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Bob Baer defends CIA while John Gibson blurs issue further

Reported by Chrish - December 7, 2005

John Gibson had as a guest on The Big Story 12/5/05 Robert Baer, author of "Sleeping with the Enemy: How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude" , former CIA operative in the middle East, and the basis of the main character in the upcoming movie "Syriana."
Presumably Fox is doing some preemptive damage control before the movie hits theaters nationwide on Friday.

Gibson says there is a "controversy" about whether the CIA does have a string of secret prisons, but isn't it just logical that the CIA would? How else would you do this/

Comment: Note the use of "controversy", leading the viewer to believe the issue is a matter of differing opinions. The fact is, ABC broke the story yesterday with unnamed CIA sources confirming the existence of secret prisons.

Sources tell ABC that the CIA's secret prisons have existed since March 2002 when one was established in Thailand to house the first important al Qaeda target captured. Sources tell ABC that the approval for another secret prison was granted last year by a North African nation.

I'm sure Gibson didn't know it, but his guest was about to confirm it and end the "controversey."

Baer: "Who else is going to do it but the CIA? The military can't do it, it's too big, they don't really have secret prisons. And if that's the policy of the government the CIA's gonna do it. But I'd like to just add, John, if this all goes badly somewhere, people turn against it, let's not blame the CIA. They were instructed by [Bush] and Congress to do this."

Gibson asked Baer if "there's anything inherently wrong with, from your point of view as an operative, with keeping facilities - people want to call them prisons - where you keep these guys under guard and interrogate them, people want to call them prisoners...what other choice is there?"

Baer replies that there's no other choice, but the problem is that, because these operations occur "in the dark" people tend to suspect the worst, and the Secretary of State can't tell us what's going on so it's become a politiccal problem. He goes on to say that they (Europeans decrying this) don't get it, they don't understand it's the only way we can collect information.

Gibson, pussyfooting again, says "We've had these people in these interrogation sites, prisons, whatever people may want to call them, for some time. At what point is the information they're going to give us over many many months and even years..start to be not so useful? That is, they've been out of touch with their people and they don't know much else.

Baer says it is almost immediate that they are useless, because they are from small cells and don't know what the others are doing or even who they are. So there's limited use in these prisons and over time almost no use at all, and when you use hostile interrogations people will make up stories to get it to stop.

Comment: So it's the only way we can get information, but the information is virtually useless. AND it's criminal.
If it is NOT illegal or un-Constitutional then why is the administration hiding it? Why is Gibson downplaying it? Call a prison a prison, torture torture, and stop playing word games.

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