Senate Report: CIA Misled Lawmakers, Public On Enhanced Interrogation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate Intelligence Committee released the findings from their three and a half year investigation into the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques Tuesday, saying that the agency's methods were not only ineffective at gathering necessary information, but that the CIA consistently misled Congress and the public about the program to keep it going.
"This document examines the CIA's secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques - in some cases amounting to torture," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The investigation began as a bipartisan endeavor, with all but one member of the intelligence committee voting to start the review in March 2009. Ultimately, however, just one Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to approve it in 2012. Many of the Republicans on the committee joined Democrats in voting to declassify the report in April, arguing that the public should draw its own conclusions about the effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation program.
There are four key findings: That the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques did not lead to the collection of critical intelligence that disrupted a plot; that the CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to both lawmakers and the public; that the management of the program was deeply flawed, and that it was far more brutal than the CIA led lawmakers and the public to believe once it was revealed in 2006.
Just the 480-page executive summary of the report was released Tuesday. The full report, which is more than 6,000 pages long, was the result of the Senate Intelligence Committee's review of more than 6.3 million pages of CIA records. They reviewed 20 of the most frequent and prominent examples of so-called successful interrogations cited by the CIA, that resulted in actionable intelligence.
The report concludes there was no link between the information obtained using enhanced interrogation techniques and the successful counterterrorism examples cited by the CIA. The supposed unique information that was gained during the interrogations was actually obtained before enhanced interrogation was used, or merely corroborated information that was already available to the intelligence community from sources other than the detainee.
There were 119 known detainees that were in CIA custody during the life of the program. Twenty-six of them were wrongfully held, the report concludes, and detainees often remained in custody for months after the CIA determined they should have been detained.
The information gained from the detainees during the interrogations, the report finds, was often fabricated, but the interrogators did not know that they were receiving fabricated information. It also cites examples of CIA personnel calling into question the effectiveness of the techniques.
The report also outlines inaccurate information the CIA provided to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media, and the American public about the program. The CIA said the intelligence gained from the detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques saved American lives and they provided examples of supposedly thwarted terrorist plots, but that information contradicted the CIA's own records.