Former CIA Executive Director Admits Interrogation Techniques Were Indeed Torture | The Center for Victims of Torture

Former CIA Executive Director Admits Interrogation Techniques Were Indeed Torture

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Melina Milazzo is CVT senior policy counsel, in the Washington, D.C. office.

The BBC yesterday aired an interview with former CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard, in which Krongard admits that the agency tortured individuals in detention centers and in secret locations known as “black sites.” Previous CIA senior officials have denied that detainees were tortured by the CIA, making this admission significant. The interview was part of the BBC program, “Panorama: Fighting Terror With Torture,” which originally aired on August 3.

According to the BBC, Krongard was asked if he thought waterboarding and stress positions amounted to torture. “Well, let's put it this way, it is meant to make him as uncomfortable as possible. So I assume for, without getting into semantics, that's torture. I'm comfortable with saying that,” he said.

Having extended direct care to more than 30,000 torture survivors over 30 years, the Center for Victims of Torture knows that the physical and psychological pain derived by so-called “enhanced interrogations” amount to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The Senate’s CIA torture report released in December brought to light the brutality inflicted upon detainees in U.S. custody and was a significant first step to establishing the truth. But more needs to be done to increase transparency, advance reform, and promote accountability in order to ensure the United States does not resort to an illegal policy of torture and cruelty again. Krongard’s willingness to name what’s been done to these men should provoke others who hold similar positions of authority to speak out and, more importantly, inspire those in power to make the necessary reforms, such as passing the McCain-Feinstein anti-torture legislation into law.


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