Hayden: Interrogation report not objective

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Sunday questioned the objectivity of a new Senate report on enhanced interrogation methods.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Hayden pointed to reported motivations of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whose committee recently voted to declassify a report on the Bush-era CIA‘s interrogation techniques.

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According to reports, the committee concluded that “enhanced interrogation” methods such as waterboarding did not significantly contribute to the U.S. government’s ability to track down Osama bin Laden.

Hayden questioned the objectivity of a report from Feinstein’s committee, citing reports that she was looking to issue a “scathing” condemnation of the enhanced interrogation methods.

“I don’t think it leads you to an objective report,” he said.

Hayden also defended the CIA’s interrogation methods, pointing to statements by former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Hayden said that while Panetta has said the U.S. military would have killed bin Laden with or without using enhanced interrogation techniques, “he did not deny that information from this program helped.”

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace pushed Hayden on whether the Senate report’s finding that the U.S. government had received key information about bin Laden’s location before using enhanced interrogation methods on a detainee.

Continued interrogation can lead to more information, Hayden replied.

“Simply learning a fact is not the same thing as learning the importance of that fact.”

Hayden noted that he has not yet seen the Senate Intelligence report. “You’re asking me about a report that I have no idea of its content,” he said.

Speaking during a later segment of the show, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney slammed the Senate Intelligence report for failing to include adequate input from the CIA.

While the report relied on CIA documents, it did not include enough input from CIA officials and was largely written by Democratic staff, she said.

“You cant have a fair report if it doesn’t talk to the people who run the program,” she said.