Monday, January 23, 2006

A Few Bad Apples, Yet Again

In the wake of another peon's ritual sacrifice, we return to the Post's previous recap of the death of Abed Hamed Mowhoush:

The sleeping bag was the idea of a soldier who remembered how his older brother used to force him into one, and how scared and vulnerable it made him feel. Senior officers in charge of the facility near the Syrian border believed that such "claustrophobic techniques" were approved ways to gain information from detainees, part of what military regulations refer to as a "fear up" tactic, according to military court documents.

Jeanne d'Arc comments:

... the convicted interrogator actually sought and received approval for the technique he used, and his boss thought she had approval from higher up. Did she? Well, we’ll never know, because the investigation stops with the conviction of one soldier for negligent homicide.



Blogger Management said...

U.S. Army Officer Convicted in Death Of Iraqi Detainee

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 23, 2006; A02

An Army interrogator who stuffed an uncooperative Iraqi general into a sleeping bag during questioning in northern Iraq in 2003 was convicted of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty late Saturday after a military jury in Colorado decided the general's death was not murder.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr., 43, was on trial for allegedly killing Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, a high-ranking Saddam Hussein loyalist who was believed to have been fueling the Iraqi insurgency in the Qaim area near the Syrian border. Mowhoush died while bound in the Army sleeping bag, which was part of an aggressive interrogation tactic aimed at getting the general to talk.

During his week-long court-martial in Colorado Springs, Welshofer testified that he used the sleeping bag after other attempts to elicit information from Mowhoush failed, and that he believed the "claustrophobic" technique had been approved by his commanders as a "stress position," according to reports by the Associated Press and trial observers with Human Rights First.

Welshofer's supervisor, Army Maj. Jessica Voss, testified that she approved the use of the sleeping bag but was unaware that Welshofer would bind the general with a cord or straddle his chest while questioning him.

The Army believed Mowhoush had met with Hussein after the United States invaded Iraq and had financed insurgent attacks; he was a huge catch for U.S. troops in November 2003. But Mowhoush proved to be very stubborn, and several attempts over two weeks of interrogations at a facility known as the "Blacksmith Hotel" yielded little information.

According to court testimony and classified accounts of his treatment obtained by The Washington Post, Mowhoush was subjected to harsh beatings by a secret group of Iraqi paramilitaries, code-named Scorpions, who worked with the CIA. One witness who testified behind a curtain during Welshofer's trial was accidentally identified as having worked with the CIA, and witnesses also described how Mowhoush was beaten so badly by the Iraqi natives that he had a hard time breathing and could not walk on his own.

The case not only exposed the secret CIA group but also revealed how U.S. officials were giving unclear guidance regarding interrogation methods during a frustrating part of the war, including at least one message from Baghdad telling interrogators that the "gloves are coming off" and asking for interrogation-technique wish lists. The sleeping-bag technique was one Welshofer wanted to use and one for which he sought approval.

"What he was doing he was doing in the open, and he was doing it because he believed the information in fact would save lives," said Frank Spinner, Welshofer's civilian defense attorney, according to the AP. Spinner added that he was disappointed with the verdict. "The verdict recognizes the context in which these events took place. It was a very difficult time in Iraq. There was confusion, and they were not getting clear guidance from headquarters."

David Danzig, manager of Human Rights First's "End Torture Now" campaign and a trial observer, wrote in a daily court-martial blog that Welshofer was trying to sort out guidance from superiors in Baghdad while coming up with interrogation tactics that went beyond outdated Cold War thinking.

"They recognized that what we practiced in the schoolhouse was not working," Danzig quoted Welshofer's testimony. "They were looking for ideas outside the box."

That Welshofer was spared a murder conviction -- and a potential life sentence -- indicates that the jury believed Welshofer did not try kill Mowhoush, but that he should have known the tactic he used could lead to death. Mowhoush stopped breathing during the interrogation, and attempts to revive him failed. The negligent-homicide conviction could result in a maximum three-year prison sentence, and the negligent-dereliction-of-duty conviction an additional three months. Sentencing hearings are to begin today.

Maj. Tiernan Dolan, who prosecuted the case, said that the treatment Welshofer imposed on Mowhoush "could fairly be described as torture" and that he "treated that general worse than you would treat a dog," knowing that he had an obligation to treat the detainee humanely, the AP reported.

Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson L. Williams, an intelligence analyst, and Spec. Jerry L. Loper, a guard, had murder charges against them dropped and received immunity to testify against Welshofer. A fourth soldier, Sgt. 1st Class William Sommer, also had a murder charge dropped and faces possible administrative punishment. All three were present during the interrogation that led to Mowhoush's death.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Management said...

Documents Tell of Brutal Improvisation by GIs
Interrogated General's Sleeping-Bag Death, CIA's Use of Secret Iraqi Squad Are Among Details

By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; A01

Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush was being stubborn with his American captors, and a series of intense beatings and creative interrogation tactics were not enough to break his will. On the morning of Nov. 26, 2003, a U.S. Army interrogator and a military guard grabbed a green sleeping bag, stuffed Mowhoush inside, wrapped him in an electrical cord, laid him on the floor and began to go to work. Again.

It was inside the sleeping bag that the 56-year-old detainee took his last breath through broken ribs, lying on the floor beneath a U.S. soldier in Interrogation Room 6 in the western Iraqi desert. Two days before, a secret CIA-sponsored group of Iraqi paramilitaries, working with Army interrogators, had beaten Mowhoush nearly senseless, using fists, a club and a rubber hose, according to classified documents.

The sleeping bag was the idea of a soldier who remembered how his older brother used to force him into one, and how scared and vulnerable it made him feel. Senior officers in charge of the facility near the Syrian border believed that such "claustrophobic techniques" were approved ways to gain information from detainees, part of what military regulations refer to as a "fear up" tactic, according to military court documents.

The circumstances that led up to Mowhoush's death paint a vivid example of how the pressure to produce intelligence for anti-terrorism efforts and the war in Iraq led U.S. military interrogators to improvise and develop abusive measures, not just at Abu Ghraib but in detention centers elsewhere in Iraq, in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mowhoush's ordeal in Qaim, over 16 days in November 2003, also reflects U.S. government secrecy surrounding some abuse cases and gives a glimpse into a covert CIA unit that was set up to foment rebellion before the war and took part in some interrogations during the insurgency.

The sleeping-bag interrogation and beatings were taking place in Qaim about the same time that soldiers at Abu Ghraib, outside Baghdad, were using dogs to intimidate detainees, putting women's underwear on their heads, forcing them to strip in front of female soldiers and attaching at least one to a leash. It was a time when U.S. interrogators were coming up with their own tactics to get detainees to talk, many of which they considered logical interpretations of broad-brush categories in the Army Field Manual, with labels such as "fear up" or "pride and ego down" or "futility."

Other tactics, such as some of those seen at Abu Ghraib, had been approved for one detainee at Guantanamo Bay and found their way to Iraq. Still others have been linked to official Pentagon guidance on specific techniques, such as the use of dogs.

Two Army soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fort Carson, Colo., are charged with killing Mowhoush with the sleeping-bag technique, and his death has been the subject of partially open court proceedings at the base in Colorado Springs. Two other soldiers alleged to have participated face potential nonjudicial punishment. Some details of the incident have been released and were previously reported. But an examination of numerous classified documents gathered during the criminal investigation into Mowhoush's death, and interviews with Defense Department officials and current and former intelligence officials, present a fuller picture of what happened and outline the role played in his interrogation by the CIA, its Iraqi paramilitaries and Special Forces soldiers.

Determining the details of the general's demise has been difficult because the circumstances are listed as "classified" on his official autopsy, court records have been censored to hide the CIA's involvement in his questioning, and reporters have been removed from a Fort Carson courtroom when testimony relating to the CIA has surfaced.

Despite Army investigators' concerns that the CIA and Special Forces soldiers also were involved in serious abuse leading up to Mowhoush's death, the investigators reported they did not have the authority to fully look into their actions. The CIA inspector general's office has launched an investigation of at least one CIA operative who identified himself to soldiers only as "Brian." The CIA declined to comment on the matter, as did an Army spokesman, citing the ongoing criminal cases.

Although Mowhoush's death certificate lists his cause of death as "asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression," the Dec. 2, 2003, autopsy, quoted in classified documents and released with redactions, showed that Mowhoush had "contusions and abrasions with pattern impressions" over much of his body, and six fractured ribs. Investigators believed a "long straight-edge instrument" was used on Mowhoush, as well as an "object like the end of an M-16" rifle.

"Although the investigation indicates the death was directly related to the non-standard interrogation methods employed on 26 NOV, the circumstances surrounding the death are further complicated due to Mowhoush being interrogated and reportedly beaten by members of a Special Forces team and other government agency (OGA) employees two days earlier," said a secret Army memo dated May 10, 2004.
The Walk-In

Hours after Mowhoush's death in U.S. custody on Nov. 26, 2003, military officials issued a news release stating that the prisoner had died of natural causes after complaining of feeling sick. Army psychological-operations officers quickly distributed leaflets designed to convince locals that the general had cooperated and outed key insurgents.

