CBS Touts Gitmo Torture Charges; Ignores ACLU Showing CIA Agent Photos to Terror Suspects

Jeff Glor, CBS Early in Saturday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Jeff Glor reported: "Tonight there are new allegations of torture by the CIA. Newsweek magazine is reporting that a secret 2004 report reveals that interrogators used mock executions to intimidate prisoners."

Glor went on to talk to Newsweek reporter Mark Hosenball, who claimed: "And in the case of one detainee that we know about, somebody named Abdel-Rahman al Nashiri, who was an alleged architect of the USS Cole bombing, this report alleges that at some point CIA interrogators, whether contractors or CIA staff officers, brandished a gun in front of this guy in an effort to frighten him and also took a power drill in front of him and turn turned it on and went ‘bzzz,’ implying therefore that they were going to use it on him."

Meanwhile, neither the Saturday nor Friday Evening News programs made any mention of reports that ACLU attorneys defending Guantanamo detainees illegally showed terror suspects photos of CIA personnel in an effort to implicate interrogators in acts of torture. On Friday, the Washington Post reported: "The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs of CIA personnel, including covert officers, were unlawfully provided to detainees charged with organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to sources familiar with the investigation."

Later in the Saturday broadcast, Glor introduced another story about the possible release of a Guantanamo detainee in the wake of torture allegations: "One of the youngest detainees at the Guatanamo Bay prison could be returning this weekend to Afghanistan, where he was arrested seven years ago for allegedly throwing a grenade at American soldiers. Mohammed Juwad’s big break came when a U.S. military lawyer made a highly unusual choice."

Correspondent Lara Logan described that "unusual choice": "Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld could not keep silent....He was a military prosecutor in Guantanamo until he decided to speak out against the corruption of justice he found there." A clip was played of Vandeveld claiming: "Silence in the face of evil is collaboration with evil."

Vandeveld went on to argue: "Our fighting men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way, they’re not fighting for rigged, kangaroo trials." Logan added: "That’s exactly the kind of trial Colonel Vandeveld says they were getting at Guantanamo. And he should know, he was the lead prosecutor in seven cases."

After Vandeveld found records in which Juwad claimed to be tortured, Logan explained: "He couldn’t ignore the violations of law he discovered, critical evidence that was missing, lost, or withheld....That led Vandeveld to make the most agonizing decision of his life. In September 2008, he resigned from the military commissions." Logan then asked Vandeveld: "So your conscience is clear?" He replied: "My conscience is not clear. I prosecuted Mohammed Juwad for too long. I participated in the commissions for too long."

At the end of the story, Logan briefly mentioned the Pentagon’s response that: "Vandeveld’s statements are proven to be unsubstantiated." The report concluded with Vandeveld declaring: "If you do the right thing you will forever be grateful you did it, no matter what happens to you."

Here is a full transcript of Logan’s report:

6:46PM TEASE:

JEFF GLOR: Up next on tonight’s CBS Evening News, a young Guantanamo detainee could be leaving for home after a military prosecutor chose to help the defense.

6:49PM SEGMENT:

JEFF GLOR: One of the youngest detainees at the Guatanamo Bay prison could be returning this weekend to Afghanistan, where he was arrested seven years ago for allegedly throwing a grenade at American soldiers. Mohammed Juwad’s big break came when a U.S. military lawyer made a highly unusual choice. Our chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan has more.

DARREL VANDEVELD: Information about how he was captured and executed.

LARA LOGAN: Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld could not keep silent.

VANDEDVELD: Silence in the face of evil is collaboration with evil.

LOGAN: He was a military prosecutor in Guantanamo until he decided to speak out against the corruption of justice he found there.

VANDEVELD: Our fighting men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way, they’re not fighting for rigged, kangaroo trials.

LOGAN: That’s exactly the kind of trial Colonel Vandeveld says they were getting at Guantanamo. And he should know, he was the lead prosecutor in seven cases. When Darrel arrived there in may 2007 he was fresh from the battle field in Iraq.

VANDEVELD: I wanted to punish them. I wanted vengeance.

DAVID FRAKT: I would characterize him as a true believer.

LOGAN: Major David Fract was the defense attorney in the case that would ultimately compel Darrel to risk everything. Mohammed Juwad was accused of throwing a grenade at two U.S. special forces soldiers in 2002, injuring them severely. At the time, this Afghan boy was 16 or 17 years old. His case was prosecuted aggressively by Vandeveld. So it was clear to you that he was guilty.

VANDEVELD: I had no doubt in my mind, based on what I received, that he would be convicted.

LOGAN: But a chance discovery would reveal that important evidence in the case had been withheld.

VANDEVELD: I saw something that floored me.

LOGAN: In the evidence file of an unrelated trial, Vandeveld discovered Juwad had made a statement to military investigators, a statement that was backed up the U.S. guard force at his prison.

VANDEVELD: He had been hooded and slapped, that he had been shackled, hooded, and thrown down stairs.

LOGAN: And you knew nothing about this as the prosecutor in his case?

VANDEVELD: I knew nothing about the existence of the statement.

LOGAN: How is that possible?

VANDEVELD: The evidence was in a state of chaos.

LOGAN: By law, Vandeveld had to share his discovery with the defense. He now believed Juwad was tortured, even though he had no intelligence to offer and he did not believe Juwad could be convicted.

FRAKT: I think that he was just as appalled by what he found in those records as I was.

LOGAN: Frakt says that discovery changed Darrel Vandeveld forever. He couldn’t ignore the violations of law he discovered, critical evidence that was missing, lost, or withheld.

VANDEVELD: The rules are applicable to everyone. There is no exception. There are no different forms of justice.

LOGAN: That led Vandeveld to make the most agonizing decision of his life. In September 2008, he resigned from the military commissions. So your conscience is clear?

VANDEVELD: My conscience is not clear. I prosecuted Mohammed Juwad for too long. I participated in the commissions for too long.

LOGAN: The Pentagon, in a statement to CBS News, said ‘Vandeveld’s statements are proven to be unsubstantiated.’ He received a poor evaluation report, which effectively ends his military career.

VANDEVELD: If you do the right thing you will forever be grateful you did it, no matter what happens to you.

GLOR: That’s Lara Logan reporting.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC