The Senate Intelligence Committee released their report today, providing documentation that the CIA was both brutal and dishonest about their tactics, and that torture did not work. The New York Times listed these seven key points:
- The C.I.A.’s interrogation techniques were more brutal and employed more extensively than the agency portrayed.
- The C.I.A. interrogation program was mismanaged and was not subject to adequate oversight.
- The C.I.A. misled members of Congress and the White House about the effectiveness and extent of its brutal interrogation techniques.
- Interrogators in the field who tried to stop the brutal techniques were repeatedly overruled by senior C.I.A. officials.
- The C.I.A. repeatedly underreported the number of people it detained and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques under the program.
- At least 26 detainees were wrongfully held and did not meet the government’s standard for detention.
- The C.I.A. leaked classified information to journalists, exaggerating the success of interrogation methods in an effort to gain public support.
The Washington Post indexed the report by twenty key findings. See the articles in The Washington Post and New York Times for more specifics on each point.
1 “not an effective means of acquiring intelligence”2 “rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness”3 “brutal and far worse than the CIA represented”4 “conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher”5 “repeatedly provided inaccurate information”6 “actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight”7 “impeded effective White House oversight”8 “complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions”9 “impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General”10 “coordinated the release of classified information to the media”11 “unprepared as it began operating”12 “deeply flawed throughout the program’s duration”13 “overwhelmingly outsourced operations”14 “coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved”15 “did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained”16 “failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness”17 “rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable”18 “ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections”19 “inherently unsustainable”20 “damaged the United States’ standing in the world”
The Daily Beast lists The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’
Right-leaning Politico reports: Dick Cheney Was Lying About Torture–The Senate report confirms it doesn’t work. As those of us on the inside knew.
Needless to say, there is commentary throughout the blogosophere. Andrew Sullivan wrote:
The US did torture many many people with techniques devised by Nazis and Communists, sometimes in former KGB facilities. The CIA itself admits in its internal documents that none of it worked or gave us any actionable intelligence that wasn’t discovered through legal means. The torture techniques were not implemented by highly-trained professionals, but by goonish amateurs who concealed what they were doing and lied about it to superiors. All the techniques were and are clearly illegal under US and international law.