A former CIA officer accused of revving an electric drill near the head of an imprisoned terror suspect has returned to U.S. intelligence as a contractor, training CIA operatives after leaving the agency, the Associated Press has learned.
The CIA officer wielded the bitless drill and an unloaded handgun — unauthorized interrogation techniques — to menace suspected USS Cole bombing plotter Abdal-Rahim al-Nashiri inside a secret CIA prison in Poland in late 2002 and early 2003, according to several former intelligence officials and a review by the CIA’s inspector general.
Adding details to the public portions of the review, the former officials identified the officer as Albert, 60, a former FBI agent of Egyptian descent who worked as a bureau translator in New York before joining the CIA. The former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because many details of the incident remain classified.
The AP is withholding the last names of the two men at the request of U.S. officials for safety reasons.
Human rights critics say the men’s actions were emblematic of harsh treatment and oversight problems in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, amounting to torture that should have been prosecuted.
They also say Albert’s return as a contractor raises questions about how the intelligence community deals with those who used unauthorized interrogation methods.
“The notion that an individual involved in one of the more notorious episodes of the CIA’s interrogation program is still employed directly or indirectly by the U.S. government is scandalous,” said Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Federal prosecutor John Durham is looking at the case — the third time federal authorities have examined it for possible charges.
Now held at Guantanamo Bay prison, Mr. al-Nashiri faces possible terror charges either in a U.S. military commission or in a civilian court, and the outcome of Mr. Durham’s investigation could influence his case, possibly determining whether the detainee was tortured.
After leaving the CIA, Albert returned at some point as a contractor, training CIA officers at a facility in Northern Virginia to handle different scenarios they might face in the field, according to former officials. Albert hasn’t been involved in training CIA employees for at least two years, but a current U.S. official says he continues to work as an intelligence contractor.
A message left with Albert was not returned. It’s not clear when he left the agency and became an intelligence contractor.
The events in Poland were outlined in the CIA inspector general’s special review of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, parts of which were declassified last year. But a full accounting of what happened to Mr. al-Nashiri at the so-called black site and who was involved has never been made public.View Entire Story
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