December 9, 2014
Former British resident Binyam Mohamed, second left, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay steps from a plane at Northolt military base in west London Monday Feb. 23, 2009. A former British resident who claims he was brutally tortured at a covert CIA site in Morocco. (AP Photo/ Lewis Whyld/PA Wire)
After months of wrangling with intelligence officials, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary of its 6,700-page report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs under President George W. Bush.
The report paints a portrait of the CIA as an agency gone rogue. It, along with two private contractors, skirted congressional oversight by lying about the severity of the torture techniques being employed, and the value of the information that was gathered in the process.
In an introduction to the release Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, writes that the detention and interrogation program was conducted in “violation of US law, treaty obligations and our values.” She adds: “it is my personal conclusion that, under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured. I also believe that the conditions of confinement and the use of authorized and unauthorized interrogation and conditioning techniques were cruel, inhuman and degrading. I believe the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”
Moyers & Company is preparing a detailed analysis of the report for later publication. A quick overview of what the report contains can be found in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 20 findings, reprinted here.
#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.
#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.
#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.
#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.
#5: The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
#6: The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.
#7: The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.
#8: The CIA’s operation and management of the program complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies.
#9; The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General.
#10: The CIA coordinated the release of classified information to the media, including inaccurate information concerning the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.
#11: The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.
#12: The CIA’s management and operation of its Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout the program’s duration, particularly so in 2002 and early 2003.
#13: Two contract psychologists devised the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.
#14: CIA detainees were subjected to coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.
#15: The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA’s claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced Interrogation techniques were inaccurate.
#16: The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques.
#17: The CIA rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable for serious and significant violations, inappropriate activities, and systemic and individual management failures.
#18: The CIA marginalized and ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections concerning the operation and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.
#19; The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program was inherently unsustainable and had effectively ended by 2006 due to unauthorized press disclosures, reduced cooperation from other nations, and legal and oversight concerns.
#20; The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States’ standing in the world, and resulted in other significant monetary and non-monetary costs.
For more details about these findings, download the entire report from the Senate Intelligence Committee website. We’ll be posting an essential reader of analysis later today.