Another report in this week’s New York Times indicates that Baradar is running the show in his interrogation. Only in the past several weeks have American officials finally been given regular, direct contact with Baradar. He has now reportedly begun providing information on the “the inner workings of the Taliban” but still “is not revealing details of Taliban combat operations, yielding little that American commanders would like to know as they prepare for a military operation around Kandahar.” Translation: Baradar is the one deciding what information he will share and what he will withhold.
It would be a different story in a CIA black site. But President Obama shut down the CIA’s black sites and dismantled the agency’s interrogation program. In its place, he created something called the High-Value Interrogation Group (HIG) — a less controversial alternative for questioning senior terrorist leaders like Baradar and KSM. Yet according to multiple media accounts, the HIG has not been deployed to participate in Baradar’s interrogation. Why not? While the HIG is not authorized to use even the most mild enhanced interrogation techniques that could compel Baradar’s cooperation, it was purportedly created for just such a circumstance. If the HIG is not going to being used to question the highest-ranking Taliban leader ever taken into custody, who exactly is it going to interrogate?