News and Views
US Senate report condemns CIA brutality
CIA employed interrogation techniques “far worse and brutal” than they admitted, investigation reveals.
A US Senate report on harsh techniques employed to interrogate ‘terror’ suspects post-9/11 attacks has condemned the CIA for brutality and deception.
The heavily redacted 480-page report – published on Tuesday – is understood to have covered the treatment of around 100 suspects rounded up by US operatives between 2001 and 2009 on terrorism charges.
The full 6,200-page report remains classified. Ahead of the publication of the report, the US had tightened security at its embassies across the globe.
The report said harsh CIA interrogations produced much bad information, including a fake story about al-Qaeda recruiting African-Americans. It said the interrogations were ineffective and never produced information that led to foiling of “imminent terror threat”.
The report followed a five-year investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee into the programme. The CIA maintained the harsh techniques were effective and foiled terrorist plots.
The report said the CIA misled the public and policymakers about the programme, much of which was developed, operated and assessed by two outside contractors.
Reacting to the report, US President Barack Obama said the CIA actions “were contrary to our values”.
“I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past. Today is also a reminder that upholding the values we profess doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and that the United States of America will remain the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known,” he said in a statement.
The enhanced interrogation programme was dismantled by Obama in 2009.
Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from outside the White House in Washington DC, said the aim of the report was to guarantee that torture was never used again in any sort of covert programme.
“But it is not exactly clear why the Senate has that confidence. Remember, no one was prosecuted for the programme,” said Culhane.