Ali Soufan Op-Ed in The Atlantic: Telling the Truth About CIA Torture
March 15, 2018
By: Ali Soufan
It is a matter of public record that Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to be the next director of the CIA, played a key role in the agency’s now-defunct program of “enhanced interrogation techniques”—an Orwellian euphemism for a system of violence most Americans would recognize as torture. Indeed, Haspel was in charge of one of the agency’s secret “black sites” where at least two detainees were tortured.
I know firsthand how brutal these techniques were—and how counterproductive. In 2002, I interrogated an al-Qaeda associate named Abu Zubaydah. Using tried-and-true nonviolent interrogation methods, we extracted a great deal of valuable intelligence from Zubaydah—including the identities of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the would-be “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, both of whom would be arrested shortly after. Yet some officials later tried to manipulate the record to make it seem as if this intelligence was gained through torture, even going so far as to misstate the date of Padilla’s arrest, which in fact occurred before Zubaydah or any other al-Qaeda suspect was waterboarded …
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