The U.S. military initially told reporters that Mowhoush had been captured during a raid. In reality, he had walked into the Forward Operating Base "Tiger" in Qaim on Nov. 10, 2003, hoping to speak with U.S. commanders to secure the release of his sons, who had been arrested in raids 11 days earlier.

Officials were excited about Mowhoush's appearance.

The general, they believed, had been a high-ranking official in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard and a key supporter of the insurgency in northwestern Iraq. Mowhoush was one of a few generals whom Hussein had given "execution authority," U.S. commanders believed, meaning that he could execute someone on sight, and he had been notorious among Shiites in southern Iraq for brutality.

Mowhoush had been visited by Hussein at his home in Sadah in October 2003 "to discuss, among other undisclosed issues, a bounty of US$10,000 to anyone who video-taped themselves attacking coalition forces," according to a Defense Intelligence Agency report.

Military intelligence also believed that Mowhoush was behind several attacks in the Qaim area.

After being taken into custody, Mowhoush was housed in an isolated area of the Qaim base within miles of the Syrian border, according to a situation summary prepared by interrogators.

The heavyset and imposing man was moderately cooperative in his first days of detention. He told interrogators that he was the commander of the al Quds Golden Division, an organization of trusted loyalists fueling the insurgency with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, sniper rifles, machine guns and other small arms.

In the months before Mowhoush's detention, military intelligence officials across Iraq had been discussing interrogation tactics, expressing a desire to ramp things up and expand their allowed techniques to include more severe methods, such as beatings that did not leave permanent damage, and exploiting detainees' fear of dogs and snakes, according to documents released by the Army.

Officials in Baghdad wrote an e-mail to interrogators in the field on Aug. 14, 2003, stating that the "gloves are coming off" and asking them to develop "wish lists" of tactics they would like to use.

An interrogator with the 66th Military Intelligence Company, who was assigned to work on Mowhoush, wrote back with suggestions in August, including the use of "close confinement quarters," sleep deprivation and using the fear of dogs, adding: "I firmly agree that the gloves need to come off."

Another e-mail exchange from interrogators with the 4th Infantry Division based in Tikrit also suggested "close quarter confinement" in extremely claustrophobic situations, because "discomfort induces compliance and cooperation."
Taking the Gloves Off

A week into Mowhoush's detainment, according to classified investigative documents, interrogators were getting fed up with the prisoner. In a "current situation summary" PowerPoint presentation dated Nov. 18, Army officials wrote about his intransigence, using his first name (spelled "Abid" in Army documents):

"Previous interrogations were non-threatening; Abid was being treated very well. Not anymore," the document reads. "The interrogation session lasted several hours and I took the gloves off because Abid refused to play ball."

But the harsher tactics backfired.

In an interrogation that could be witnessed by the entire detainee population, Mowhoush was put into an undescribed "stress position" that caused the other detainees to stand "with heads bowed and solemn looks on their faces," said the document.

"I asked Abid if he was strong enough a leader to put an end to the attacks that I believed he was behind," the document said, quoting an unidentified interrogator. "He did not deny he was behind the attacks as he had denied previously, he simply said because I had humiliated him, he would not be able to stop the attacks. I take this as an admission of guilt."

Three days later, on Nov. 21, 2003, Mowhoush was moved from the border base at Qaim to a makeshift detention facility about six miles away in the Iraqi desert, a prison fashioned out of an old train depot, according to court testimony and investigative documents. Soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 101st Airborne Division were running a series of massive raids called Operation Rifles Blitz, and the temporary holding facility, nicknamed Blacksmith Hotel, was designed to hold the quarry.

U.S. troops searched more than 8,000 homes in three cities, netting 350 detainees, according to court testimony. Even though Mowhoush was not arrested during the raids, he was moved to Blacksmith Hotel, where teams of Army Special Forces soldiers and the CIA were conducting interrogations.

At Blacksmith, according to military sources, there was a tiered system of interrogations. Army interrogators were the first level.

When Army efforts produced nothing useful, detainees would be handed over to members of Operational Detachment Alpha 531, soldiers with the 5th Special Forces Group, the CIA or a combination of the three. "The personnel were dressed in civilian clothes and wore balaclavas to hide their identity," according to a Jan. 18, 2004, report for the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

If they did not get what they wanted, the interrogators would deliver the detainees to a small team of the CIA-sponsored Iraqi paramilitary squads, code-named Scorpions, according to a military source familiar with the operation. The Jan. 18 memo indicates that it was "likely that indigenous personnel in the employ of the CIA interrogated MG Mowhoush."

Sometimes, soldiers and intelligence officers used the mere existence of the paramilitary unit as a threat to induce detainees to talk, one Army soldier said in an interview. "Detainees knew that if they went to those people, bad things would happen," the soldier said. "It was used as a motivator to get them to talk. They didn't want to go with the masked men."

The Scorpions went by nicknames such as Alligator and Cobra. They were set up by the CIA before the war to conduct light sabotage. After the fall of Baghdad, they worked with their CIA handlers to infiltrate the insurgency and as interpreters, according to military investigative documents, defense officials, and former and current intelligence officials.

Soon after Mowhoush's detention began, soldiers in charge of him "reached a collective decision that they would try using the [redacted] who would, you know, obviously spoke the local, native Iraqi Arabic as a means of trying to shake Mowhoush up, and that the other thing that they were going to try to do was put a bunch of people in the room, a tactic that Mr. [redacted] called 'fear up,' " Army Special Agent Curtis Ryan, who investigated the case, testified, according to a transcript.

Classified e-mail messages and reports show that "Brian," a Special Forces retiree, worked as a CIA operative with the Scorpions.

On Nov. 24, the CIA and one of its four-man Scorpion units interrogated Mowhoush, according to investigative records.

"OGA Brian and the four indig were interrogating an unknown detainee," according to a classified memo, using the slang "other government agency" for the CIA and "indig" for indigenous Iraqis.

"When he didn't answer or provided an answer that they didn't like, at first [redacted] would slap Mowhoush, and then after a few slaps, it turned into punches," Ryan testified. "And then from punches, it turned into [redacted] using a piece of hose."

"The indig were hitting the detainee with fists, a club and a length of rubber hose," according to classified investigative records.

Soldiers heard Mowhoush "being beaten with a hard object" and heard him "screaming" from down the hall, according to the Jan. 18, 2004, provost marshal's report. The report said four Army guards had to carry Mowhoush back to his cell.

Two days later, at 8 a.m., Nov. 26, Mowhoush -- prisoner No. 76 -- was brought, moaning and breathing hard, to Interrogation Room 6, according to court testimony.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr. did a first round of interrogations for 30 minutes, taking a 15-minute break and resuming at 8:45. According to court testimony, Welshofer and Spec. Jerry L. Loper, a mechanic assuming the role of guard, put Mowhoush into the sleeping bag and wrapped the bag in electrical wire.

Welshofer allegedly crouched over Mowhoush's chest to talk to him.

Sgt. 1st Class William Sommer, a linguist, stood nearby.

Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Williams, an intelligence analyst, came to observe progress.

Investigative records show that Mowhoush "becomes unresponsive" at 9:06 a.m. Medics tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes before pronouncing him dead.

In a preliminary court hearing in March for Williams, Loper and Sommer, retired Chief Warrant Officer Richard Manwaring, an interrogator who worked with Welshofer in Iraq, testified that using the sleeping bag and putting detainees in a wall locker and banging on it were "appropriate" techniques that he himself used to frighten detainees and make them tense.

Col. David A. Teeples, who then commanded the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, told the court he believed the "claustrophobic technique" was both approved and effective. It was used before, and for some time after, Mowhoush's death, according to sources familiar with the interrogation operation.

"My thought was that the death of Mowhoush was brought about by [redacted] and then it was unfortunate and accidental, what had happened under an interrogation by our people," Teeples said in court, according to a transcript.

The CIA has tried hard to conceal the existence of the Scorpions. CIA classification officials have monitored pretrial hearings in the case and have urged the court to close much of the hearing on national security grounds. Redacted transcripts were released only after lawyers for the Denver Post challenged the rulings.
Autopsy Shields CIA

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology's standard "Autopsy Examination Report" of Mowhoush's death was manipulated to avoid references to the CIA. In contrast to the other autopsy reports of suspicious detainee deaths released by the Army, Mowhoush's name is redacted and under "Circumstances of Death," the form says: "This Iraqi [redacted] died while in U.S. custody. The details surrounding the circumstances at the time of death are classified."

Williams was arraigned yesterday on a murder charge and is scheduled for court-martial in November, a Fort Carson spokeswoman said. Welshofer's court-martial is set for October. Loper and Sommer have not been referred for trial. Commanders are still considering what, if any, punishment to impose.

Frank Spinner, an attorney for Welshofer, said his client is going to fight the murder charge. Reading from a statement prepared by Welshofer during his Article 32 hearing this spring, Spinner quoted his client as saying that he is proud of the job he did and that his efforts saved U.S. soldiers' lives. "I did not torture anyone," Spinner quoted him as saying.

