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CIA misled public on torture, says US Senate report

December 10, 2014 00:29 IST

The Central Investigation Agency’s terrorist detainees during the Bush era were far more brutal than previously acknowledged and delivered no ‘ticking time bomb’ information that prevented an attack, a long-delayed United States Senate report said on Tuesday.

The explosive report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee is a damning condemnation of the tactics -- branded by critics as torture -- the George W Bush administration deployed in the fear-laden days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the CNN reported.

The report, one of the most extensive detailing of the CIA's brutal interrogation of Al Qaeda suspects yet, said the ‘enhanced interrogation’ programs in many cases amounted to torture.

In many cases, the most aggressive techniques were used immediately, in combination and non-stop," the report says adding that in other cases, there was no relationship between the claimed counter-terrorism "success and any information provided by a CIA detainee during or after the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques."

The techniques, according to the report, were ‘deeply flawed’ and often resulted in "fabricated" information. Running into about 500 pages, the report is the most detailed analysis yet of the CIA's activities, containing information about the secret detention of at least 119 people and practices.

As the report was released, President Barack Obama admitted that the CIA's actions did significant damage to the American standing in the world and were ‘contrary to our values.’

"The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the US, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests," Obama said.

"That is why I will continue to use my authority as president to make sure we never resort to those methods again," he said. Obama outlawed enhanced interrogation techniques soon after becoming president in 2009 and admitted in August ‘we tortured some folks’.

US embassies were on alert as committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein pushed ahead with publication, despite Secretary of State John Kerry warning that it could provoke anger around the world.

Image: A Guantanamo detainee rubs his face while attending a 'Life Skills' class inside the camp Photograph: Michelle Shephard / Reuters

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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