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It is with great honour that this update on the status of enhanced interrogation techniques in Iraq is brought to your esteemed office. Since the US government has been involved in the democratisation of Iraq, it has carried out a number of activities ranging from reconstruction, military and collection of intelligence. Cognizant of the nature of potential informants in the intelligence collection process, the government adopted enhanced interrogation techniques among the military action detainees. This process is characterized by systematic torture of war prisoners by the leading intelligence agencies in the United States, namely, Defence Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and several sections within the Armed Forces. The previous administration authorized this approach towards interrogation in the belief that it was going to help them obtain key leads in the collection of information. However, it is a high time that the office of the President of the United States (POTUS) relooks into the efficacy and repercussions of the approach before progressing with it or repealing, whichever will be most appropriate.
First of all, it is noteworthy that the adoption of enhanced interrogation technique is informed by the Bush administration to fiercely and decisively respond to the 9/11 attack on World Trade Organisation (WTO) Center. The primary objective being to prevent a similar attack in the future in all means possible. From the psychology point of view, it has been argued that by subjecting an informant to some torture the desire to withhold information is lost and makes them divulge some critical leads during the investigation. That notwithstanding, others may be compelled to give false witness just for the fear of further pain or terror. The need to revisit this issue as the highest office in the land is as a result of debate in the public and in other organisations which highlight lack of respect of human rights in the process. It is very necessary to take account of cases where war prisoners in Iraq have been subjected to enhanced interrogation and whether such cases have yielded any meaningful conclusions. Further, the reconstruction and democratization of Iraq has achieved massive milestones to the extent that the method may no longer be necessary. There many other methods of collecting intelligence among the relevant agencies in Iraq, given the fall of Saddam Hussein and establishment of a democratic government following a successful general election in 2014.
Since its approval by the Bush Administration in 2002, the enhanced interrogation approach towards collection of evidence among the prisoners has elicited intense controversy from the US senate and several international human rights protectors such as the United Nations and the Red Cross. From the onset, the executive orders by President Bush has relied on the observation that Al-Qaeda and Taliban captives should not protected under the Common Article 3 of Geneva Convention, which forbids use of mutilation, torture, or cruel treatment . The effect of this order has left unrepairable damages in the lives of detainees whose live have been devastated by the torture meted on them by intelligence agencies and military officials (Apuzzo, Fink, and Risen, n.p.). This conflict in internationally acceptable human rights standards has been the sources of controversy and active debate. Several independent reports from the Senate, United Nations, and the Red Cross have hinted on the possible mistreatment of captives. The foundation upon which the enhanced interrogation program was established neglected the fundamental human rights principles which prohibit the use of torture among the captives. As a result, there have been subsequent revisions and reforms. That notwithstanding, there are some more that can be done in the light of the current political environment in Iraq.
Currently the policy has seen several high profile interventions from the office of POTUS and the senate with the former being the reign of Barrack Obama who signed an executive order calling for closure of Guantanamo Bay where Iraq war captives were being held. The other intervention by the senate indicate that the program of enhanced interrogation has not lived up to the aspirations of enhancing intelligence collection. The select committee on intelligence investigated the efficacy and legality of the program and had its report approved in December 2012. The 6000-page report captured the behaviours of CIA officials and collated various findings in the scholarly inquiries to the enhanced interrogation program used is the war on terror captives. Some of these activities included some deliberate actions by the CIA officials to torture prisoners, and presenting misleading information on its programs. The findings by the senate committee paints a picture that the CIA mismanaged the program and it had more of negative impacts than the alleged gains in pinning down the activities of Al-Qaeda and Taliban warriors (Senate Select Committee 6). Other than the officially declared detainees who were subjected to the interrogation program, the committees observed that there are many other undeclared detainees who were subjected to harsher treatment than what the CIA officials had declared in its earlier reports. In the aspect of program effectiveness, the senators agreed that the program of torturing detainees has not benefit in helping the CIA officials obtain any additional relevant information that could lead to further action. The same treatment was found to have no bearing in securing prolonged cooperation from the prisoners. On the contrary the program only served to damage the reputation of the United States in the international arena. The damaged reputation stripped the United States of its moral authority to advance humane handling of detainees and close-out of cases through prosecutions.
The findings by the senate committee attracted divergent views from the U.S. Republican legislators and intelligence agency officials, with most of them dismissing it as misrepresentation of the facts in the enhanced interrogation program implemented on Iraq war captives. The areas of contentions being completeness and accuracy. Some of the critics cite the possible damage on the reputation of the US foreign policies. From the executive arm, the administration of President Obama appreciated the report notwithstanding the possible damage because it paints a picture of transparency and willingness to make corrections of the mistakes made by previous administrations (Mufson n.p.).
Based on the foregoing motivation and current status of the enhanced interrogation program implemented on the war on terror captives, it is incumbent on your office to review the implementation and ensure that the reputation of the US globally is restored. As part of the advancement of your foreign policy, it is necessary to demonstrate to the world and the interested parties that you promote transparency and have the political goodwill to make right the mistakes of some officials in the president Bush administration and CIA. Therefore, I implore you to review the report from the senate and instead of punishing the officials who erred, pursue an executive order that repeals the President Bush’s and adopt other methods of intelligence gathering because the political environment has since changed Iraq.
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