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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  December 9, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm EST

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and this year's theme is break the chains that's the #break the chains. >> see you back here at can have that's all our time for this news hour, inside story is next on al jazeera america. >> the report on u.s. torture, and you can understand why so many people did not want it to come out. that's inside story. hello, i'm ray suarez.
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the country tries to get to the bottom of terrorist plots, we come through long and heated debate whether what is now known should ever become public, and now it has. the thrust of the report boils down to this. people were tortured contrary to the repeated assertions that it was worse than people let on, and it didn't work and when responsible branches of the government tried to find out what went on, they were often lied to. >> the report received today looks at c.i.a.'s detention of 119 individuals and use of coercive techniques in some cases amount no torture.
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>> the practices used by the united states after '9, long in the making, politically charged, it reports previously undisclosed techniques used by the c.i.a. the report found that the interrogations of c.i.a. detainees were brutal, and far worse than the c.i.a. represented to policymakers and others. it accuses the c.i.a. of using interrogation technique such as violent threats to a prisoner's families, including the threat of cutting a mother's throat. the rectal dehydration of five detainees and waterboarding used on an suspects. the report also claims the c.i.a. left lawmake lawmakers, including president bush, in the dark as to its
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tactics. >> incomplete and inaccurate information from the c.i.a. was used in documents provided to the department of justice. >> the nearly 7,000 page report took the senate committee almost six years to compile, a critical point in the debate of this report is the effectiveness of physical abuse in extracting valuable information were suspects, a point debated even today. >> they describe brutal around-the-clock interrogations. in which multiple coercive techniques were used in combination, and substantial repetition. >> but c.i.a. director john brennan said in a statement, hour review indicates it did produce intelligence. it did thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. the committee's minority
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released it's own report saying that the majority's report was politicized and reached erroneous conclusions. >> how can any credible investigation take place without interviewing witnesses. this is a 6,000 page report, and not one single witness was ever interviewed. the report released today contain a number of factual errors. >> it didn't tell us much that we didn't already know anyway, but significantly endangers americans around the world. this particular release in my judgment serves no purpose whatsoever other than to endanger americans around the world at a time of growing concern about the rise of terrorism. >> as al-qaeda suspects were rounded up the bush administration used legal
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interpretation to say these men were not like prisoners of war. by doing so the bush team created a legal injuresfication for harsh interrogation. james clapper reacted this way to the senate's findings. the officers who participated in the program believed with certainty that they were engaged in a program devised by our government on behalf of the president that it was necessary to protect the nation that had appropriate legal authorization, and it was sanctioned by some in congress. the senate report also says that at least 26 detainees were wrongfully held and did not meet the government stander for detention. president obama issued this statement after the report was released. these techniques did significant damage to america's standing in the world, and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners. that's why i will continue to use my authority as president to make sure that we never resort
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to those methods again. in 2005 then president bush defended his administration's interrogation tactics. >> there is an enemy at work, so you bet we'll aggressively pursue it. but we would do so under the law. we do not torture. >> reporter: with the release of the senate committee investigation the torture question appears to answer in the affirmative. the u.s. did it. while the same report said these methods did no good in intelligence gathering the debate moves to what harm may follow coming clean about it. >> that massive so-called torture report this time on the program, the wisdom of bringing it out, what it tells us, and what happens from here on out. executive and congressional oversight is tough if the people you're trying to watch aren't telling you the truth.
