Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CIA Pushing Obama to Uphold Torture Secrecy
June 17, 2009

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is urging President Barack Obama to forestall efforts aimed at releasing parts of confidential torture memos seen as 'damaging.'

According to US media, CIA is endeavoring to cover up large sections of a 2004 internal report that depicts officers administering "degrading" interrogation techniques to detainees held on suspicions of 'terror' activities.

The report acquired by a team under the leadership of former CIA inspector General John Helgerson indicates that United States trampled both international and domestic regulations concerning the application of torture methods to elicit information from captives in secret detention centers.

Unnamed officials proclaimed that the US intelligence agency has recommended the White House to safeguard the confidentiality of the CIA account that reveals off-the-record information on America's counterterrorism operations.

A watered-down version of the 100-page controversial assessment was published in May 2008 after the American Civil Liberties Union demanded the US administration publicize the memos under the Freedom of Information Act.

Yet, in reaction to growing lobbies aimed at exposing CIA's intelligence material, the agency's spokesperson, George Little, noted that CIA "is reviewing the report to determine how much more of it can be declassified in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act."

The news comes following CIA tidings in which the organization had announced it had destroyed over 90 undisclosed videos and much of the covert data obtained during the Helgerson investigation.

The United States has been under fierce international criticism for its handling of 'terror suspects' held in secret locations, aka 'black sites', around the world.

The 2008 May report drew international ire from nations across the globe and human rights groups, which demanded a swift release of the 'terror' detainees.

The US president has on different occasions referred to 'hurdles' in his way to shut down the US torture sights.