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US Government Readies for CIA Torture Report Fallout

  • VOA News

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday plans to release a long-awaited report detailing the CIA's interrogation methods since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It will be the first public documentation of the CIA's alleged use of torture on al-Qaida suspects during the so-called War on Terror. And administration officials fear the report could incite violence against U.S. interests around the world.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that the U.S. government has been working for months to prepare for the possible impact of the release of a report on the CIA's interrogation methods in the war on terror.

It would be the first public documentation of the CIA's alleged use of torture on al-Qaida suspects since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Earnest said President Barack Obama felt it was important for the American people to have as clear a look as possible into exactly what happened.

The spokesman said that despite possible risks, the White House believes it is critically important that the declassified summary of the report is released.

The 6,000-page report is said to detail such extreme interrogation techniques as sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which simulates drowning. The methods are said to have been used by CIA operatives on detainees held in secret overseas locations.

Earnest said the president "believes the use of those tactics was unwarranted" and that regardless of the results, the program was not worth the harm that was done to the national values of the United States.

Republican lawmaker Mike Rogers and former CIA Director Michael Hayden warned over the weekend that the report could prompt extremists to attack American nationals and facilities overseas.

On Friday, the State Department said Secretary John Kerry had questioned the "broader implications" of the timing of the report's release. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted that a number of American hostages are being held around the world.

Those who have seen the report say it alleges the intelligence agency misled lawmakers and the White House on how useful the techniques were in getting information.

Hayden denied that the CIA had lied about its program. He added that releasing the report would make it less likely that countries which had cooperated in the past with Washington on the war on terror would do so in the future.

But Dianne Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, has insisted that the report must be published to prevent any future interrogation abuses.

Amnesty International has said the U.S. government's international legal obligations on truth and accountability demand that any information on human rights abuses, including violations of the international law on torture, be made public.

The president had previously acknowledged that the U.S. "tortured some folks."

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