CIA, Congress clash over torture

US prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.

The US Central Intelligence Agency and Senate Intelligence Committee have profound differences over a report the panel is completing which is highly critical of CIA torture techniques and secret prisons.

The CIA continues to dispute significant aspects of a draft of the highly classified report which the Senate committee approved a year ago, both congressional and intelligence officials have confirmed, Reuters reports.

The intelligence committee launched a sweeping criminal investigation into CIA practices under former president George W. Bush, reviewing millions of pages of ultra-secret reports documenting the handling of suspects.

Over the past year, the CIA laid out its concerns about the Senate committee report in written submissions and meetings with committee officials. As a result, the committee began working on an updated version of the report, which it hopes to finish by the end of the year.

Intelligence committee investigators have also made highly critical assessments of the controversial practices like the creation of “secret prisons” overseas where harsh interrogation techniques, including “waterboarding” and sleep deprivation, were used on captured suspects, officials familiar with the draft report said.

Committee members concluded that the CIA obtained little or no critical intelligence from the use of secret prisons and harsh interrogations tactics.

Harsh interrogation methods were used on some of the most high-profile suspects captured by the US in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

They harsh methods, which human rights advocates characterize as torture, were disowned by the current administration after Barack Obama took office in 2009.

However, US officials continue to use the Bush-era CIA practice known as “rendition” – in which captured suspects are transferred without legal process by the CIA to third countries where they are often mistreated.

AHT/HJ

Source: Press TV