Friday, October 12, 2007
Please, Just Tell Me What I Did
C.I.A. Watchdog Becomes Subject of C.I.A. Inquiry - On order of Director Michael V. Hayden the CIA is investigating its own inspector general, the agency's internal watchdog. The inspector general, led by John Helgerson, has stirred resentment among CIA operatives with its aggressive investigation of CIA detention and interrogation programs. Operatives kicked off the investigation with a brief interrogation of Mr. Helgerson. Helgerson had nothing to say during the first week of the inquiry, when he stood at attention for the entire seven days without sleep or food. He really began to open up in week two, when the interrogators dropped his cell temperature to 33 degrees and confined him in a coffin size box, from which he was periodically removed for a succession of recreational underwater swims. Each swim lasted just long enough to let Mr. Helgerson enjoy the sensation of drowning before he returned to his freezing coffin. By the end of the second week Helgerson had confessed to peddling pornographic pictures of his granddaughter over the Internet, kicking a neighbor's dog when he was ten years old, and robbing a string of banks in the Upper Midwest during the 1970's as part of the infamous Port Huron Provos. The disoriented Helgerson was attempting to cooperate, but he just couldn't seem to get with the program. In week three the investigators brought the inquiry to a successful conclusion with a surprise tactic. By raising Helgerson's cell temperature to 40 degrees they created a climate of trust and openness, or at least a climate in which Helgerson's brain could function well enough to figure out what they wanted to hear. Within hours, Helgerson had signed a statement confessing to treason - more specifically espionage by virtue of leaking classified information concerning legal advice provided by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. Helgerson also confessed to the attempted murder of the Agency's legal experts on torture, John Yoo and Steven Bradbury. Details of a third confession in which Helgerson claimed sole responsibility for the disappearance of Amelia Earhart were not released, however Helgerson did confirm that he had consented to severe interrogation and that at no time had the operatives crossed the line into torture.