HRF issued a release about Mark and two former FBI agents filed an amicus brief, urging the Supreme Court to hear a case about possible constitutional violations committed by FBI agents during an overseas counterterrorism operation. Mark, Don Borelli and Joe Navarro, from the FBI said: “FBI agents are required to adhere to the Constitution whenever and wherever they carry out their work.”
The Navy News Service reported on the new FLETC Counterterrorism Operations Training Facility and the manner in which NCIS was having to train personnel to deploy into combat zones. Mark underscored the importance of the new facilities and said “High-risk operations are becoming the norm for agents around the world.”
Bill Dedman wrote about Mark and others speaking publicly for the first time about the efforts waged to try to stop coercive and degrading detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay. Mark told NBC that coercive interrogations trained confessions and made left them unable to prosecute terrorist suspects. Mark explained to NBC News “We always said, there are no secrets, just delayed disclosures” and CITF personnel were told their grandchildren would ask them what they did during the war, so “We wanted our folks to be proud.” Mark described the investigative process CITF used to investigate terrorists.
Bill Dedman reported on the torture of Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani and Mark and the CITF’s battles to try to prevent his torture. Dedman described the SERE tactics that were used on the prisoner and approvals by the Secretary of Defense. Mark told NBC “You’re talking illegal acts here. The secretary of defense can’t change the law. One of the things that we told our personnel was the fact that during Nuremberg, Nazi war criminals were actually tried for acts that were perpetrated by them under orders of their superiors.” Mark also told NBC that “The techniques made some detainees unprosecutable.”
McClatchy reported on Mark’s reaction after a CIA lawyer came to Guantanamo to explain how the CIA was implementing their interrogation torture program. McClatchy quoted from an email Mark wrote saying “This looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are mad of” and Someone needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”
The Associated Press and Yahoo News announced the release of a study of violent extremists that Mark was the program manager of at the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies. Mark noted that the interview of former detainees suggested that treatment behind bars was a factor in keeping them from rejoining extremist groups. Mark said: “The fact they were treated with dignity and humanely was a positive influence on them once they are in custody and continued to be a positive influence years later.” Mark recommended a more “holistic view” as countries evaluate their counterterrorism plans.
The NYU School of Law announced Mark would be one of the panelists at the Center On Law And Security.
Amid the debate over the threat posed by homegrown Islamic terrorism, CFR Associate Staff Writer Jonathan Masters interviewed Mark. He told CFR “A more aware and educated police officer or agent, who understands and is trained in community-engagement strategies, can certainly go a long way in curbing violent extremism.” Mark pointed out that the Muslim American community is very engaged in trying to help law enforcement thwart terrorism and that tips from that community were the source of information that led to potential terrorist plots in forty-eight our of 120 cased studied.
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted Mark and Micheal Gelles to address the challenges of fighting radicalization and explain the deradicalization and counterterrorism policies of five countries visited while conducting study of violent extremists.
Fox News reporter Bill Hemmer interviewed Mark about the Washington Navy Yard active shooter rampage. Mark explained the Navy Yard is a business center and explained the incident was an insider-threat issue, not a terrorist incident.