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Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners?

Jane Mayer has an excellent article in the New Yorker, A Deadly Interrogation: Can the C.I.A. legally kill a prisoner?

Meet Mark Swanner:

Mark Swanner, a forty-six-year-old C.I.A. officer who has performed interrogations and polygraph tests for the agency, which has employed him at least since the nineteen-nineties. (He is not a covert operative.) Two years ago, at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad, an Iraqi prisoner in Swanner’s custody, Manadel al-Jamadi, died during an interrogation. His head had been covered with a plastic bag, and he was shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe; according to forensic pathologists who have examined the case, he asphyxiated. In a subsequent internal investigation, United States government authorities classified Jamadi’s death as a “homicide,” meaning that it resulted from unnatural causes. Swanner has not been charged with a crime and continues to work for the agency.

The harsh treatment of Jamadi and other prisoners in C.I.A. custody, however, has inspired an emotional debate in Washington, raising questions about what limits should be placed on agency officials who interrogate foreign terrorist suspects outside U.S. territory.

Mayer's article continues with a discussion of the proposed anti-torture amendment and the resistence of the Adminsitration to include CIA officials. There are some excellent quotes from Sen. Dick Durbin.

[Via War and Piece.]

Our prior coverage of Jamadi's death can be found here.

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  • Re: Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:48 PM EST
    The description of the detainee's death in the New Yorker article nearly made me ill. I hope the UC Berkely Law School is ashamed to employ Prof. Yoo, who provided the necessary legal cover for 'torture lite'.

    Re: Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners? (none / 0) (#2)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:48 PM EST
    The new Republican approved method of solving the detainee "problem" - you shackle them in a "crucifixion-like pose" then aphyxiate them by putting a plastic bag over their head. Somehow I don't think the lesson of the death of Jesus was supposed to be that Christians should adopt crucification.

    Re: Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:48 PM EST
    I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but this is precisely what the International Criminal Court is for, and this is precisely the reason why the current administration will have nothing to do with it. Because they want to protect the murderers within the military and the CIA from prosecution. It's as simple as that.

    Re: Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:49 PM EST
    During the initial invasion in 2003 we heard that the CIA had its own TROOPS, fighter planes, and war materiel. The CIA apparently attacked the convoy of the Russian Ambassador, FROM THE AIR, and then rifled his possessions on the ground. His driver was shot -- perhaps killed. Then every legitimate military agency took credit/blame for the incident, but no one seemed surprised that the CIA has weaponry to engage in warfare. It's not spying when it's just an arm of the military. And then the incident was promptly forgotten. Like about fifty other incidents which never were examined by the Muffled Media.

    Re: Is the CIA Allowed to Kill Prisoners? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:49 PM EST
    Who would Jesus asphyxiate?