After spending nearly three years studying records from former president George W. Bush’s administration, Democrats in the Senate Intelligence Committee say they have found little evidence that “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA are actually effective. Reuters is citing people familiar with the inquiry.According to those sources, one official added that “no evidence” was found tying such measures to the operation that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Such interrogation techniques, like water-boarding, have come under much scrutiny in recent years. Under the Bush administration, such actions were sanctioned and water-boarding was employed on three detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the organiser of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
And while President Obama outlawed such actions shortly after entering the White House, he came under scrutiny after it was revealed that such techniques may have been used to gather information regarding bin Laden’s whereabouts.
Proponents of enhanced interrogation say that it doesn’t amount to torture, while opponents say the physical stress put on detainees in fact amounts to torture. According to a pull conducted by Suffolk University in 2011, 57 per cent said that enhanced interrogation or some form of torture was permissible on suspected terrorists as long as they might have information that would keep America safe.
News of this report will likely restart some of the debate surrounding the issue, as will the release of a new book by former CIA chief of clandestine operations Jose Rodriguez, in which he argues for the necessity of such techniques.
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, due to air Sunday, Rodriguez said: “This program was about instilling a sense of hopelessness and despair on the terrorists, on the detainee, so he would conclude on his own that he was better off cooperating with us.”
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