Tuesday, January 13, 2015

CIA torture and that Senate Democrats' Report: A betrayal

Remember a few weeks back when the Senate Democrats decided to release their 'report' on the CIA *torture* that supposedly took place post-9/11 in order to gain vital information?

I will have more to say on that at a later date (hint: it was, of course, motivated by all politics all the time) but amidst all the ongoing real terrorism and torture going on around the globe, comes an op/ed by the sister of the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was taken into the Pentagon.

Debra Burlingame has long been one of the public faces - an important voice - of the horror that was 9/11 and she gives her insights into the political gamesmanship of this Democrats report.

From the NY Daily News:

The Senate’s betrayal
The sister of a pilot killed on Sept. 11 says Sen. Feinstein’s torture report has done the unthinkable — turned our enemies into victims

 January 4, 2015

In November of 2002, my two brothers and I traveled to FBI offices in Alexandria, Virginia and met with one of the lead federal prosecutors who was working on the criminal investigation of the 9/11 attacks. We were there to watch a video animation of American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that was hijacked by five Al Qaeda terrorists and flown into the Pentagon.

We were desperate to find out anything we could about the flight because our brother, Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame, III, was its captain, the pilot in command that fateful morning.

The video we were about to see — put together from the plane's flight data recorder, or "black box," and FAA radar tracking — would show us the plane's every movement, from the time it pushed back from the gate at Dulles Airport to the moment just before it crashed into the Pentagon at 530 mph, one hour and 27 minutes later.

We sat in silence for the entire duration of the video. The animation noted when radio contact ceased and when the plane's unique radar signature, its transponder, was turned off. We watched, barely breathing, as the Boeing 757 changed course. Almost immediately after it completed its 180 degree turn, the plane began to pitch and roll violently.

We knew this was when Chic was fighting for his life. It lasted more than six agonizing minutes. And then it stopped.


This is the context for the families of the victims as we watched Sen. Dianne Feinstein declare from the well of the U.S. Senate last month that the harsh interrogation of the men who plotted and carried out our loved ones' savage murders, and who planned a second wave of terror, was "a stain on our values and our history."

These are the images we thought of as we were told that the government had committed war crimes when it sanctioned the CIA enhanced interrogation program to acquire intelligence from the people who meant to terrorize and incapacitate the nation further.


Tortured? What does that actually mean?


In 2009, I was among those 9/11 family members who opposed President Obama's plan to release the details of the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program (RDI) the CIA created and carried out with presidential approval. The lengthy legal memos Obama published were written at the behest of John Rizzo, then acting chief counsel for the CIA.


For five years, Sen. Feinstein has led this effort to rewrite history and has produced a fraudulent document that says enhanced interrogation techniques "didn't work."

This claim is the linchpin the Committee relied on and, I believe, the chief reason the report was created without interviewing a single individual actually involved in the program, or any of the former CIA directors who oversaw its administration and know otherwise... 

There is much more of this MUST READ here.

I do not believe that the CIA was guilty of torture.  As one expert opined in the immediate aftermath of the release of the report [paraphrased]: Torture is when you don't get up and walk away afterwards.  These interrogation sessions made the terrorists 'uncomfortable.'

 That is NOT torture.

Meanwhile, Feinsten et al should be ashamed of playing politics with the security of American citizens. What she and her fellow Democrats have done IS a betrayal; not just of the 9/11 families, but of ALL Americans.  Period.

We will not forget.

No comments: