The Actual Findings of the Torture Report

There’s a lot of focus on some of the most gruesome and salacious details found in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report but we shouldn’t lose sight of primary findings of that report. There are 20 of them and Bill Moyer’s has helpfully listed them for us:

#1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

#2: The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.

#3: The interrogations of CIA detainees were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.

#4: The conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher than the CIA had represented to policymakers and others.

#5: The CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information to the Department of Justice, impeding a proper legal analysis of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

#6: The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.

#7: The CIA impeded effective White House oversight and decision-making.

#8: The CIA’s operation and management of the program complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions of other Executive Branch agencies.

#9; The CIA impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General.

#10: The CIA coordinated the release of classified information to the media, including inaccurate information concerning the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

#11: The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.

#12: The CIA’s management and operation of its Detention and Interrogation Program was deeply flawed throughout the program’s duration, particularly so in 2002 and early 2003.

#13: Two contract psychologists devised the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques and played a central role in the operation, assessments, and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. By 2005, the CIA had overwhelmingly outsourced operations related to the program.

#14: CIA detainees were subjected to coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved by the Department of Justice or had not been authorized by CIA Headquarters.

#15: The CIA did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained, and held individuals who did not meet the legal standard for detention. The CIA’s claims about the number of detainees held and subjected to its enhanced Interrogation techniques were inaccurate.

#16: The CIA failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques.

#17: The CIA rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable for serious and significant violations, inappropriate activities, and systemic and individual management failures.

#18: The CIA marginalized and ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections concerning the operation and management of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

#19; The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program was inherently unsustainable and had effectively ended by 2006 due to unauthorized press disclosures, reduced cooperation from other nations, and legal and oversight concerns.

#20; The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program damaged the United States’ standing in the world, and resulted in other significant monetary and non-monetary costs.

You can download the full executive summary of the report here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.clanfield.net janiceintoronto

    To which I can only reply: No shit?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Let me see if I have this right: the top brass at the CIA set up a program that was designed from the beginning to be unaccountable and immune to oversight, and then discovered that they couldn’t keep track of it? And this was a surprise?

  • karmacat

    20 reasons to get rid of the CIA. I have to wonder how good they really are at gathering intelligence. The CIA has been in operation for decades and yet they still don’t know torture is ineffective. (and moraly wrong of course)

  • D. C. Sessions

    The CIA isn’t an intelligence gathering organization — it’s the descendent of the WWII OIS, which was essentially the “Department of Dirty Tricks.” Their charter is, and always was, blackmail, destabilization, arranging coups, subversion, assassination, etc. Note that our current drone-assassination program is run by the CIA, not the Army or Air Force.

    This kind of thing is right up their alley. The “intelligence” stuff is all just cover.

  • mkoormtbaalt

    Why don’t we have an IG for the CIA that operates as a separate entity and reports to someone other than the head of the CIA? And do the same for the NSA. And the FBI. And every government organization.

  • sailor1031

    #1: The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.

    I can’t understand the barbarian mentality that thinks that this even has any bearing on the use of torture. Do people really think that ineffectiveness is the reason not to use torture? If that’s so then it’s flagrantly wrong because, as the french demonstrated in the Battle of Algiers torture is effective if you know what you want to get and have the ability to assess what you do get. Of course in the longer run it didn’t do them any good….

    Maybe I missed it but I haven’t seen anything yet out of this report about the ‘extraordinary rendition’ programs where CIA outsourced torture and murder, but retained supervision of it, to states like Libya, Syria, Poland, Uzbekhistan. The number of CIA victims seems to be much higher than what this report admits to.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Do people really think that ineffectiveness is the reason not to use torture?

    It’s a reason. Immorality is another. So is backlash by your allies. So is spurring on your enemies.

    Any one is sufficient. I’ll use whichever — alone or in combination — gets results.

  • comfychair

    An IG for the CIA? Sure, why not. I’m sure there would be any number of folks lining up for that job. Who wouldn’t want to live in a Hellfire-proof bunker 24 hours a day?

    I mean, I’m not saying the CIA is so out of control they’d murder anybody who threatened their ability to murder people who threatened them, but freak drone training accidents can happen to anybody.

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

    I can’t understand the barbarian mentality that thinks that this even has any bearing on the use of torture. Do people really think that ineffectiveness is the reason not to use torture?

    Like D.C. says, it’s a reason. Frankly, I think it’s a strong contribution to the reason it’s immoral. Torture is immoral not just because it causes suffering, but because it doesn’t produce reliable benefits to offset that suffering. Because it’s so unreliable, that means there’s no plausible set of circumstances that would make it the lesser of two evils. There are actions that are generally evil but have extreme circumstances where they are excused. Torture has no reasonable excuse because there is no circumstance where you can make it reliable.