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tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  December 6, 2019 12:30am-1:01am GMT

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our top story: us president donald trump has hit back after democrats in the house of representatives announced articles of impeachment against him. democrats say the president abused his power for personal political gain. but donald trump says he will win a trial in the senate. there's been a sharp rise in the number of cases of measles worldwide. the world health organization says nearly 10 million people were infected last year by a disease which can be easily prevented by vaccination. and this story is trending on new zealand's national airline says it is trialling edible coffee cups in a bid to reduce the amount of waste on board its planes. the cups are made from vanilla —flavoured biscotti. that's all. stay with bbc world news.
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i will be back at the top of the hour with more newsday with sharanjit. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk with stephen sackur. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. it's 18 years since al-qaeda's 9/11 attack on the united states. the impact still reverberate even as memories fade. the us government responded by adopting a counterterrorist strategy embracing enhanced interrogation, that was a euphemism for torture. we know what happened because of the work of my guest today, danieljones, who led a six—year investigation into the caa's darkest secrets. now his story has been turned into a movie, but did america long ago sees to care?
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—— cease. danieljones, welcome to hardtalk. thank you for having me. a film has just come out betraying your battle to write this report into what the caa did and it's counter tourism operations up 9/11 —— cia. it was sometime ago, but is it you like unfinished business to you? in so many ways, the terms of how the united states responded to 9/11 from a policy perspective on the war on terror is still unfolding and impacting how we buy these battles today with isis and other foreign adversaries. but this report of
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yours, it was sort of six years in the writing and in the battling to get at least a summary of it published and before the eyes of the american public. but that has happened. and i just american public. but that has happened. and ijust wonder whether you feel actually some elements of this story remain unsold? absolutely. so it was actually a seven year journey. it absolutely. so it was actually a seven yearjourney. it began after it came to light that the cia had destroyed interrogation videotapes of detainees in its custody and that they had destroyed his tapes in 2005 over the objections of cia leadership, over objections of the bush white house. when it came to light into thousand and seven, the senate intelligence committee where i worked because they brought investigation into what would have been on those dates. at the same time, the bush administration launched a criminal investigation into the caa for the destruction, and you may remember the commission upon —— report. the enquiry basically said the report had engaged in destruction of evidence when they destroyed those dates. new, despite the fact the tapes were
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destroyed, you gathered information that told you pretty clearly what had happened. particularly in the interrogation of one senior al-qaeda operative, abu zu baydah, interrogation of one senior al-qaeda operative, abu zubaydah, he was subjected to some of the most brutal forms of interrogation. did you from the beginning have no doubt in your own mind that this amounted to torture ? own mind that this amounted to torture? well, the tasking that i was provided with was with the senators on that committee to find out the facts. and eventually the report provided 6.3 million pages of their own classified records on this programme. far beyond abu zubaydah. far beyond. more than the hundreds of detainees you are aware of. at least 119 detainees and we suspect there are more. 6.3 million pages is an unprecedented document production from the cia, that is equivalent to two urban library is of material. we had tens of thousands of pages just on abu zubaydah, the first cia
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detainees captured in 2003 alone. on abu zubaydah, the first cia detainees captured in 2003 alonelj suppose the question many will want to reflect upon is your reaction, when you sawjust how graphic and how detailed the caa account of its own torture techniques was. —— cia. we were surprise the tapes were destroyed. we suspected the written records will not be as robustly detailed, but in fact they were. that is because the people conducting these interrogations that the detention site wanted cia take orders dinner exact at what they we re orders dinner exact at what they were doing, right? they weren't being hung out to dry. they weren't ashamed of it, they were just following orders. so what we got in the thousands of pages were minute
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by minute details of what was happening to abu zubaydah, this first detainees. 6:06 p.m., brought into a small compensate box. 6:30pm, attached to a water board. 6:32 p-m-, attached to a water board. 6:32 p.m., waterboarding begins. that was the type of detail in these records. and in the course of cataloguing all of this, it seems you portrayed to your senate committee a picture of a man who was almost literally broken. yes. he became, described as a guy who essentially would come at the click of a fingers like a dog, such was the degree his mind had been destroyed. and he had over days and days been held in the most horrifying conditions. that's right. he was originally captured in spring. and april to earlyjune he was interrogated largely by the vertebral bureau of investigation agents using law enforcement techniques, really —— federal bureau of investigation. and in mid june he was put into cia investigation. they went to the department ofjustice, president bush, and they try to get permission to use what would become
