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Ex-CIA Officer: US Government Presented Gitmo as ‘Holiday Camp’

© AFP 2022 / Files / Paul J. RICHARDSA US flag flies in this April 24 2007 file photo at Camp V inside Camp Delta at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
A US flag flies in this April 24 2007 file photo at Camp V inside Camp Delta at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Sputnik International
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The US government touted the recreational amenities available to National Security Agency (NSA) officials at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, indicating a difficulty in securing enough personnel to serve there, former central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Monday, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released another batch of documents revealing NSA personnel participating in interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, alongside US military and CIA staff.

"The memos describing the holiday camp amenities available at Guantanamo as an inducement for NSA officers to take assignments there are interesting to me," Giraldi stated. "It suggests to me that it was a difficult assignment to fill."

The reluctance of NSA officials to serve at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was "likely due to separation from family and boredom," Giraldi acknowledged.

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However, "It also raises the possibility that many NSA officers, who are essentially desk and computer bound creatures, were not completely comfortable with the ‘enhanced interrogation’ program, which even then was well known to be a euphemism for torture," he pointed out.

Snowden’s revelation of NSA involvement in the interrogation sessions was consistent with the role the agency played in amassing information from tis widespread electronic surveillance activities in the so-called "War on Terror," Giraldi noted.

"No one should be surprised regarding the presence of NSA and CIA personnel at Guantanamo as they would be there to provide supporting information to corroborate ‘confessions,’" he said.

Giraldi said the NSA would also want to have direct access to intelligence derived from interrogated prisoners at Guantanamo that had relevance to their own operations.

"The NSA would also be interested in information obtained from detainees that might impact on their own operations," he added.

The CIA’s internal watchdog "inadvertently" deleted its only copy of the US Senate report on torture techniques employed by the agency in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks — and did so while the Department of Justice was insisting in court that copies were being stored.

However, Giraldi said both CIA and NSA officials could easily have obtained access to other copies of the report had they so desired.

"As other copies of the torture report exist, I am not sure the destruction of the CIA copy is significant," he maintained.

In addition to extracting information from detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, NSA personnel observed and participated in interrogations, The Intercept reported this week.

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