Torture of detainees: CIA chief admits agency used ‘abhorrent’ methods

Published: December 13, 2014



CIA Director John Brennan said on Thursday some agency officers used ‘abhorrent’ methods on detainees captured following the September 11 attacks and said it was ‘unknowable’ whether harsh interrogation techniques yielded useful intelligence.

“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorised, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all. And we fell short when it came to holding some officers accountable for their mistakes,” Brennan told a news conference at the agency’s Virginia headquarters.

He added, however, that 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 said the agency’s reviews indicated that the detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. “But let me be clear. We have not concluded that it was the use of EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) within that programme that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees subjected to them,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2014.

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