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the u.s. torture, the war on terror now. the c.i.a. and it's response to the report said that it was too flawed to stand as the official record of the program. joining us for that conversati conversation, a nine-term congressman from michigan. now a fellow at the investigative project on terrorism. director of the center of national security at fordham school of law and former c.i.a. analyst and program director for the graduate program in global security studies and johns hopkins university. were you one of the people who opposed 9 idea of bringing this forward to the public? >> not knowing what is in the report. now that it is out, yeah, i wish this report had not come out. i wish what would have happened was there was a bipartisan report republicans and democrats endorsing the conclusions and
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findings. that's how we move intelligence forward. this week we'll celebrate the signing of the intelligence reform bill. i was part that have process with joel lieberman, with susan collins and jane harman. we harmed through a tough process, and we came out of a bipartisan product. we move the process forward. this is a partisan report by democrats in the senate. it does not move the ball forward. >> having said that what about the conclusions that it comes to. i understand your objections to the process, but what about the material contained inside. >> there was a systemic process of withholding information from congress and deceiving congress. from 2004 until 2011 i was recipient. he was a consumer of the product given by the c.i.a. i looked at staff and said as
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this report came out and said, how much of this report is stuff we never knew about? what is knew here? the response that came back, we knew 95% of this stuff. we were informed of this. i think the big gap of this report is why didn't the democrats in the senate, why didn't they look at congress' role when we were told, when we were informed, what the c.i.a. shared with us about these programs. when we didn't get the information we wanted how hard did we push back and getting and filling in the gaps. >> i do want to hear from the other members of the panel. if you say that you knew almost everything revealed in this report, how was it pack in the days that you were chairman and around that time when people had the gavel to look at the public
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and say there is no torturing going on when some of the things detailed in lurid detail in this report show practices that american leaders were telling the public were not going on? >> well, remember what this report details goes into 17 or 18 specific instances where quote/unquote the rules were broken. we were not managing the program on a fact-basis. these are the enhanced interrogation techniques. these are the rules when they made use. here's how they will be applied. here are the save guards that we'll put in place. those kinds of things. we had a 10,000 to 15,000-foot program, not a tactical day-to-day operation. >> to make a long story short you don't feel that you were lied to. >> by and large, no. congress, republicans and democrats, were fully briefed by this program. >> karen greenberg, i know it's
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a lot to digest in a short amount of time. it's only been a couple of hours, and it's more than 500 pages. what do you make of what you have seen so far? >> i make of it that it's broader than we thought. and more important, the cover up, whether or not the representative new about it himself. the cover up and perhaps to congress is rather appalling and tells that they knew they were doing something well outside of the law. >> what do you make of the assertion that they knew 90 to 95% of what's in that 500 plus page? >> well, i think it's interesting. they may have known details of it, but i would be surprised that they knew it was done in the combination that it was done. that it was done with the effect of the physical effect that it was done, and they wondered about the efficacy. that people are in near death experiences. people are in isolation so long
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that they're desystemmibling in terms of their personalities, what kind of information can they give? i'm very disappointed that they knew that they didn't push back on this, let alone the moral implications much earlier. >> mark stout, what do you think of what was reported, and was there anything in there that made you say, gee, i didn't have any idea that that was going on? >> there is a lot in the report that outsiders like me, i left the community 11 years ago, didn't know in detail. i don't think the thrust of it was tremendously surprising. to me, i any there are multiple issues here. was there torture going on? and it's very clear that at least some of the things that exceeded the authorities that the agency was given would qualified by reasonable standards as torture and my impression was that the agency is admitting that there was some wrongdoing there. and then among the authorized procedures i think there are difference there is. my personal view and many people
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agree with this, waterboarding is, indeed, torture, that's inexcusable. when you get down to the substantive questions whether or not there was a cover up, whether or not the information acquired was useful and necessary, what we've got here is a brief for the prosecution. and it makes a plausible case. clearly a prima facie case that this was wrongdoing and unnecessary. but the first few hours of the report plus the rebuttal, and the minority report and then all the other supporting documents that have come out, i think there is a lot of sifting through that we'll have to do. frankly i think people who have some background as intelligence analysts will have to look at this before we can really come to a consideration. >> obviously there is a lot more to understand, more to know and more to digest. we're back with "inside story" after a short break. when we come back, what they
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told their captors. whether it was valuable, whether it was attainable some other way. stay with us.
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>> what were the policies? what was their purpose? did they achieve it? did it make us safer? less safe? did it make no difference? what did it gain us? what did it cost us? the american people need the
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answers to these request questions. >> you're watching inside story. i'm ray suarez. that was senator john mccain on the senate floor where he explains hi his questions towards the report. the debate on the release made it sound like the value of information garnered was just a matter of opinion. is it? mark, there are some voices saying no, that's not true. we did get valuable things. and john mccain calling in to question whether anything worthwhile was found out. >> i think there is an issue here that will have to be sorted out. that is that the c.i.a. has maintained that these harsh interrogations were not in and of themselves for the purpose of ex-practicing information but rather to create come compliance
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and submission. i think it will require careful reading to see that bore out, and in fact, if that is what happened. secondly, i'm concerned that the people writing this report may not really understand the business of intelligence analysis. you know, how you put together an analytic mosaic. i fear what i read so far in the public discourse so far that the image of intelligence analysis is like a bad detective sorry and suddenly there is the clue that you need that breaks the entire case. realize reawhereas real world intelligence analysis you're putting together one bit of information that is key to everything. i think we need to have a nuanced reading of this data,
