CIA Deceived Government on Torture Program According to Senate Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - A classified US Senate probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program found that the agency purposely deceived the US Justice Department to attain legal justification for use of torture techniques, according to a new report.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Bush administration’s detention and interrogation program – active from September 11, 2001 to 2006 – found that the CIA used interrogation methods not approved by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Ultimately, the Committee found that the “Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA,” McClatchy news service reported.
“The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” the report found, according to McClatchy.
The Senate’s probe, which yielded a yet-unreleased 6,300-page report, also found that the CIA distorted how many detainees it held in “black site” prisons throughout the world and how many were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” many amount to torture. The CIA has claimed only about 30 detainees fell under the mercy of such methods.
“(The CIA is) trying to minimize the damage. They are trying to say it was a very targeted program, but that’s not the case,” said a former US official familiar with the Senate Committee’s four-year, US$40 million investigation.
McClatchy’s anonymous sources say the Senate report outlines 20 main conclusions about the post-9/11 torture program that – the investigation found – intentionally evaded White House, congressional, and intra-agency oversight.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s chairwoman, quickly condemned McClatchy’s report on the classified conclusions of her committee’s investigation.
“If someone distributed any part of this classified report, they broke the law and should be prosecuted,” Feinstein said in a prepared statement. “The committee is investigating this unauthorized disclosure and I intend to refer the matter to the Department of Justice.”
McClatchy responded to Feinstein’s threat, asserting journalistic privilege and the public’s right to know in the face of persistent government secrecy and conceit.
“We are disappointed that Sen. Feinstein plans to seek a Justice Department investigation of our journalism,” said James Asher, McClatchy’s Washington bureau chief. “We believe that Americans need to know what the CIA might have done to detainees and who is responsible for any questionable practices, which is why we have vigorously covered this story.”
In justifying its interrogation methods in order to win the Justice Department’s legal approval, the CIA told the Office of Legal Counsel that repeated use of torture like waterboarding “will not be substantial because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several repetitions.”