Harsh interrogations can’t be ruled out, new Senate Intel chief suggests

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in an interview published Thursday that he could imagine situations in which the United States might have to return to the interrogation techniques used under George W. Bush.

“When faced with a 9/11 again, it’s hard to gauge the actions of an administration, of a Congress and of public opinion,” he told the Greensboro News & Record.

Still, Burr said he would not be in favor of using the methods described in a recent Senate report on the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program.

{mosads}The report found that the CIA engaged in techniques that were harsher and more widespread than previously known. The tactics at the “black site” prisons included “rectal feeding,” stress positions and threatening to harm detainees’ families.

“Everybody who’s named in that report, from the standpoint of the agency side, I’ve met with,” Burr said. “I’ve been to the black sites and what I was told was incredibly different than what the conclusions of that report stated.”

“Having said all that, would I be a proponent of us using similar tactics in the future? No.”

Burr’s predecessor as the chairwoman of the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), was instrumental in the development and release of the report, arguing it documents the use of torture.

But Burr has slammed the report repeatedly. He called it a “blatant attempt to smear the Bush administration” and said that it endangered Americans overseas.

He has also said he has no intention of holding hearings on the findings of the study when Republicans take over the Senate in January.

Tags Dianne Feinstein Richard Burr

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