A new Senate Intelligence Committee report details the CIA's harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects, and the committee chair says some of the practices amount to torture. Nathan Frandino reports.
After five years of research, a CIA secret is out of the shadows. A new Senate Intelligence Committee report says the CIA's harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects and its methods were far more brutal than the agency acknowledged. Committee chair Dianne Feinstein led the investigation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIANNE FEINSTEIN, CHAIRMAN OF SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, SAYING: "The report released today examines the CIA's secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation techniques, in some cases amounting to torture." The program began after the 9/11 attacks, in which more than 3,000 people were killed. Then President George W. Bush authorized the program, as the hunt for al Qaeda leaders began. The report says the program led to a series of secret CIA prisons, including some suspected detention centers in Afghanistan, Poland and Romania. It was in these prisons that the report says suspects were deprived of sleep, kept in isolation and chained to concrete floors while partially nude. The CIA has dismissed the findings, saying the interrogations did result in valuable information. Current CIA Director John Brennan says the intelligence "helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives." Feinstein says the report found otherwise. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIANNE FEINSTEIN, CHAIRMAN OF SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, SAYING: "It finds that coercive interrogation techniques did not produce the vital, otherwise, unavailable evidence the CIA has claimed." The report points to Al Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded and was among the militants who gave interrogators false information. Many Republicans have condemned the report, saying its release would put Americans at risk. Human rights groups and the United Nations are calling for prosecutions of those responsible, but the Justice Department says it has no plans to reopen a criminal investigation.