OpEdNews Op Eds

Cheney Intervened in CIA Inspector General's Torture Probe

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jason Leopold     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 5/15/09

Author 17
Become a Fan
  (7 fans)
- Advertisement -

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Former Vice President Dick Cheney intervened in CIA Inspector General John Helgerson investigation into the agency's use of torture against alleged "high-value" detainees, but the watchdog was still able to prepare a report that concluded the interrogation program violated some provisions of the International Convention Against Torture.

The report, which the Obama administration may soon declassify, was completed in May 2004 and implicated CIA interrogators in at least three detainee deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq and referred eight criminal cases of alleged homicide, abuse and misconduct to the Justice Department for further investigation, reporter Jane Mayer reported in her book, The Dark Side, and an investigative report published in The New Yorker in November 2005.

In The Dark Side, Mayer described the report as being "as thick as two Manhattan phone books" and contained information, according to an unnamed source, "that was simply sickening."

"The behavior it described, another knowledgeable source said, raised concerns not just about the detainees but also about the Americans who had inflicted the abuse, one of whom seemed to have become frighteningly dehumanized," Mayer wrote. "The source said, "You couldn't read the documents without wondering, 'Why didn't someone say, Stop!'"

Mayer added that Cheney routinely "summoned" Inspector General Helgerson to meet with him privately about his investigation, launched in 2003, and soon thereafter the probe "was stopped in its tracks." Mayer characterized Cheney's interaction with Helgerson as highly unusual.

Cheney's "reaction to this first, carefully documented in-house study concluding that the CIA's secret program was most likely criminal was to summon the Inspector General to his office for a private chat," Mayer wrote. "The Inspector General is supposed to function as an independent overseer, free from political pressure, but Cheney summoned the CIA Inspector General more than once to his office.

"Cheney loomed over everything," the former CIA officer told Mayer. "The whole IG's office was completely politicized. They were working hand in glove with the White House."

- Advertisement -


But Mayer said Cheney's intervention in Helgerson's probe proved that as early as 2004 "the Vice President's office was fully aware that there were allegations of serious wrongdoing in the [torture] Program." Helgerson has denied that he was pressured by Cheney.

In October 2007, former CIA Director Michael Hayden ordered an investigation into Helgerson's office, focusing on internal complaints that the inspector general was on "a crusade against those who have participated in controversial detention program."

News reports have suggested that when Helgerson's report is declassified it will seriously undercut claims made by Cheney in numerous interviews that the systematic torture of "high-value"  detainees produced valuable intelligence, thwarted pending terrorist plots against the United States and saved "hundreds of thousands of lives."

In addition to showing the inconclusive nature of the value of intelligence gleaned through torture, the report will likely show that Helgerson warned top CIA officials that the interrogation techniques administered to detainees "might violate some provisions of the international Convention Against Torture."

A Nov. 9, 2005 report published in the New York Times said Helgerson's report "raised concern about whether the use of the [torture] techniques could expose agency officers to legal liability."

- Advertisement -

Sources quoted by the New York Times said "the report expressed skepticism about the Bush administration view that any ban on cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment under the 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 ACLU filed a Freedom of Information act lawsuit to gain access to Helgerson's report. Portions of the report have already been turned over to the organization, but it was heavily redacted.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

View Ratings | Rate It

Jason Leopold is Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout.org and the founding editor of the online investigative news magazine The Public Record, http://www.pubrecord.org. 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 AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView 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

Tell a Friend: Tell A Friend


Copyright © 2002-2016, OpEdNews

Powered by Populum