New Report on CIA Torture Expected to Be Declassified

Would you like to read a report documenting the ways the CIA misled not only the U.S. people, but also Congress and the Department of Justice on ‘harsh interrogation techniques’? Well, in the next 30 days, Obama has the option of declassifying the 6,200 page report that the Senate Committee on Intelligence has taken years to assemble. Once it’s been declassified, full details will hit the American airwaves, and we can expect to feel the aftershocks of this for years to come.

During the height of the Iraq war, the United States became embroiled in a debate about what, exactly, torture was. As ‘harsh interrogation techniques’ leaked to newswires, activities such as water boarding and stress positions were decried and supported by pundits on either side. Sean Hannity famously volunteered to waterboarding for charity. Although he never actually went through with it, his stance was firmly in the ‘not that big of a deal’ camp. Others pointed out that if the United States tortures prisoners, then we have no moral standing if our citizens and soldiers are tortured similarly.

During much of this, the Senate Committee on Intelligence began an investigation into detention programs and interrogation techniques. Requesting tapes of interrogation as well as internal memoranda, emails and cabals, complaints were made that the evidence they sought was being systematically destroyed.

When the destruction of the tapes from two major interrogations came to light, it was quick to divide and enrage those on both sides of the aisle. Some argued that this was tantamount to destroying evidence, a felony. Others argued that the notes from the interrogation sessions still existed and should provide more than enough information.

Still, regardless of attempts to conceal techniques, the findings still show just how broken the CIA has become. Not only did the CIA develop methods without any oversight from the Justice System, it actively withheld and misrepresented evidence on numerous occasions. There’s even evidence the CIA used psychologists to give false testimony on the safety issues surrounding the torture.

Yet some of those named in the report, such as psychologist James Mitchell, have come out swinging amid the possible declassification of the report. “I’m skeptical about the Senate report, because I do not believe that every analyst whose jobs and promotions depended upon it, who were professional intelligence experts, all them lied to protect a program? All of them were wrong? All of these [CIA] directors were wrong? All of the people who were using the intel to go get people were wrong? And 10 years later a Senate staffer was able to put it together and finally there’s clarity? I am just highly skeptical that that’s the truth.”

In what has been called a leaked version of the document’s ultimate findings, the Senate Committee seems to counter the idea that the CIA was gathering time-sensitive evidence that would otherwise disrupt the lives of thousands of unsuspecting Americans (you know, the typical 24 scenario).

The findings conclude that not only did the CIA lie to the Justice Department and withhold evidence, the evidence they did provide did not show that any substantial intelligence was gained from the use of these techniques. It also states that the brutality of the techniques were often withheld from the public and Senate Committee, that the CIA leaked certain issues to the media to manipulate its perceived legitimacy, and that such techniques cost the United States its reputation globally.

For many, torture is a black and white issue. We don’t torture not only because it is inhumane, but it is ineffective. For others, who think life is like an action movie, it’s the only way to defuse that nuclear bomb hidden in a subway somewhere. The reality is, the CIA functioned with impunity on a global level. It was funded by our tax dollars and to imagine it has been shut down completely, after so many lies, seems farfetched. The global public will have their own chance to review the document in its entirety when it is declassified. Until then, we can only hope that such programs cease to exist in the future.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson4 years ago

Some of the detainees are tough old sods. Myself, I'll talk!!!

Rose Becke5 years ago

GO Kevin B

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm5 years ago

Exactly right Charlene and no the motor mouth never did allow himself to be waterboarded, at least not publicly.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush5 years ago

To add,
this is quite simple.
When you torture others, you are no better than the people you are torturing.

It's time for many to grow up !

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush5 years ago

You know, declassifying government documents is similar to the Catholic Church declaring people in our past history, saints.
At least, this has been the procedure with past Popes and past government legislators.
With this method, there aren't many, if any, people alive that can discredit the designated saints or in the case of government, the same principal applies. this day and age, the internet and our traveling news has pressured governments, to release documents that they would have preferred not released.
In my opinion, this is a good thing, even if it sheds negative light on certain individuals, such as members of our past administration.
If anyone labors under the delusion that the men/women in the Bush Administration were 'nice people', you are delusional for the most part.
Expressing _water boarding_ as not torture, is like saying if I cut off a finger, it doesn't cause any pain.

Does anyone remember Sean Hannity saying on TV (I heard him say it!) that he didn't think water boarding was torture and was willing to experience it for himself? Notably, it was never mentioned again, at least not to my knowledge and he obviously, reneged on that proposition.
Apparently, someone wiser than he, which isn't arduous, suggested he forget this ida.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown5 years ago

Frank S. we are citizens of the United States and torture violates our Constitution, laws, treaties, and cultural history. Breaking the laws of the Untied States is not "doing your job".

If you want to live in some barbarous state run by lawless thugs LEAVE the United States. Here we follow the rule of law and we don't believe in torture.

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm5 years ago

HAhaahahahaahah FRak. The CIA didnt DO its job for 911 they had all kinds of warning flags going off and they ignored every damned one of them. They also didnt do their job with the Boston Bombers. They are good at only one thinbg. Creating undeclared wars all over the world. Not just the ME. Your understanding of what the CIA actually DOES could use some new material.

Frank S.
Past Member 5 years ago

More political correct nonsense from this author,
Let the CIA do its job so you can continue to drive around in your new Corvette and sit in front of your 90 inch 3D HDTV. and your way of life remains secure.
If you must feel compassion for anyone ....feel compassion for the 3000 plus husbands, wife's, sons and daughters who lost their lives during 911.
I believe the CIA is too kind....... as they still take prisoners.

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm5 years ago

Exactly Michael teaching is oddly the best way to LEARN. It forces us to organize or more correctly REorganize our thoughts on a subject…..sometimes in the middle of a presentation.

My edication has been much more intense since I left school than while I was in school. And it has crossed most boundaries. There are few subject areas I ddont have intense interest in. Math is about the only area I cant focus on. My schooling was in Philosophy but even then it was multidisciplinary, With the art, literature and psychology of the times being studied at the same time. You cant truly learn one without the rest very effectively.

Patton was an asshole. He was a complete sociopath. Brilliant in many ways. But he created more problems than he solved. he got lucky a few times so history is kind to him. I couldnt follow a man like Patton. It will be interesting to see what report exposes that we dont already know. it will also be intereting to see how the nedia spins what is said. In the end it is they that will detemine how most Americans think about torture regardless of the facts.