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View Diary: Rumsfeld's Revenge: Army Field Manual to Allow Torture (217 comments)

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  •  Thank you for (7+ / 0-)

    your great work on this.  

    One question that keeps coming to mind for me is just what perimeters are there for the CIA?  Does the category of "intelligence gathering" include actual interrogations (which, as we've seen has embraced torture).  I can understand activities such as infiltrating organizations to gather information, gathering it from informants, intercepting communications, tracking suspect individuals, etc.  But for the CIA--which by its nature is clandestine--to be in charge of or even participating in actual interrogations seems more than problematic.  To allow a secret organization to gather information, be given a free hand to extract what they feel is the information they want by methods not subject to accepted established laws and treaties, and then pass this upward in the form of advise to those who set policy is a clear recipe for disaster.  Interrogations should be conducted by other, separate agencies, subject to oversight. limited in their practices to legal procedures and civil and human rights guaranties.  Interrogations should be conducted more or less to vet or determine the reliability of the information the CIA has intercepted (or gathered).  

    Something seems seriously wrong with this whole set up.  It's self-serving and inherently dangerous.  

    Is there a book you could recommend that can clarify for me what the actual defined purpose of the CIA is and if there are, in fact, limitations on the agency's actions?  It may sound stupid, but I've somehow lost my bearings on this issue.  I've read a lot about what I consider to be the abuses of this agency in overthrowing governments, engaging in torture, etc., but I'm not aware of what limitations the agency can actually be held accountable for.  

    •  I strongly recommend (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, Chacounne

      getting a used copy of The CIA File, edited by Richard Borosage and John Marks. There are plenty of used copies on the Internet (try

      It includes a "response" from William Colby, and has important articles explaining what you ask and more by Victor Marchetti (former CIA), David Wise (who wrote The Invisible Government), Morton Halperin (former senior staff NSC), Robert Morris (former Kissinger assistant), and many more. You can get it for under 10 bucks.

      Bottom line, the CIA is 80% about covert action. At this point their intelligence work is mostly a cover for their real activities, which includes bribing foreign officials, rigging or influencing elections, training right-wing armies and guerilla groups, assassinations, etc.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 08:27:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry it took so long for me to check back for your response, but was gone all day and at a city council meeting this evening that lasted until midnight.

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