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MOSCOW, April 1 (RAPSI) – The US Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a recent report that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) misled officials about its former interrogation program for years, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives. Was that actually true? The answer is no,” an unnamed US official briefed on the report told the Post.
The 6,300-page report contains new details of the controversial interrogation program, including descriptions of previously undisclosed interrogation methods. One alleged example was the repeated dunking of a terror suspect in tanks of ice water – a method that was not on a Justice Department (DOJ) list of approved techniques.
The CIA was unable to comment when asked to do so by the Post, as officials there had not yet seen the report in its final version.
In September 2006, nearly five years after the 9/11 terror attacks, then-US President George W. Bush announced the existence of a clandestine CIA program aimed at turning up answers when other forms of interrogation had failed to do so.
In the former president’s words: “In addition to the terrorists held at Guantanamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States, in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.”
In an effort to illustrate the imperative of this shadowy parallel program, Bush pointed to the example of a terror suspect who had stopped responding to more traditional interrogation methods. Having established that the suspect seemed to have undergone training on interrogation resistance methods, “the CIA used an alternative set of procedures.” The former president added, “I cannot describe the specific methods used… [b]ut I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe, and lawful, and necessary.”
On the issue of lawfulness, Bush pointed to a review by the DOJ authorizing the methods at issue.
This sentiment was echoed later by then-Director of the CIA General Michael Hayden. In an October 2007 statement on what is referred to as the CIA’s Terrorist Interrogation Program published on the agency’s website, Hayden stated that the initiative had been closely scrutinized for legal and policy issues, adding: “The Agency has worked closely with the Department of Justice and others in our government to ensure that the interrogation program operates in strict accord with US law and takes full account of any changes to the law.”
Current US President Barrack Obama brought an end to the program in 2009.