By: Brandon R. Cottrell
Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
WASHINGTON, D.C., United States – A recent US Senate report states that the CIA used secret “black sites” during the presidency of George W. Bush to interrogate prisoners—interrogation techniques included dunking the suspects in cold water, and smashing their heads against walls, both of which were not on the Justice Department’s approved list of techniques.
The report is broken down into three parts; “one that traces the chronology of interrogation operations, another that assesses intelligence officials’ claims and a third that contains case studies on virtually every prisoner held in CIA custody since the program began in 2001.”
Those familiar with the “black sites” report that the interrogations provided little useful intelligence information and that much of the intelligence that was claimed to result from the interrogations were exaggerated in an attempt to justify the program. For example, one official said that they water-boarded one suspect over eighty times and that the only valuable information that came from that suspect was revealed prior to the water boarding.
One U.S. Official stated that “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 [but] was that actually true? The answer is no.”
Kevin Drum, a political blogger, echoed those feelings when he said that “the torture was even worse than we thought; it produced very little in the way of actionable intelligence; and the CIA lied about this in order to preserve their ability to torture prisoners. Anybody who isn’t sickened by this needs to take very long, very deep look into their souls.”
The CIA has not yet formally commented on the report, as it as yet to see the final version of the report. However, those who have seen the report suggest that it contained factual errors and misguided conclusions.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney continues to defend the program, saying, “If I would have to do it all over again, I would. The results speak for themselves.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee that has been investigating the CIA since 2009 will decide this week whether to send a summarized version of the report, which is over six thousand pages long, to President Obama who could then decide to release the report to the public.
For more information, please see the following:
BBC News – Secret US Senate Report Details CIA Abuse – 1-04-2014
Business Insider – CIA Torture: It Was Worse Than Anyone Knew – 01-04-2014
MSNBC – Report: CIA Deceived On Torture – 01-04-2014
Washington Post – CIA Misled On Interrogation Program, Senate Report Says – 31-03-2014