An executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “Torture Report” detailing enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA after 9/11 revealed Tuesday a host previously unknown techniques and states the program yielded little to no useful intelligence in preventing terrorist attacks.
A statement on the report from California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein — the Senate Intelligence Committee chair — summarizes the report’s key findings, and states the agency “provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public(RELATED: McCaskill: CIA ‘Torture Report’ Will Be A ‘Gut Check Moment’ For Democracy)” about the enhanced interrogation program. (RELATED: Senate Releases CIA ‘Torture Report’)
The report further states the techniques were almost totally ineffective in securing valuable intelligence from detainees, and that the CIA purposefully misled the government — including President George W. Bush, who approved the program — on the implementation and usefulness of enhanced interrogation. (RELATED: McCaskill: CIA ‘Torture Report’ Will Be A ‘Gut Check Moment’ For Democracy)
In a review of 20 individual cases alleged by the agency to have provided the most valuable intelligence, that committee concluded in every instance that the information gleaned was provided before the techniques were implemented or was otherwise available to the intelligence community from “other sources.”
In many instances, enhanced techniques were implemented immediately before detainees were subject to standard interrogations.
As far as specific techniques go, the report does not describe any method with the word “torture,” nor does it speculate on the legality of techniques used. The report highlights several methods and individual cases where they were implemented.
In November 2002 at a site codenamed COBALT, one detainee died of hypothermia after being held “partially nude and chained to a concrete floor.” Agents threatened multiple detainees with death, including one detainee who was warned he would only leave the prison in a “coffin-shaped box.”
In cases of sleep deprivation, some detainees were forced to stay awake for up to 180 hours “usually standing or in painful stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads” for long periods of time.
At least three detainees were water boarded, while others were stripped naked and hooded before being “dragged up and down corridors while being slapped and punched.”
In one location described as a “dungeon,” detainees were locked up in complete darkness and subjected to constant loud noises, with only a bucket to use for “human waste.”
According to the statement released by Feinstein, “[a]t least five CIA detainees were subjected to ‘rectal feeding’ or ‘rectal hydration’ without documented medical need.”
In a statement released Tuesday by CIA Director John Brennan, the director admitted the program had suffered “shortcomings” and needed revisions, but rebutted the study’s major findings that the CIA misled the government about the implementation of the program, and that it provided no valuable intelligence.
“Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom [enhanced interrogation techniques] were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives,” Brennan said. “The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al-Qaida and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day.”