Obama Aims to Improve America’s Interrogation Record
Posted on Aug 24, 2009
Monday saw more than one move on the part of Team Obama to deal with U.S. intelligence agencies’ treatment of terror suspects: In addition to Attorney General Eric Holder’s bid to take a second look into CIA-related cases from years past, President Obama has approved the formation of an integrated interrogation central command called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. —KA
The BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Washington says there has been strong concern that interrogation has been carried out by different groups including the CIA, the military and the FBI.
Mr Obama wants to bring the elements together and have a properly regulated way of interrogating suspects, our correspondent says.
Decisions on coercion and the way interrogation is carried out will now be made centrally, he says.
Deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton confirmed the new interrogation team would bring “all the different elements under one group” but stressed that the CIA was not leaving the interrogation business altogether.
The new team will be called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group and will be composed of experts from several intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
The group will be housed at the FBI, but will be overseen by the National Security Council, giving the White House direct oversight.
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Note: This is (hopefully) the kind of illustration of America’s interrogation policies that President Obama is angling to avoid in the future.