Official: US may create terror interrogation unit | Top AP Stories | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
The more things change, the more things stay the same--or so it seems.WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is considering creating a special unit of professional interrogators to handle key terror suspects, focusing on intelligence-gathering rather than building criminal cases for prosecution, a government official said Saturday.
First, I will say that the focus on intelligence-gathering as opposed to criminal prosecution is the correct focus. Terrorists are not criminals, nor should they be given the protections our system of laws affords criminals--they are undeserving of such charities.
Why is a "special unit" necessary? Why can't this just be farmed out to the CIA--long the nation's primary agency for intelligence collection?
One possible explanation might be the desire to exploit the loopholes in Executive Orders issued on 22 January 2009.
- "Torture" prohibition as described in Executive Order "ENSURING LAWFUL INTERROGATIONS" only applies to persons detained in "armed conflicts", which are differentiated in the Executive Order "REVIEW OF DETENTION POLICY OPTIONS" from "counterterrorism operations.
- The CIA is the only entity required to close its detention facilities.
- Only detainees captured in "armed conflicts" are required to be disclosed to the International Committee of the Red Cross
- The conformance to interrogation techniques of the Army Field Manual are applied only to detainees captured to "armed conflicts."
Now, if Dear Leader decides it's a good idea to waterboard some Al Qaeda types to keep the US safe from international terrorism, then good on him. I honestly hope this is exactly what it suggests to my cynical mind--an effort to sidestep his earlier amateurish condemnations of the interrogation techniques used during the Bush Administration, techniques which Dear Leader's own Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, deemed effective, saying that
Still, if Dear Leader is planning to use his own loopholes, where does that leave Attorney General Holder's contemplations of criminal investigations and possible prosecutions of Bush Administration people for the use of such techniques?High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.