AGENCY SAYS PROGRAM “DID A LOT OF THINGS RIGHT”
By FITSNEWS || The head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – who has been busted lying to Congress before – now wants the American people to take him at his word when he says the government’s $300 million torture program wasn’t as bad as it’s been made out to be.
“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all,” CIA director John Brennan said this week.
However he stressed that the agency “did a lot of things right” in carrying out the post-9/11 program, which was exposed this week being far more barbaric (and far less successful) than anyone previously imagined.
“The overwhelming majority of officers involved in the program at CIA carried out their responsibilities faithfully and in accordance with the legal and policy guidance they were provided,” Brennan added.
And after repeatedly stressing how the agency was authorized to implement the program (by government officials it later misled or kept in the dark), here’s the kicker …
They did what they were asked to do in the service of our nation.
Translation? They were just following orders …
In prefacing his remarks, Brennan laid the 9/11 justification on thick … very thick.
“It was 8:46 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001,” he said at the outset of his remarks. “Our nation ached, it cried, and it prayed. Never again, we vowed. Never again. But al-Qaeda had other ideas.”
Brennan refused to use the term “torture” in referring to his agency’s actions. Additionally, he said it was “unknowable” whether the program produced actionable intelligence – even though the U.S. Senate report released this week meticulously documented that it did not.
Instead, simply said there were “no easy answers” when it came to determining how to go after al-Qaeda.
This website has repudiated the CIA torture program
“This sort of savagery … is beneath a great nation,” we wrote, “and is further evidence of how far America has fallen from the ideals upon which it was founded.”
What do you think of the CIA torture program? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …
YOUR VOICE >>>
CIA: “Oopsy Daisy!” “Do over?”
What is the new definition of torture ? Anyone know ?
Same as the old one…
If you go to page 36, you will find the reservations of the 1990 Bush Administration on the definition of torture.
Remember that GHW Bush had been head of the CIA before he became Reagan’s VP.
…in case anyone wonders where Bush’s AWOL record went.
In short, it’s like the newer definition of “terrorism”: THEY did it.
oh wow- now they are resorting to the “few bad apples” defense???
They must be desperate- time for the courts to get involved.
Of course it was just a few bad apples. The good apples wouldn’t bring themselves to do this, so they had to find the bad apples to do it for them.
First show me a good apple…!
Right. Likely contractors. Must who had contracts with immunity.
About the beheadings… just a few bad apples…
Is that sarcasm, and are you referring to the victims or the perpetrators?
We called it torture when other countries do it. But, it’s OK when we do it. Typical Republican Christianist hypocrisy.
But everyone we detain and torture is guilty as sin and is definitely hiding information from us. We never pick up innocent people by mistake and torture them for nothing, so it’s OK.
That’s kinda like drone strikes.
I doubt if anyone you know thought you would.
Well our friends know where we stand, don’t they.
That’s right. Without exception those who are captured and interrogated are bad boys, all have been soldiers in armies against the U.S. and have committed crimes against civilians. There are several high ranking legal eagles in the CIA whose specific job it is to investigate the perps to verify guilt of crimes against civilians and military.
One of the most interesting aspects of both Afghanistan & Iraq, was the remnants of the prior power structure went underground, then reappeared to suddenly offer “help” to the American occupation forces…and part of that help was turning it people that were previous enemies of the previous power structure over to US forces and declaring them “terrorists”…lol
Not that funny.
Well then, you, I, & Dick Cheney can’t be friends then.
And every American citizen we “drone” is guilty as sin and is definitely hiding information from us…so the Obama Administration’s droning of American citizens must be OK, too.
You know, I’m glad America is always right in everything it does, otherwise my conscience might bother me.
How does one stop torture?…..simply by talking.
Why didn’t the 9/11 terrorist emphasize before they attacked, if we could only have sung Kumbaya together.
On 9/11/2012 it was a video, we must not have emphasized enough.
Christ’s message – “either torture them, or kiss them on the mouth.”
Where did you find that one at the last supper?
It’s a good thing you didn’t equate him to a Muslim, they don’t like that, maybe even an attack on a diplomatic compound.
What do the 9-11 terrorists have to do with Torturing Iraqis, who knew nothing about the 9-11 terror plot? The 9-11 Terrorists were Saudis. Are you saying that because we suffered a terrorist attack, we should become terrorists?
“Dumb response”, sound familiar?
“just a few bad apples” Yep, the terrorists are just a few bad apples. Sliced and diced apples anyone ? The USA did what had to be done to attain the needed result. Nothing more ,nothing less.
“the needed result”
make the world less safe while losing a war against the wrong nation using torture to get information on WMD that wasn’t there.
Why do you have to bring up that there was no results?
Are you anti-American?
I think he’s pro-truth.
A terrorist is not like a Military person and do not operate as such. Most of the people in America have no idea as to what they really do to folks,even before they kill them.
Some time you have to fight fire with fire.
Well James, that’s a nice thought. Except we know from years of disclosures, that the Israeli’s don’t even do it – and they are surrounded by terrorist organizations.
It seems everybody is repeating Andrew Sullivan’s error implying Reagan signed the UN Convention Against Torture in 1984.
The Record is quite clear that the US did not sign until 18 April 1988, and the Senate did not ratify until 21 October 1994.
So I guess in the end I have to ask. How many of you are comfortable with a foreign country sending persons into the US to take US Citizens into custody for crimes committed by other US Citizens in their country? I guess from what many are saying on here, that would be OK if the other country was alleging terrorist activity by those US Citizens?
So I guess in the end I have to ask, would you like to lead us in Kumbaya?
What, you don’t like Kumbaya?
Why don’t we all just have a moment of silent prayer.. and then force our Children to pledge allegiance to torture, graft and bailouts.
If that’s what you want who am I to say you shouldn’t. Freedom of Religion and all that you know.
…And sending IRS agents to emotionally torture political minorities…supplying narcoterrorists of South America with military grade body armor, grenades, and machine guns…American as Barry’s Socialist Democrat Party…
Accept that we have never armed South American narcoterrorists with military grade body armor, grenades and machine guns. So that’s a lie. But then I’m sure you knew that before you posted it.
Actually I think we did something similar to that under Reagan, but in Central America.
Most definitely did. Honduras, Panama, Guatamala. End before that we actually assisted with aid the governments of Chile and Argentina – who of course – used torture against their own citizens.
And then tortured that American citizen, maybe raped them, hung them from the ceiling, gave some breakfast through a rectal feeding tube. Because hey, they might be a terrorist.
“…crimes committed by other US Citizens in their country.”
A ‘foreign country’ is not going to come for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenant, Hayden, McCollough because the foreign countries where the torture occurred where complicit with the torture.
But, are you saying that the people who ordered the crime should be exempt from punishment because they did not actually do it?
Don’t we normally call that kind of behavior/operation ‘racketeering’ and ‘conspiracy’ and the guy who ordered the crimes is as culpable as the flunky who is hands on?
I wish they had been handed over years ago to the International War Crimes Tribunal, but I would be satisfied with a trial in absentia of Bush and his bunch. They need to go down in the history books of the world for what they did, for what they led the USA into.
You do realize that what Bush ordered and the CIA and its contractors carried out was illegal in the US and across the globe when they did it, no matter what kind of fake justifications they had their hack lawyers come up with, right? That Ronald Reagan signed a treaty saying that in 1985, right?
They are all outlaws.
You miss my point. Apparently to many on this list, the fact that some people from some middle east country committed acts of terror in the US justifies the US seizing and torturing anyone, in any middle east country that we want to, in an effort to get information.
If so, why couldn’t that rule be applied in reverse? What would be our defense? We can do it but you can’t?
Bill – good point – but remember, there were many who were taken off the streets in non-Middle East countries as well. Some in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, South America, even a Candadian at JFK. The even bigger question, what would preclude them from doing to someone in the United States.
“Just a few bad apples”
Yeah, yeah, isn’t it always?
Let a rightwinger or Christian commit terrorism and it’s “Just a lone wolf!!”
Let a leftwinger or Muslim do it and it’s “A vast conspiracy! Get them all!”
I don’t get your point. Lone wolves are part of a conspiracy. Al Qaeda is training and encouraging lone wolves online now. It is not left or right wingers, it is extremists whether from the right or left.
You can be critical of EIT and call it torture if you want, but there is no equivalence between using that on terror suspects and there beheading of medical aid workers and journalist or the execution of men and sex enslavement of women.
