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George Tenet on 60 Minutes

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    This is interesting. I might have to watch this now. I figured Tenet would be trying to save his rep and point fingers with his book, since most people do, but this excerpt is interesting. Anyhow, I've said before that Tenet has no one else to blame but himself for saying...

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    CIA TENET BREAKS SILENCE ON '60 MINS'; BOOK SET FOR RELEASE
    Wed Apr 25 2007 16:15:01 ET

    Ex-CIA Director George Tenet says the intelligence extracted from terror suspects in the Agency’s “High Value Detainee” program, which includes so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” was more valuable than all the other terror intelligence gathered by the FBI, the National Security Agency and the CIA. In his first network television interview, the nation’s former top spy denied any torture took place, but tells Scott Pelley that the High Value Detainee program saved lives and allowed the U.S. government to foil terror plots. The interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, April 29 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

    MORE

    The High Value Detainee program uses “enhanced” techniques said to include sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, and water boarding, in which suspects are reportedly restrained as a steady stream of water is poured over their faces, causing a severe gag reflex and a terrifying fear of drowning. In Sunday’s interview, Pelley challenges Tenet on the “enhanced interrogations,” a topic that gets little play in his much-anticipated book, At the Center of the Storm. “Here’s what I would say to you, to the Congress, to the American people, to the President of the United States: I know that this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots,” he tells Pelley. “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together, have been able to tell us.”

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    The new program for interrogation came after the 9/11 attacks. When pressed by Pelley about whether interrogations included water boarding, Tenet insists he does not talk about techniques, and that what he means by “enhanced interrogation” is not torture. Whatever it is, it’s justified in his mind. “We don’t torture people. I want you to listen to me. The context is it’s post-9/11. I've got reports of nuclear weapons in New York City, apartment buildings that are gonna be blown up, planes that are gonna fly into airports all over again, plot lines that I don't know. I don't know what's going on inside the United States, and I'm struggling to find out where the next disaster is going to occur. Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through: the palpable fear that we felt on the basis of the fact that there was so much we did not know.”

    When 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in a raid in Pakistan, the “enhanced interrogations” were apparently a surprise to him. According to Tenet, the captured terrorist told CIA interrogators, “I’ll talk to you guys when you take me to New York and I can see my lawyer.” Instead, he was reportedly flown around the world, kept in secret prisons and water-boarded. Tenet repeated his denial again and again: “Let me say that again to you. We don’t torture people. Okay?”

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    But when asked by Pelley why the “enhanced interrogation” techniques were necessary, Tenet says, “Because these are people who will never, ever, ever tell you a thing. These are people who know who’s responsible for the next terrorist attack….[who] wouldn’t blink an eyelash about killing you, your family, me and my family and everybody in this town,” says Tenet. When Pelley presses, asking whether he lost sleep over the interrogations, Tenet says, “Of course you lose sleep over it. You’re on new territory.”

    Developing...
  2. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting that he claims no torture yet he admits sometimes he can't sleep.
    I'm all for doing what it takes to save Americans from terrorist activities and I don't think American rights should be extended to enemy combatants.
    I don't care what happens in Abu Graib.
    If you are appalled by that than take a look at our own prisons.
  3. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't support torture. I personally think it's time to do something about Gitmo. What I accept is coercive interogations, or whatever he calls them. Simply asking nicely is not going to work. He's totally right when he says that these people would stop at nothing to kill me, you, and our families. I thought it was so interesting to here him say how Khalid Shaek Mohamed said he wanted his lawyer. People in here, and in the public, need to read that over and over, and understand that our enemies truly do use our way of life against us. They use our media, our sympathetic and forgiving ways, and especially our rule of law to their advantage. I wouldn't have it otherwise, meaning the way we live, but we do need to understand what they are doing is aimed at undermining our efforts against them.
  4. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK, Real World. Defining "Torture" is another ball of wax.
    I'm definetly against disambowelment.
    Would subjecting them to Metal core music be considered unacceptable?

    Seriously though, anything that would permantly scar a person should not be allowed.
    But then again, that might not be enough to make them talk.
    So, we're back to endangering Americans.
  5. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes but who gets "tortured", are they truly terrorists? Who decides? Are we simply picking people up for random reasons and pulling fingers nails off with pliars? When they don't "talk" because they actually have nothing to say, do we start smashing toes? Understand that we're probably not all that far off in what we'd support, or disapprove of, and that I am merely offering an example of what could be. I don't disapprove of coercive methods like loud music, sleep deprivation, cold rooms, etc... I'd prefer we didn't do any of them but that is not realistic. The nature of the beast (radical terrorists) dictates that we move a little beyond our customary right to remain silent.
  6. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I seriously doubt our agencies(whoever that may be) are arbitrarily picking up men of middle eastern descent to torture.
    Afterall, they are allowed to eavse drop on phone conversations so they can determine if an individual is collaborating with the enemy.
    Once that is established. That is, they are an enemy combatant all bets are off.
  7. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    There are a number of people suing the US Govt because of abuse. I beleive one recently was rewarded $300, or 600k in a settlement. I think it has happened, although I obvioulsy am not privy to any of the circumstances involved. I'd like to believe the govt knows what it is doing, but I'm smart enough to know that isn't always the case. Again though, nothing in life is perfect unfortunatley, and reality is what it is. The people who think we shouls ask politely don't get it, but I don't think that means we should break legs first and ask questions later. I think their has to be some form of due process involved. I don't think terrorists deserve the same rights afforded a US citizen, but they do deserve some form of process that would prevent the innocent from being detained wrongfully.
  8. 363839

    363839 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree.

    Balance is everthing.
  9. mr3putt

    mr3putt Rookie

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    Waterboarding is torture.
    Period!!!!!

    I have no problem with waterboarding any jamoke that is a legitimite threat to our country.

    I also have no problem with waterboarding a subset of a few of our thread. :D
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  10. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    This is that gray area that makes the reality of the situation difficult. If you caught Zwahiri or UBL tomorrow, would you "torture" them to find out what they know? I think most people would. Now, the key portion of would, is what are we calling torture? Torture to one person, isn't to another. To me, water boarding falls on that fine line. It's tramatizing most likely, but not phsysically damaging like slicing someone, or beating them up would be. Beyond that, you then get into the question of who would you be willing to do this to, in the sense of making an exception, and who you wouldn't. I think there are alot of interesting perspectives to the entire debate of interogations and the types of practices used. I'm completely against anything phsysical mind you, but the nature of the people in question makes asking nicely a moot point. It's all dicey to say the least.

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