NEW: Senate Intelligence Committee releases summary of torture report
Report: CIA techniques were 'deeply flawed'
Obama: Tactics are 'inconsistent with our values'
CIA defends practices
The CIA’s harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees during the Bush era didn’t work, were more brutal than previously revealed and delivered no “ticking time bomb” information that prevented an attack, according to an explosive Senate report released Tuesday.
The majority report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee is a damning condemnation of the tactics – branded by critics as torture – the George W. Bush administration deployed in the fear-laden days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The techniques, according to the report, were “deeply flawed,” poorly managed and often resulted in “fabricated” information.
The report is reigniting the partisan divide over combating terrorism that dominated Washington a decade ago. Democrats argue the tactics conflict with American values while leading members of the Bush administration insist they were vital to preventing another attack.
The CIA immediately hit back at the report, saying in a statement that the program was “effective” and substantially helped its understanding of al Qaeda’s tactical operations and goals. But President Barack Obama said the report reinforced his view that the harsh interrogation methods “were not only inconsistent with our values as a nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests.”
In its most graphic details, an executive summary of the report finds that conditions for detainees at top secret overseas interrogation sites were much harsher than the CIA has previously admitted. It finds that high value detainees were subjected to methods like waterboarding and sleep deprivation “in near nonstop fashion for days or weeks at a time.”
“In many cases, the most aggressive techniques were used immediately, in combination and nonstop,” the report says. “Sleep deprivation involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in painful stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”
In one facility, a detainee was said to have died of hypothermia after being held “partially nude” and chained to a concrete floor, while at other times, naked prisoners were hooded and dragged up and down corridors while being slapped and punched.