The report from the Senate Intelligence Committee will be the first public accounting of the CIA’s use after 9/11 of what critics call torture on al Qaeda detainees held at “black” sites in Europe and Asia. The committee on Tuesday was expected to release a 480-page redacted executive summary of the 6,000-plus-page report compiled by Democrats on the panel. The report refers specifically to three detainees who are described as undergoing torture, including “waterboarding” and sleep deprivation, for several years.
Security has been tightened at US military bases and embassies worldwide in case damning information about CIA interrogations triggers attacks. The Senate panel alleges that the harsh interrogations failed to produce unique and life-saving intelligence — a conclusion disputed by current and former intelligence officials, including CIA Director John Brennan. It is also expected to accuse the CIA of repeatedly lying to Congress, the White House and the public. A Republican minority report is also set to be released, as well as a rebuttal from the CIA.
The Senate report cites the involvement of 54 countries in CIA rendition tactics. Fears are raised that the exposure of foreign bodies and individuals associated with those tactics may place them at risk of revenge attacks by Muslim extremists, including al Qaeda. Former CIA heads warn that publication of the report will irreversibly damage America’s reputation and world influence and deter former collaborators from ties with US intelligence.