Senate Committee on Intelligence Report on CIA torture, there are many questions to consider. Breaking mostly upon partisan lines, Conservatives allege that the ends justify the means, while the Democrats maintain the CIA interrogators withheld and sometimes provided deceptive information, very likely broke any number of international laws regarding torture and finally, possibly increased the danger of attacks on US interests.
There are plenty of articles that examine the report's findings since it was released yesterday morning. If you're reading this, you've likely seen them one way or the other and perhaps read a few. Cable TV talk shows have all devoted some serious time to this story in the last 36 hours, as has talk radio. Papers across the world and internet news sites from all points of view are churning content out while this story is still hot.
One voice we haven't heard from yet is that of former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan. Soufan, born in Lebanon, educated in the United States, was hired by the FBI in the late 1990's and worked as a Supervisory Special Agent who specialized in investigating and interrogating international terrorism cases, including the USS Cole. the US Embassy bombing in East Africa as well as the events surrounding 9/11. The recipient of several honors including the "Director of the FBI's Award for Excellence in Investigation, the Respect for Law Enforcement Award for "relentless pursuit of truth and bringing terrorist subjects before the bar of justice," and a commendation from the U.S. Department of Defense that labeled him "an important weapon in the ongoing war on terrorism."
By all accounts, he's a very serious, talented and dedicated law enforcement agent trying his best to defend the United States against terrorism.Mr. Soufan's book, The Black Banners, (Published September 12, 2011, by WW Norton and Penguin), was selected as a book of the year by The Sunday Times. About the book and Mr. Soufan, Harpers Magazine wrote: "To those inside the U.S. government Soufan has long been something of a legend. He conducted the most effective and fruitful interrogations of al Qaeda suspects during the war on terrorism." In April 2012, Ali Soufan was announced as the recipient of the ninth annual Ridenhour Book Prize.
60 Minutes, the celebrated Sunday evening show on CBS, interviewed Ali Soufan in 2011 about his work, his techniques, the CIA bumping Soufan and his team off of at least one significant interrogation. His interview, shown in two parts, serves as a very suitable companion piece to the current news from the Senate Report. Listen to Soufan's story and consider it against the news of this week's report.
Ali Soufan / 60 Minutes Part One:
Ali Soufan / 60 Minutes Part Two: