2004 CIA Torture Report Fallout: Power Shuffle


Administration reactions to the Office Of The Inspector General’s report on CIA Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities:

[The Obama Administration] wrested control of future interrogations of suspected senior al-Qaeda members away from the CIA and handed it to an interagency group that will be housed at the FBI — whose agents had not only objected to the CIA’s techniques but also refused to stay in the rooms where they were practiced.


Obama and his aides, in contrast, have concluded that the benefits of the harsh interrogation program were unproven or slight, and that the costs to America’s standing in the world exceed any potential gains from allowing it to persist.

via Analysis: Bush, Obama Administrations Drew Different Lessons From CIA Report.

Accoording to the report FBI agents refused to partake in torture. It is fairly safe to conclude that the CIA agents tortured because they felt they were covered by permission slips from Jay Bybee and John Yoo and they were “just following orders”. CIA interrogators were effectively ordered to operate as if they were above the law.

The new interagency interrogation team, overseen by the National Security Council and housed at the FBI, seems to be organized to empower the professionals who honored the rule of law and signal Obama’s distrust of the current CIA’s ability to do the same.