Tags: Barack Obama | Trump Administration | elite | terrorists | squad | trump | uncertain

Elite Terrorist Interrogation Squad Faces Uncertain Future Under Trump

Elite Terrorist Interrogation Squad Faces Uncertain Future Under Trump
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2017 09:56 AM

The once promising High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is floundering and facing an uncertain future, experts told Politico in an article published on Tuesday.

HIG, an interagency team formed by the Obama administration in 2009 after the controversy over Bush-era torture practices, is for many the classic Washington example of good intentions coming up short.

The organization was given a dual mission. Its operations side, which includes linguists and cultural experts, can be dispatched quickly worldwide to interrogate high-profile detainees, while its other branch conducts the first federally-funded large-scale scientific research into interrogation techniques in decades.

But the Trump administration has sidestepped HIG even in cases where it appeared obvious its skills would be useful, and sources say the organization is in danger of disbanding under a president who has openly endorsed the torture of terror suspects.

Feeling the frustration of becoming minimalized, two members of the organizations crucial research arm announced their departure in the last week alone, and warned colleagues HIG was in danger.

HIG's struggle to win support throughout the turf-conscious law enforcement and intelligence establishments predates the Trump administration.

"We run the risk of losing this innovative and important instrument of national power," University of Texas at Austin Prof. Bobby Chesney, who has advised the government on detainee policy, told Politico.

"It's such an obviously good idea. But it also treads on the turf of several agencies. What's likely to happen if it doesn't have strong institutional support? It will lose budget and personnel, and no one will push back."

Even though HIG has been deployed dozens of times since its inception and has been used to educate local law enforcement agencies nationwide, it has been sidestepped as the different agencies try to protect their turf.

A cumbersome feature of HIG that has led to its slow demise is that it can be deployed only if the CIA, FBI and DIA all agree to its dispatch.

However, those organizations are not usually willing to do that because it would often mean sidelining each respective agencies' own internal interrogation personnel.

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The once promising High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is floundering and facing an uncertain future, experts told Politico in an article published on Tuesday.
elite, terrorists, squad, trump, uncertain, future
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2017-56-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 09:56 AM
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