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Senate committee to release declassified report on CIA interrogation

August 2, 2014 at 6:41 PM EDT
The Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release a declassified version of a 6,000-page report examining the CIA's rendition, detention and interrogation program. For more on this Siobhan Gorman of the Wall Street Journal joins Hari Sreenivasan from Washington.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In the coming days the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a declassified version of a 6000 page report, examining the CIA’s rendition detention and interrogation program. Yesterday, anticipating the report the president said, quoting now, “We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.” For more we are joined tonight from Washington by Siobhan Gorman she is the intelligence correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. So what’s likely to be in this report that the president is trying to prepare the country for?

Well we’ve reported on the broad outlines of it over the past few months and it sounds like it’s going to be certainly highly critical of the CIA’s execution of the program and will among other things say that the agency misled both the justice department and congress and I guess by extension the public about the effectiveness of the program.

HARI SREENIVASAN: So considering that everything is going to be compiled into one large report is it likely to highlight the mismanagement of the agency that led to all these problems?

SIOBHAN GORMAN: I think we will see that as one of the key findings of this report. We’re told that the CIA Counterterrorism Center’s management of the program was at times really incorrect and inappropriate and that is something that lawmakers have said still needs to be looked at at the CIA so that may produce sort of follow on proposals for reforms.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Any idea of the other key findings in here?

SIOBHAN GORMAN: Well I think that one of the big takeaways at least as I’ve spoken to people who have read the report is people may not appreciate how these techniques were used in conjunction with each other. It’s one thing to think that the detainees were being deprived of sleep, being exposed to loud music, being thrown against walls, a few of the detainees also waterboarding. But if you think about a lot of those being used sort of back to back over an extended period of time the impact is somewhat more significant than what people might have already thought.

HARI SREENIVASAN: So how many people have endured some of these different practices by the CIA?

SIOBHAN GORMAN: Well my recollection is that it’s somewhere around 100 or a bit less than that.

And how this report was generated also made news this week with the revelations that the CIA was spying on some of the members of the Senate Committee who were investigating this very report.

Yes in sort of the final stages of reviewing the report and sort of the CIA’s response to it, the CIA came to expect that the senate may have inappropriately obtained an internal document and the CIA took it upon itself to try to figure out by monitoring senate networks whether or not there was some network vulnerability or whether or not the document had been stolen by the CIA.

And when CIA director John Brennan brought this issue to the heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January it created a huge kind of an internal firestorm within the committee and it spilled out into the public in the spring. And the other day the inspector general of the CIA weighed in with his sort of verdict on it and he found that indeed the CIA had inappropriately monitored senate networks to include doing keyword searches of staff emails and in some cases reviewing emails.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Siobhan Gorman intelligence correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, thanks so much.