William Cassara, who represents Williams, cited Mowhoush's brutal encounters in the days before he died as possibly leading to his death. He said Williams, who was not trained in interrogation tactics, had little to do with the case.

"The interrogation techniques were known and were approved of by the upper echelons of command of the 3rd ACR," Cassara said in a news conference. "They believed, and still do, that they were appropriate and proper."

Staff writer Dana Priest contributed to this report.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Management said...

Last summer, Josh White, of the Washington Post, described in some detail one of the worst cases of torture and murder in Iraq. An Iraqi general, Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who had walked into a forward operating base of his own accord, trying to secure the release of his four imprisoned sons (who were never charged with anything, and believe they were used as bait to capture their father), and who was initially described as cooperative, was interrogated and severely beaten by a Special Forces group, the CIA, and a CIA-sponsored Iraqi paramilitary, the Scorpions. According to his autopsy, he was left with seven broken ribs and at least 47 contusions, some of them thirteen inches long. Two days later, an Army interrogator stuffed him head-first into a sleeping bag, bound him with electrical cord and sat on him. The interrogator’s immediate superior, who received immunity from prosecution, testified that she had approved the sleeping bag technique, and that, in fact, it had been used on other prisoners.

Mowhoush suffocated.

The interrogator was found guilty of negligent homicide yesterday.

The CIA? We’re not talking about that, although one witness was accidentally identified as having worked with the CIA. The CIA was immune, and McCain Amendment or no McCain Amendment, probably still is.

The results of this case are outrageous. CIA and Special Forces soldiers almost certainly contributed to the cause of the general’s death. Moreover, the convicted interrogator actually sought and received approval for the technique he used, and his boss thought she had approval from higher up. Did she? Well, we’ll never know, because the investigation stops with the conviction of one soldier for negligent homicide.

1:10 AM  
Blogger Management said...

The Proceedings So Far: In Their Own Words

January 19, 2006

What follows are particularly telling excerpts from the witnesses who have testified through the end of Wednesday. The quotations are from my notes and while I did my best to transcribe each witness’ exact words, the authoritative version of what was said will be the transcript of the proceedings from the court reporter.

Major Jessica Voss

Major Jessica Voss testified that she was Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer's direct supervisor. She acknowledged in her testimony that she had approved the use of a "sleeping bag interrogation technique", which other witnesses testified was used on at least a dozen detainees. Voss explained that the technique, which was used on General Mowhoush, was intended to scare uncooperative detainees and to make them talk.

According to Voss, Welshofer came to her and argued in support of the use of the technique -- that it should be considered approved because it was a "stress position" and U.S. commanders in Iraq had approved the use of stress positions in a Sept 10, 2003 memo.

The Prosecutor asked Voss about Welshofer's conduct on the base in general and the sleeping bag technique in particular. Excerpts:

Prosecutor: "Did you ever see the accused [Welshofer] slap a detainee?"
Major Jessica Voss: "I did. I was somewhat shocked. He explained it was something he learned in SERE school [designed to train troops to avoid capture and resist interrogation]. He said it was open-handed. It was intended to shock the detainee, not hurt him."
Prosecutor: "Did you express any concern about the use of this [sleeping bag] technique."
Voss: "I did. My concern was that the detainee was going to have enough room in the sleeping bag to breathe."
Prosecutor: "Did you express that concern?"
Voss: "I did."
Prosecutor: "Did you ultimately approve the use of the technique?"
Major Jessica Voss: "I did."
Prosecutor: "Would you have approved it if it included sitting on the chest of a detainee?"
Voss: "I would not have."

Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams

Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams is an intelligence analyst who has cut a deal with prosecutors for immunity. He testified that he saw Mowhoush after he was beaten by a group of eight to ten people , and was present on two occasions on which Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer interrogated General Mowhoush: an interrogation on the roof of the U.S. “Blacksmith Hotel” facility and the interrogation that led to Mowhoush's death.

"He could barely walk."
— Williams testifying about Mowhoush’s condition
after a beating two days before his death.

Williams testified that Welshofer lead the interrogation on the roof of the U.S. facility. Williams described some of what happened: Mowhoush’s hands and legs were tied and his arm was “tapped” with a wooden stick "in the funny bone area" to try to elicit answers. [Yesterday (Wednesday) the prosecution showed an autopsy photo of Mowhoush, in which his left arm was deeply discolored from just above his elbow all the way down to his finger tips. The autopsy photo also showed dozens of other bruises all over his body.]

"We basically held him down on his back and poured water on his face."
— Williams explaining to the court a technique used on Mowhoush by Welshofer on the roof of the interrogation facility the day before he died.

Prosecutor: "You don’t consider bruising an injury?"
Williams: "No sir."
Prosecutor: "But you think the stick treatment was done enough times to cause bruising?"
Williams: "Yes sir. I know the technique may be considered extreme. But it was not that extreme when you consider other things that were happening at the facility."

[Interestingly, no-one has yet followed up on the “other things that were happening.”]

According to Williams, on the morning that Mowhoush died, Welshofer put him in a sleeping bag headfirst, wrapped the bag tightly with electrical cord, and forced Mowhoush to lie down.

"At that point, when they were putting General Mowhoush in the sleeping bag, I went to get more coffee. . . I'd seen this interrogation technique before."
— Williams explaining what he did as the interrogation that led to General Mowhoush's death began.

Williams said Welshofer straddled the General and asked him a series of questions. Williams testified that Welshofer was unsatisfied with the answers and held his hand over Mowhoush’s "lower face" a number of times for 5 to 20 seconds each time, while asking questions. At one point the General became unresponsive, and, Williams said, “there was tension because we were not sure if the General was playing possum,” but then, Williams added, Mowhoush made a muffled sound.

"Thank God, I thought he had died."
— Welshofer, as told to the court by Williams.

Williams testified that Welshofer straddled the General and began asking questions again. Mowhoush once again because unresponsive and, Williams said, Welshofer then took off the sleeping bag:

"His eyes were completely open. He was dead."
— Williams explaining what he saw when Welshofer took the sleeping bag off the head of Mowhoush.

Sergeant Gerold Pratt

Sergeant Gerold Pratt, who testified on Wednesday, reported to Welshofer. His duties included coordinating the day-to-day operations of the facility.

Prosecutor: "What happened to the sleeping bag [that Welshofer used to interrogate Mowhoush]?"
Sgt. Gerold Pratt: "[Army investigators] took it away."
Prosecutor: "What happened then?
Pratt: "Chief Welshofer got another one. Another detainee came in with a sleeping bag and Chief Welshofer got ahold of it."

1:14 AM  
Blogger Management said...

Before the War, CIA Reportedly Trained a Team of Iraqis to Aid U.S.

By Dana Priest and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, August 3, 2005; A12

Before the war in Iraq began, the CIA recruited and trained an Iraqi paramilitary group, code-named the Scorpions, to foment rebellion, conduct sabotage, and help CIA paramilitaries who entered Baghdad and other cities target buildings and individuals, according to three current and former intelligence officials with knowledge of the unit.

The CIA spent millions of dollars on the Scorpions, whose existence has not been previously disclosed, even giving them former Soviet Hind helicopters. But most of the unit's prewar missions -- spray-painting graffiti on walls; cutting electricity; "sowing confusion," as one said -- were delayed or canceled because of poor training or planning, said officials briefed on the unit. The speed of the invasion negated the need for most of their missions, others said.

After Baghdad fell, the CIA used the Scorpions to try to infiltrate the insurgency, to help out in interrogations, and, from time to time, to do "the dirty work," as one intelligence official put it.

In one case, members of the unit, wearing masks and carrying clubs and pipes, beat up an Iraqi general in the presence of CIA and military personnel, according to investigative documents reviewed by The Washington Post and according to several defense and intelligence officials.

Post inquiries about the case prompted the CIA to brief the House and Senate intelligence committees on the unit, said several members of Congress and two defense officials.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, asked if he was satisfied with the information he received on the unit, said, "Yes -- if it existed." But he added: "We're not spending a lot of time going back and dissecting tactical programs."

CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise declined to comment on the unit. Defense Department spokesmen referred comments on the unit to the CIA. All former and current government officials interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the classified nature of the Scorpions.

Authorized by a presidential finding signed by President Bush in February or March 2002, the Scorpions were part of a policy of "regime change" in Iraq. The covert members, many of whom were exiles recruited by the Kurds, were trained in target identification, explosives and small arms at two secret bases in Jordan, according to one U.S. government official.

They were sent surreptitiously into Iraq before the war and were in cities such as Baghdad, Fallujah and Qaim to give the impression that a rebellion was underway and to conduct light sabotage, according to the two defense sources and the three former and current intelligence officials.

"They painted X's [for targeting] on buildings and things like that," said one former intelligence officer.

After the initial combat phase of the war, the CIA used the paramilitary units as translators and to fetch supplies and retrieve informants in an increasingly dangerous Iraq where CIA officers largely stayed within the protected Green Zone, according to the officials.

CIA control over the unit became weaker as chaos grew in Iraq. "Even though they were set up by us, they weren't well supervised," said an intelligence official.

