Obama's New Interrogation Unit
Last month we reported on the Obama Administration's plan to shift interrogation of high-value detainees from the CIA.
The Washington Post reports the new plan has now been approved.
Obama signed off late last week on the unit, named the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG. Made up of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the interrogation unit will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council -- shifting the center of gravity away from the CIA and giving the White House direct oversight.
Under the new guidelines, interrogators must stay within the parameters of the Army Field Manual when questioning suspects. The task force concluded -- unanimously, officials said -- that "the Army Field Manual provides appropriate guidance on interrogation for military interrogators and that no additional or different guidance was necessary for other agencies," according to a three-page summary of the findings. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters freely.
...Members of the new interrogation unit will have the authority to travel around the world to talk to suspects and will be trained to handle certain high-interest people, such as al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Linguists and cultural and interrogation specialists will be assigned to the group and will have "some division of responsibility" regarding types of detainees, a senior administration official said. Most of the group's members will work there full time, although they will have part-time support from the FBI.
The CIA will still have a key role:
The director of the HIG is expected to come from the FBI, and the deputy will be selected from one of the intelligence agencies, such as the CIA.
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