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enhanced interrogation techniques, which you rightfully said is a euphemism for torture. it took 47 days to get that policy approval and legal approval. during a period of time abu zubaydah was in a small cage and he wasn't asked any questions stop the first day of interrogations using these techniques, within six hours abu zubaydah techniques, within six hours abu zu baydah was what techniques, within six hours abu zubaydah was what avoided. waterboarding became a feature of the systemic abuse. that's right. coloured sheikh mohammed was perhaps the most famous recipient of waterboarding, multiple occasions. —— khalid sheikh mohammed. i want to introduce a clip of the report, where you are betrayed by adam driver. it captures the passion that you have about why this torture you are revealing is utterly counter—productive. and it is known
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as iet. everything they attribute to iet they already had, from foreign sources, other governments and other methods was claim they save lives but what they did was make it impossible to prosecute a mass murderer like asm because of what we did to him. if it ever came out in a court of law the case is over. the quy court of law the case is over. the guy planned 9/11 and instead of going to do the rest of his life the cia turned him into a recruiting tool for a war we are still fighting! it's a movie. it's fiction ina way, fighting! it's a movie. it's fiction in a way, but it is based upon you. were you really as completely impassioned as adam driver's performance would suggest? it's important to reiterate i was just a starter on the committee was that if the senators who i worked for who are responsible for this report, ultimately and responsible for signing onto it and making it public. they were all passionate about not only documenting this part of us history, but exposing it. we
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wa nt to of us history, but exposing it. we want to make sure it doesn't happen again, and two, for the united states to be able to claim some sense of moral authority and human rights sphere. let's think about what your report's impact was in the united states. you insist that not only does it reveal the degree to which the cia conducted torture, then lied about it and covered it up, but you then lied about it and covered it but you go then lied about it and covered it up, but you go further and you say it is clear that the torture didn't work and the cia knew that it didn't work. that is somewhat more controversial. explained to me how you can be so sure that the evidence shows none of this enhanced derogation yielded useful information —— interrogation? derogation yielded useful information -- interrogation? we started with what the caa said, what did the cia told the department of justice about the effectiveness of these techniques —— the cia. why
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they told president bush these techniques were necessary. the basically came back to these ten plots and captures where cia said without torture we would not have got a without torture we would not have gota man without torture we would not have got a man called is a pity, we would not have got the second waiter raised plots against the united states. so we took the cia at their word and we use those 6.3 million pages of records together and build the story. we looked at 20 cases altogether, 20 of the most frequently cited cases that said without eits this person would not have been caught or captured. and in all 20 cases it was not that eits we re all 20 cases it was not that eits were responsible, but other intelligence methods from people governments provided. some of these key suspects are claimed to have given us vital information, and the extent to which that vital in basecase and —— vital information
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came, was unknowable, some have said. this dies me notes. the department ofjustice said these techniques are necessary because we cannot obtain this intelligence any other way. so they called it otherwise unavailable intelligence, which means cia can't get it from a human source or from reading your e—mail or pulling up your phone calls out of the sky. they need to torture in order to get this data. and they provided examples to president bush and the department of justice in congress. they said without torture we would never have learned about ho apr. so we went through caa records and we set how did you learn about him we learn about it in 2001. in regards to the second wave plight, without ksm, without waterboarding, we would never have stopped the plot without ksm. but he was captured in march,
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2003. there was a white house press statement about a description of a second wave plight in 2002. the timelines do not match. so you're saying we don't need to pin it on himself but repeatedly over the yea rs himself but repeatedly over the years the caa lied and lied and lied, not only about what they did but also them covering it up, and it seems you feel that they went out of their way to intimidate you to try to close down your investigation —— cia. even at one point they accuse you of hacking into their computers and taking unauthorised information, there was even talk of a criminal prosecution against you. so ijust wonder upon reflection have you com pletely lost wonder upon reflection have you completely lost faith in the cia, the intelligence agency, notjust them but perhaps going forward? let's be clear. the cia is like any other organisation. it has people with different ideas and opinions. many of the same people that should be said, who were involved when you are investigating a steel actually
