[Ppnews] CIA Kidnapped, Tortured "the Wrong Guy"

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 24 12:04:59 EDT 2011

CIA Kidnapped, Tortured "the Wrong Guy," Says 
Former Agency Operative Glenn Carle

Sunday 23 October 2011
by: Jason Leopold, Truthout | Video Interview and Report


Rob Richer, the No. 2 ranking official in the 
CIA's clandestine service, paid a visit to 
<http://glenncarle.com/>Glenn Carle's office in 
December 2002 and presented the veteran CIA operative with an urgent proposal.

"I want you to go on a temporary assignment," 
Carle recalls Richer telling him. "It's important 
for the agency, it's important for the country 
and it's important for you. Will you do it?"

Richer, who 
from the CIA in 2005 and went to work for the 
mercenary outfit Blackwater, told Carle that 
agency operatives had just rendered a "high-value 
target," an Afghan in his mid-forties named 
Pacha Wazir, who was purported to be Osama bin 
Laden's personal banker as well as financier for 
a number of suspected terrorists. Wazir was being 
held at a CIA black site prison in Morocco, and 
the agency needed a clandestine officer who spoke 
French to take over the interrogation of the detainee.

Carle, formerly the deputy national intelligence 
officer for transitional threats, who had no 
prior interrogation experience, agreed, and 
within 72 hours, he boarded a CIA-chartered jet bound for Morocco.

The Interrogator

Carle recounts what unfolded next in his riveting 
Interrogator: An Education," which stands as a 
damning indictment of the CIA's torture and 
rendition program and the Bush administration's 
approach to the so-called Global War on Terror.

Carle refers to Wazir in his book as CAPTUS. The 
CIA, which did not respond to requests for 
comment for this report, would not allow Carle to 
print Wazir 's name in his book, nor was he 
permitted to disclose the locations of the two 
black site prisons where Wazir was imprisoned and tortured.

A report 
in Harper's in July first disclosed that 
is Wazir and the 
of the CIA black site prisons where he was held.

During an on-camera interview with Truthout in 
Washington, DC, Carle said he originally believed 
the agency had captured a "significant Al-Qaeda 
leader" who had been a concern to US intelligence agencies "for a long time."

"The assessment that was made of [Wazir] was 
quite compelling and I accepted it," Carle said. 
"I knew my colleagues to be hard-working and 
careful and that they reviewed their assessments 
regularly and the assessment was that [Wazir] was 
one of the top players in Al-Qaeda."

Although Carle was told by a top agency official 
that he should do "whatever it takes to get this 
man to talk," which he said he understood meant 
using torture to "break this fellow's will" and 
obtain intelligence, Carle said he "would not do it [because] it was wrong."

Instead, Carle said he interrogated Wazir using 
standard rapport-building techniques and 
"psychological manipulation" that led the 
detainee to believe Carle was his "friend."

Carle concluded not long after he began 
interrogating Wazir that the agency had 
"kidnapped" the "wrong guy" and Wazir, who ran an 
informal money-transfer business known as a 
was not a "committed jihadist" or Bin Laden's personal banker.

Wazir was "more like a train conductor who sells 
a criminal a ticket," Carle writes in "The 
Interrogator." "Slowly, progressively, first in 
dismay, then in anger, I had realized that on the 
CAPTUS case the Agency, the government, all of 
us, had been victims of delusion."

Wazir's life had been "destroyed" based on what 
Carle characterized as an "error."

But the CIA's position did not change. The agency 
believed Wazir was withholding intelligence due 
to the fact that he could not answer specific 
questions. So in an attempt to convince him to 
reveal information about Al-Qaeda, agency 
operatives kidnapped his older brother, Haji 
Ghaljai, in December 2002 and held him captive 
for six months at the same black site prison.

Carle documented his conclusions about Wazir, and 
called for his immediate release, in top-secret 
cables he prepared that were supposed to be sent 
to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. 
However, Carle said when he later inquired about 
his cables he discovered they "were never 
transmitted so they never formally existed."

The US government eventually moved Wazir from 
Morocco to the infamous Salt Pit prison in 
Afghanistan, which Carle refers to as "Hotel 
California," and then transferred him to the Bagram prison facility.

Psychological Torture

Carle described in great detail the conditions in 
which Wazir and other detainees were held at the black site prisons.

“It was instantaneously, completely black,” Carle 
said about the black site prisons. “Not dark, 
black. A darkness where literally I could not see 
my hand
Totally black. And there was loud 
incessant noise or a series of other sounds. 
Babies wailing, sounds that would appear to be 
someone being hit or car crashes or wheels 
screeching. The goal is to play upon the senses 
so as to disorient the prisoner.”

Carle said he believed the psychological methods 
used to disorient detainees rose to the level of 
torture. He said that if "things got out of hand" 
during an interrogation a CIA psychologist would 
step in. Carle said, however, he “never saw any 
of the physical techniques being administered [to Wazir]” while he was present.

