FBI Stalled in Addressing Prisoner Abuse

Report says agents didn't participate in torture, but knew of it
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2008 1:56 PM CDT
FBI Director Robert Mueller prepares testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 23, 2008, before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI.    (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – FBI agents dragged their feet in reporting torture inflicted on prisoners by Defense contractors and CIA employees, an an internal FBI report shows, but agents themselves generally did not participate in torture. FBI brass, however, was scolded for not providing more guidance or “pressing harder” to curb other agencies’ actions, the Washington Post reports.

The inspector general found that agents were confused about drawing the line in what tactics amounted to torture. Furthermore, the bureau didn’t set out a mandatory reporting standard until mid-2004—a month after news of Guantanamo abuses has broken. The release of today’s report, which says more than 300 Gitmo, Iraq, or Afghanistan agents knew of abuse, was delayed for years by Justice.