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in very senior positions in the cia today. that's absolutely true. and one of the two people at the department ofjustice who were responsible for the unlawful destruction of these tapes was a man called jose rodriguez who wrote a book promoting the torture programme, and a woman named gina hassell, director of the cia. she is now running the cia and withdrew a nomination process when she was asked many questions about enhanced interrogation, she said we no longer used torture and she also refused to draw any moral conclusions about what had happened —— gina haspel was not what does that tell you? we are ina not what does that tell you? we are in a crisis of accountability in the united states right now. when you look at this programme, even that failure to detect 9/11, no—one was held accountable for that, i detainee died in 2003, no—one was held accountable for that. the person they identified as the most accountable for that debt was suggested that he should get a performance bonus at the end of the
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year. when it was concluded that the cia had provided misinformation to president bush, no—one was held accountable. but to that extent then, we've talked about the exhaustive work you did over a six yearspan, exhaustive work you did over a six year span, isn't the stark truth that that report, when it came out failed to have the impact that you hoped and expected it for? and frankly has already been forgotten? there is no doubt about that. we we re there is no doubt about that. we were front—page news all over the world for 2h hours. in the next day we weren't. and it was gone. and that's importance of storytelling in film, with scott burns, the writer and director of the film the report, it was really important to bring this dry government document to a wider audience was an adam driver, and john how did this on a shoestring budget for the ability not only the american people but they were needed to know the story. it but let's stick with this idea of the american people needing to know, they did know a lot from very early
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on and the torture memos, when the memos from the white house came out which show the degree to which president bush in the white house tea m president bush in the white house team had authorised the enhanced interrogations and said, don't worry about the geneva conventions, we've squared it off, you're not going to be doing anything illegal, the american public is known for an awful long time about the way in which this chain of command for this policy went to the very top and yet let us be honest, they don't seem to really care. well, to be fair, this is not a partisan report on what the report shows is that the cia misled the bush administration and the department ofjustice. the bush administration and the department of justice. example, these torture memos say the techniques will be used in a leased coercive method and detail his will a lwa ys coercive method and detail his will always be given an opportunityjust to talk without being subjected to torture. that is completely inconsistent with what we found in cia records. abu zubaydah was what aborted within six hours. ksm was
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tortured in on his first day. you can forensically outline what happened and why it contravenes international law but i come back to the american people and actually, i'm going to quote to you words from some of the democrats who at the time of 9/11, let's forget republicans who were very much inclined to go for an aggressive counterterrorist policy, but their president but even democrats at the time were absolutely saying, take the gloves. we do whatever it takes to stop these terrorists. here is nancy pelosi after 9/11, she said no more business as usual. we have to do things that historically we haven't wanted to do to protect ourselves and your own chief of the senate intelligence committee, jay rockefeller, who you worked for in the early years, he said when asked if khalid sheikh mohammed said he should be sent to countries without torture laughed and said he wouldn't rule it out, he said i will take
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nothing of the that man is concerned because he has killed hundreds of americans. that is the context, that is the way america has seen this story from the very beginning. well, i would say, again, people would talk tough after 9/11, they wanted our intelligence professionals to do what works and what is effective and going through 6.3 million pages of records, torture does not work, it leads to false answers and leads to basically unreliable information from these detainees and we found time and time again the best way to get reliable information was reportedly. why then, if you are so sure the evidence points to torture frankly being a waste of time and resources , frankly being a waste of time and resources, why does torture happen, not just as we've resources, why does torture happen, notjust as we've recorded historically in the united states during this period but in so many countries around the world. are all of these different intelligence agencies and security systems utterly and completely wrong? it's absolutely a plague that is affected humanity for a very long time but we
