Senate Intelligence Committee: CIA Misled Public, Government About Interrogation Program

A 6,300-page report by the Senate Intelligence Committee suggests that the CIA misled the government as well as the public concerning its interrogation program and its effectiveness. The report is based on interviews with various U.S. officials and chronologies of many detainees suspected of terrorism.

“The CIA conflated what was gotten when, which led them to misrepresent the effectiveness of the program,” said one official.

Also included in the report are cases in which the CIA ordered harsh interrogation procedures for detained terrorist suspects despite being told by experts that the detainees had no new information to reveal.

There were techniques being used that had not been authorized by the Justice Department, such as repeated dunking of a suspect in ice water in Afghanistan. In one incident, CIA employees left their jobs at a secret prison in Thailand because they were troubled by the interrogation practices occurring there.

The report also alleges that “enhanced interrogation techniques” had very little to do with finding and killing Osama bin Laden, and that a great deal of information had been collected from suspects by officials before using tactics such as waterboarding. “The CIA described [the 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,” said one official. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.”

This report was finished in 2012 but remains classified. Senate Intelligence Committee lawmakers are to vote on sending a 500-page executive summary to President Obama for declassification.