United States v. George Tenet: A Federal Indictment for Torture
133 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2016 Last revised: 8 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2015
This article examines the criminal liability of George Tenet, who served as the Director of Central Intelligence during the early years in the War on Terror. Tenet was responsible for the development of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. These techniques, which included waterboarding, beatings, stress positions, and sleep deprivation, caused severe physical and psychological harm to detainees. Tenet personally authorized the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on “high value” detainees who were held at CIA black sites. He also received detailed reports documenting the interrogation sessions. The article proposes a federal criminal indictment of Tenet based on the torture of four detainees: Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh. Tenet is charged with conspiracy to commit torture and four separate counts of torture under U.S. law. The indictment references evidence that appears in the December 2014 report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and other declassified sources. Under the guise of enhanced interrogation techniques, Tenet subjected the detainees to horrific treatment. They were, in fact, tortured.
Keywords: torture, accountability, war on terror, international law, human rights law, criminal law, foreign affairs law, CIA
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