“You can be critical of EIT and call it torture if you want”
He didn’t need your permission to do that, because obviously it is.
” but there is no equivalence between using that on terror suspects and their beheading of medical aid workers and journalist or the wholesale separating of civilian men for execution”
Sure there is, you’ve assumed everyone the US gov’t tortured is guilty. There wasn’t even a trial for them when all this occurred.
You appear to honestly not get that we have lowered ourselves to the level of the terrorists…and, THAT is exactly what THEY wanted.
Wow. I know you’re not the only one. But, wow.
I don’t think I’d want to be a shot-down US fighter pilot in much of the world today.
McCain is almost the only big voice personally knowledgeable about this and is dead right*: torture is wrong.
*something I never thought I’d have reason to say.
The McCain Liberal-Tarian is showing in FITS….you’ll stoop as low as you can, to be seen as a pop-culture lock-stepper.
It’s why you lost so ugly in 2008…you’re a sell-out to the media…and screw the country…
Democrats are shutting the government down tonight!!!! LMAO!!! Go LIz Warren!!!
EXACTLY….Give a pro-American, pro-economy budget they hate….and watch em short circuit…LMAO…
I suspect that Justice Jackson (U.S. lead prosecuter at the Nuremberg Trial) and Dwight Eisenhower are spinning in their graves.
Can anybody out there explain/clarify to/for me the references to “pogo”, “Pogo”, and other variations of same?
Famous old comic strip.
The main character Pogo once said: ‘We have met the enemy and he is us”.
Yes, I am familiar with that Pogo and his famous phrase; I just couldn’t correlate the relationship of that reference to several commentators on Fitsnews. I still don’t understand, but I’ll chuckle when I see it.
Cruz: Stop Blaming Bush for Things He Did
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted his Democratic colleagues in the Senate on Thursday, telling reporters, “I’m sick and tired of people blaming George W. Bush for things he did.”
In the aftermath of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, Cruz said, “Democrats have been busy with their favorite game again: bringing up catastrophic things that President Bush did and then blaming him for them.”
The Texas Senator raised the invasion of Iraq as an example of something that “Bush gets blamed for simply because he did it.”
“Just because President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, costing thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, does that mean he should bear the blame for it?” he asked.
“America is not a place where you get blamed for things simply because they never would have happened unless you did them.”
He urged each of his Democratic colleagues “to look in the mirror and ask yourselves whether you want to be blamed for disasters you have personally created? In my case, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’”
But Cruz is a walking disaster.
Euwe max, you are hands down the biggest pussy I have ever seen post anything anywhere. You, and the rest of your flower children, are the reason this nation has turned into a giant collection of retarded liberals. You are a disgrace as an American.
Sweet comeback, dude. How about go share your opinions with some of the “Greatest Generation.” I would love to see you get your ass kicked by an old man who can see what he fought for this country to turn into. Dicks like you who hide behind your bs rhetoric claiming that your “right to be a pussy” is protected by the Constitution.
I don’t think you get it
Okay, euwe max, I’ll admit I was worked up last night because I was reading a lot of your previous comments in other stories that I disagreed with. I won’t go so far as to apologize to you, but I am interested in hearing a concise summary of your take on this topic since you think I “don’t get it”.
“The coward wretch whose hand and heart Can bear to torture aught below, Is ever first to quail and start From the slightest pain or equal foe.”
Now, let me elaborate.
Torture is the process of dehumanization. It’s literally removing what is human about us. In “the Salt Pit” — the prison in Afghanistan, where they literally froze people to death —visitors observed it was actually more like a dog kennel. Whenever anyone would walk by, the prisoners would literally quiver, and jump up out of fear, so conditioned were they to expect extreme levels of punishment.
Psychological torture is worse than physical torture if it’s done at an extreme level. John McCain said that for him, by far, the worst part of captivity in North Vietnam was the isolation and the psychological torment — not the physical torture to which he was subjected quite extensively. People go insane if they’re kept in solitary confinement in American prisons in a way that doesn’t happen if the soles of your feet are beaten or you’re forced into stress-positions. And so much of this program was about dehumanization – nothing to do with interrogation; it was about exploitation and control. It was about the assertion of power.
And that’s what makes it so evil. Detainees are, by definition, helpless; they’re captive. So to completely brutalize them and remove their humanity is really worse than anything you could do to someone physically, including killing them. It’s basic.
Torture has never been an effective interrogation method. Anyone will say anything under torture.
Give me a water board, George Bush and thirty minutes, and I’ll have him confess to seeing Rumsfeld playing “hide the sausage” with Cheney in the White house.
But even waterboarding someone 183 times can’t make him tell you where the WMD is… when THERE ISN’T ANY!
You may think it’s a crazy-leftist-fringe position to think the intellectual authors – the orchard, and not “a few bad apples” – in a torture regime should be investigated and prosecuted… but the whole macho, “physical force trumps character,” thing has to be condemned for us to be a light unto all nations.
In my view, the Bush administration was weak to engage in a policy of torture, not strong. Ultimately, it encourages terrorism by “civilized nations,” and legitimizes the most horrific imaginations of evil men. It undermines our values. It corrupts our system, makes role models of rotten hearts for our children and it doesn’t get good intelligence.
More like Preparation H for him…
My father was a decorated combat vetern of the Greatest Generation. When this was first coming out 2005 / 2006 he was totally against it. He had to gather up too many US soldiers and sailors who WERE tortured in Japan to have any sympathy for those who commit it. My guess is though, he’d enjoy kicking your ass.
Well it is a natural progression. In SC you start off with poor white trash, you evolve to dumbass redneck, then evolve to racist republican redneck. A few years later you hopefully move on to retarded liberal. Then if we are really lucky, you move on to normal liberal, intelligent liberal and finally enlightened.liberal. Unfortunately like the cro-magnon most Republicans get stuck at stage 3.
Republicans are prions.
It is amazing how liberals will use a news item like this to criticize Christians. Shows how desperate those liberals really are! They won’t criticize muslims though because they are too scared of the muslims.
I’m a Christian, but I still think some of this torture was wrong. John McCain is a Christain too – what do you say to him?
“some” torture is wrong?
How about all of it is ‘illegal’ in US and international law?
Do you pick and choose which laws you obey?
In the words of the song: “Jesus is just alright with me”. But, it sure seems that the majority of those in organized Christianity are just the biggest conglomeration of morally reprehensible people on the planet.
Simple sleep deprivation is not necessarily torture. Chaining you to a wall upside down, playing Guns N Roses at 10 on the stereo, while sticking a rectal tube up you’re rear, yeah that’s torture. Forcing you to try and sleep listening to Country Music under a blaring light, with horns going off every 20 minutes – not so much. As such that disorients a prisoner and they are more likely to slip up, or contradict their accounts in a way to give you some inference to confirming previously obtained information.
I’m a Christian, and I believe torture is wrong.
Jude 1:9 King James Version (KJV)
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
“”Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).
John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. 7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. 8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.
10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
John 18:36King James Version (KJV)
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Christians are in the world, not of the world. We do not fight against flesh and blood, but the powers of the air. Our weapons are love and mercy not torture.
People like you and Mark Sanford use your Christianity as an excuse for bad behavior, never take responsibility because you are ‘saved’.
Jesus said: “go and sin NO MORE”. People like you and Sanford don’t get that part, just keep sinning, and get ‘saved’ time and time again.
You never learn a thing about what is right, not wrong…because you want to do what you want to do, the rules don’t apply to you and your ilk. You are a bunch of sociopaths.
I think we torture Nancy Pelosi and pull her fingernails out. Don’t you?
And let’s not forget to have Sean Hannity live up to his offer on water boarding.
“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” – George Washington, charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775…
At 12:30 on 17 December, Kampfgruppe Peiper was near the hamlet of Baugnez, on the height halfway between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville, when they encountered elements of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, U.S. 7th Armored Division.
After a brief battle the lightly armed Americans surrendered. They were disarmed and, with some other Americans captured earlier (approximately 150 men), sent to stand in a field near the crossroads under light guard.
About fifteen minutes after Peiper’s advance guard passed through, the main body under the command of SS Sturmbannführer Werner Pötschke arrived.
For reasons unknown to this day, the SS troopers suddenly opened fire on the prisoners.
As soon as the firing began, the prisoners panicked. Most were shot where they stood, though some managed to flee. Accounts of the killing vary, but 84 of the POWs were murdered. A few survived, and news of the killings of prisoners of war raced through Allied lines.
