Ex-CIA officer: Torture great way to get false confessions
“You can’t get reliable information from torture. But torture works beautifully if you want unreliable information” says McGovern.
His comments come amid the trial of John Kiriakou, a CIA veteran sentenced to two years in prison, after leaking sensitive information about Washington’s torture program.
Kiriakou, the man who oversaw the capture of Al-Qaeda's third-in-command, blew the lid on America’s torture program, revealing the name of an alleged torturer at Guantanamo Bay.
Kiriakou came out against Washington’s torture program supporting the notion that torture is illegal, says McGovern adding that the accusations against Kiriakou are political andhe is being punished out due to rank-hypocrisy.
RT: John Kiriakou says he is not punished for what he did but for what he is. What are your thoughts on this?
Ray McGovern: It’s mostly of what he said. He’s being punished out of rank-hypocrisy. Look at the chronology here,in 2007 he came out very loudly against torture as being not worthy of the US and not efficient, not a way to get information.Less than a year later two lawyers confirmed it : one’s name was Obama, the others name was Holder. Obama having become president, Eric Holder another lawyer having become attorney general. They said water boarding is torture, torture is illegal. What happened? Nothing happened to the torturers. What is now happening is with the person who happened to agree with Holder andObama, and disagree with the previous president Bush. What did Bush say? At his exist interview with Matt Lauer, he said that he is proud to have authorized that, the lawyer told me it was legal.
RT: So you are saying that a bearer of bad news is being used as a scape goat here? Ultimately as we all know post 9/11 security has been paramount for America. I suppose one might argue that can indeed former CIA agents run loose with secrets?
RM: The instructions were to make people ‘confess’. Confess to what? Confess to the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Confess to the existence of operational ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein? It was all a croc. They had to make this stuff up. You can’t get reliable information from torture. But torture works beautifully if you want unreliable information. So they drew up not only ties weapons of mass destruction but also ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda. When UK and US invaded Iraq, 69 percent of the people in the United States believed that there were operational ties between al-Queda and Iraq. And that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. It was a masterful propaganda performance on the part of the US and UK. How did they do that? One of the ways was that they tortured this one prisoner Alibi sent him to Egypt where he confessed that he sent people from Al-Queda to Hussein in Iraq to receive instruction in explosives…
RT: It’s all kind of murky. There have been people in the past that have said invading Iraq for 9/11 is like invading Mexico for the bombing of Cahaba. Essentially when John Kiriakou comes out with his information about waterboarding, I want to ask you where is the line between whistleblowing and that of leaking sensitive information? It certainly seems a little blurry.
RM: John Kiriakou didn’t leak any sensitive information. George Bush did, so did Eric Holder and Obama. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is a violation of all manner of international agreements. So Kiriakou’s crime is sticking with the notion that torture was illegal. And he is accused I suppose of having identified or leaked to the press a person who is involved in torture. Now that person’s name was already in the press. He lives in northern Virginia, where I live. I’d like to knock on his door and say‘ Do you think its fair for you to have supervised the torture program and John Kiriakou who is against torture going to jail?’ I’d really like to do that. As a matter of fact I may do that when I get home.