While I’ve been taking my sweet time getting around to the ACLU document dump from Friday, Adam Serwer has been picking up the slack. Check out these posts on the FBI’s approach to torture here and here.
One of the things included in the document dump is a re-release of DOJ’s IG Report on torture, with some new disclosures. Of particular interest are details about Ali Soufan’s (recall the IG Report refers to him by the pseudonym Thomas) brief participation in the interrogation of Ramzi bin al-Shibh.
According to the, [sic] Assistant Chief for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Operational Response Team (CTORS), he and several agents, including Thomas, traveled to a CIA-controlled facility to conduct a joint interview of Binalshibh [redacted] with the CIA. The Assistant Chief said that the detainees were manacled to the ceiling and subjected to blaring music around the clock. He said the FBI agents worked with the CIA in developing questions for Binalshibh, but were denied direct access to him for 4 or 5 days, until Thomas was given 45 minutes with him. Thomas stated that Binalshibh was naked and chained to the floor when Thomas was given access to him. Thomas told the OIG that he obtained valuable actionable intelligence in a short time but that the CIA quickly shut down the interview. According to the notes of FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni, Deputy Assistant Director T.J. Harrington told her that the FBI agents who went to the CIA site saw Binalshibh [redacted].
I’m interested in this revelation for two reasons. First, if Soufan’s claims are correct then it shows that the FBI repeatedly got intelligence the CIA was unable to get–and that the CIA, on at least two occasions, shut down the FBI access when they were succeeding.
But I’m also interested because the National Archives has been in the process of declassifying Soufan’s interview with the 9/11 Commission since April. Some agency appears to be sitting on it.
Among the thing Soufan said in that interview is that the FBI’s Khalid Sheikh Mohammed expert was unable to interview KSM. But I wonder how many more details like this were in his interview?