CIA Memos Released – More Evidence Why We Need To Support Our Intelligence Community, Not Throw Them To The Wolves

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The sad part in the news tonight that the interrogation techniques used on al-Qaeda DID, in fact, result in the disruption of our enemies attacks against the United States and the capture of many members of AQ is the fact that these techniques will no longer be used. Meaning…’s a waiting game until the next successful attack:

A redacted version of the CIA Inspector General Report on the CIA interrogation program was released today. Media coverage seems to imply that CIA interrogators were constantly going beyond programmatic guidance, where the IG Report found the reality to be that “there were few instances of deviations from approved procedures.” IG Report page 5, para 10. Additionally, the media today has latched on to the use of a gun in an interrogation, without usually reporting the other important element of that salacious story, which is that the interrogator was promptly disciplined for his actions. Joby Warrick and R. Jeffrey Smith, CIA Officer Disciplined for Alleged Gun Use in Interrogation, Wash Post (Aug. 23, 2009).

Similarly going unreported today is that the release of the IG report should finally put to rest claims that the CIA interrogation program was not effective and did not produce actionable intelligence, made, for example, by Senator Whitehouse on the floor of the Senate on June 9, 2009. Analysis of the effectiveness of the CIA interrogation program in the IG Report reveals the following:

• “Agency senior managers believe that lives have been saved as a result of the capture and interrogation of terrorists who were planning attacks, in particular, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abu Zubaydah, Hambali, and Al-Nashiri.” page 88 para 217.
• After the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques on the bomber of the USS Cole, “al-Nashiri provided lead information on other terrorists during his first day of interrogation.” pages 35-36, para 76.
• Hambali “provided information that led to the arrest of previously unknown members of an Al-Qa’ida cell in Karachi.” page 87 para 216.
• Intelligence derived from the CIA interrogation program led to a general increase in relevant intelligence reports, producing over 3,000 intelligence reports between 9/11 and the end of April 2003. page 86 para 213.
• A redacted entity “judge the reporting from detainees as one of the most important sources for finished intelligence.” Similarly, another redacted entity “viewed analysts’ knowledge of the terrorist target as having much more depth as a result of information from detainees and estimated that detainee reporting is used in all counterterrorism articles produced for the most senior policymakers.” page 88 para 218.

Analysis of the effectiveness of the CIA interrogation program in documents released with the CIA IG report reveals the following:

• “Results from the first al Qaeda HVT interrogated using the aforementioned enhanced techniques, Abu Zubayda, have been outstanding. . . . This has ultimately led to some instances of the US Government being able to neutralize Al Qaeda capabilities worldwide before there was an opportunity for those capabilities to engage in operations harmful to the United States.” CIA Business Plan discussing RDI program, page 13, March 7, 2003.
• “using the quality of the intelligence as the yardstick, the program has been an absolute success.” Interview with a senior CIA officer regarding CIA RDI program, page 1, para 2, July 17, 2003.
• “there was no other way CTC [CIA Counterterrorist Center] could have gotten the information they have obtained from the detainees.” Interview with a senior CIA officer regarding CIA RDI program, page 1, para 2, July 17, 2003.
• “detainees have provided information that led to the arrest of other terrorists Zubadayh provided information that led to the raid that netted Ramzi Bin al-Shibh.” Interview with a senior CIA officer regarding CIA RDI program, page 2, para 3, July 17, 2003.
• al Nashiri “is providing actionable intelligence” after the use of the enhanced interrogation techniques. Spot report regarding interrogation of al Nashiri, page 1, para 2, Jan. 22, 2003.

It is unclear why two other documents analyzing the effectiveness of the CIA interrogation program, namely the CIA CTC Effectiveness Memo and the CIA DI Khalid Sheikh Mohammad Preeminent Source Memo, were not released contemporaneously with the IG report. DOJ legal opinions, for example, have cited the Effectiveness Memo for the proposition that “the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al-Qa’ida has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.” OLC CAT Memo, page 8, May 30, 2005.

Recall that Cheney asked that Obama release the memos….now they have and Cheney had this to say:

The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.

The DoJ will be releasing more:

The Department of Justice is compiling a list of documents, to release later this evening, related to a 2004 CIA Inspector General report on enhanced interrogation techniques that was released today. The two documents that Cheney requested will be part of that release, but were made public early by the CIA.

One of the CIA documents, entitled “Detainee Reporting Pivotal for the War Against al-Qaeda,” and written June 3, 2005, says “detainee reporting has become a crucial pillar of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, aiding intelligence and law enforcement operations to capture additional terrorists, helping to thwart terrorist plots, and advancing our analysis of the al-Qaeda target.”