Following the end of the war, soldiers and officers of Kampfgruppe Peiper, including Joachim Peiper and SS general Sepp Dietrich, were tried for the incident at the Malmedy massacre trial.
Fox News reporting Four Christian Children beheaded by ISIS in Iraq … apparently because the children would not renounce Jesus for Islam.
They were emboldened by the Inquisition.
Of more than 500 years ago? Or are you just being cute (again).
I think it was pretty serious when the ISIS IslamoFascist armies are killing children, no matter what happened centuries ago.
are you just being cute
I take being cute very seriously!
think it was pretty serious when the ISIS IslamoFascist armies are killing children
Are you trying to embellish on the precedent of shooting abortion doctors?
We are justified in torture because they are not signatories to the geneva convention, not because we disagree with the geneva convention. You say we are justified in redefining “prisoner of war” as “enemy combatants” or “detainees” because some of them are in contravention of the precepts of the geneva convention. You say our civil law only applies to citizens, because the precepts only have meaning if you were naturalized in the United States, not because the law is self-evident.
Would you burn a person’s eyes out of his sockets, jam a wooden stake into the stump of his freshly amputated leg – because you might get intel which might save a white, blue-eyed blonde, female American, the daughter of a millionaire. ? If not, why not?
Sept. 11, 2001: Al Qaeda carries out terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Sept. 17, 2001: President George W. Bush signs a classified covert action memorandum authorizing the CIA to detain terrorists.
Feb. 7, 2002: President Bush signs a memorandum stating that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to the global conflict with al Qaeda.
March-April 2002: Abu Zubaydah is captured in Pakistan and transferred to CIA custody. He is interrogated jointly by FBI and CIA officers.
June 2002: CIA officers place Abu Zubaydah in isolation for 47 days. The FBI never returns to the CIA interrogation site.
Aug. 1, 2002: The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issues two memorandums (one classified and one unclassified) concluding that the CIA’s proposed “enhanced interrogation techniques” did not violate the federal anti-torture statute. The classified memorandum addressed specific techniques, including waterboarding, for use on Abu Zubaydah.
Aug. 4-30, 2002: After a prolonged period of isolation, Abu Zubaydah is subjected to near-constant coercive interrogation techniques by CIA officials, including the first application of waterboarding.
September 2002: Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the committee, are first briefed on the CIA interrogation program. [Later, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) are briefed when they become chairman and vice chairman, respectively.]
November 2002: After being captured and detained by a foreign country, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri is transferred to CIA custody and transported to the same detention facility where Abu Zubaydah is located. Nashiri is also subjected to the CIA’s coercive techniques, including waterboarding. [Interrogations during this period are videotaped.]
November 2002: CIA detainee Gul Rahman dies while being held and interrogated by the CIA at a separate CIA detention facility from where Abu Zubaydah and Nashiri are held.
Dec. 28, 2002-Jan. 1, 2003: Nashiri is threatened with a handgun and drill during a CIA interrogation.
January 2003: The CIA Office of Inspector General begins a review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
March 2003: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad is captured and transferred to a CIA detention site where he is subjected to the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques, including 183 instances of waterboarding.
July 2003: The CIA and some members of the National Security Council meet and reaffirm the use of the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
Sept. 16, 2003: The CIA first briefs the secretaries of State and Defense on the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, according to CIA records.
May 7, 2004: The CIA’s inspector general completes a review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
June 2004: The OLC withdraws its unclassified Aug. 1, 2002, memorandum containing a legal analysis of the anti-torture statute. While the OLC begins to draft a new memorandum, the CIA continues to interrogate detainees in its custody.
August-September 2004: The OLC issues letters to the CIA advising that the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques against specific, named detainees does not violate the federal anti-torture statute.
Dec. 30, 2004: The OLC issues a revised, unclassified memorandum that supersedes the withdrawn unclassified Aug. 1, 2002 memorandum.
May 2005: The OLC provides three classified legal memorandums. The first two, issued on May 10, 2005, address the legality of the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques, individually and in combination, under the federal anti-torture statute. The third memorandum, issued on May 30, 2005, analyzes the techniques under Article 16 of the Convention Against Torture.
