Mark was interviewed about the origins of the CIA EIT program and discussed the origins of SERE tactics as an interrogation practice.
Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg interviewed Mark for this piece on the flawed intelligence that led to many Guantanamo Bay detainees to remain prisoners. Mark said that the early intelligence was ofter grossly wrong and often based on the sketchiest bit of intelligence. Mark explained that the facts didn’t change, but evolved and could now be interpreted differently.
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 Washington Post reported on a Marine Corps jet that severed a gondola cable, killing 20 in the Italian Alps. Mark testified that his team of investigators found no evidence to support rumors of a “cable care club” consisting of aviators who had flown below gondola cables. Mark also testified about a video camera found in the front cockpit after the incident.
The LA Times reported on a Marine pilot destroying the videotape of a flight where he killed 20 skiers in the Italian Alps.
Mark said the tape was important because it would have provided irrefutable evidence about what happened during the flight. Mark considered his work a criminal investigation from the day it began, on Feb. 4, 1998, even thought a formal order for a criminal investigation wasn’t issued until March 14. The dates were important to prosecutors and defense lawyers because the prosecution contends Ashby should have known an inquiry was underway when he helped get rid of the tape a few days later.
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.”
Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane reporting on a CIA lawyer’s visit to Guantanamo who said the torture laws were vaguely written and that it was basically subject to perception, as well as “If the detainee dies, you’re doing it wrong.” The NY Times described Mark’s and his comments that “That looks like the kinds of stuff Congressional hearings are made of” and “Someone needs to be considering how history will look back at this.”
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.”
Officials from the White House, Justice Department and Congress are considering revisions to the criminal rights afforded defendants upon arrest. The discussions became public when presidential adviser David Axelrod told CNN that the focus is on expanding the “public safety exception that allows a delay in administering” Miranda rights. The question, Axelrod said, is “how elastic is that, and do we need to make any sort of adjustment to it?” According to White House officials, these discussions predated the failed car bombing in Times Square earlier this month. And government officials involved in the discussions say the debate is much broader than the public safety exception to Miranda warnings.
Mark told NPR he was not convinced any kind of change in Miranda was necessary and “it may, in fact, be a solution in search of a problem,” fearing cased could be lost if the Supreme Court overrules the government procedures.