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Methods of interrogation must be debated

June 07, 2009|By LLOYD "PETE" WATERS

On Sept. 5, 2015, the world's nations were in great turmoil.

After years of fighting and attacking the U.S. interests around the world, there was increasing speculation that something very horrific was going to happen on America's soil.

Rumors had been circulating for some time that close descendants of Osama bin Laden's group, and other radical elements, had purchased a nuclear bomb of some sort from Korea.

When and how it might be detonated on U.S. soil remained a mystery, but intercepted radio transmissions showed a flurry of activity and decoded messages suggested that an attack on America was imminent.

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Three individuals were apprehended and taken into custody by the FBI as they crossed a Canadian bridge with fake passports. Custody of these individuals would be transferred to the CIA.

While many Americans had for years raised the concern about the unauthorized entry across the Mexican border, six more suspicious people also were apprehended there and turned over to the FBI and then channeled to CIA operatives.

Nine foreign nationals were now in the custody of the CIA. All of the information received suggested a major and deadly event would occur. Many speculated it would happen on the anniversary of Sept. 11. Where the next attack was planned seemed uncertain, but New York and the nation's capital were likely targets.

As the questions were presented to those suspects in custody, they refused to cooperate with the interrogators. They would not provide their names, countries of origin or their intentions on U.S. soil.

As the questioning continued for several days, some of the suspects begin to ask for representation. None of them would provide any information. They were given meals, showers and a place to sleep. They were permitted to keep their religious books.

The U.S. for the past six years did not use any methods of physical torture to coerce information from prisoners. They were stopped when the new president took office in 2009.

The CIA knew a calamity was about to occur, but had little ability to obtain the information from the alleged radicals.

Unknowingly, the CIA had apprehended nine members of four infiltrating cells on U.S. soil who were planning to set off dirty bombs simultaneously in New York, Washington and Los Angeles on the anniversary of Sept. 11 in the year 2015. Twenty other members were not apprehended and proceeding with the well-rehearsed attack.

Very soon, the plan would be implemented.

In CIA custody were two of the four ringleaders and coordinators who had all of the pertinent information regarding this major attack. They knew the entire plan, they knew the location of the dirty bombs and they knew the members of the four cells and each person's responsibility. All of this information was not recorded on paper, but was locked away in the memories of these two terrorists.

How could the CIA extract this information? Many years ago, the country had a great debate about acquiring information through means of torture they concluded were barbaric and unbecoming of a moral government. These tactics no longer existed.

In a few days, the remaining members of the radical cells still would be able to detonate the three dirty bombs in those large cities, with an estimated 3 million people potentially killed or injured.

On Sept. 11, 2015, a moral nation would survive, but millions of its citizens would be dead. Very soon, there would be another discussion about interrogation methods.

Lloyd "Pete" Waters is a Sharpsburg resident

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