The report is heavily redacted and, at times, it is unclear which detainees are being discussed. At no point does the report describe intelligence gained as result of enhanced interrogation techniques.

The report says intelligence from detainees has resulted in the thwarting of terror plans.


Carl Levin did warn us in May that the documents say nothing about enhanced interrogation, only interrogation generally. But according to Republican members, the House Intelligence Committee was told at a closed briefing as recently as June that EI did in fact yield valuable intel, a leak that drew criticism — but not contradiction — from Democrats on the committee.

Dick Cheneys words need to be quoted over and over again. “The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions.”

They deserve more then this Administration is giving them. Our Country deserves better then this Administration is giving them. Obama and friends are dooming us to intelligence failures that make 9/11 seem like a woopsie. Who in the intelligence community will EVER believe they are safe because our elected leaders said they were? The next one in power will just hang you out to dry as Obama as so thoroughly proved.

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

28 Responses to “CIA Memos Released – More Evidence Why We Need To Support Our Intelligence Community, Not Throw Them To The Wolves”

  1. 1


    The reason “so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security” is that people in this Administration don’t want to be responsible for either the words they speak or the actions they take. Their words and actions are inconsistent and self-serving. If anyone has the courage to question them about it, they hide behind ACORN and union thugs. They coddle terrorists and vilify citizens. Patriotism seems to be a “racist” word to them, and they apologize for — and seem ashamed of — our great country.

  2. 2


    President O’Dumbo is in deep doo doo, or is he all wee wee’s up, and the democrats only plan is to start screaming ‘Bush did it’. Bad news nuts, that dog won’t hunt no more. It, the plan, and you are the butt of millions of jokes. You want to be like the weenies in Europe who are so stupid they believed a terrorist responsible for hundreds of deaths wouldn’t lie to them. I’ve ran several vehicle crashes and two DOA’s the past couple of days and none of them involved the congress critters I’d love to see without a head. Just got in from a motorcycle crash and it’s 1:45 AM. Time for all volunteer fire/rescue workers to start demanding big time pay…

  3. 4


    Whats next are we going to start investigating every firefight our troops are in to see if a possible war crime was committed? The real investigation should be into corrupt congressmen like Connors…why they let their hatred for Bush and Cheney compromise our National Security…The evidence is clear they would rather lose the war and feed their hatred for republicans…

  4. 5

    Tom n

    I can’t believe that it can get any worse but it does. Let’s destroy the CIA just to make a political point. The public has to wake up sometime and realise that Obama and his people are going to destroy this country. How can you fight an enemy by making up rules you must follow when the enemy does not follow any rules. How would you like to and play in a football game where your team must follow all rules and the other team can do what ever it wants.

    Good Grief !!

  5. 6


    Whether we should or should not engage in torture is not a political point. That those who distrust the government most or willing to entrust the government with so much is interesting. Like Obama, I agree that we should not prosecute the agents, but since we are a government of the people and by the people we should know and be engaged in a discussion as to whether (1) the tactics were successful–if not the point is moot and we should follow traditional guidelines and international treaties; (2) if they are successful, we need to have a debate as to whether we as a people want our agents and defenders engaged in such tactics (done for our benefit). I am not convinced the tactics were successful, or, at least any more than those tactics used by the FBI–who have also been engaged in the terrorist fight and are oppossed to the CIA tactics. If they were successful, to be justified they would have to be effective enough to overcome the negative impact they create, if any, in terms of damage to our relationships with potential allies and terrorist recruitment—the problem with the Bush Adminstration is not that they think the change in policy in allowing the use of terrorist tactics or the change in foreign policy that justified the war is IRAQ is right (these monumental changes in policy may be necessary in todays world)–it is that they never made an honest case. And all citizens should be offended by that.

    Your Football analogy is telling—it assumes we are in a game Us vs. The rest of the world.

  6. 9


    Eric Holder said he has no choice but to investigate the CIA and uphold the law —except when it relates to the new black panther thugs intimidating voters.

  7. 10



    @Stephen: Remember this?

    Bottom line, O’Bunko WILL NOT release ANY information that doesn’t further his agenda. The fact that he has released classified material which WILL harm our security, and for no other reason than political gain, is ample proof of that. So, the claim that the cipher will not release memos which, at least at present, do not help him disseminate his propaganda, is a VERY solid one.

    However, I personally would leave open the option that Obama MIGHT release those documents, but ONLY if he sees it as a benefit to himself and/or if it is harmful to his opponents. If he does so for those reasons, you have absolutely no need to appologize, even though I suspect someone like Stephen might demand it, as if he were proven right.

    Oh, thats right. You packed up your bags and left the discussion until the day you could come back and yell “a-ha!”


