Friday, September 04, 2009
Your help digging in CIA documents

Editor's note: The following blog post is from Producer Thom Patterson -- who is digging into formerly classified CIA documents and discussing his findings right here on He invites you to read along, and join the conversation.


A top secret internal report pulls back the curtain on the CIA’s treatment of suspected al Qaeda terrorists held in U.S. prisons.


I'm fascinated by this newly declassified report and we’re interested in what you can find within its 160-odd pages.  


A lot of the sentences in the report have literally been blacked out by government censors. But some of the once-secret info has been revealed. As I read through it – on page 19 of Part 2 -- the CIA describes a debriefer who – in 2002 -- entered a jail cell where the alleged mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole Abd al-Rahin: “al-Nashiri sat shackled and racked the handgun once or twice close to al-Nashiri's head. On what was probably the same day, the debriefer used a power drill to frighten AI-Nashiri.”


We so rarely get a look inside the shrouded activities of the CIA. But political pressure has prompted the CIA to release this once hidden document and now iReporters can join while we discuss new details about went on behind the walls of a secret prison.


Were any laws broken? Will the U.S. prosecutor assigned to review these CIA activities use any of the information contained in this document against a U.S. official? It’s too soon to know.


I'd like your help. Crowd sourcing projects continue to play a significant role in newsgathering -- and there’s no shortage of groundbreaking examples to draw inspiration from  -- including a 2007 Talking Points Memo project where readers where asked to help comb through thousands of pages of  Department of Justice documents.  


I’ll be looking for your input on this. Here’s where you can find the CIA report.  


Tell me what you’ve found in the report and put your comments right here on the iReport blog -- or upload your video on

September 4, 2009
Click to view AgentC's profile

Mr. Bin Laden I'm so sorry for your harsh  interrogation... You'll have to forgive my young interrogator, he's been a bit jumpy after all that nasty business back in 2001. Perhaps I can offer you some tea and biscuits???

September 4, 2009
Click to view RVenger's profile

This is what journalism has come to I guess. It's political cover for America bashing.


"We, the noble press, making use of the First Amendment, will sacrifice everything to get to the truth. We are the true heroes in society, not those horrid soldiers abusing their fellow human beings by threatening then or hurting their feelings. Yes, we will expose the evil!"

September 4, 2009
Click to view Capnmike's profile

Oh gee damn whiz...we actually THREATENED one of these filthy murderers and you call that "torture"?? What a nation of cowards, whimps and crybabies America has become. Believe me, if any of these animals knew of any plots to kill more Americans, I wouldn't blench at pulling their damn fingernails out with red-hot pliers to find out the details. Meanwhile, as long as the crybabies are running things, the Goths will continue their campaign to destroy Rome.

September 4, 2009
Click to view bluediamonds's profile

I think Thom Patterson should be doing something else with his time other than this type of crap.  So we are to believe that the CIA is terrible because they used a power tool near someones head or rack a gun a few times?  What did the terrorists do again?  Oh, they killed thousands of Americans in NYC by using planes as weapons of mass destruction, hung American soliers to death on bridges then burned their bodies, beheaded soldiers AND journalists, remember them? They tortured and killed many people, even their OWN people, and now they are crying because the CIA scared them with some bad noises.  Get real.  Thom, do us all a favor and leave the CIA to do what they do best, protecting American lives. I'm sure you wouldn't be up on your soap box preaching if your son or your father were one of the many persons killed by the people the CIA were holding. Find a better topic or better yet, go visit a VET and ask him what his life in the war was like, or go visit the wounded soldiers are and ask them aobut their lives.  You are a producer for CNN?  I find that so hard to believe.  (I wonder how long this post will be up before Thom and his cronies take it down)

September 4, 2009
Click to view drc's profile

This is ridiculous...thousands of Americans killed...and we used some techniques to prevent others from being murdered and a bunch of liberal cry babies that 'have the good life' and seem to forget that if given the change a terrorist would KILL you on the spot simply for being an American. 


There is NO reason to investigate this any will ONLY lead to more terrorism against US citizens..will only allow the terrorists to know techniques.  I can bet you all you want if your 'son' or 'daughter' were being held by terrorists you would do just about ANYTHING to get information out of get off your high horse and STFU.

September 4, 2009
Click to view magician2000's profile

Personally I would have used 9" nails driven through his knees as an attention getter. Then I would have asked the first questions. I had a very good friend killed on the USS Stark. His wife was pregnant with their first child that he never was able to see. And no time for those who want to persecute the people who are trying to save American lives.

September 4, 2009
Click to view KnightKrawlr's profile

You guys do all realize that the American government is the worst terrorists of all right? WE went in and killed their leader, WE went in and took over their country, WE are the one's that said our political system was better. We used violence and fearmongering to change a government that we didn't like. The United States Government is the worst terrorist of all. And BTW, Before you bring up 9/11....lets take a look at what happened BEFORE 9/11. Exaclty, we were all up in their country trying to tell them they had to foolow our laws.


Oh, and BTW....If an AMERICAN soldier had been subjected to these techniques, and the Iraqi's were saying it was a good thing, we would go blow up parts of their country. I'

m expecting they will be doing the same to us.


I'm not on their side, I just happen to think from more angles than most.