“Whenever anything came up to make that possible 
I wouldn’t allow it,” Carle said. “I stopped it. 
So I wasn’t aware of that happening. But I don’t 
know what happened to him after I left” the black site prison.

Habeas Denial

Blogger Marcy Wheeler reported that in September 
2006 Wazir 
a habeas petition and "his suit was ultimately 
consolidated with the three Bagram detainees 
whose DC Circuit habeas denial remains the 
relevant decision denying Bagram detainees habeas."

"But Wazir’s petition was denied in spite of the 
fact that a former Bagram detainee revealed that 
Wazir had been told some time in June or July 
2008 there was no evidence against him," Wheeler wrote.

Tina Foster, a constitutional attorney who 
Wazir in his habeas petition against the US 
government, told Harper's, “the Justice 
Department maintained that Pacha Wazir was 
legally detainable on unspecified grounds, but 
that the determination had been properly made by 
those with knowledge of his case.”

“Had the conclusions reached by [Carle in cable 
assessments he sent about Wazir] not been 
destroyed, and instead acknowledged and disclosed 
by the government to the court, it would likely 
have tipped the scales of justice in his case and 
possibly also in other cases,” Foster said.

Wazir was not freed until February 2010, eight years after his capture.

Heavily Redacted

The CIA's Publications Review Board, "under the 
guise of 'protecting sources and methods,' 
imposed numerous redactions and elliptical 
phrases on my manuscript," Carle writes in "The 
Interrogator," which was published following a 
year-long battle with the agency. "These have 
eliminated or softened harsh facts about what our 
government has done in pursuit of terrorists, 
rounded edges of wrongdoing, and obscured the 
corruption of our institutions and of our system 
of government caused by the rendition, detention, 
and coercive interrogation of terrorists or terrorist suspects."

Still, Carle footnoted the redactions and 
summarized, in general terms, what the agency had 
censored. For example, in response to a redacted 
paragraph on page 134, Carle added this footnote:

The deleted passage concerns my assessment of why 
Headquarters would persit in its conceptual and 
operational errors in [Wazir's] case. The passage 
is acidic. This is the only reason I can see why 
it would be redacted, for it reveals no source or 
method--other than contemptible institutional incompetence.

Carle told Truthout that since his book was 
published in June, he has been the subject of a 
"whispering campaign," where "unnamed anonymous 
representatives and supporters of [torture] and 
defenders of them will speak to significant 
members of the media and say, 'You shouldn't take 
a chance on [reporting] his story because you 
don't want to damage your access to useful sources."

"That's had some effect on my ability to get this 
story out," Carle said, without citing the media 
outlets that were allegedly contacted. "The 
effort clearly has been, and I have heard this 
from multiple sources, to keep me from having 
access to the major media networks and newspapers 
and magazines. It has worked. I have not been 
able to share my story on a major network."

Prosecutions Would "Divide Us"

Yet Carle, who retired from the CIA in 2007, 
refuses to endorse an investigation and/or 
prosecution of key Bush administration and CIA 
officials who he said they were responsible for 
violating numerous laws in the name of national 
security, claiming it would "divide" the country.

"It's not to protect the guilty," Carle told 
Truthout about the reasons he does not support 
accountability. "I think a trial or series of 
trials would divide us, polarize us and become a 
he said, she said, 'I attempted to protect the 
nation' - and I am sure everyone sincerely 
intended to do that - and 'You're just for 
political reasons coming after me.' I think that would be counterproductive."

"The country is already 'divided,'" Truthout 
retorted, "even without a full-scale 
investigation or prosecution. You're well aware 
of the partisan bickering currently taking place 
in Washington, DC. How would a criminal probe further polarize the country?"

"Well, we are divided in a more distressing way 
than at any time since the the Vietnam War," 
Carle said. "But Vietnam was over an issue not 
over a political philosophy. By taking steps that 
fuel the divisions we don't end them. My 
objective is to make the feeling more broad among 
the American public that [torture is] un-American 
and unacceptable and doesn't work. I think that 
comes not by going after the designers of them, 
but by taking steps that make the average 
American think, 'well, yeah these methods don't 
work and are incompatible with what it means to 
be an American citizen. So, I think strengthening 
the feeling that the measures are wrong is more 
important than having three or four people pay a penalty for this."

"I Did My Best"

Another CIA officer took over Wazir’s case in 
2003 and Carle returned to the United States. He 
said he did not inquire about what happened to 
the detainee until he reluctantly typed his name into Google in December 2010.

"I was an undercover CIA operations officer for 
most of my career,” Carle said. “I was known to 
foreign services around the world as a CIA 
officer. It would be unwise for me to associate 
my name with an operation. I never asked [about 
Wazir] and I never looked. I learned only last 
year, nine months after [Wazir] had been freed, 
that in fact he had been freed. I knew nothing about it."

Ultimately, Carle said, "I did my best and I 
think in this case I made the right decisions and 
acted honorably, although I was unable to accomplish much of what I tried."

This work by Truthout is licensed under a 
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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