“Report Details Vicious Acts, Cites a Pattern of Deception”
The Washington Post, December 10, 2014, p.A1
“An exhaustive five-year Senate investigation of the CIA’s secret interrogations of terrorism suspects renders a strikingly bleak verdict on a program launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, describing levels of brutality, dishonesty and seemingly arbitrary violence that at times brought even agency employees to moments of anguish. The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee delivers new allegations of cruelty in a program whose severe tactics have been abundantly documented, revealing that agency medical personnel voiced alarm that waterboarding methods had deteriorated to ‘a series of near drownings’ and that agency employees subjected detainees to ‘rectal rehydration’ and other painful procedures that were never approved. The 528-page document catalogues dozens of cases in which CIA officials allegedly deceived their superiors at the White House, members of Congress and even sometimes their peers about how the interrogation program was being run and what it had achieved. … A declassified summary of the committee’s work discloses for the first time a complete roster of the 119 prisoners held in CIA custody and indicates that at least 26 were held because of mistaken identities or bad intelligence. … The panel deconstructs prominent claims about the value of the ‘enhanced’ measures, including that they produced breakthrough intelligence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and dismisses them all as exaggerated if not utterly false — assertions that the CIA and former officers involved in the program vehemently dispute. … At its height, the CIA program included secret prisons in countries including Afghanistan, Thailand, Romania, Lithuania and Poland — locations that are referred to only by color-themed codes in the report, such as ‘COBALT,’ to preserve a veneer of secrecy.”
Quickie Analysis: The CIA’s conduct here has been a stain on US history and US principles, not unlike the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.