Report: CIA misled on interrogation program

THE WASHINGTON POSTApril 1, 2014 

The Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the Central Intelligence Agency deceived the government and the public about aspects of its brutal methods for years - concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use - and later tried to defend - excruciating methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

"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," said one U.S. official briefed on the report. "Was that actually true? The answer is no."

Current and former U.S. officials who described the report spoke on the condition of anony-mity because the document remains classified. The 6,300-page report includes what officials described as damning new disclosures about a sprawling network of secret detention sites that was dismantled by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Classified files reviewed by committee investigators reveal internal divisions over the interrogation program, officials said, including one case in which CIA employees left the agency's secret prison in Thailand after becoming disturbed by the brutal measures being employed there.

The report also cites cases in which officials at CIA headquarters demanded the continued use of harsh interrogation techniques even after analysts were convinced that prisoners had no more information to give.

U.S. officials said the committee refrained from assigning motives to CIA officials whose actions or statements were scrutinized. The report also does not recommend new administrative punishment or further criminal inquiry into the program.

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