Morell has no place in a Biden-Harris administration. His nomination would send a chilling message to torture survivors and other victims of grave injustice that the United States government, including the Biden administration, does not uphold its own stated principles. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) from the Senate Intelligence Committee has said about Morell: “No torture apologist can be confirmed as CIA director. It’s a nonstarter.” We agree and urge the President-elect not to nominate Morell.
We also oppose Avril Haines, another toture apologist, as Director of National Intelligence. Since she has already been nominated, we ask Senators to oppose her confirmation.
It was painful enough to live through the U.S invasion of Iraq that caused untold devastation and human misery for no justifiable reason.
Now we are again reminded of the grim Bush legacy with President-elect Biden’s nomination of Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence.
The Committee makes the following findings and conclusions:
#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.
#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.
#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others. (…)
At least five CIA detainees were subjected to „rectal rehydration“ or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity. The CIA placed detainees in ice water „baths.“ The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to one detainee that he would only leave in a coffin-shaped box. One interrogator told another detainee that he would never go to court, because „we can never let the world know what I have done to you.“ CIA officers also threatened at least three detainees with harm to their families— to include threats to harm the children of a detainee, threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee, and a threat to „cut [a detainee’s] mother’s throat.“
#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.
Conditions at CIA detention sites were poor, and were especially bleak early in the program. CIA detainees at the COBALT detention facility were kept in complete darkness and constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.10 Lack of heat at the facility likely contributed to the death of a detainee. The chief of interrogations described COBALT as a „dungeon.“11 Another senior CIA officer stated that COBALT was itself an enhanced interrogation technique.“ At times, the detainees at COBALT were walked around naked or were shackled with their hands above their heads for extended periods of time. Other times, the detainees at COBALT were subjected to what was described as a „rough takedown,“ in which approximately five CIA officers would scream at a detainee, drag him outside of his cell, cut his clothes off, and secure him with Mylar tape. The detainee would then be hooded and dragged up and down a long corridor while being slapped and punched.
(Dec 09, 2014)
The drilldown from Bloomberg:
– CIA provided inaccurate information about effectiveness and scope of interrogations of suspected terrorists, and mismanaged a program that was far more brutal than represented, according to 6-year investigation by Democrats on Senate Intelligence Cmte.
– Interrogation techniques weren’t effective, didn’t produce key information that led to killing of Osama bin Laden and were significantly different from procedures authorized by Justice Dept, report says
– CIA provided inaccurate information to White House, Congress, DOJ, CIA Inspector General, media and the public
– “This document examines the CIA’s secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques – in some cases amounting to torture,” Senate Intelligence Cmte Chairman Dianne Feinstein says in statement
Haines is expected to withstand scrutiny during the Senate confirmation process for her role in the drone program, as well as her approval of a CIA review board decision in 2015 not to discipline agency personnel for intruding in computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee when it was investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Haines was also part of the team that redacted the committee’s report on the program.
They turned to an industry of power-brokering little known outside the capital: strategic consultancies. Retiring leaders often open firms bearing their names: Madeleine Albright has one, as do Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen. Their strategic consultancies tend to blur corporate and governmental roles. This obscure corner of Washington is critical to understanding how a President Joe Biden would conduct foreign policy. He has been picking top advisers from this shadowy world.
In the run-up to the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is putting together a foreign policy team for a potential future administration. Among those described as being part of the team is Avril Haines, former deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration. According to an NBC News report from last week, Haines has been tapped to work advising on policy, as well as lead the national security and foreign policy team.
In addition to her past national security work and impressive presence in the D.C. think tank world, Haines has in the past described herself as a former consultant for the controversial data-mining firm Palantir.