A 6,300-page Senate report concluded that the CIA misled the government and the public for years regarding brutal interrogation techniques employed at a network of “black sites,” The Washington Post reports.
The CIA were reportedly able to conceal the torture for so long through four steps: 1) Inflate credentials of detainees; 2)
Obtain “critical-threat” information through normal interrogation procedures; 3) Torture detainees after obtaining the information; 4) Claim that the actionable intelligence came from “enhanced interrogation.”
The best example of this is Abu Zubaida, who is now considered by experts to have been a mid-level facilitator who guided recruits to al Qaeda training camps.
The CIA described him as a senior al Qaeda operative — and treated him as such — even though Zubaida only
provided all “critical threat-related information” while at a hospital in Pakistan, The Post reports, “well before he was interrogated by the CIA and waterboarded 83 times.”
The Post notes that the Senate report “cites cases in which officials at CIA headquarters demanded the continued use of harsh interrogation techniques even after analysts were convinced that prisoners had no more information to give.”
The information obtained from Zubaida in the hospital “was passed up through the ranks of the U.S. intelligence community, the Justice Department and Congress as though it were part of what CIA interrogators had obtained,” The Post reports.
“The CIA conflated what was gotten when, which led them to misrepresent the effectiveness of the program,” one U.S. official who has reviewed the report told The Post. The official added that the revelation is among “the most damaging” of the committee’s conclusions.
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