Nov. 2, 2005: The Washington Post publishes an article about the existence of a secret, global detention and interrogation program run by the CIA.
Nov. 8-9, 2005: Contrary to the direction from the White House and the office of the director of national Intelligence, the director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, Jose Rodriguez, authorizes the destruction of videotapes depicting the use of the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, against Abu Zubaydah and Nashiri from 2002.
December 2005: Congress passes the Detainee Treatment Act, prohibiting the use of “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” against any “individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States government.”
June 29, 2006: The Supreme Court, in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld, holds that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions applies to the U.S. conflict with Al Qaeda and that detention at Guantanamo must comply with the Geneva Conventions.
Aug. 31, 2006: The Office of Legal Counsel issues a memorandum analyzing the application of the Detainee Treatment Act to the conditions of confinement for CIA detainees.
Sept. 6, 2006: Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence other than the chairman and vice chairman are briefed on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program for the first time. The briefing was limited, as the administration was preparing for the public acknowledgement of the CIA program by President Bush hours later that same day. In his speech, the President provides specific claims of plots thwarted and terrorists captured, attributing much of this information to the CIA’s use of an “alternative set of [interrogation] procedures.”
Sept. 28-29, 2006: Congress passes the Military Commissions Act, which provides that particular violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are subject to criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act. The Military Commissions Act provided that the president has the authority “to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.”
July 20, 2007: President Bush signs Executive Order 13440 stating that the CIA’s detention and interrogation program “fully complies with the obligations of the United States under Common Article 3,” and authorizes the CIA’s continued use of certain interrogation practices as determined by the CIA director. In conjunction with the release of the executive order, the OLC issues a memorandum analyzing the legality of the techniques under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the Detainee Treatment Act and the War Crimes Act.
Dec. 6, 2007: The New York Times reports that the CIA destroyed interrogation videotapes in November 2005. The CIA acknowledges that the interrogation videotapes — depicting CIA interrogations using the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques in 2002 — were destroyed.
Dec. 11, 2007: In a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director Hayden offers to allow a small number of committee staff to review CIA operational cables that describe the interrogation sessions that had been videotaped, given that the video recordings had been destroyed.
Jan. 2, 2008: Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey selects Assistant U.S. Atty. John Durham to lead a criminal investigation into the destruction of interrogation videotapes by the CIA.
March 8, 2008: President Bush vetoes the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which would have limited CIA interrogations to techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual.
Jan. 22, 2009: President Obama issues Executive Order 13491, rescinding Executive Order 13440, banning the CIA’s detention authority, and restricting the CIA to interrogation techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual.
Feb. 11, 2009: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence meets to formally review a committee staff memo summarizing the CIA cables describing the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and Nashiri (see Dec. 11, 2007 entry).
March 5, 2009: The Senate committee votes, 14-1, to open an investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
March 26, 2009: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) send a document request to CIA Director Leon Panetta for information relating to the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
April 16, 2009: Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. publicly releases four Department of Justice legal memorandums written during the CIA program that examine the legality of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. President Obama announces that the Department of Justice will not pursue criminal proceedings against CIA officials found to have participated in interrogations consistent with the legal memorandums.
April-May 2009: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the CIA exchange letters regarding the committee’s investigation of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, covering the information to be provided by the CIA, as well as how and where the information would be reviewed and documented by staff. Documents begin to be provided to the committee staff at an off-site facility in the summer of 2009.
Aug. 24, 2009: Holder announces that the Department of Justice is expanding its initial review (see Jan. 2, 2008, entry) of the CIA’s destruction of interrogation videotapes to include the potential use of unauthorized interrogation techniques by CIA officers that were not included in previous Department of Justice legal memorandums.
Sept. 25, 2009: Bond announces the Senate committee minority’s withdrawal from the committee’s study following Holder’s Aug. 24, 2009, announcement.
February 2010: CIA personnel remove approximately 870 documents from the committee staff’s access at the CIA off-site facility.
May 2010: CIA personnel remove an additional 50 documents from committee staff’s access at the CIA off-site facility.
Late 2010: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff are provided access to a set of documents now referred to as the “Panetta Review,” an internal CIA review of agency records related to its detention and interrogation program.
