|The coffin containing the body of CIA agent Johnny "Mike" Spann is carried at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington D.C. Devember 2, 2001|
Journey through the Caribbean Islands in the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." Beginning complementary episodes sent immediately!
As part of the CIA’s global effort to dismantle al-Qaeda and to prevent future terrorist attacks, the Agency was directed by President Bush six days after 9/11 to carry out a program to detain terrorist suspects around the world. Certain detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), which the Department of Justice determined at the time to be lawful and which were duly authorized by the Bush Administration. These techniques, which were last used by the CIA in December 2007, subsequently were prohibited by an Executive Order issued by President Obama when he took office in January 2009.
Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released a redacted version of the Executive Summary, Findings, and Conclusions of its Study on CIA’s former detention and interrogation program, along with Minority Views and the Additional Views of a number of Committee members on the same subject. The CIA has also released its redacted June 2013 response to the Study, which is being posted on our website, www.cia.gov.
Each star represents CIA
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Yet, despite common ground with some of the findings of the Committee’s Study, we part ways with the Committee on some key points. Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives. The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al-Qaeda and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day.
We also disagree with the Study’s characterization of how CIA briefed the program to the Congress, various entities within the Executive Branch, and the public. While we made mistakes, the record does not support the Study’s inference that the Agency systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program. Moreover, the process undertaken by the Committee when investigating the program provided an incomplete and selective picture of what occurred. As noted in the Minority views and in a number of additional views of Members, no interviews were conducted of any CIA officers involved in the program, which would have provided Members with valuable context and perspective surrounding these events.
Throughout its 67-year history, CIA has played a critical role keeping our Nation secure, and CIA officers are rightly proud and honored to be part of an organization that is indispensable to our national security. The numerous challenges on the world stage demand the full attention, focus, and capabilities of the women and men of the CIA so that our country can stay strong and our fellow Americans remain safe. To be successful, the CIA needs to work closely with its Congressional oversight committees as we confront these challenges. With today’s release of Committee documents and the CIA response, we look forward to the way ahead.
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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and publishes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean". His views are his own and do not represent those of any agency he is a member of. We welcome comments and suggestions- contact OSINT News on the Secure Contact Form.