Senate Report: CIA Lied to DOJ

More leaks are coming out from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s still-hidden report on the Bush-era torture regime and — surprise, surprise — it concludes that the CIA repeatedly misled the DOJ and their own inspector general about what they were actually doing.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel found that the methods wouldn’t breach the law because those applying them didn’t have the specific intent of inflicting severe pain or suffering.

The Senate report, however, concluded that the Justice Department’s legal analyses were based on flawed information provided by the CIA, which prevented a proper evaluation of the program’s legality.

“The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” the report found.

Several human rights experts said the conclusion called into question the program’s legal foundations.

“If the CIA fundamentally misrepresented what it was doing and that was what led (Justice Department) lawyers to conclude that the conduct was legal, then the legal conclusions themselves were inaccurate,” said Andrea Prasow, senior national security counsel for Human Rights Watch. “The lawyers making those assessments were relying on the facts that were laid before them.”

“This just reinforces the view that everyone who has said the torture program was legal has been selling a bill of goods and it’s time to revisit the entire conventional wisdom being pushed by those who support enhanced interrogation that this program was safe, humane and lawful,” said Raha Wala, a lawyer with Human Rights First’s Law and Public Safety Program.

Among other findings, the report said that CIA personnel used interrogation methods that weren’t approved by the Justice Department or their headquarters.

The conclusion that the CIA provided inaccurate information to the Justice Department reflects the findings of a top-secret investigation of the program by the CIA Inspector General’s Office that was triggered by allegations of abuse.

The CIA inspector general’s May 7, 2004, report, which was declassified, found that in waterboarding Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, deemed the chief architect of the 9/11 attacks, the CIA went beyond the parameters it outlined to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which wrote the legal opinions.

Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times, while Mohammad underwent the procedure 183 times.

Those cases clashed with the CIA’s assertion _ outlined in the now-declassified top-secret August 2002 Office of Legal Counsel opinion _ that repetition of the methods “will not be substantial because the techniques generally lose their effectiveness after several repetitions.”

The Office of Legal Counsel opinion stated that its finding that the harsh interrogation techniques didn’t constitute torture was based on facts provided by the CIA, and that “if these facts were to change, this advice would not necessarily apply.”

None of this is remotely surprising, of course. Just like the head of the NSA directly lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about their cell phone data mining program. This is what our intelligence agencies do and it’s what they’ve always done.

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  • http://www.clanfield.net janiceintoronto

    Nothing will happen. Listen for the crickets.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Senate Report: CIA Lied to DOJ

    Are you sure? Weird. That doesn’t sound like the CIA.

  • matty1

    OK serious questions given the obvious dangers of setting up these kind of secret organisations has anyone looked at whether the benefits in terms of knowing what military enemies are doing are actually worth it?

    Second are there any nations that don’t have intelligence services (I’m thinking maybe Costa Rica since they lack an army)?

  • tsig

    Secret government agencies are incompatible with a free society.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty — Survivor

    Are we really surprised by this?

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    I’m not really surprised by anything these days. Any political news I read tends to be of the variety, “Yup, we have further confirmation the world is exactly as shitty as you thought it was.”

    I can’t even watch The Daily Show regularly. I laugh, but as soon as the credits roll, I get more depressed.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I doubt that any U.S. president or congressman has had anything like complete knowledge of what U.S. intelligence agencies have been up to since around the time of Nathan Hale–yes, I know that was BEFORE we had presidents and congressmen, just sayin’.

    Yes, to Janice in Toronto.

    “OK serious questions given the obvious dangers of setting up these kind of secret organisations has anyone looked at whether the benefits in terms of knowing what military enemies are doing are actually worth it?”

    I’m pretty sure that what they know about the PDRoNK and Vladdie Putana pales in comparison to what they know about the people who could really hurt them–their bosses.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    anyone looked at whether the benefits in terms of knowing what military enemies are doing are actually worth it?

    Voltaire once said that once you begin engaging in secret diplomacy, you are no longer a republic. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where he said that, and he wrote too much to dig through (and I believe my recollection is a translation from typically arch Voltairean French) It was a delightfully pithy explanation, too, oriented squarely at those who argue there is a “social contract” Voltaire had something wiseass to say about basically everything, though.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    “Yup, we have further confirmation the world is exactly as shitty as you thought it was.”

    I once said something like that to my dad, the history professor, who replied something along the lines of: “The good bit is that usually, by the time we figure that out, we’re quite old and are content to just try to survive a bit longer and die comfortable.”

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Marcus, your father seems to be a wise man.