June 30, 2011: Holder announces that the review by Durham was being narrowed to a full criminal investigation regarding the death of two individuals, but not other CIA detention and interrogation activities.
Oct. 20, 2011: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff begin distributing to all members and staff the first portions of the full committee study. (Additional sections are provided on Dec., 2011; Feb. 29, 2012; June 29, 2012; Aug. 3, 2012; Sept. 13, 2012; and Nov. 16, 2012.)
April 30, 2012: Feinstein and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) announce in a press release that the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques did not produce the information being cited in the press that led to the location of Osama bin Laden.
Aug. 30, 2012: Holder announces that the Department of Justice would not seek to prosecute any CIA employees in connection with the deaths of two detainees.
Dec. 13, 2012: The Senate Intelligence Committee votes, 9-6, to approve the committee study as an official committee report (eight Democrats and one Republican voted yes). The committee study is sent to the executive branch for comment, with a request that the executive branch respond by Feb. 15, 2013.
Feb. 7, 2013: During his confirmation hearing to be director of the CIA, John Brennan testifies that he had read the executive summary of the committee’s study and learned new details about the program, but states that he needs to “see what CIA’s response is.”
March 7, 2013: Brennan is confirmed as CIA director. The same day, the Wall Street Journal quotes an unidentified senior intelligence official as saying that the CIA objected to most of the committee’s study.
June 27, 2013: Brennan provides to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence the CIA’s response to the committee study. Feinstein commits to updating the study as appropriate to ensure the study is fully accurate and takes into account the CIA’s response. Committee staff and CIA representatives meet at least 13 times in August and early September 2013 to discuss the CIA’s response.
August 2013: The CIA’s general counsel, Stephen Preston, in his response to questions for the record submitted in connection with his nomination to be general counsel of the Department of Defense, states that the “DOJ did not always have accurate information about the detention and interrogation program,” and that he considered “information of this nature to be material.” Preston also stated that CIA briefings to the committee “included inaccurate information related to aspects of the program of express interest to members.”
Nov. 26, 2013: Feinstein sends a letter to Brennan requesting that the CIA provide the committee with the full Panetta Review, given that the internal CIA review agrees with the committee’s study and stands in stark contrast to the CIA’s official response.
Early January 2014: The CIA refuses to provide the Panetta Review, claiming the document is “privileged.”
Jan. 15, 2014: Feinstein and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) meet with Brennan, who states that the CIA had conducted a “search” of committee computers at the CIA facility in order to determine whether the committee staff had obtained a copy of the Panetta Review. Brennan alleges that committee staff had inappropriately acquired the documents.
January-March, 2014: Representatives of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA and White House discuss the allegations made about CIA and committee staff actions. CIA Inspector General David Buckley opens an investigation into the CIA’s conduct and provides a crimes report to the Department of Justice. Shortly thereafter, acting CIA general counsel Robert Eatinger provides a crimes report to the Department of Justice alleging the Senate committee staff engaged in criminal behavior.
March 11, 2014: Feinstein gives a 40-minute speech on the Senate floor responding to news reports about the dispute between the CIA and the committee. In her statement, she states the CIA may have violated the law when it searched committee computers at the CIA facility. Despite his private acknowledgements, (see Jan. 15, 2014, entry) Brennan publicly denies allegations that the CIA searched the computers used by the committee.
March 19, 2014: Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) writes to Brennan and Holder, notifying them that the Senate sergeant-at-arms would investigate CIA allegations that Senate Select Committee on Intelligence staff had inappropriately accessed CIA computer networks.
April 3, 2014: The Senate Intelligence Committee approves sending the committee study’s executive summary, findings and conclusions, to the White House for declassification review and public release by a vote of 11-3.
July 31, 2014: Buckley publicly releases a summary of his investigative findings, including that CIA employees acted inappropriately in accessing computers and email used by committee staff and that the criminal charges referred by the CIA’s acting general counsel about committee staff activities was based on erroneous information. Brennan privately apologizes to Feinstein and Chambliss for the actions of CIA personnel.
Aug. 1, 2014: The White House provides the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with proposed redactions to the executive summary and findings and conclusions of the committee study.
August-December, 2014: In a series of meetings and phone calls, committee members and staff negotiate proposed redactions with the White House and other executive branch representatives.