The CIA reacts defensively today to breaking disclosures from Newsweek and the Washington Post, disclosures that the spy organization used power drills and mock executions in its interrogations of the indefinitely detained. The threat of imminent death in interrogation is specifically declared illegal by 18 USC 2340. The CIA’s defense?
This has all been looked at; professionals in the Department of Justice decided if and when to pursue prosecution. That’s how the system was supposed to work, and that’s how it did work.
That was CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, waving his hands as if to make the illegal behavior go away. But in order to believe that Department of Justice review solves the problem of the U.S. Government conducting mock executions and brandishing power drills, you have to conclude that the Department of Justice is an impartial body. Under George W. Bush, the Department of Justice was turned into a decidedly partial body. Three Attorneys General were chosen for their willingness to go along with and defend, not stand apart from and adjudicate, Bush torture policy. Prosecutors were fired for having the wrong partisan affiliation or for failing to follow the demands of Bush administration political appointees.
So no, the CIA declaration that mock executions and the use of power drills become OK because the Bush Justice Department did a review does not soothe me, and it does not satisfy me. No. No. No.