"At some point, and it's not really clear how this happened, they started being used in interrogations . . . because they spoke the local dialect" and were caught roughing up detainees, Curtis E. Ryan, an Army investigator, told a military court in Colorado where four soldiers are charged in connection with the death of Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush in 2003.

Many of the paramilitaries did not speak English. When they entered Iraq after the invasion, because they wore civilian clothes and traveled in civilian vehicles, the Scorpion teams were often mistaken for insurgents. On a couple of occasions, U.S. soldiers unknowingly tracked the teams as insurgents and focused on their official safe houses as possible targets until they were discovered to be working with U.S. officials.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Management said...


January 13, 2006

Twenty-six months after the torture and death of an Iraqi Major General detained by U.S. forces in Iraq, the court martial of an Army officer charged in the case begins Monday at Fort Carson, Colorado. Human Rights First will be attending the proceedings and posting observations.

Although there have been a number of courts-martial of U.S. military personnel accused of abuse and torture since the revelations at Abu Ghraib in the spring of 2004, this is one of the few in which an Army officer holding a rank higher than that of NCO has been brought to trial on murder charges.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer does not contest some of the basic facts of the case. He acknowledges that on November 26, 2003, he forced the victim, 56-year-old Abed Hamed Mowhoush, into a sleeping bag and tied a cord around Mowhoush’s torso during interrogation at a detention facility near the Syrian border in western Iraq. The Iraqi general reportedly became unresponsive while inside the sleeping bag, medical help was sought and applied, but despite these efforts, Mowhoush died moments later.

A statement released by the Army just hours after Mowhoush’s death said, in part: “A surgeon responded within five minutes to continue advanced cardiac life support techniques, but they were ineffective. According to the on-site surgeon it appeared Mowhoush died of natural causes.”

However, an autopsy performed six days later listed “homicide” as the manner of death. The autopsy listed as the cause of death “asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression,” and noted that “the details surrounding the circumstances at the time of death are classified.”

The defense may claim that Welshofer believed, and had good reason to believe, that the interrogation techniques he employed were authorized by his superiors. By its nature, that claim would direct attention toward the chain of command. In a statement last spring, Welshofer said: “I am not a murderer. I did not torture anyone. I used what I believed were approved techniques.”

Indeed, Welshofer had raised this point much earlier than last spring. In February 2004, long before he was charged, he wrote a rebuttal to a “Letter of Reprimand” he had received in connection with the death of Mowhoush. Welshofer’s letter was made available to Human Rights First by the Denver Post, which has been following the case for more than two years. In it, Welshofer writes: “In my attempt to gather intelligence to protect the lives of soldiers, I used stress positions that included kneeling, standing, and placing the detainee in a close confinement stress position that I considered acceptable…The ‘sleeping bag technique’ is a stress position I considered authorized by CJTF-7 in their memo ‘CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter Resistance Policy.’” (CJTF stands for “Coalition Joint Task Force.”) Welshofer went on to say: “I do not believe I ever operated outside acceptable methods of intelligence collection.”

The defense may also argue that General Mowhoush had sustained severe injuries before Welshofer put him in the sleeping bag, and that the injuries appeared to be caused by repeated beatings, which could have contributed to the prisoner’s death. In support, the defense could cite the autopsy report, which lists seven broken ribs and at least forty-seven purple contusions on Mowhoush’s head, torso, arms, and legs, some of them thirteen inches long.

Welshofer himself, in his rebuttal letter of February, 2004, said he had not had any role in the injuries. He wrote: “I did not beat the General…However, I am aware that the General’s body had bruises indicating he had been severely beaten during interrogation. Members of ODA and OGA were involved in this interrogation.” (The reference to “ODA” is likely to Operational Detachment Alpha, a Special Forces group OGA is generally understood to stand for Other Government Agencies, reference to the CIA and other intelligence-related groups.) The beatings allegedly conducted by other personnel could have included the CIA, U.S. Special Forces, or CIA-trained Iraqi para-militaries known as Scorpions.

In all, the defense and prosecution will likely call dozens of witnesses, some of them eye-witnesses who were present during the 16 days General Mowhoush was detained.

Not called, however, and never contacted by any U.S. military or civilian authorities, are the four sons of General Mowhoush, the youngest of whom was an eyewitness to his father’s condition shortly before Mowhoush died.

Human Rights First has been in regular contact with the oldest and youngest of the four brothers since mid-2005. They say that they and their two brothers were taken into custody several days before their father was detained, and were held at various facilities for up to six months. They say that no charges were ever brought against any of them; nor, upon their release, were they told why they had been held for months after their father’s death. They believe that they were of no interest to the American forces, and were used -- successfully -- as bait to lure their father.

As recently as last summer, the Mowhoush sons say they were unaware of any charges or developments connected to their father’s death, despite their repeated requests for information from U.S. authorities during the past two years.

“We have not heard anything from them about anything,” said Muhammad, who says he was sixteen when he was detained, brought before his already-bruised father, and subjected to a mock execution that, Muhammad believes, left the General convinced his youngest son had been executed.

“We just know from you that there is a trial,” Muhammad told Human Rights First. “Even the name of the soldier I did not know until you told me.”

The court-martial is scheduled to begin Monday morning.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Management said...

January 19, 2006

Confusion. Surprises. Delays. Interruptions. Objections. Threats of appeal. One slip of the tongue, which officially confirmed that CIA operatives had been active at the “Blacksmith Hotel” in November 2003. And another slip of the tongue that put the Fort Carson murder trial at risk of a mistrial.

All of these, and more, were on full display Wednesday, the third day of the murder trial of Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer at Fort Carson, Colorado.

At one point during the afternoon, two separate developments threatened to slow down or even halt the court martial, which already had been making excruciatingly slow progress.
First, defense attorney Frank Spinner, moved for a mistrial, based on inadmissible comments made by a prosecution witness.

At the same time (we later came to find out), another lawyer named Steven Zansberg, who until Tuesday night had not appeared in the proceeding, was exploring the possibility of filing an immediate appeal at the Army Court of Military Appeals in Washington, D.C. The possibility of this action grew out of the dramatic end of Tuesday’s court session. On Tuesday night, Judge Mark Toole declared a witness would testify in a closed session, without offering any information about the nature of what was to be discussed behind closed doors.

Wednesday’s proceedings began behind closed doors, as well; in this case the judge’s chambers, where judge, prosecution, defense, and Zansberg were likely discussing the oral argument that the newcomer was about to make in open court.

At eleven am, Judge Toole appeared and explained that the events of Tuesday evening had changed Wednesday’s agenda. The chain of events had been precipitated by a reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette, Tom Roeter, who had jumped to his feet and objected to the judge’s announcement of a closed session. Although Toole immediately said he would not answer questions from spectators, Roeter called out a case, U.S. v. Hershey, which, the reporter said, requires that judges provide some information about matters to be discussed in closed session. The courtroom was cleared, Roeter contacted his attorney, and now, on Wednesday morning, it was time for Act II of the drama.

Judge Toole stole Scene I by expressing regret at the way he had handled the previous night’s commotion. He conceded that U.S. v. Hershey was indeed relevant, and because of that, he was permitting oral arguments by Zansberg, whom he identified as the lawyer for the Denver Post.

Zansberg began his comments by pointing out that he represented not only the Denver Post, but also the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Associated Press. The judge then asked Zansberg to avoid mentioning any classified information, if he knew any.

Zansberg replied: “I will avoid that, except for material already in the public domain.” This point proved to be one of the central themes of Zansberg’s oral argument, as he implored the judge to consider how much classified material had found its way into the public domain. He asked Toole to reconsider his position on closed door hearings and urged the judge to release several batches of documents about interrogation techniques employed at American-run detention facilities. Some of this material, Zansberg pointed out, had entered the public domain.

The legal basis of the argument was a case called U.S. v. Grunden which, Zansberg said, states that the exclusion of classified material should be cautiously exercised, and that the classification review process should proceed on a paragraph to paragraph, or line by line analysis of the documents in question. In what the lawyers said was the language of the Grunden decision, the exercise should be done with a “scalpel,” not an “ax.”

Moving from documents to witnesses, Zansberg urged the judge to identify two unnamed witnesses who are scheduled to testify. And he cited a recent military trial in which an undercover agent gave open testimony from behind a screen. Zansberg urged Toole to consider employing the same technique.

The lawyer concluded by saying that if the judge did not rule in his favor, then at least he should issue a stay of several hours duration, providing Zansberg with an opportunity to have other lawyers, standing by in Washington, file an appeal in the Army Court of Appeals.

Judge Toole retired to formulate his decision. He returned at 2:20pm and, in effect, gave Zansberg half-a-loaf. He agreed to use the screen technique for a witness previously scheduled to testify in closed session. Another unnamed witness, however, would testify fully in closed session, as planned. Yet another, originally scheduled to testify in closed session, would now do so in open session, with no screen at all.

As far as the documents were concerned, Toole insisted that they had been marked properly as classified or unclassified and that the process did not have to be repeated. However, he stopped short of insisting they had to remain classified. Instead, he contended that a decision to release the documents was not his to make. He suggested that Public Information Officers should attempt to determine who the proper decision-maker might be. (By day’s end, no appeal had been filed in Washington.)