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and the real world analysis is something that reasonable analysts disagree. so we should expect that. >> they consistent get much that was useful. >> what they're saying is that they didn't get information that thwarted attacks and save lives. there is something to say about the profession of interrogation. is this a profession of skilled interrogators who know how to get information, or does it really rely on coerce coercive techniques. to say that we don't understand
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how analysts work is diverting the conversation from what it really needs to be. that is do we want our operatives and analysts torturing individuals for information when we know that it violates our laws. it violates international laws and it does not keep anybody safer, which is what this report basically says. one part of the report we haven't talked about is that it talks about the mismanagement of the c.i.a. that there was nobody in control of the program for a couple of years. that there were wrong decisions made along the line. and basically it was not well handled in any way. i think that is something very important to look at. and it raises the question of oversight, which is really what the report is. is there going to be and can there be better oversight of the c.i.a. going forward? >> ca
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>> there can be effective oversight. i joined the committee in january of 2001. a few months later there was a shootdown of a civilian plane in peru, a drug inter diction program. two of the folks killed in that program were my constituents. >> they were christian missionaries. >> christian missionaries. >> the first briefing we got from the c.i.a. was a strict regiment of rules and regulations of how the peruvian pilots can ex-ute execute a shoot down. we asked if they had a videotape of the shoot down. they looked back and said, yes, we do. i said great, i would like to see it. a couple of weeks later we watched it, and it took a lot of
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pushing, but we got access to the videotape, and we found out that they did not follow any one of the rules that they had laid out. >> i'm glad you brought up videotape because in the case of some of these interrogations they were videoed. >> and then destroyed. >> and then destroyed. not only were they destroyed, but the man who ran that unit started telling other people not to put anything in writing and not to tell anyone what was going on in these interrogation centers and to go dark. i would submit that it's hard to do oversight that way. >> absolutely. i had asked for access to those tapes before they were destroyed. we were in the minority at that time. with we could not leverage or press to go after the manager who destroyed the tapes, which
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is what i thought should happen. oversight is difficult, but it can be done and it needs to be done. >> are there losses in the moral and legal high ground even though many are saying they are not surprised by what is in the report. stay with us.
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>> we're back on inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. you may remember the tense debates in the use of physical coercion in the years after 9/11 from kitchen tables to talk shows to congress and the oval office. secretary rumsfeld dismissed the
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information terrorists gave. with us, our panel. karen, anthony romero has suggested publicly that we must find out everything that happened in order to make a clean breast of it. the only way to do that is if the country pardons everyone who was involved in this. what do you make of that idea? >> i think it's talking about essentially having--using this report as a reconciliation committee in some way. what i would prefer probably is if you're going to pardon people, perhaps they should be indicted first. perhaps you could look at what
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laws they have broken. i think it's very important that we understand as a country what laws were broken, how they were broken, and therefore, how we might not go down this road again. i take his point. basically we've come this far, and maybe we should just give it up and have all the fax on the table, but i'm not quite there yet. >> you mentioned all the reports there, and of course there is another 3,000 pages to come. once it has been suggested and argued over and picked over is it important for us to do something with it, even if it comes to making a national resolution about how to move forward from here? >> right, i think this debate has been extremely useful. you know, it would have been whether or not we released the report. at the very least it leads to discussing this, and fighting over it is very useful. i do think now that it is out, the notion of doing something to encourage long the lines truth
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is helpful one of the things that relates to this oversight, the details still need to be digested but a lot of people in congress like our colleague here really knew 90% to 95% of what was going on, and it was okay with them at the time. they're rather in the position of president's eisenhower and kennedy, who in an earlier era sent the c.i.a. to conduct assassinations, but conveniently never had their signatures on anything. i think some members of congress are doing the same thing. saying one thing, go out and get them and do what you need to do, and then when it comes to public scandal, oh, yes, leave the agency holding the bag. >> are we going to get better
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control out of this? >> i think so. you always go through this process. i'm very concerned about the concept of prosecuting anybody on this. i believe the people that they go for a, the people who executed the program who when asked to do the program or directed to do the program were told rightfully so this has been run by the judiciary. this is run by the executive branch and supported and briefed by congress. if you're going to--if laws were broken rather than starting at the c.i.a. level, start at the top level which includes members of congress and members of the executive branch and those types of things, but don't go down to the c.i.a. level. >> what about the plausible de deniability because a lot of bad stuff can go on out of our gaze? >> you can't do that. we got to the point where we would have to start taking notes
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as to what was told congress because like mark was talking about, what the c.i.a. and intelligence community were experiencing, we're leaving congress and 18 months later we're finding out they're denying anything that they knew about this. i'm taking notes and putting it in the file. thank you all for being with me. that bring us to the end of inside story. from washington, i'm ray suarez. >> coming up, our coverage of the report on c.i.a. interrogation methods continues. we'll outline the details from the information and get reaction from washington and abroad. also the secretary of defense travels to iraq where leaders
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are pushing for more health from the united states to fight isil. awe hear from a woman who could be helped after ten years in the country illegally. those stories and more tonight at 6:00. ♪ september they had 400 followers. today, there are thousands of people who adhere ladenism. >> a counter-terrorism expert runs an intelligence firm that bears his name that advices governments and corporation >> the only thing they want is a religious war. >> he led the investigations of the

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