Report Says FBI Agents Balked at Harsh Terror Interrogations


FBI agents who assisted with overseas interrogations of suspected terrorists after Sept. 11 often clashed with their military counterparts and refused to participate in the most aggressive intelligence-gathering methods because they doubted they were legal or effective, a long-awaited Justice Department audit found. At the same time, the report released Tuesday by Inspector Gen. Glenn A. Fine faults officials at FBI headquarters for failing to provide prompt guidance to agents in the field on what to do if they witnessed interrogations using snarling dogs, sexual ploys and other abusive techniques that violated long-standing FBI policy, says the Los Angeles Times.

The 370-page analysis also found that, as early as 2002, agents were raising questions about whether the rough tactics were legal and whether evidence secured under the circumstances would stand up in court if the suspects were ever prosecuted. But Justice Department officials were mostly focused on whether the interrogations were yielding valuable intelligence rather than whether they violated any laws, the report says. Concerns about military interrogation tactics reached the White House as early as 2003, Fine reported, but they were apparently dismissed.


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