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know it doesn't work, the science is not there. the cia themselves... . so everybody, one can list governments and regimes around the world and without being pejorative, you can talk about what happens in china and russia and countries in the middle east of many different stripes, right around the world we know from extensive independent investigation torture is used to extra ct investigation torture is used to extract information. i put it to you again, all of these experts in counterterrorist completely and utterly wrong? what you get a false confessions or propaganda. if i torture you and i want you to say that you don't work for the bbc, you work for, i don't know, apple computers, i will torture when up and you will say yes, i work for apple computers are not the bbc. you get exa ctly apple computers are not the bbc. you get exactly what you want but you don't get reliable intelligence. look at ksm, they water boarded ksm 183 times and he gave up a pot of african—americans in montana who
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we re african—americans in montana who were going to start forest fires which was all fabricated. that is one of the successes which interrogators would say we disrupted the spot, it never happened. what is happening now? you work in advocacy and are concerned with human rights and are concerned with human rights and accountability and good governance in the united states so what is happening in the counterterrorist element of the national security institutions in america today? well, i think there are america today? well, i think there a re lessons america today? well, i think there are lessons learned from what happened post—9/11. when this report came out, something called the mccain feinstein act, john mccain, republican, said we were never going to detain people in secret again, every detainee will get international committee of the red cross access, all interrogation techniques across the us government regardless of if you are the cia or the fbi is to adhere to these minimal standards so that is a law thatis minimal standards so that is a law that is ineffective. i right now we recognise that our moral authority isa recognise that our moral authority is a real weight and it's notjust what we do, military perspective but
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it's how we carryjohn mccain himself said part of the reason of getting this all out was to reclaim our moral authority so we could be a country that inspires people. john mccain did say that betty never became president, donald trump did and he made plain during his 2016 campaign that he believed torture work, he was voted into office. i come back to this point that for all of your frankly fine words, the american people are not where you are. well, there has been a big cia propaganda effort to talk about this programme and promote torture as an effective thing. amazon, who did the film, did some polling and they said, before you watch the film, how many of you think that torture tucked after 9/11 were effective? something like 57%. after the film wa nts something like 57%. after the film wants people were educated about the contents wants people were educated about the co nte nts of wants people were educated about the contents of the actual senate report it went to 13%. so i really think this shows that education is needed, right? the american people need to know the fact. there is a morality issue with torture and you could say
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i don't want to torture because it's immoral but what hope people don't realise is that it is massively ineffective and wants people learn those lessons are supported torture will drop dramatically. those lessons are supported torture will drop dramaticallylj those lessons are supported torture will drop dramatically. i imagine, i'm looking at what mccain said a new and the movie with mccain's work word and he said even if, and he doesn't believe it, even if torture worked, it is not who we are. what does it do to our reputation and our image of moral authority? yet again it seems to me a lot has happened since even the death ofjohn mccain. donald trump's white house, donald trump's way of dealing with national security issues and institutions, the he deals with cia, with the pentagon, all suggest to me that america right now as, at its top leadership, is a set of attitudes which are very far removed from the ones you'd like to see. yet we haven't brought back torture, right? we haven't seen other policies... as far as we know. i think these would
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be asa far as we know. i think these would be as a legal now, it would be reaffirmed. gina haskell has said publicly will never bring back this programme. trump himself said he spoke with the department of defence who said you get more with beer and a cigarette then you get with torture. trump believes that now. do you think he really does? i will taken at his word on this and we haven't brought torture programmes. what about accountability? you talk about it a lot in the course of this interview you refer to one particular interview individual. gul rakhman, who was killed as a direct result of this torture, died of hypothermia, left overnight after having been doused with cold water. no—one has ever been charged with any crime in connection with his death, nobody has been held to account. will that ever change? well, i have a long arc of the moral history as the universe is long. i
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think is more information comes out, that in itself is a form of accountability. getting out this report was a huge battle which scott burns chronicles in this film but getting it out and showing it publicly is a form of accountability. gina haskell as cia director, she was involved in this programme, the same committee that voted to endorse this report and make it public also approved her as cia director so the world is complicated place. the back that she is in charge suggests it's unlikely there will be the movement to pull accountability and i want to end with one more thought. there are limits to what you could achieve in your report because there was an extraordinary area of secret activity that was off—limits to you. i'm thinking of extraordinary rendition and what happened in those third—party interrogation centres run by, for example, the pakistani ts, run by, for example, the pakistani ‘s, the egyptians, the libyans who took prisoners, sent to them by the united states and did god knows what
