The Dark Side....Jane Mayer on CIA Secret Prisons and Torture
Jane Mayer, who has done such great writing on CIA secret prisons for the New Yorker, has written a book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals. It goes on sale this week.
Mayer writes of a Red Cross report warning that the interrogation methods used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and others are war crimes. [More...]
Citing unnamed “sources familiar with the report,” Ms. Mayer wrote that the Red Cross document “warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted.” Red Cross representatives were not permitted access to the secret prisons where the C.I.A. conducted interrogations, but were permitted to interview Abu Zubaydah and other high-level detainees in late 2006, after they were moved to the military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The book says the C.I.A. shared the report, which Ms. Mayer first described last year in less detail in The New Yorker, with President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Mayer says the prisoners' reports of abuse, tendered to the Red Cross during visits after their transfer to Guantanamo, have been confirmed by some CIA agents.
The report says the prisoners considered the “most excruciating” of the methods being shackled to the ceiling and being forced to stand for as long as eight hours. Eleven of the 14 prisoners reported prolonged sleep deprivation, the book says, including “bright lights and eardrum-shattering sounds 24 hours a day.”
Ms. Mayer acknowledges that Red Cross investigators based their account largely on interviews with the prisoners. But she writes that several C.I.A. officers she spoke with confirmed parts of the Red Cross description.
Other good Mayer articles, Can the CIA Legally Kill a Prisoner? and The Memo about the thwarting of an internal effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees. Also don't miss her profile of Cheney counsel David Addington whom she calls "the legal mind behind the White House’s war on terror."
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