Face in the News: Analyzing the CIA torture report

Category: In The News Published: Tuesday, 16 December 2014 Written by Admin

WASHINGTON (CBS News) - The debate over harsh CIA interrogation techniques continued over the weekend, with lawmakers split down the middle over the bombshell Senate report released last week.

The report, released by the Senate Intelligence Committee led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), sent ripples throughout Washington and the intelligence community. The 525-page summary condemned the CIA for using interrogation techniques that amounted to torture on suspected Al-Qaeda detainees, and then misleading the White House and Congress about the effectiveness of the top-secret program.

The response to the report has been sharply partisan. Democrats, long critical of Bush administration practices, hailed its release and praised Feinstein for her diligence. But Republicans brushed it off as a political hatchet-job meant to smear hardworking CIA professionals whose work kept the nation safe.

Only one Republican broke party lines and endorsed the report this week: Sen. John McCain. The Arizona senator, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, said Sunday on Face The Nation that defenders of the CIAs secret prisons and interrogations were rewriting... history.

There were violations of the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of prisoners, McCain said. There were violations of the Convention Against Torture, which Ronald Reagan was a primary signatory of. In retrospect, some of these practices fly in the face of everything that America values and stands for.

McCains comments about the report were picked up by the Associated Press, The New York Times, AFP, the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, The Hill, the New York Daily News, the Christian Science Monitor and Newsmax. He also spoke about the new GOP majority in Congress, and those comments were covered by the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, agreed with McCain that it was right to release the report. While highly critical of how the CIA was misleading to Congress in the past, King stopped short of calling for the resignation of current CIA Director John Brennan.

His comments were covered by Politico and The Hill.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was very critical of the report. He said that interrogators gleaned a treasure trove of information from the three detainees who were subjected to waterboarding, an interrogation tactic that simulates drowning.

Youve got to remember, there were 789 detainees sent to Gitmo, Chambliss said, referring to the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. Three of them, three out of 789, were waterboarded. Abu Zubaydah was one of em. There were 766 actionable intelligence reports written from Abu Zubaydah.

These comments from Chambliss, who is retiring from Congress, were covered by The Hill.

Chambliss was supported by Rep. Mike Rogers, the retiring Michigan Republican who has led the House Intelligence Committee since 2011. He said that the report was only done by Democrats and the Democrats staff and that their methodology is being questioned.

Rogers comments were picked up by The Hill, the Washington Examiner and The Guardian

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