What happened next was something of a novelty for the day: a witness actually took the stand. Sgt.1st Class Gerold Pratt described some of Welshofer’s actions he witnessed at the Blacksmith Hotel in November 2003, including Welshofer body slamming a detainee, and applying the sleeping bag technique three times.

Pratt also described a dramatic incident that happened on the day before General Mowhoush died. The youngest of the general’s four detained sons had been brought to Blacksmith to see his father. Pratt said Welshofer approached Mowhoush, who was in very bad shape from the recent beatings he had received, and told the general he had fifteen seconds to get up and move, if he wanted to see his son. Mowhoush, Pratt said, could only groan in pain. Pratt then helped Mowhoush to get up, and discovered his feet were too swollen to put on his shoes.

Pratt says he managed to escort Mowhoush past the several hundred other detainees who were watching the scene unfold, and walk him about 200 meters, which Pratt’s estimated took fifteen or twenty minutes to accomplish. Pratt says he overheard Welshofer whisper that if he heard Mowhoush tell his son how he was being treated, Welshofer would end the reunion immediately. In the end, father and son did have a brief visit.

It was another witness, Special Agent William Hughes, a military investigator, who threw the entire trial into jeopardy. Hughes had taken part in the investigation of Mowhoush’s death. He described visiting the Blacksmith Hotel, being escorted on a tour by Welshofer, and learning that Welshofer had been interrogating Mowhoush when he died. Hughes then testified that he had asked Welshofer about the interrogation, and that Welshofer had replied that he could not answer because his attorney had instructed him not to.

This admission by Welshofer – that he had sought legal advice soon after Mowhoush’s death – raised the issue of his Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.

An alarmed look immediately crossed Judge Toole’s face, and simultaneously defense attorney Spinner rose to protest. Spinner asked for a mistrial, reciting previous occurrences of this sort that had produced mistrials. After listening to arguments from the opposing lawyers, Judge Toole called a recess and, yet again, left the courtroom to consider his decision.

While he pondered, spectators of all types – reporters, soldiers, observers – mused about the situation that had arisen. For many months, this case had generated considerable interest because it involved one of the most troubling issues of the day: the abuse and torture of detainees by their American captors. It was a case that had the potential to shed light on the role of CIA, Special Forces, and U.S.- trained Iraqi paramilitary personnel in the treatment of enemy captives. And it was a case that could have an impact on the balance between the military’s desire to maintain confidentiality and the press’s efforts to pierce it. The defendant was a U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer and the victim was an Iraqi Army Major General.

And now, all these people, issues, and dynamics were on hold, hostage to a Fifth Amendment problem caused by a witness’ single sentence – a sentence that the judge, prosecution and defense all agreed he should not have spoken. In the end, Judge Toole ruled that although the error was of “a constitutional magnitude,” he would not declare a mistrial. Instead, he instructed the jurors that a mistake had been made and they were to disregard all the testimony of the witness. Of course, the testimony was stricken from the record.

The late afternoon wore on; two more witnesses testified in open court, followed by a witness in closed session. The spectators, of course, filed out into the darkness one more time, but one more theatrical twist awaited them when they returned to the courtroom after the closed session. A floor-to-ceiling, Army-green tarpaulin stretched about twenty feet across the room, just in front of the spectator seats, then made a 90-degree turn and traveled about another eight feet. The spectators were separated from all other court martial participants. Thus encapsulated, we listened to ten or fifteen minutes of testimony from one of the unnamed witnesses, in which he testified that Welshofer had told him that “we break the rules every day.” Defense attorney Spinner asked whether the witness had reported this to anyone else at the CIA – and immediately apologized to the court for this slip, but the genii was out of the bottle. For the first time, an official record of a court martial will show that a CIA agent was involved in the circumstances surrounding the death of General Mowhoush.

Then, finally, the long, strange day was over. After the judge announced that the trial would resume at 9 a.m., Thursday, another disembodied voice called out: “All rise.” Obediently, we rose as the jurors filed out of the room – invisible to us, just as we were invisible to them, on opposite sides of the curtain that divided us.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Management said...

At the end of a secluded cul-de-sac, in a fast-growing Virginia suburb favored by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, is a handsome replica of an old-fashioned farmhouse, with a white-railed front porch. The large back yard has a swimming pool, which, on a recent October afternoon, was neatly covered. In the driveway were two cars, a late-model truck, and an all-terrain vehicle. The sole discordant note was struck by a faded American flag on the porch; instead of fluttering in the autumn breeze, it was folded on a heap of old Christmas ornaments.

The house belongs to 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.

After September 11th, the Justice Department fashioned secret legal guidelines that appear to indemnify C.I.A. officials who perform aggressive, even violent interrogations outside the United States. Techniques such as waterboarding—the near-drowning of a suspect—have been implicitly authorized by an Administration that feels that such methods may be necessary to win the war on terrorism. (In 2001, Vice-President Dick Cheney, in an interview on “Meet the Press,” said that the government might have to go to “the dark side” in handling terrorist suspects, adding, “It’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal.”) 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.

This fall, in response to the exposure of widespread prisoner abuse at American detention facilities abroad—among them Abu Ghraib; Guantánamo Bay, in Cuba; and Bagram Air Base, in Afghanistan—John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona, introduced a bill in Congress that would require Americans holding prisoners abroad to follow the same standards of humane treatment required at home by the U.S. Constitution. Prisoners must not be brutalized, the bill states, regardless of their “nationality or physical location.” On October 5th, in a rebuke to President Bush, who strongly opposed McCain’s proposal, the Senate voted 90–9 in favor of it.

Senior Administration officials have led a fierce, and increasingly visible, fight to protect the C.I.A.’s classified interrogation protocol. Late last month, Cheney and Porter Goss, the C.I.A. director, had an unusual forty-five-minute private meeting on Capitol Hill with Senator McCain, who was tortured as a P.O.W. during the Vietnam War. They argued that the C.I.A. sometimes needs the “flexibility” to treat detainees in the war on terrorism in “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” ways. Cheney sought to add an exemption to McCain’s bill, permitting brutal methods when “such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack.” A Washington Post editorial decried Cheney’s visit, calling him the “Vice-President for Torture.” In the coming weeks, a conference committee of the House and the Senate will decide whether McCain’s proposal becomes law; three of the nine senators who voted against the measure are on the committee.

The outcome of this wider political debate may play a role in determining the fate of Swanner, whose name has not been publicly disclosed before, and who declined several requests to be interviewed. Passage of the McCain legislation by both Houses of Congress would mean that there is strong political opposition to the abusive treatment of prisoners, and would put increased pressure on the Justice Department to prosecute interrogators like Swanner—who could conceivably be charged with assault, negligent manslaughter, or torture. Swanner’s lawyer, Nina Ginsberg, declined to discuss his case on the record. But he has been under investigation by the Justice Department for more than a year.

Manadel al-Jamadi was captured by Navy SEALs at 2 a.m. on November 4, 2003, after a violent struggle at his house, outside Baghdad. Jamadi savagely fought one of the SEALs before being subdued in his kitchen; during the altercation, his stove fell on them. The C.I.A. had identified him as a “high-value” target, because he had allegedly supplied the explosives used in several atrocities perpetrated by insurgents, including the bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in October, 2003. After being removed from his house, Jamadi was manhandled by several of the SEALs, who gave him a black eye and a cut on his face; he was then transferred to C.I.A. custody, for interrogation at Abu Ghraib. According to witnesses, Jamadi was walking and speaking when he arrived at the prison. He was taken to a shower room for interrogation. Some forty-five minutes later, he was dead.

For most of the time that Jamadi was being interrogated at Abu Ghraib, there were only two people in the room with him. One was an Arabic-speaking translator for the C.I.A. working on a private contract, who has been identified in military-court papers only as “Clint C.” He was given immunity against criminal prosecution in exchange for his coöperation. The other person was Mark Swanner.

In the spring of 2004, the fact of pervasive prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib became public, on “60 Minutes II” and in a series of articles in these pages by Seymour M. Hersh. Photographs, taken by U.S. soldiers, that showed Iraqi prisoners being hooded, sexually humiliated, and threatened with dogs were published around the world. One of the most harrowing images was of Jamadi’s severely battered corpse, which had been wrapped in plastic and put on ice; he became known in the media as the Ice Man.

Around this time, John Helgerson, the C.I.A.’s inspector general, sent investigators to Iraq and San Diego to interview witnesses about the agency’s role in Jamadi’s death. These investigators determined that there was the possibility of criminality—the threshold level required by the intelligence agency in order for the case to be referred to the Justice Department. The agency did so, and officials in the Justice Department then forwarded the case to the office of Paul McNulty, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, which has jurisdiction over C.I.A. headquarters. The dossier has been there for more than a year. A lawyer familiar with the case, who asked not to be named, said that the Swanner file seemed to be “lying kind of fallow.”

A spokeswoman for McNulty said that he would have no comment on the case, because it was still under investigation. (Last month, President Bush nominated McNulty to the position of Deputy Attorney General, the second most powerful job in the Justice Department.) No other official in the Justice Department would discuss on the record why, more than two years after Jamadi’s death, no decision has been made about pressing charges against anyone.

