concluded that some detainees were allegedly killed during interrogations.

In an interview with Harper's magazine last year, Mayer said Helgerson "investigated several alleged homicides involving CIA detainees" and forwarded several of those cases "to the Justice Department for further consideration and potential prosecution."

CIA Inspector General John Helgerson raised concerns in a 2004 top-secret report his office prepared about the legality of the interrogation techniques agency interrogators used against admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

In the report, Helgerson concluded that the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program "appeared to constitute cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, as defined by the International Convention Against Torture" and the interrogation of Mohammed "could expose agency officers to legal liability," according to a Nov. 9, 2005 report published in the New York Times.

Now, thanks to the release last week of four Justice Department "torture" memos Helgerson's concerns make sense.

In a footnote to a May 30, 2005 memo issued by Steven Bradbury, the acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003, the same month he was captured. The of times Mohammed was waterboarded was first reported by blogger Marcy Wheeler over the weekend.

Another footnote said that "in some cases the waterboard was used with far greater frequency than initially indicated" and with larger quantities of water than permitted under written guidelines.

Both footnotes directly reference Helgerson's report and the memo, along with two others issued by Bradbury in May 2005, appears to address specific conclusions Helgerson's report raised questions about the legality of the "enhanced interrogations."

- Advertisement -

According to the Times report, Helgerson's investigation into the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program, launched in 2003, "expressed skepticism [that] the [torture] treaty does not apply to CIA interrogations because they take place overseas on people who are not citizens of the United States."

"The officials who described the report said it discussed particular techniques used by the CIA against particular prisoners, including about three dozen terror suspects being held by the agency in secret locations around the world," the New York Times reported.

"They said it referred in particular to the treatment of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...who has been detained in a secret location by the CIA since he was captured in March 2003. Mr. Mohammed is among those believed to have been subjected to waterboarding, in which a prisoner is strapped to a board and made to believe he is drowning."

Protesters demonstrate waterboarding.

The report has been highly sought after by members of Congress and civil liberties organizations for some time. It is believed contents of the report were shared with Democratic and Republican members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

- Advertisement -

In fact, a little known declaration from the Justice Department in January makes that clear. The declaration, made in response to a lawsuit filed against the CIA by the American Civil Liberties Union over the destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes, says "at the conclusion of [Helgerson's] special review in May 2004, [CIA Office of Inspector General] notified DOJ and other relevant oversight authorities of the review's findings."

In June 2004, one month after Helgerson concluded his investigation, then CIA Director George Tenet asked the White House to explicitly sign off on the agency's "enhanced interrogation" program with a memo that authorized specific techniques, such as waterboarding. A similar request was also made by the agency at the start of Helgerson's probe in 2003, according to a report published in the Washington Post last October.

"The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public," the Post reported.

"The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed (and remain classified), were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency's interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


Jason Leopold is Deputy Managing Editor of and the founding editor of the online investigative news magazine The Public Record, He is the author of the National Bestseller, "News Junkie," a memoir. Visit (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

CIA Watchdog Report Says Detainees Died During Interrogations

Whistleblower: BP Risks More Massive Catastrophes in Gulf

Newly Released E-Mails Reveal Cheney Pressured DOJ to Approve Torture

Army's "Spiritual Fitness" Test Comes Under Fire

Newly Declassified DOD Documents Reveal Detainees Tortured To Death

Voter Registration Group ACORN Long a Target of GOP Operatives


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
9 people are discussing this page, with 13 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

President Bashir of Sudan ordered the murder of 43... by Jason Paz on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:17:04 AM
For goodness sakes- they used scalpels on Binyam M... by John S. Hatch on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 1:12:17 PM
and tortured countless Muslims for some obscure re... by Starla Immak on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 3:00:29 PM
The USA conducted an illegal, preemptive war in Ir... by Jason Paz on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 6:00:25 PM
There is Evil in the world and the greatest coveru... by JHendrix on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 8:39:38 PM
Torture is not the way to facilitate cooperation w... by David Waters on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 5:01:35 PM
That is a great statistic but only the tip of the ... by JHendrix on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 9:00:36 PM
we all know what is up by now--the only problem i ... by TRADESMAN on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 7:37:01 PM
When Abu Graib was first disclosed in the US MSM, ... by Elizabeth Molchany on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 9:13:51 PM
I have no idea what the picture is of, whether it ... by Peter Duveen on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 9:27:24 PM
I don't remember where I got these pix. I think I ... by Rady Ananda on Tuesday, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:13:47 PM
Great article--infuriating, and sad.... by Peter Duveen on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 2:08:32 AM
I only inserted the pix for OEN. And yes, it is a... by Rady Ananda on Wednesday, Apr 22, 2009 at 9:30:33 AM