Senate Committee: CIA torture in wake of 9/11 was ineffective and illegal

Dec 9, 2014


Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, speaks to reporters about the release of a report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, while walking from the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 9, 2014. ; Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) blamed CIA headquarters, analysts and contractors for the illegal use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) used on al-Qaeda detainees in the aftermath of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Feinstein said the CIA’s program amounted to “indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations and our values.”

The Central Intelligence Agency issued a response that in many ways is in direct contradiction of today’s report. The CIA statement says, ” [R]eviews indicate that the program, including interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used, did produce valuable and unique intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.”  Feinstein went into exacting detail of the EITs that included days of sleep deprivation, violent abuse, and promises that the detainees would not leave CIA confinement alive.

What is your reaction to the findings and the CIA response?


Rachel VanLandingham, Lt. Colonel (U.S. Air Force, ret.); Former U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate (2000-2012); From 2006-2010, legal advisor for international law at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command, where she advised on operational and international legal issues related to the armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq; Associate Professor, Southwestern Law School in LA

Jeffrey Addicott, Lt. Colonel (U.S. Army, ret.); Professor of Law at St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, where he is the director of the Center for Terrorism Law; Addicott’s a 20 year JAG officer and was senior legal counsel to the Green Berets

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