A government official familiar with the case, who declined to be named, indicated that establishing guilt in the case might be complicated, because of Jamadi’s rough handling by the SEALs before he entered the custody of the C.I.A. Yet, in the past two years, several of the Navy SEALs who captured Jamadi and delivered him to C.I.A. officials have faced abuse charges in military-justice proceedings, and have been exonerated. Moreover, three medical experts who have examined Jamadi’s case told me that the injuries he sustained from the SEALs could not have caused his death.

Fred Hitz, who served as the C.I.A.’s inspector general from 1990 to 1998, and who is now a lecturer in public and international affairs at Princeton University, said of Bush Administration officials, “I just think they’re playing stall ball.” He told me that he had no inside knowledge of the Swanner case, but he believes that, for numerous reasons, ranging from protecting national security to avoiding political embarrassment, Administration officials “would be opposed to any accountability in this case. They want it to disappear off the screen.” (A spokesman for the C.I.A. said that its internal investigation into Jamadi’s death was “nearly complete,” making it “inappropriate to discuss any of the details.”)

John Radsan, a lawyer formerly in the C.I.A’s Office of General Counsel, says, “Along with the usual problems of dealing with classified information in a criminal case, this could open a can of worms if a C.I.A. official in this case got indicted—a big fat can of worms about what set of rules apply to people like Jamadi. The sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is: What has been authorized? Can the C.I.A. torture people? A case like this opens up Pandora’s box.”

Since September 11, 2001, the C.I.A.’s treatment and interrogation of terrorist suspects has remained almost entirely hidden from public view. Human-rights groups estimate that some ten thousand foreign suspects are being held in U.S. detention facilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, and other countries. A small but unknown part of this population is in the custody of the C.I.A., which, as Dana Priest reported recently in the Washington Post, has operated secret prisons in Thailand and in Eastern Europe. It is also unclear how seriously the agency deals with allegations of prisoner abuse. The C.I.A. tends to be careful about following strict legal procedures, including the briefing of the top-ranking members of the congressional intelligence committees on its covert activities. But experts could recall no instance of a C.I.A. officer being tried in a public courtroom for manslaughter or murder. Thomas Powers, the author of two books about the C.I.A., told me, “I’ve never heard of anyone at the C.I.A. being convicted of a killing.” He added that a case such as Jamadi’s had awkward political implications. “Is the C.I.A. capable of addressing an illegal killing by its own hands?” he asked. “My guess is not.” Whereas the military has subjected itself to a dozen internal investigations in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal, and has punished more than two hundred soldiers for wrongdoing, the agency has undertaken almost no public self-examination.

The C.I.A. has reportedly been implicated in at least four deaths of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq, including that of Jamadi, and has referred eight potentially criminal cases involving abuse and misconduct to the Justice Department. In March, Goss, the C.I.A.’s director, testified before Congress that “we don’t do torture,” and the agency’s press office issued a release stating, “All approved interrogation techniques, both past and present, are lawful and do not constitute torture. . . . C.I.A. policies on interrogation have always followed legal guidance from the Department of Justice. If an individual violates the policy, then he or she will be held accountable.”

Yet the government has brought charges against only one person affiliated with the agency: David Passaro, a low-level contract employee, not a full-fledged C.I.A. officer. In 2003, Passaro, while interrogating an Afghan prisoner, allegedly beat him with a flashlight so severely that he eventually died from his injuries. In two other incidents of prisoner abuse, the Times reported last month, charges probably will not be brought against C.I.A. personnel: the 2003 case of an Iraqi prisoner who was forced head first into a sleeping bag, then beaten; and the 2002 abuse of an Afghan prisoner who froze to death after being stripped and chained to the floor of a concrete cell. (The C.I.A. supervisor involved in the latter case was subsequently promoted.)

One reason these C.I.A. officials may not be facing charges is that, in recent years, the Justice Department has established a strikingly narrow definition of torture. In August, 2002, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel sent a memo on interrogations to the White House, which argued that a coercive technique was torture only when it induced pain equivalent to what a person experiencing death or organ failure might suffer. By implication, all lesser forms of physical and psychological mistreatment—what critics have called “torture lite”—were legal. The memo also said that torture was illegal only when it could be proved that the interrogator intended to cause the required level of pain. And it provided interrogators with another large exemption: torture might be acceptable if an interrogator was acting in accordance with military “necessity.” A source familiar with the memo’s origins, who declined to speak on the record, said that it “was written as an immunity, a blank check.” In 2004, the “torture memo,” as it became known, was leaked, complicating the nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales to be Attorney General; as White House counsel, Gonzales had approved the memo. The Administration subsequently revised the guidelines, using language that seemed more restrictive. But a little-noticed footnote protected the coercive methods permitted by the “torture memo,” stating that they did not violate the “standards set forth in this memorandum.”

The Bush Administration has resisted disclosing the contents of two Justice Department memos that established a detailed interrogation policy for the Pentagon and the C.I.A. A March, 2003, classified memo was “breathtaking,” the same source said. The document dismissed virtually all national and international laws regulating the treatment of prisoners, including war-crimes and assault statutes, and it was radical in its view that in wartime the President can fight enemies by whatever means he sees fit. According to the memo, Congress has no constitutional right to interfere with the President in his role as Commander-in-Chief, including making laws that limit the ways in which prisoners may be interrogated. Another classified Justice Department memo, issued in August, 2002, is said to authorize numerous “enhanced” interrogation techniques for the C.I.A. These two memos sanction such extreme measures that, even if the agency wanted to discipline or prosecute agents who stray beyond its own comfort level, the legal tools to do so may no longer exist. Like the torture memo, these documents are believed to have been signed by Jay Bybee, the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel, but written by a Justice Department lawyer, John Yoo, who is now a professor of law at Berkeley.

For nearly a year, Democratic senators critical of alleged abuses have been demanding to see these memos. “We need to know what was authorized,” Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, told me. “Was it waterboarding? The use of dogs? Stripping detainees? . . . The refusal to give us these documents is totally inexcusable.” Levin is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to have an oversight role in relation to the C.I.A. “The Administration is getting away with just saying no,” he went on. “There’s no claim of executive privilege. There’s no claim of national security—we’ve offered to keep it classified. It’s just bullshit. They just don’t want us to know what they’re doing, or have done.”

By the summer of 2003, the insurgency against the U.S. occupation of Iraq had grown into a confounding and lethal insurrection, and the Pentagon and the White House were pressing C.I.A. agents and members of the Special Forces to get the kind of intelligence needed to crush it. On orders from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, General Geoffrey Miller, who had overseen coercive interrogations of terrorist suspects at Guantánamo, imposed similar methods at Abu Ghraib. In October of that year, however—a month before Jamadi’s death—the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion stating that Iraqi insurgents were covered by the Geneva Conventions, which require the humane treatment of prisoners and forbid coercive interrogations. The ruling reversed an earlier interpretation, which had concluded, erroneously, that Iraqi insurgents were not protected by international law.

As a result of these contradictory mandates from Washington, the rules of engagement at Abu Ghraib became muddy, and the tactics grew increasingly ad hoc. Jeffrey H. Smith, a former general counsel of the C.I.A., told me, “Abu Ghraib has its roots at the top. I think this uncertainty about who was and who was not covered by the Geneva Conventions, and all this talk that they’re all terrorists, bred the climate in which this kind of abuse takes place.”

At Abu Ghraib, the confusion over interrogation and detention methods was compounded by the fact that C.I.A. officials worked side by side with U.S. military people. Colonel Janis Karpinski, a former commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, which oversaw the administration of Abu Ghraib during the period of widespread abuse, has said that C.I.A. officers, along with contract interpreters and some military-intelligence officers, did not wear uniforms when they visited the prison, and it was not clear, even to her, what they were doing there. “I thought most of the civilians there were interpreters, but there were some civilians I didn’t know,” she told Seymour Hersh. “I called them disappearing ghosts. . . . They were always bringing in somebody for interrogation, or waiting to collect somebody going out.” C.I.A. officials, unlike members of the Army and the Navy, are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which prohibits “cruelty toward, or oppression or maltreatment of” prisoners.

Walter Diaz, a military policeman, was on guard duty at Abu Ghraib the morning that Jamadi was delivered to the prison. He told me, “The O.G.A.”— “other government agencies,” initials commonly used to protect the identity of the C.I.A.—“would bring in people all the time to interview them. We had one wing, Tier One Alpha, reserved for the O.G.A. They’d have maybe twenty people there at a time.” He went on, “They were their prisoners. They’d get into a room and lock it up. We, as soldiers, didn’t get involved. We’d lock the door for them and leave. We didn’t know what they were doing.” But, he recalled, “we heard a lot of screaming.”

