Author Topic: Q. and A. About the C.I.A. Torture Report  (Read 2093 times)

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Offline mayya

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Q. and A. About the C.I.A. Torture Report
« on: December 09, 2014, 15:47:25 PM »
Q. and A. About the C.I.A. Torture Report

Members of the George W. Bush administration began to challenge the conclusions of the Senate report before it was released. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday is expected to release its review on the torture of prisoners held by the Central Intelligence Agencyduring the George W. Bush administration. Here are some questions and answers about the long-awaited report.

Q. Who wrote this report and what does it cover?
A. The 6,000-page report was researched and written by Democratic staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee between 2009 and 2013 after committee Republicans chose not to participate. It examines the interrogation program created by the C.I.A. at the request of President George W. Bush to question captured Qaeda suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Only the executive summary of the report, which runs about 600 pages, is expected to be released on Tuesday, with the names of C.I.A. personnel, countries that hosted the agency’s secret prisons and some other details blacked out. The committee’s Republicans are expected to release a dissent challenging some of the report’s conclusions.

Q. Don’t we already know a lot about the C.I.A. interrogation program?
A. The Senate report, based on the examination of more than six million internal C.I.A. documents and costing more than $40 million, is by far the most thorough study of the program to date. But a great deal about the program has already surfaced, through leaks, Freedom of Information Act requests, a review by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the official release of limited information. We know the list of “enhanced interrogation techniques” the agency used, including the suffocation treatment called waterboarding; the identity of the two military psychologists who designed the methods; the names of many of approximately 100 prisoners the C.I.A. has said passed through the secret prisons; and at least some of the countries where the jails were located, including Thailand and Poland.

Q. Why has it taken so long for the report to be released?
A. The Senate study was originally intended to take a year, but took far longer. It was approved in a committee vote in December 2012 and given to the C.I.A. for review. The agency claimed it was full of inaccuracies, and wrote a lengthy rebuttal, which is still secret. Last year, the Senate committee accused the C.I.A. of spying on its work on the report by intruding into the computers used by committee staff members and removing some documents. The C.I.A. subsequently accused the Senate staff of looking at material it was not authorized to see. Eventually, the current C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, acknowledged that the agency had inappropriately spied on the Senate computers and apologized. In August, the C.I.A. produced a heavily redacted version of the report’s summary for public release, but Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Intelligence Committee’s Democratic chairwoman, objected that far too much information was blacked out. The two sides have been negotiating a compromise since then.

Q. Is the report likely to settle the controversy over the C.I.A. program?
A. Hardly. Former C.I.A. officials who oversaw the program say the report is inaccurate, ignores evidence of the efficacy of the disputed methods and amounts to a partisan hatchet job. They still maintain that the brutal interrogation methods the agency used were not torture, though the Justice Department legal opinions that approved the methods were withdrawn, and many others have said the worst methods were torture, including President Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the former C.I.A. director Leon E. Panetta, Senator John McCain, a Republican who was himself tortured when held by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, and a host of independent human rights and legal experts. Members of the Bush administration and former intelligence officials began to challenge the report’s conclusions before it was even released, and former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects on Monday as “absolutely, totally justified.”

Q. Will the Senate report lead to the prosecution of anyone for torture or other crimes?
A. Highly unlikely. The Justice Department conducted a limited review of the interrogation program, as well as the C.I.A.'s destruction of video recordings of waterboarding and other interrogation sessions, but brought no criminal charges. Mr. Holder had directed prosecutors to consider charges only against those who engaged in unauthorized activities, since the use of the brutal interrogation methods was approved by C.I.A. leaders and the George W. Bush White House.