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Spy vs. Spy—Redacting The Last 8 Years

By       Message William R Castlelich       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 9/20/09

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When I was a lot younger I used to love to watch I Spy, the show with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. I also, up until about a decade ago, watched every James Bond movie and watched several a number of times. In addition, throughout my youth, I purchased Mad Magazine and not because I wanted to see the most recent exploits of Alfred E. Newman, but because of the exploits of Antonio Prohias' black and white Spy vs. Spy.

The reason the preceding is important is because I want to talk about the relatively recent release of reports discussing the interrogation techniques used on terrorist suspects post 9-1-1 and I believe, if someone is going to delve into the dark underbelly of military intelligence, the CIA, FBI, other acronyms and initials, he or she should be willing to establish his or her credentials.

I believe my first paragraph not only establishes my credentials as an avid watcher of a number of different media and an avid reader of some rather in-depth social commentary, but also establishes me as something of an expert on the intelligence community and intelligence gathering in general.

Some I'm sure will argue "But those aren't reality. Those are made up things and a comic strip."

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And my retort would be "And how are these not representative of reality?"

I believe hours and hours of I Spy, and hours and hours and hours of the Bond series and volumes of Spy vs. Spy more than qualifies me, MORE THAN, as an intelligence expert.

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit...Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe." GW Bush, 43rd President of the United States

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In all my preceding study, however, I never once, not a single time, ran across redaction, the process of censorship that insures no national secrets will be divulged to evil doers by inadvertently allowing a national intelligence treasure out into the mainstream or not so mainstream media.

As I read the reports, and shockingly I actually read them, I was struck by how little actual information was left un-redacted, but I was more struck by what was left in and what was taken out (which of course, even with my expertise, was immensely difficult to glean from the sections of the reports that were simply black blocks). Let me try to explain that last rather convoluted and confusing sentence--you will find, however, that "convoluted and confusing" is spy stuff.

Page 30, #63--"Among standard interrogation techniques are the use of isolation, sleep deprivation not to exceed 72 hours, reduced caloric intake (so long as the amount is calculated to maintain the general health of the detainee), deprivation of reading material, use of loud music or white noise (at a decibel level calculated to avoid damage to the detainee's hearing), the use of diapers for limited periods (generally not to exceed 72 hours)" [REDACTED about 50 characters--please note all number of characters are estimates] "and moderate psychological pressures. The DCI Interrogation Guidelines do not specifically prohibit improvised actions."

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The preceding quote was obviously not redacted, except for those approximately 50 characters noted. Why was this stuff left un-redacted? How is this not a national secret? Isn't the preceding basically a formula for this enhanced interrogation stuff? I mean I'm not sure if the al-queda guys can read English, but they probably know people who can, and doesn't the preceding sort of tell them, if they capture one of us, what to do to make us talk. I mean if someone was playing that stuff you hear in dentists' offices or on elevators real loud and I was in the room I'd pretty much start even probably trying to make stuff up to make them quit.

And don't even start talking to me about wearing diapers; I'll be singing when I see the box of Pampers.

And this is completely off the subject, well, not completely, but mostly, but isn't it interesting how similar al-queda and al-gebra are? When I was in school I was tortured by algebra and now, again, using the cutting edge intelligence mind I developed over years of study, know why.

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A writer for over 30 years and political satirist. Of course without a single published piece of merit, which makes me your average American blogger.

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