Friday, December 12, 2014

Malaysia Facilitated CIA Torture

Phoito: Bob Strong/ Reuters

A report on the Central Intelligence Agency's tactics in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks released on December 09, 2014 have revealed that Malaysia was among the 54 governments involved in America's "Global War on Terror" in which suspected militants were captured and sent to secret prisons set up for torture purposes.

The report graphically detailed the brutal investigation methods said to be used by the CIA on detainees. Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads. Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Also mock executions and Russian roulette.
At least one individual was reported to have died from torture and 26 out of more than 100 detainees were deemed wrongfully held.
It was also said that the methods proved ultimately ineffective because the information obtained from detainees were either fabricated or were already gathered through other intelligence work.
Malaysia's Special Branch’s Akhil Bulat came out to clarify that it is normal to forge ties with the CIA and that the cooperation with the CIA was restricted to information sharing and training, nothing else.
“I can only tell you what is happening during my service as director and such allegations never occurred,” said Akhil, who was appointed as the Federal Special Branch Department director in 2009, and has been serving in the police force for more than 30 years.
“I cannot comment about the era before me. Intelligence works differently," he continued.
He insisted Malaysian intelligence does not use torture as described in the said report. He boasted: “We do not use CIA tactics. We have a lot of experience in handling militants and terrorists since the time of the communists. We have our own way and our way is much better than the CIA’s or even our neighbour, Indonesia”.
Suddenly I am curious. What are the Malaysian interrogation tactics that are far superior to the Americans? Why was Indonesia referred to? Anyway, Malaysians know better. Hello, we are not stupid.
Malaysia’s participation is not new. We were named for assisting the CIA in at least two cases in another report titled "Globalising Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition”, by the Open Society Justice Initative, in February last year.
Of course, it is crucial to fight terrorism. But the twin threats of extremism and terrorism can only be defeated if society remains dedicated to preserving civil liberties and personal freedoms even as we work to protect the lives of citizens.

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