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CIA lost track of number of detainees

In both public and classified settings, the CIA has reported that it has detained fewer than 100 individuals.

But the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report, released today, reveals that at least 119 people have been detained.

Internal CIA documents indicate that inadequate record keeping made it impossible for the CIA to determine how many individuals it had detained. In December 2003, a CIA Station overseeing CIA detention operations in Country [redacted] informed CIA Headquarters that it had made the “unsettling discovery” that the CIA was “holding a number of detainees about whom” it knew “very little.” (Select Committee on Intelligence Report Executive Summary — page 14)

A review in 2008 found that the CIA had 112 detainees, and possibly more. At the directive of then CIA Director Michael Hayden, a CIA employee was asked to “devise a way” to keep the number the same as previously reported to Congress. Below is a portion of the email that employee sent himself:

I briefed the additional CIA detainees that could be included in RDI numbers. DCIA instructed me to keep the detainee number at 98 ~ pick whatever date I [sic] needed to make that happen but the number is 98.(page — 15)

The report also indicates that at least 26 people were wrongly detained.

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