A US Senate report has said that the CIA carried out “brutal” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the US.
The BBC reports: The summary of the report, compiled by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the CIA had misled Americans about what it was doing.
The information the CIA collected this way failed to secure information that foiled any threats, the report said.
In a statement, the CIA insisted the interrogations had helped save lives.
“The intelligence gained from the programme was critical to our understanding of al-Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day,” director John Brennan said.
However, the CIA also acknowledged mistakes in the programme, especially early on when it was unprepared for the scale of the operation to detain and interrogate prisoners.
The programme – known internally as Rendition, Detention and Interrogation – took place from 2002-07, during the presidency of George W Bush.
Suspects were interrogated using methods such as waterboarding, slapping, humiliation, exposure to cold and sleep deprivation. Such methods were referred to as “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” (EIT).
The 528-page document catalogues dozens of cases in which CIA officials allegedly deceived their superiors at the White House, members of Congress and even sometimes their own peers about how the interrogation program was being run and what it had achieved. In one case, an internal CIA memo relays instructions from the White House to keep the program secret from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell out of concern that he would “blow his stack if he were to be briefed on what’s going on.” reported The Washington Post
Adding that a declassified summary of the committee’s work discloses for the first time a complete roster of all 119 prisoners held in CIA custody and indicates that at least 26 were held because of mistaken identities or bad intelligence. The publicly released summary is drawn from a longer, classified study that exceeds 6,000 pages.