‘US govt uses CIA torture report to heighten security and reinforce idea of war on terror’
RT:Most of what was revealed has shocked some, angered others. What about the rest of the report? How much worse can it get?
Patrick Henningsen: That’s a big topic of conversation right now on both sides on this debate. One side wants really to protect the information in this 6,300-page report. But you also have the reality of the conversation that we have known a lot more, and in fact we have known even worse for about ten years now. The Oscar-winning documentary ’Taxi from the Darkside’ which came out in 2007-2008 went into graphic detail about the methods and the people involved, the level of depravity of the torture in the Bagram air base in Afghanistan. So it’s not as if this is new, however Dianne Feinstein came out on live TV yesterday and this was not reported across the media, they just bared these two comments that she made - that “the CIA has spent €40 million to keep this report from being released,” and she also said on air with Wolf Blitzer that they have been hacked not once, not twice but three times, data has been taken from their computers, Senate staffers and the people working on compiling this report. That is pretty big news to me because that shows that there is an actual turf war going on in Washington. As Dianne Feinstein also pointed out, if they waited till January she believes that this report would not have been released with Republican-controlled Senate. And I happen to agree with her on that particular point. So she has done what she has done because of timing.
RT:CNN is saying the torture helped to find Bin Laden. What’s your take on this?
PH: CNN is really pushing this line. They are pushing two lines right now, not just picking on CNN but as we are talking about them. The same that the torture helped to get information of Bin Laden’s courier Al-Kuwaiti and that was gleaned from torture and that helped to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden. The other side, the CIA, is hanging the whole story on this courier of Bin Laden, and the story is very flimsy to begin with, there is no photo or video evidence that Osama Bin Laden was actually killed in that raid – no body, nothing. So it’s all disappeared, vaporized after the raid. In a way this Senate debate is helping to show up there has been a Bin Laden story, and they are working very hard to do that. CNN is also pushing the idea that the country is now under threat, all our enforcement and DHS are on high alert because of the reprisal attacks from ISIS or Al-Qaeda because of the release of this report. The security state hasn’t lost its step with this so-called crisis with the release of this report. They are using it to heighten security again and to reinforce this idea of the war on terror.
RT:After denying the fact for years, a former Polish President acknowledged that Poland had let the CIA run a secret prison on its territory. Do you think other countries will come forward about black sites?
PH: Possibly, but I’m not sure. It depends on how hard the media or the press - what’s left to the free press – is willing to press on that particular issue. What I think is more interesting is what the quid pro quo is for a country like Poland to be hosting a CIA black torture site, or country like Bulgaria or Romania. What’s the quid pro quo? Is the US paying them to host this facility or are they getting something in exchange in terms of commercial, industrial help or aid or loans or something like this? That to me is where the real scandal is with regard to the black shore sites. Not just the sites themselves. What do they have to do, what does the US give them to allow them to say “yes, we’ll host your black prison site on our shore?”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.