US Senate Committee votes to declassify parts of CIA interrogation report
MOSCOW, April 4 (RAPSI, Infrid Burke) - The US Senate Intelligence Committee voted Thursday to declassify portions of a groundbreaking five-year study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) controversial post-9/11 interrogation program, Committee Chairperson Dianne Feinstein announced in a statement.
The report focuses on the CIA’s Interrogation and Detention program, and covers the period between September 2001 and January 2009. Themes covered include the CIA’s clandestine overseas detention facilities and the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“The purpose of this review was to uncover the facts behind this secret program, and the results were shocking. The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen,” Feinstein’s statement read.
The committee voted for the declassification of the report’s 480-page executive summary, in addition to 20 findings and conclusions revealed in the remaining text.
The report purportedly highlights major issues with the CIA’s management of the program, as well as the agency’s interactions with the White House and other areas of the government.
“It is now abundantly clear that, in an effort to prevent further terrorist attacks after 9/11 and bring those responsible to justice, the CIA made serious mistakes that haunt us to this day. We are acknowledging those mistakes, and we have a continuing responsibility to make sure nothing like this ever occurs again,” Feinstein said.
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 January 2009.
According to Feinstein’s statement, the Senate Intelligence Committee initiated a probe into the program in March 2009.