Considering this level of secrecy, it’s doubtful that any details would have emerged about the C.I.A.’s role in Jamadi’s death had it not been for a strange and tangential chain of events. Three months after Jamadi died, Jeffrey Hopper, a Navy SEAL who had been assigned to carry out joint operations with the C.I.A. in Baghdad, was accused of stealing another SEAL’s body armor. Hopper, who had been nicknamed Klepto by the unit, was expelled from the Special Forces. When he was dismissed, he told authorities that he knew of far worse offenses committed by other SEALs, and he cited the abuse of several prisoners, including Jamadi. His accusations formed the basis of multiple charges against several SEALs, which led to the court-martial of Lieutenant Andrew Ledford, the commander of the platoon that captured Jamadi, for, among other things, allowing his troops to assault the prisoner. Last May, Ledford was acquitted of any wrongdoing; but during the hearings, which were open, a number of troubling facts spilled out, hinting at the C.I.A.’s role in Jamadi’s death.

Seth Hettena, an Associated Press reporter based in San Diego, California, attended the hearings. The courtroom testimony, he reported, indicated that Jamadi, before arriving at Abu Ghraib, was interrogated “in a rough manner” by a combination of SEALs and C.I.A. personnel in “the Romper Room,” a tiny space in the Navy camp at Baghdad International Airport. Swanner was among those present. One of the SEALs testified that after Jamadi was handcuffed a C.I.A. interrogator rammed “his arm up against the detainee’s chest, pressing on him with all his weight.” According to a recent report by John McChesney on National Public Radio, a C.I.A. guard who witnessed the scene later told investigators that, after stripping Jamadi and dousing him in cold water, a C.I.A. interrogator threatened to “barbecue” him if he didn’t talk. Jamadi reportedly moaned, “I’m dying, I’m dying.” The interrogator replied, “You’ll be wishing you were dying.”

Court testimony also established that Jamadi was “body-slammed” by the SEALs into the back of a Humvee before being delivered to Abu Ghraib. During this time, he was handcuffed. “Was he a threat?” a Navy prosecutor asked one of the SEALs on trial. “No, ma’am,” the SEAL conceded.

Soon after the Associated Press published Hettena’s Romper Room story, two unidentified officials, evidently from the C.I.A., appeared in the courtroom. From that point on, Hettena told me, the officials, who did not give their names, protested when the testimony touched on matters sensitive to the C.I.A. In many instances, reporters and other members of the public were required to leave the courtroom. On another occasion, an unidentified C.I.A. witness testified from behind a blue curtain. Several areas of questioning by defense lawyers for the SEALs were ruled off limits. When one of the defense lawyers, Matthew Freedus, asked a witness, “What position was Jamadi in when he died?,” the C.I.A. representatives protested, saying that the answer was classified. The same objection was made when a question was asked about the role that water had played in Jamadi’s interrogation.

By late last spring, the SEALs’ reputations had been tarnished by the exposure of their rough treatment of Jamadi, but they were cleared of the gravest abuse charges. The question of who was responsible for Jamadi’s death remained unanswered. Milt Silverman, one of the defense attorneys, told me, “Who killed Jamadi? I know it wasn’t any of the SEALs. . . . That’s why their cases got dismissed.” Frank Spinner, a civilian lawyer who represented Ledford, said, “There’s a stronger case against the C.I.A. than there is against Ledford. But the military’s being hung out to dry while the C.I.A. skates. I want a public accounting, whether in a trial, a hearing before a congressional committee, or a public report. There’s got to be something more meaningful than sticking the case in a Justice Department drawer.”

Spinner and several of the other defense lawyers learned more about the C.I.A.’s role in Jamadi’s death than they were supposed to know, owing to a classification error made by the agency. The C.I.A. sent hundreds of pages of material on Jamadi’s death to the Navy; much of it was classified, and all of it was marked unclassified. The pages were passed on to the civilian lawyers, who read them carefully. The agency, after realizing its mistake, demanded that the lawyers return the classified material, and subsequently sealed virtually all the court records relating to the case. Some of the C.I.A. documents, however, were seen by a source familiar with the case, who shared their contents with me.

Manadel al-Jamadi arrived at Abu Ghraib naked from the waist down, according to an eyewitness, Jason Kenner, an M.P. with the 372nd Military Police Company. In a statement to C.I.A. investigators, Kenner recalled that Jamadi had been stripped of his pants, underpants, socks, and shoes, arriving in only a purple T-shirt and a purple jacket, and with a green plastic sandbag completely covering his head. Nevertheless, Kenner told C.I.A. investigators, “the prisoner did not appear to be in distress. He was walking fine, and his speech was normal.” The plastic “flex cuffs” on Jamadi’s wrists were so tight, however, that Kenner had trouble cutting them off when they were replaced with steel handcuffs and Jamadi’s hands were secured behind his back.

Staff Sergeant Mark Nagy, a reservist in the 372nd Military Police Company, was also on duty at Abu Ghraib when Jamadi arrived. According to the classified internal documents, he told C.I.A. investigators that Jamadi seemed “lucid,” noting that he was “talking during intake.” Nagy said that Jamadi was “not combative” when he was placed in a holding cell, and that he “responded to commands.” In Nagy’s opinion, there was “no need to get physical with him.”

Kenner told the investigators that, “minutes” after Jamadi was placed in the holding cell, an “interrogator”—later identified as Swanner—began “yelling at him, trying to find where some weapons were.” Kenner said that he could see Jamadi through the open door of the holding cell, “in a seated position like a scared child.” The yelling went on, he said, for five or ten minutes. At some point, Kenner said, Swanner and his translator “removed the prisoner’s jacket and shirt,” leaving him naked. He added that he saw no injuries or bruises. Soon afterward, the M.P.s were told by Swanner and the translator to “take the prisoner to Tier One,” the agency’s interrogation wing. The M.P.s dressed Jamadi in a standard-issue orange jumpsuit, keeping the sandbag over his head, and walked him to the shower room there for interrogation. Kenner said that Jamadi put up “no resistance.”

On the way, Nagy noticed that Jamadi was “groaning and breathing heavily, as if he was out of breath.” Walter Diaz, the M.P. who had been on guard duty at the prison, told C.I.A. investigators that Jamadi showed “no distress or complaints on the way to the shower room.” But he told me that he, too, noticed that Jamadi was having “breathing problems.” An autopsy showed that Jamadi had six fractured ribs; it is unclear when they were broken. The C.I.A. officials in charge of Jamadi did not give him even a cursory medical exam, although the Geneva Conventions require that prisoners receive “medical attention.”

“Jamadi was basically a ‘ghost prisoner,’ ” a former investigator on the case, who declined to be named, told me. “He wasn’t checked into the facility. People like this, they just bring ’em in, and use the facility for interrogations. The lower-ranking enlisted guys there just followed the orders from O.G.A. There was no booking process.”

According to Kenner’s testimony, when the group reached the shower room Swanner told the M.P.s that “he did not want the prisoner to sit and he wanted him shackled to the wall.” (No explanation for this decision is recorded.) There was a barred window on one wall. Kenner and Nagy, using a pair of leg shackles, attached Jamadi’s arms, which had been placed behind his back, to the bars on the window.

The Associated Press quoted an expert who described the position in which Jamadi died as a form of torture known as “Palestinian hanging,” in which a prisoner whose hands are secured behind his back is suspended by his arms. (The technique has allegedly been used in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.) The M.P.s’ sworn accounts to investigators suggest that, at least at first, Jamadi was able to stand up, without pain: autopsy records show that he was five feet ten, and, as Diaz explained to me, the window was about five feet off the ground. The accounts concur that, while Jamadi was able to stand without discomfort, he couldn’t kneel or sit without hanging painfully from his arms. Once he was secured, the M.P.s left him alone in the room with Swanner and the translator.

Less than an hour later, Diaz said, he was walking past the shower room when Swanner came out and asked for help, reportedly saying, “This guy doesn’t want to coöperate.” According to the NPR report, one of the C.I.A. men told investigators that he called for medical help, but there is no available record of a doctor having been summoned. When Diaz entered the shower room, he said, he was surprised to see that Jamadi’s knees had buckled, and that he was almost kneeling. Swanner, he said, wanted the soldiers to reposition Jamadi, so that he would have to stand more erectly. Diaz called for additional help from two other soldiers in his company, Sergeant Jeffery Frost and Dennis Stevanus. But after they had succeeded in making Jamadi stand for a moment, as requested, by hitching his handcuffs higher up the window, Jamadi collapsed again. Diaz told me, “At first I was, like, ‘This guy’s drunk.’ He just dropped down to where his hands were, like, coming out of his handcuffs. He looked weird. I was thinking, He’s got to be hurting. All of his weight was on his hands and wrists—it looked like he was about to mess up his sockets.”

Swanner, whom Diaz described as a “kind of shabby-looking, overweight white guy,” who was wearing black clothing, was apparently less concerned. “He was saying, ‘He’s just playing dead,’ ” Diaz recalled. “He thought he was faking. He wasn’t worried at all.” While Jamadi hung from his arms, Diaz told me, Swanner “just kept talking and talking at him. But there was no answer.”

Frost told C.I.A. investigators that the interrogator had said that Jamadi was just “playing possum.” But, as Frost lifted Jamadi upright by his jumpsuit, noticing that it was digging into his crotch, he thought, This prisoner is pretty good at playing possum. When Jamadi’s body went slack again, Frost recalled commenting that he “had never seen anyone’s arms positioned like that, and he was surprised they didn’t just pop out of their sockets.”

