Why won’t the CIA admit it tortured detainees?

We talk to ex-CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, and ask Bangladesh’s deputy FM if the country has an ISIL problem.

Where does the US draw the line on what some consider torture?

In this episode of UpFront, we speak to former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden. In the Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan examines how money and racism undermine US democracy. And in a special interview, we ask Bangladesh’s state minister for foreign affairs if the country has an ISIL problem. 

Headliner: Ex-CIA director on torture and drones 

When the executive summary of a 6,700-page US Senate Intelligence report on CIA interrogation techniques was released last year, many in the US and around the world expressed outrage. 

The 500-page summary highlighted how CIA interrogation practices under the George W Bush administration were “brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others”. As federal judges decide whether to declassify the full report, did the CIA break the law in terms of torture? 

In this week’s Headliner, Mehdi Hasan speaks to General Michael Hayden, former CIA director and author of Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror. Hayden discusses the CIA’s use of “aggressive” interrogation methods and defends the US drone programme. 

Watch more from Mehdi Hasan’s interview with Michael Hayden in which they discuss Edward Snowden and the NSA’s mass surveillance programme. 

United States: Democracy or oligarchy? 

The United States is often described as the “greatest democracy” in the world, but when one looks at where the US stands on press freedom, campaign finance and recent restrictions on voting rights, some suggest the country might be more of an oligarchy.

In this week’s Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan examines how money and racism undermine US democracy. 

Does Bangladesh have an ISIL problem? 

In recent months, Bangladesh has seen a surge in attacks claimed by ISIL. As authorities try to tackle the growing domestic threat, does the country have an ISIL problem? 

And, after several bloggers inside the country were hacked to death for expressing secular views, what is the future of democracy and human rights in the country? In a special interview, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam who defends the country’s young democracy. 

Editor’s note: This interview was conducted prior to the latest developments in Bangladesh.  

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