In secret report, CIA claims torture was ‘effective’

The Washington Post reports: The CIA has completed a report that challenges the findings of a Senate investigation of the agency’s interrogation program, according to U.S. officials who said the response cites errors in the congressional probe and disputes its central conclusion that harsh methods used against al-Qaeda detainees failed to produce significant results.

The classified CIA document is expected to be delivered to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday by Director John Brennan during a closed-door meeting with the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and ranking Republican Saxby Chambliss (Ga.).

The agency’s rebuttal is the most detailed defense that the CIA has assembled to date of one of the more controversial programs in its history, one that employed simulated drowning and other brutal measures to get information from al-Qaeda captives before the agency was ordered to close its secret prisons in 2009.

But the agency’s response and the 6,000-page congressional report it addresses both remain classified, making it unclear whether portions of either document will be made public. A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the agency’s response, but current and former U.S. intelligence officials said it is sharply critical of the course of the committee’s investigation as well as its conclusions.

Despite lawmakers’ conclusions that harsh interrogations were ineffective, “anyone who was around and involved in the program knows that’s not right,” said a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official. “I don’t know how they could fail to say that actually it was effective, and you can separate that from whether you approve of it or not.” [Continue reading…]

And why is a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official being quoted? Why? Because he/she is a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official. The statement itself is worthless. It refers to what anyone who was around knows, without actually saying whether that includes the source. And then it asserts that torture was effective, implying that it resulted in intelligence being gathered that could not have been gathered in any other way. That’s an unprovable assertion because if you use torture, you close off the possibility of finding out what you could have learned without the use of torture.

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