On Sept. 6, 2006, President George W. Bush delivered the first detailed “formal public representation about the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation technique.” This is according to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Interrogation that was released Tuesday.
In his speech, delivered from the White House, President Bush outlined the U.S.’s successes in capturing and questioning high-level terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks. The president also lauded the contributions of intelligence officers in their quest to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice.
But according to the Senate report, some of the intelligence the president referenced was based on false information provided by the CIA.
In his speech, President Bush referenced detainee Abu Zubaydah, a senior terrorist leader and associate of Osama bin Laden. He said that information obtained from Zubaydah during an “alternative set of procedures” used during questioning led to information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the U.S.
“We knew that Zubaydah had more information that could save innocent lives. But he stopped talking.
As his questioning proceeded, it became clear that he had received training on how to resist interrogation. And so, the CIA used an alternative set of procedures.”
According to the report, Zubaydah did not respond any differently to “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Abu Zubaydah’s inability to provide information on the next attack in the United States–and operatives in the United States–provided the basis for CIA representations that Abu Zubaydah was uncooperative, as well as for the CIA’s determination that Abu Zubaydah required the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques to become compliant and reveal the information that CIA Headquarters believed he was withholding. The CIA further stated that Abu Zubaydah could stop the application of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, like the waterboard, by providing the names of operatives in the United States Or information to stop the next attack. At no point during or after the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques did Abu Zubaydah provide this type of information. (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report Executive Summary — Page 206)
CIA Director John Brennan said Thursday in response to the release of a Senate report that some agency officers used “abhorrent” techniques and it was “unknowable” whether they produced any helpful intelligence from terrorism suspects.
But he defended the agency and the CIA officers who fought and died in the Afghanistan war. The CIA “did a lot of things right” in a time when there were “no easy answers,” he said.
Read the Senate’s full report below:
Senate Republicans issued a minority report in response to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s executive summary on enhanced interrogation techniques.
Video edited by Justin Scuiletti