CIA director John Brennan has defended the spy agency following the publication of a highly critical report into its post 9/11 interrogation techniques.
He admitted the agency was unprepared after the attacks but remained vague on the usefulness of what they call “enhanced interrogation techniques” or EITs.
“The detention and interrogation programme produced useful intelligence that helped the United States to thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.
“The cause and effect relationship between the use of EITs and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is in my view unknowable.”
Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee behind the report, tweeted a response to his claim that the usefulness of EITs was ‘unknowable’ with the hashtag #ReadTheReport.
Brennan: "unknowable" if we could have gotten the intel other ways. Study shows it IS knowable: CIA had info before torture. #ReadTheReport— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 11, 2014
Study definitively proves EITs did not lead to bin Laden. Page 378. #ReadTheReport— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 11, 2014
When pressed on whether he deemed the techniques as torture, Brennan avoided using the term and added there had been “enough transparency” in the past few days.
“They (some CIA officers) went outside the bounds in terms of their actions as part of that interrogation process,” he said.
“They were harsh, as I said, in some instances, I consider them abhorrent and I will leave to others how they might want to label those activities.”
He went on to admit that the agency had fallen short of holding some officers responsible.
Human rights groups are now calling for former officials to be investigated for the commission of torture and face criminal charges.