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House Intelligence chief blasts CIA report

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that “substantive information” led him to conclude that the release of a Senate report detailing harsh CIA interrogation techniques will lead to violence and death.

{mosads}“[T]hat’s what foreign leaders told us, who were engaged in trying to get their countries stabilized. They believed it would incite violence in their particular countries,” Rogers said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We had foreign intelligence services say they believed it would incite violence in their countries, including attacks against U.S. embassies or U.S. interests or U.S. personnel. And our own intelligence services issued an analytical report that believed it would cause and lead to violence, and likely death.”

Rogers said he did not know why Senate Democrats decided it was necessary to release the report last week, when President Obama has already banned the tactics implemented after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“[W]hen you looked at what the risks were, and remember we had done that, the Department of Justice found no criminal wrong doing. The fact that we had already debated this publicly in Congress and talked about what we weren’t going to do and what our values were when it came to interrogation, passed a law that we’d use the army field manual. You had to ask, ‘OK, why now and for what purpose?’ … What I do know is that the risk is ongoing and very real and it will take time, and … I think we’ll see a consequence of the release of this report.”

Rogers also pointed to a lack of interviews in the report and its methodology is being questioned.

“[T]hink about this, now you have the EU is talking about prosecutions of the people involved, the United Nations is talking about investigations and prosecutions. This, I think was a very, very difficult time when we were a nation at war. We have an increasing threat from ISIL. To release a report that says, or at least allows the world to take a different conclusion about who we are and where we are-when it comes to interrogations,” he said.

Rogers, a former FBI agent, said the conclusion that the techniques did not result in valuable information is incorrect.

“I’m trained in rapport building, not a more enhanced interrogation technique, and I think rapport building works and it’s effective,” he said. “But we should not judge those people who were engaged in activities that the United States said, ‘engage in so we can stop another terrorist attack.’ We didn’t even know if there was another one planned or not. We’re ten years into this and I think to go back and ruin their lives over what we had already fixed, already recognized had some flaws, and tried to fix those, I think was just … not a good decision.”

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