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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/14/15

Obama administration suppresses account of CIA torture

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The CIA then issued new classification rules to insure that no further such details were made public. Wells Dixon, Khan's lawyer, told Reuters, "The CIA has apparently changed its mind about allowing detainees to talk about their torture."

The Catch-22 character of the CIA classification rules is extraordinary. In the face of massive evidence of CIA torture, including the 480-page executive summary of a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, released last December, the agency is maintaining that all information about torture is classified, including eyewitness accounts of those tortured.

In effect, the torturers are demanding that the screams of their victims should be silenced.

The US action to suppress the notes of Abu Zubaydah's torture comes amid official commemorations of 14 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Five men, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged organizer of the attacks, have been in US custody for more than 10 years, but a military tribunal hearing charges against them has not even met since April. The proceeding was halted because of evidence that the FBI had infiltrated the defense team and was spying on its actions, effectively destroying even the pretense of a fair trial.

Remarkably, there has been no reporting of the suppression of the notes on Abu Zubaydah's torture in any of the major US media outlets. The Reuters story has not been followed up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any of the television networks. This maintains the pattern of collaboration and cover-up by the corporate-controlled media when it comes to criminal conduct by the US military-intelligence apparatus.

Nor has there been any protest from within the US political establishment, either Democrats or Republicans. The Obama administration has moved aggressively to prosecute, not the torturers, but anyone who seeks to expose them. Only one CIA officer has been subjected to a torture-related prosecution: John Kiriakou, who revealed details of the torture program in a television interview.

Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, who has been sent to prison on a 35-year sentence for leaking materials documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, was charged last month with violation of prison procedures and briefly threatened with indefinite solitary confinement. One of the allegedly "illicit" documents that was found in his possession, and confiscated, was the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture.

The position of the Obama administration, and of the military-intelligence apparatus as a whole, is not just to cover up the criminality of the Bush administration, which authorized and supervised the systematic torture in the name of the "war on terror." What is involved is the protection of ongoing, continuing criminality, and of those who perpetrate it today.

Given the systematic suppression of information, there is no reason to believe that the CIA and other intelligence agencies have stopped torture, as the White House claims. Nor is there an iron wall between what the US government does overseas, at secret prisons, or at Guantanamo Bay, on territory stolen from Cuba, and what the US government is doing at home.

As demonstrated in the recent exposure of a secret torture facility run by the Chicago Police Department at Homan Square, similar methods are increasingly used inside the United States against the American population. Just as Ferguson demonstrated that the military methods of Iraq and Afghanistan are being brought home to the streets of America, the methods of secret detention and torture are also being "redeployed."

The author also recommends:

Chicago's Abu Ghraib
[27 February 2015]

CIA whistleblower calls for prosecution of officials responsible for torture
[17 February 2015]

Washington buries the CIA torture report
[8 January 2015]

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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (, a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).
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