Diaz, sensing that something was wrong, lifted Jamadi’s hood. His face was badly bruised. Diaz placed a finger in front of Jamadi’s open eyes, which didn’t move or blink, and deduced that he was dead. When the men lowered Jamadi to the floor, Frost told investigators, “blood came gushing out of his nose and mouth, as if a faucet had been turned on.”

Swanner, who had seemed so unperturbed, suddenly appeared “surprised” and “dumbfounded,” according to Frost. He began talking about how Jamadi had fought and resisted the entire way to the prison. He also made calls on his cell phone. Within minutes, Diaz said, four or five additional O.G.A. officers, also dressed in black, arrived on the scene.

Dr. Steven Miles, a medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota, who is writing a study of U.S. medical practices during the war on terrorism, has examined the Jamadi incident extensively. He recently recounted to me what happened that morning: “An Iraqi medical doctor working with the C.I.A. confirmed Jamadi’s death. Captain Donald Reese, the commander of Abu Ghraib M.P.s, came to the shower room and heard Colonel Thomas M. Pappas, the commander of military intelligence at the prison, say, ‘I am not going down for this alone.’ ”

C.I.A. personnel ordered that Jamadi’s body be kept in the shower room until the next morning. The corpse was packed in ice and bound with tape, apparently in an attempt to slow its decomposition and, Miles believes, to try to alter the perceived time of death. The ice was already melting when Specialist Sabrina Harman posed for pictures while stooping over Jamadi’s body, smiling and giving the thumbs-up sign. The next day, a medic inserted an I.V. in Jamadi’s arm, put the body on a stretcher, and took it out of the prison as if Jamadi were merely ill, so as to “not upset the other detainees.” Other interrogators, Miles said, “were told that Jamadi had died of a heart attack.” (There is no medical evidence that Jamadi experienced heart failure.) A military-intelligence officer later recounted that a local taxi-driver was paid to take away Jamadi’s body.

Before leaving, Frost told investigators, Swanner confided that he “did not get any information out of the prisoner.” C.I.A. officials took with them the bloodied hood that had covered Jamadi’s head; it was later thrown away. “They destroyed evidence, and failed to preserve the scene of the crime,” Spinner, the lawyer for one of the Navy SEALs, said.

The next day, Swanner gave a statement to Army investigators, stressing that he hadn’t laid a hand on Jamadi, and hadn’t done anything wrong. “Clint C.,” the translator, also said that Swanner hadn’t beaten Jamadi. “I don’t think anybody intended the guy to die,” a former investigator on the case, who asked not to be identified, told me. But he believes that the decision to shackle Jamadi to the window reflected an intent to cause suffering. (Under American and international law, intent is central to assessing criminality in war-crimes and torture cases.) The C.I.A., he said, “put him in that position to get him to talk. They took it that pain equals coöperation.”

The autopsy, performed by military pathologists five days later, classified Jamadi’s death as a homicide, saying that the cause of death was “compromised respiration” and “blunt force injuries” to Jamadi’s head and torso. But it appears that the pathologists who performed the autopsy were unaware that Jamadi had been shackled to a high window. When a description of Jamadi’s position was shared with two of the country’s most prominent medical examiners—both of whom volunteered to review the autopsy report free, at the request of a lawyer representing one of the SEALs—their conclusion was different. Miles, independently, concurred.

One of those examiners, Dr. Michael Baden, who is the chief forensic pathologist for the New York State Police, told me, “What struck me was that Jamadi was alive and well when he walked into the prison. The SEALs were accused of causing head injuries before he arrived, but he had no significant head injuries—certainly no brain injuries that would have caused death.” Jamadi’s bruises, he said, were no doubt painful, but they were not life-threatening. Baden went on, “He also had injuries to his ribs. You don’t die from broken ribs. But if he had been hung up in this way and had broken ribs, that’s different.” In his judgment, “asphyxia is what he died from—as in a crucifixion.” Baden, who had inspected a plastic bag of the type that was placed over Jamadi’s head, said that the bag “could have impaired his breath, but he couldn’t have died from that alone.” Of greater concern, he thought, was Jamadi’s position. “If his hands were pulled up five feet—that’s to his neck. That’s pretty tough. That would put a lot of tension on his rib muscles, which are needed for breathing. It’s not only painful—it can hinder the diaphragm from going up and down, and the rib cage from expanding. The muscles tire, and the breathing function is impaired, so there’s less oxygen entering the bloodstream.” A person in such a state would first lose consciousness, he said, and eventually would die. The hood, he suggested, would likely have compounded the problem, because the interrogators “can’t see his face if he’s turning blue. We see a lot about a patient’s condition by looking at his face. By putting that goddam hood on, they can’t see if he’s conscious.” It also “doesn’t permit them to know when he died.” The bottom line, Baden said, is that Jamadi “didn’t die as a result of any injury he got before getting to the prison.”

Dr. Cyril Wecht, a medical doctor and a lawyer who is the coroner of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, independently reached the same conclusion. The interpretation put forward by the military pathologists, he said, “didn’t fit with their own report. They said he died of blunt-force trauma, yet there was no significant evidence of trauma to the head.” Instead, Wecht believes that Jamadi “died of compromised respiration,” and that “the position the body was in would have been the cause of death.” He added, “Mind you, I’m not a critic of the Iraq war. But I don’t think we should reduce ourselves to the insurgents’ barbaric levels.”

Walter Diaz told me, “Someone should be charged. If Jamadi was already handcuffed, there was no reason to treat the guy the way they did—the way they hung him.” Diaz said he didn’t know if Swanner had intended to torture Jamadi, or whether the death was accidental. But he was troubled by the government’s inaction, and by what he saw as the agency’s attempt at a coverup. “They tried to blame the SEALs. The C.I.A. had a big role in this. But you know the C.I.A.—who’s going to go against them?”

According to Jeffrey Smith, the former general counsel of the C.I.A., now a private-practice lawyer who handles national-security cases, a decision to prosecute Swanner “would probably go all the way up to the Attorney General.” Critics of the Administration, such as John Sifton, a lawyer for Human Rights Watch, question whether Alberto Gonzales, who became Attorney General last year, has too many conflicts of interest to weigh the case against Swanner fairly. Sifton said, “It’s hard to imagine the current leadership pursuing these guys, because the head of the Justice Department, Alberto Gonzales, is centrally implicated in crafting the policies that led to the abuse.” He suggested that the prudent thing for Gonzales to do would be to “recuse himself from such a decision, and leave it to a deputy, or a career officer.”

But there are political conflicts here, too. It is in the office of Paul McNulty—whose nomination to become Gonzales’s deputy will soon be presented to Congress, and who was a Republican congressional staff member before being named a U.S. Attorney—that the Jamadi case has stalled. And Alice Fisher, the new head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, got that job only under a recess appointment; during her confirmation hearings, Fisher, who previously handled counter-terrorism cases for the department, refused to provide all the information requested about her knowledge of C.I.A. prisoner abuse, and Congress did not approve her nomination.

Even more troubling is the possibility that, under the Bush Administration’s secret interrogation guidelines, the killing of Jamadi might not have broken any laws. Jeffrey Smith says it’s possible that the Office of Legal Counsel’s memos may have opened too many loopholes for interrogators like Swanner, “making prosecution somehow too hard to do.” Smith added, “But, even under the expanded definition of torture, I don’t see how someone beaten with his hands bound, who then died while hanging—how that could be legal. I’d be embarrassed if anyone argued that it was.”

Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, served on the Senate Intelligence Committee until January. Before his tenure ended, he looked at the full, classified set of photographs from Abu Ghraib. In a recent interview at his office in the Capitol, he said, “You can’t imagine what it’s like to go to a closed room where you have a classified briefing, and stand shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues in the Senate, and see hundreds and hundreds of slides like those of Abu Ghraib, most of which have never been publicly disclosed. I had a sick feeling when I left.” He went on, “It was then that I began to have suspicions that something significant was happening at the highest levels of the government when it came to torture policy.”

Since then, Durbin has been trying to close the loopholes that allow government personnel to engage in brutal interrogations. Last year, he introduced an amendment to the defense-authorization bill affirming that the C.I.A. was covered by U.S. laws forbidding torture and the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners. But his effort met intense resistance from the Bush Administration, and the amendment did not pass. Durbin tried other legislative stratagems, without much success. Eventually, John McCain took up Durbin’s cause—which led to last month’s confrontation with Cheney and Goss. The Abu Ghraib scandal seems not to have chastened Cheney or any other Administration officials; in fact, they are for the first time arguing openly and explicitly that C.I.A. personnel should be exempt from standards that apply to every other American.

“I’m concerned that the government isn’t going forward on these prosecutions,” Durbin said of the C.I.A. cases. “It’s really hard to follow the Administration’s policies here. I think the world was very simple before 9/11. We knew what the law was, and I understood it to apply to everyone in the government. Now there’s real uncertainty. There’s a shadow over our nation that needs lifting.”

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