New GOP Chairman Suppresses Full CIA Torture Report

Originally published on January 22, 2015, at NationofChange.org

The new Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman sent a letter to the White House and several federal agencies last week demanding the return of every copy of the Committee’s entire classified CIA torture report. The new chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, also intends to return the notorious Panetta Review to the CIA. Critical of the agency’s false statements regarding the reliability of information obtained through torture, the Panetta Review’s release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been blocked by the CIA.

On December 9, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released nearly 500 pages of the heavily redacted Executive Summary of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. According to the Committee, the CIA lied to Congress, the National Security Council, the Justice Department, and the American public about the severity of torture committed and the effectiveness of information gathered through enhanced interrogations. The Committee also accused former CIA Director Michael Hayden of lying to the Committee regarding prisoners’ deaths, the abusive backgrounds of CIA interrogators, threats against detainees’ family members, and reliability of information acquired through torture.

The CIA claims enhanced interrogation techniques were necessary to determine the secret locations of Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), but the Committee discovered these assertions are false. A CIA detainee provided the agency with information leading to bin Laden’s location before agents subjected him to torture. The detainees who were subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques withheld and fabricated intelligence.

Continue reading

CIA Director Caught Lying and Hacking Senate Computers

Originally published on August 3, 2014, at NationofChange.org

U.S. Senators are calling for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan after the Inspector General reported the CIA hacked computers belonging to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. After hacking into classified files regarding their Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program, CIA Director Brennan denied his agents committed the cyber attack while accusing the Senate Intelligence Committee of breaching CIA firewalls.

In 2009, former CIA Director Leon Panetta authorized access to millions of documents to the intelligence committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Documenting the RDI program between the years 2001—2006, the reports gave a damning account of kidnapping, torture, and murder committed by CIA operatives. At the same time, Panetta ordered the CIA to conduct its own investigation into the documents, now referred to as the Panetta Review.

The documents reveal CIA officials had lied to intelligence committees regarding the effectiveness of using enhanced interrogation techniques to extract valuable information. CIA operatives and contractors had exceeded their authority in numerous instances by torturing detainees to death.

Continue reading