Official: US may create terror interrogation unit

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WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is considering creating a special unit of professional interrogators to handle high-value terror suspects, a government official said Saturday.

The recommendation is expected from a government task force on interrogation methods that plans to send some of its findings to the White House on Tuesday.

The official said the panel has concluded that the unit of intelligence and law enforcement agencies should be created. Also, the official said the task force is unsure which agencies should have a role, though the CIA and FBI are expected to be important players.

The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the task force's work and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman, said President Barack Obama "has not reviewed the recommendations of the task force." The spokesman declined to discuss any findings.

The recommendation to create the unit was first reported in Saturday's Wall Street Journal.

The official said the unit's primary purpose would be intelligence-gathering, rather than building criminal cases for prosecution. The structure would depart significantly from such work under the Bush administration, when the CIA had the lead and sometimes exclusive role in questioning al-Qaida suspects.

The task force has not reached a conclusion as to which agency should lead the unit or where it should be based.

Obama signed executive orders when he took office in January calling for government task forces to recommend future policies for interrogating and detaining suspected terrorists. The deadline for those recommendations is Tuesday, but the work will now take more time.

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 07/18/09 - 01:50 pm
Dang! I nominate Jack Bauer

Dang! I nominate Jack Bauer from the show "24" to be the lead interrogator! He can get info out of just about any terrorist! And if he can't, he'll shoot'em!! Word will get around quicly amongst the terrorists that you don't monk around with Jack!

jack 07/18/09 - 02:03 pm
Make sure these BimbObama

Make sure these BimbObama interrogators have a copy of Miranda Rights so they don't screw up when advising the terrorists of their rights before interrogating them. Yeah, right. Intelligence collection-what a laugh.

mad_max 07/18/09 - 02:28 pm
And where do you find people

And where do you find people qualified to interrogate terrorists? I suspect this unit will be comprised of the same CIA folks who did it under the Bush administration.....with the same "rules". I wouldn't be surprise if he didn't organize another unit to assassinate terrorist up close and personal. Isn't it a shame Bush and Cheney couldn't think of this? Of course whatever Obama comes up with will not be scrutinized to carefully by Congress or anyone else. In fact, it will not even be questioned at all.

willistontownsc 07/18/09 - 05:22 pm
Make sure that Scott Roeder

Make sure that Scott Roeder is in there.

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