CIA rebuffs Congress on 'torture' findings

The CIA is expected to deliver a report to senators on Thursday that rebuffs a congressional probe into the agency’s interrogation methods.

CIA Director John Brennan is slated to deliver the CIA’s contradictory findings to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in a private meeting on Thursday, the senators said.

The CIA’s report challenges the findings of the Intelligence Committee’s report that concluded the enhanced interrogation techniques were ineffective in gathering intelligence, according to the Washington Post.

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“It’s just interesting to me that it’s in the newspaper before we have a chance to discuss it,” Feisntein told reporters Thursday.

Feinstein’s Intelligence Committee completed its long awaited 6,000-page “torture report” last December and has sent it to administration and intelligence officials for a declassification review.
The report looked at more than 6 million pages of CIA and intelligence documents, with investigators ultimately issuing a series of 20 findings and conclusions.

The committee’s report criticizes the effect that interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and extended sleep deprivation, have on the ability to gather successful and reliable intelligence.

President Obama banned the use of the controversial interrogation techniques as one of his first acts in the White House.

Some Republicans and intelligence officials argue that the president wouldn't have been able to order the killing of Osama bin Laden without the intelligence that the techniques produced during the George W. Bush administration.

Democrats have waged an extensive battle against the controversial interrogation methods. They said they were misled about the use of the tactics and argue they amount to torture and violate international war laws.

The Bush administration argued the methods, which were used on self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, among others, were within the law and helped U.S. intelligence officials disrupt terrorist plots against the United States.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) came under fire in 2009 when it was revealed that CIA officials briefed her and other members of the House Intelligence Committee about the techniques in 2002 and 2003.

Around the same time, the Senate Intelligence Committee, under the direction of Feinstein, launched the first extensive investigation into whether the techniques were useful in gathering intelligence.

— This story was updated at 1:06 p.m.