    I wonder why he would choose to release these, heavily redacted, memo’s now? Could it be polls nose diving and losing the health care debate? Naw….the one would never do anything like that.

  8. 13


    Widespread abuse has been alleged, including one incident when they threatened a detainee “with a chainsaw as his autistic daughter looked on,” another where they used cattle prods on detainees’ genitals, another where they put a gun against a detainee’s head, another where they slammed a handcuffed detainee’s face into the ground.

    A system fostering a pervasive atmosphere of abuse “without fear of punishment.” Over 10,000 complaints of abuse in just two years, but only 19 disciplinary actions. And the abuse was covered up at the highest level.

    Not at Gitmo. Not at black sites. Not at Abu Ghraib or Bagram.

    In Chicago. “Allegedly.”

  9. 15


    Seems to me the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan has gotten worse since ‘Team Obama’ have been running things …. Maybe concern for their comfort, offering tea, smokes and a friendly chat after reading captured insurgents their Miranda rights isn’t inspiring these ‘folks’ to fess up informationwise.

  10. 16



    The first part of my nephew’s tour in Iraq was spent in the field, everytime a weapon is fired it is mandatory that our warriors fill out a report. A couple of his guys said they weren’t going to fire their weapons, apparently they don’t like paperwork after a long day of being shot at. This new rule was supposed to have been made to protect the troops, so they say.

    Next, he was training Iraqi soldiers, then moved to Abu Gharibe where he became one of Saddam’s guards. After the execution, he babysat the Abu Gharibe terrorists, another new rule because of the Lyndy England episode.

    His duty was to protect the world’s filth, both al Qeada and the rest of the evil picked up in Iraq and there were a few from Afghanistan. He was not to allow any interrogator to lay one finger on them, he brought them in to the interrogators and stood right next to them through the entire process, then escorted them back to their cell.

    He said none of the prisoners he had experience with were innocent, they don’t have time to waste on a detainee that doesn’t have useful information. The interrogators come from several intel agencies, CIA. FBI, can’t remember the others, but the same rules apply to all questioning done in the Iraq theater, I’m sure Afghanistan is the same.

    The Bush Admin made the changes as events occured, to think that his administration advocated torture is folly, there were plenty of investigations, career DOJ attorneys chose not to prosecute. This witch hunt is being pushed now to distract the public, hope it fails like all the other Obama initiatives have.

  11. 18


    Well we never filled out any paperwork when we fired but your dead right this is a witchunt…Obama should Pardon everyone in Advance this has caused serious damage to future interrogations…

  12. 20


    Yes…and coincidently a bunch of my guys ended up at ABU…I ended up in Asraf which the Iraqi army just rolled over at the request of Iran(see fox news video)

  13. 21



    He was there after Haditha, the military had tightened up the ROE’s before he got there. There was a debate in my local paper’s forum shortly after, one of our members was in the Marines and was irritated, to put it mildly about the new rules, he thought it would cause troops to hesitate and put others at risk. When my nephew got home I asked him about it and he confirmed it, he’s Army, I’m assuming it’s the same for all.

    He gets moved in and out of different duty, it’s hard to keep up. He originally trained to diffuse bombs, before Iraq he trained recruits fresh out of basic, last month he was in OK for laser training, I kind of wish he would stick to guarding prisoners.

    Thank you for your service.

  14. 22



    Or until the day I saw that the interrogation memos would never be released. And lo and behold, here they are. You have met the first criteria of a conspiracy theory: they will NEVER release the truth, but if they do, it’s only because that’s what they WANT you believe!!

    It’s funny too because your statement contradicts itself: this blog post insists that the declassified memos show proof that the anti-torture stance of the Obama administration HARMS America, yet you are claiming they were only released because it furthers their crazy lefty agenda? Do you agree with this blog post or not?

  15. 23



    @Stephen: Sorry….no where did Mike say the memo’s would never be released. Put words into his mouth as much as you like to further your own ego but it doesn’t change the truth. He said “don’t hold your breath” waiting for the release but if they are released we will be the first to release them. Your retarded attempt to come back to this blog after months away all to say “a-ha!” is actually quite pathetic. Especially given the fact that the released memo’s do prove what Cheney and us authors have been saying. The EIT saved us from further attacks, saved lives, and put the worst of the worst away in Gitmo.

    Maybe your pea brain cannot comprehend current events since you obviously live in a obsessed state of BDS but ObamaCare is the big push of your messiah, and its nosediving, along with his approval rating. So Obama is doing what any self-serving pos politician would do…..”looka thata-way” to prevent the lose of his precious Socialism and his approval in the country.

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