The long-awaited and controversial report pertaining to the CIA’s Interrogation techniques following the September 2001 attack on the U.S. was released today by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The 499-page report, five years in the making, stated that the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques were much more brutal than was reported to the Senate by that agency and that the CIA had misled the Senate on many aspects of their activities.
The study was conducted after going through and reviewing over 6,000,000 pages of internal documents generated by the CIA.
The CIA, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks used several interrogation techniques, that the report pointed out, were “deeply flawed,” as well as poorly managed. The report revealed the CIA practice of “waterboarding” and standing sleep deprivation occurred as suspected al-Qaeda operatives were shackled with their arms above them that lasted sometimes as long as 180 hours.
The CIA defended its actions saying that the enhanced techniques resulted in information that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. But, the Senate Intelligence report refutes that claim saying that the information gleaned was gathered before these harsh techniques were ever used on al Qaeda operative Hassan Ghul.
CIA Director John Brennan defended the CIA saying, “Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives.”
Brennan called the report “an incomplete and selective picture of what occurred.” He also disagreed with the findings that the CIA misled the Senate investigation saying that the record does not support the study’s inference that the agency systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program.”
President Obama, who supported the declassification of the documents, said in a statement today that the harsh interrogation techniques “did not serve our broader counter-terrorism efforts or our national security interests. Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney countered reports that the CIA misled Former President George W. Bush, saying, “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”
Concerned that Americans personnel and facilities around the world will become targets after the release of the damning report, U.S. military and State Department officials were put on alert and are bracing against a violent backlash.
“Combatant commanders were given guidance to take necessary force protection measures,” said U.S. Marine Corps spokesman Maj. John Caldwell.