Monday, March 1, 2010

U.S. Interrogators Have No Access to Captured Taliban Leader

The Obama administration's so-called "High Value Interrogation" team is supposedly, finally in business, but Newsweek claims that it inexplicably hasn't been deployed.
Last summer, the Obama administration announced that, as a replacement for the Bush administration's secret CIA terrorist detention and interrogation program, it would create a SWAT-style team of interrogation experts to travel the world squeezing terrorist suspects for vital information. Administration officials say that the interrogation unit, known as the HIG (for High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group) is now operational. But for reasons that are unclear, the administration has not deployed HIG personnel to question Afghan Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arguably the most important terrorist suspect captured since the detention of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in spring of 2003...
Earlier this year, Obama administration intelligence officials came under heavy criticism from Capitol Hill Republicans for not deploying the HIG to question Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian terrorist suspect who tried to blow up a Christmas Day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb hidden in his underpants. At the time, it was unclear, based on signals coming out of the administration, whether the HIG was sufficiently well organized to participate in the underpants-bombing suspect's questioning, which ended up being conducted by the FBI. (The HIG is supposed to be an interagency unit composed of top intelligence and interrogation experts from across the government.)

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