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CIA torture and prisoner abuse severe
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, August 25, 2009
Posted: August 29th, 2009

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. named a veteran federal prosecutor on Monday to examine abuse of prisoners held by the Central Intelligence Agency, after the Justice Department released a long-secret report showing interrogators choked a prisoner repeatedly and threatened to kill another detainees children. Mr. Holder chose John H. Durham, a prosecutor from Connecticut who has been investigating the C.I.A.s destruction of interrogation videotapes, to determine whether a full criminal investigation of the conduct of agency employees or contractors was warranted. The attorney general said his decision to order an inquiry was based in part on the recommendation of the Justice Departments ethics office, which called for a new review of several interrogation cases. He said he was also influenced by a 2004 report by the C.I.A. inspector general at the time, John L. Helgerson, on the agencys interrogations. The report was released Monday under a court order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Although large portions of the 109-page report are blacked out, it gives new details about a variety of abuses inside the C.I.A.s overseas prisons, including suggestions about sexually assaulting members of a detainees family, staging mock executions, intimidation with a handgun and power drill, and blowing cigar and cigarette smoke into prisoners faces to make them vomit. The inspector generals review raised broad questions about the legality, political acceptability and effectiveness of the harshest of the C.I.A.s methods, including some not authorized by the Justice Department and others that were approved, like the near-drowning technique of waterboarding.

Note: And what do you think might have been in the blacked out portions of the report? For lots more on the use of illegal methods by the CIA and US military in their prosecution of the "war on terror," click here.

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