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Obama Sets Up CIA Interrogation Unit

From a relieved Associated Press:

Official: White House sets up interrogation unit

By Steven R. Hurst And Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has moved more forcefully than ever to abandon Bush administration interrogation policies, approving creation of a special White House unit for questioning terrorism suspects, as Attorney General Eric Holder weighs a Justice Department recommendation to reopen and pursue prisoner abuse cases.

A senior administration official told The Associated Press Monday that Obama has approved establishment of the new unit, to be known as the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which will be overseen by the Naitonal [sic] Security Council. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the program has not yet been officially announced.

A U.S. intelligence official said Monday that the CIA welcomes the change, saying the agency does not want to be in the long-term detention business. The official spoke on grounds of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Obama campaigned vigorously against President George W. Bush’s interrogation policies in his successful run for the presidency. He has said more recently he didn’t particularly favor prosecuting Bush administration officials in connection with instances of prisoner abuse. But the issue now before Holder for consideration would have the new administration do precisely that: reopen several such cases with an eye toward possible criminal prosecution.

A government official confirmed to The AP the recommendation of Justice’s ethics office on grounds of anonymity, citing the internal legal deliberations and indicating they remain ongoing.

Obama created task forces to study U.S. policy and practices on handling terrorism captives shortly after taking office. Obama has vowed to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison by next year, hoping to free those prisoners against whom there is no case, to transfer others to the custody of other countries and to put still others on trial, ending their condition of limbo in the U.S. brig.

While information on the new interrogation unit, known by the acronym HIG, will be made public later Monday, the task force working on questions about Guantanamo and prisoners still held there has not completed its work.

The new group and new directives to rely soley [sic] on the Army Field Manual when interrogating prisoners is an attempt by the administration to separate itself from allegation that the Bush administration tortured some prisoners. While the practice of waterboarding — simulated drowning — has been banned, the field manual directives would also end the practice of subjecting prisoners to loud music for long periods and sleep deprivation.

The administration is announcing the new interrogation unit on the same day that the CIA inspector general was to unveil a report on Bush administration handling of suspects. Details were expected to show that highly questionable tactics were used.

Subjecting prisoner abuse cases to a new review and possible prosecution could expose CIA employees and agency contractors to criminal prosecution for the alleged mistreatment of terror suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Holder reportedly reacted with disgust when he first read accounts of prisoner abuse earlier this year in a classified version of the IG report.

The Justice report is said to reveal how interrogators conducted mock executions and threatened at least one man with a gun and a power drill. Threatening a prisoner with death violates U.S. anti-torture laws.

A federal judge has ordered the IG report made public Monday, in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union

The structure of the new unit the White House is creating would depart significantly from such work under the previous administration, when the CIA had the lead and sometimes exclusive role in questioning al-Qaida suspects.

Mr. Obama gives a real Ramadan present to the world.

But will they serve cookies? (Halal, of course.)

While information on the new interrogation unit, known by the acronym HIG, will be made public later Monday, the task force working on questions about Guantanamo and prisoners still held there has not completed its work.

Why not “HUG”?  (High-Value Detainee Understanding Group.)

And will they give the ACLU photographs and bios of all of the CIA personnel involved, to save them the expense and trouble of digging these things out on their own?

And speaking of convenience, will they have a travel office for arranging the final destinations for these innocents in Bermuda? (The most exclusive country on earth.)

Let’s hope so.

After all, we are not barbarians.

And we want the world to like us.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 24th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Obama Sets Up CIA Interrogation Unit”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    The criminals are running our banks.
    Criminals are running the government.
    We even have a criminal printing money.
    Might as well let the criminals run the courts. They are running the Justice(?) Department now; are they not?

    There is something terribly wrong with this presidency. Czars that answer to no one ……. just for starters. (writing policy?)
    Web sites that promote policy from the WH on taxpayers $$ to users that never signed up for any Emails from Barry & Co..
    Health Scare that an overwhelming number of Americans don’t want but is being crammed down our throats.
    Barry isn’t looking out for the American people. He is only looking out for his legacy and how he will be deemed in the history books.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Will this new unit waterboard our people only seeing it is illegal to waterboard our enemies?

  2. GL0120 says:

    If the perpetrators of man-made disasters are smart, they’ll simply claim that they’re members of the Black Panthers.
    Presto, they’ll be released, all charges will be dropped, and they’ll probably be rearmed and sent back to fight again.

  3. proreason says:

    I feel really good now that I know Obamy has his own personal interrogation unit.

    Will they swear an oath of allegiance to him personally?

  4. canary says:

    Obama would be more of a humanitarian if he did something about Africa terrorism. What does around will come around on Obama.

  5. canary says:

    Obama drills holes in baby’s heads and sucks their brains out, and chops their body’s into pieces. Guess it’s past some statue of limitations for his heavy cocaine use, that caused law enforcement to risk their lives.

  6. MinnesotaRush says:

    If this new interrogation deal includes listening to this o-blah-blah windbag for hours on end, it might just work.

    I know I’m close to the edge after about a minute and a half of his nonsensical driveling on and on.


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