September 4, 2009
Click to view ignatowski's profile

"WE went in and killed their leader": nope they killed sadam hussein. in fact you can view his hanging online if you are so inclined.


"And BTW, Before you bring up 9/11....lets take a look at what happened BEFORE 9/11. Exaclty, we were all up in their country trying to tell them they had to foolow our laws. "

prior to 1990 they were our allies. we armed and trained them to fight against iran. the US didnt care that they were a dictatorship.

then they invaded kuwait and plundered it.

years and years of sanctions and resolutions and .......


the world kept telling them they had to let UN weapon inspectors in to see what they had. in accordance with thier un membership and treaties that they signed.

they gassed thier own citizens(kurds), invaded kuwait, routinely kicked out UN inspectors, routinely violated un resolutions, routinely violated treaties were signatories of. tortured and raped thier own citizens.


post invasion they beheaded numerous reporters, soldiers, foreign citizens. blow up thier own citizens who dont believe as they do...


"I'm not on their side, I just happen to think from more angles than most.": im happy that you can think in more than one angle. perhaps one of those angles should be reality.



September 4, 2009
Click to view Gustavfelsen's profile

If you're willing to torture a suspected terrorist (bear in mind many of these people had not been charged with a crime), who else would you be willing to torture?  Kidnappers, Rapists, Child Molesters, Serial Killers?  They all might have more victims hidden away somewhere or be planning more attacks. 

Really, it all comes down to:

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, NOR CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS INFLICTED."

That's the 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America for those of you that weren't listening in 5th grade.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of that particular Amendment for a variety of reasons, but my point is we're talking about Federal officials sworn to uphold the Constitution abusing one of it's key points.


September 4, 2009
Click to view bluediamonds's profile

   Gustavfelsen, what does preventative detention mean to you? look it up. 

"you/I" would not torture anyone. Stick to the subject as it stands regarding what Thom read in the CIA documents and what he reported on.

     “al-Nashiri sat shackled and racked the handgun once or twice close to al-Nashiri's head. On what was probably the same day, the debriefer used a power drill to frighten AI-Nashiri.”   

Racking a gun and running a power tool near someones ear is not Torture. Period.

Reporters are suppose to do their job as unbiased journalists. Thom Patterson is out for ratings.

September 5, 2009
Click to view c4jihad's profile

Great news Osama! We have successfully recruited the infidels news services to help us destroy the CIA. We must hurry and take credit for Thom Pattersen and his clever plot to use the american people in his quest for the destruction of the CIA.


This witch hunt must be allowed to succeed we are losing too many of our brothers to the CIA, hail Thom Petersen we will reward you with an atomic attack for you to write about and be famous.


Thom you need to apply for the News Czar position at the White House, Bin Laden could really use you there!


September 6, 2009
Click to view tucker123's profile

I have to laugh. CNN is so up Obamas butt it isn't even funny anymore. The story you did on Van Jones almost sounds like an apology. The guy is a racist, radical and Makes Rev. Wright look like Jesus. He was chosen by Obama and his administration he has close ties to Nancy Pelosi and Hilda Soltis. And we should feel like Wingnuts for Googling his name and finding out information that the White House should have known and the MSM and Cable news stations should have reported on.

As far as the interoggations go you don't want our input you could care less what we say because your ratings are so in the toliet because of the very biased way report.

You have no investigative reporters. Anderson Cooper is a joke. He just loves to say the word Teabaggers  it makes his day. You should get with the program and the majority of American people who only ask for fair and balanced reporting. For now we only have FOX news. At least they show both sides to every issue and let desenting voices be heard. You could learn from them

September 6, 2009
Click to view tucker123's profile

Living in NY and being in NYC during 9/11 I would have pulled their fingernails out after I waterboarded them waved a gun in front of them threatened to kill thier familes and told them I was going to drill their teeth out with a power drill. We are dealing with Terrorist who want to kill americans. And sad to say it will take another 9/11 for people to remember how horrific this incident was. Terrorism has no room for bleeding hearts.

September 6, 2009
Click to view larena's profile

Very Interesting topic and issue thanks so much Tyson keep in touch and keep the great work

September 7, 2009
Click to view sparkledoll's profile

It is very difficult for the United States to deal with the thousands of detainees that they have to detain for numerous  reasons. The detainees most often don't speak English. They are many times from Arab descent and speakvarious tongues of the Arabic language--thus making the job of the translator a difficult one. The detention centers set up by the CIA to interogate these suspects are probably  difficult to manage to the outside world. The Department of Justice and the FBI may try to rush some kind of arraignment or trial for these suspect detainees but the CIA may need months or even years to sort out the numerous and sometime international charges that these suspects face.These suspected terrorists could be wanted in more than one country and the CIA might have to work with Interpol or other foreign intelligence and crime fighting organizations to truly find out what these suspects have done to become detained.


The detainees at Guantenemo Bay,Cuba have received the most attention.Surely the CIA has  detainees at less visible places.The United States Navy has a base at Guantanemo Bay and the FBI has been allowed to question detainees.There are probably very good reasons as to why the CIA hasn't made their detention facilities more available to various agencies.


The declassified papers were interesting, I hope to continue to come across interesting I-Reports.



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