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to them. will we ever learn the truth about that? i think it's highly unlikely we will see a us government report in that activity and of this report we did is nearly 7000 pages and as 38,000 footnotes to the cia's own records and is just about these 119 cia detainees, we did not go into rendition and did not go into these other issues we discussed but i do think anyone is going to look at that 6.3 million pages again that our... so that is a black hole which will never see light. | black hole which will never see light. i think black hole which will never see light. i think it's very unlikely, yes. and when, you said you were disappointed when the summary of the report came out and it had so little impact. does that mean today, you ultimately are in a state of somewhat, if not despair, depression about what this entire episode says about what this entire episode says about the united states of america? i'm very proud of what the senators did this report. think it matters. i think the reason why we don't see
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the us engaging these practices right now is because of senate report. i continue to believe that a cts report. i continue to believe that acts matter and truth matters and we are ina acts matter and truth matters and we are in a very strange time right now and you'll you can keep doing is moving forward in a way you think is responsible and hopefully the world will catch up with us in this regard. danieljones, thank you very much. thank you, it's been a pleasure. hello there. the week is ending on an unsettled note. in fact, it's going to be somewhat of a weather rollercoaster ride as we get one day wet and windy and the following day, a little bit calmer with some sunshine. friday looks like being one of those windier, wetter days as we'll have low pressure in charge.
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lots of isobars on the charts, a weather front too indicating outbreaks of rain but what you will notice, it's going to be very mild for the time of year, particularly across england and wales as we start to pick up our breeze from the south—west. so a blustery start to friday, outbreaks of rain across southern areas eventually clearing away. start to see a bit of sunshine developing but lots of showers into the north and the west, some of these spreading further south and east through the day. a blustery day like i mentioned pretty much everywhere but it will be a mild one for central and southern areas 11—13 degrees. something a bit fresher pushing into scotland, that's because the winds will be switching to a north—westerly and as we head through friday night, it stays blustery, particularly across northern areas with further showers although there'll be some drier interludes with a few clear spells but because of the breeze, it shouldn't be a cold night, temperatures no lower than 5 or 6 degrees for most of us. so into the weekend, well, the start of the weekend actually doesn't look too bad because we've
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got this bump of high pressure that'll settle things down before the next wet and windy spell moves in from the saturday night. so it could be a dry start of a central and eastern areas, a bit of sunshine, variable cloud, and i think that's how the day will pan out, mainly dry with variable cloud and some sunshine but these weather fronts will arrive across the north—west of the country, increasing wind, outbreaks of rain for northern ireland and into scotland, maybe jsut one or two showers putting into western england and wales. temperatures again, most of us double figures just about. and then through saturday night, the next frontal system moves through to bring a spell of wet and windy weather and as we head on into sunday, well, it looks like the main rain band should clear the south and east through the morning and then it's a largely bright day, sunny spells and blustery showers, most of these in the north and the west where they will be quite heavy at times, maybe some wintriness over the higher ground, as again, it's going to be quite cool across the north, single—figure values here, about 10—12 degrees across the south and east. and then it turns very windy later on sunday, especially in the south—west, a spell of severe gales for a time
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as that low pressure clears away. as we head on into monday, another bump of high pressure which should best settle things down so it should be largely dry with some sunny spells, lighter winds too before the next frontal system moves in on tuesday to bring another round of wet and windy weather.
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i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines: the democrats move forward with their impeachment inquiry against the us president, saying he's abused his power. it's a hoax. it's a big, fat hoax. today i am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment. it's a hoax. it's a big, fat hoax. the number of measles deaths around the world reaches a new high. it's a preventable disease, so what's going wrong? i'm lewis vaughanjones in london. also in the programme: in moscow, we report on the major international investigation involving two russian nationals in one of the largest cases of cyber theft.


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