Aug 24 2009
“The documents released today provide evidence that the CIA detention and interrogation program exceeded its authority as follows:
- Beating a detainee in Afghanistan, who later died in custody, with a heavy flashlight;
- Threatening a detainee with a handgun and a power drill;
- Staging a mock execution;
- Threatening to kill a detainee’s family;
- Choking a detainee to the point of unconsciousness;
- Applying waterboarding in ways that beyond what the Office of Legal Counsel had authorized, and not informing OLC of how waterboarding was being done in practice prior to the Inspector General’s report.
The IG report also noted a case in which the interrogators at a ‘black site’ recommended ending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on a detainee, but were overruled by officials at CIA headquarters and told to resume waterboarding the detainee.
I first learned of this and other IG reports, starting in September of 2006. I expressed significant concern with the program and introduced legislation in 2007 to limit CIA interrogations to techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual. This provision was passed by Congress in 2008, but was vetoed by President Bush. I reintroduced this legislation in January.
President Obama has committed to requiring that the CIA only use the proven and effective interrogation techniques authorized by the Army Field Manual, and I strongly agree with that position.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting a comprehensive, bipartisan study of all aspects of CIA’s detention and interrogation program. This study includes how the program was created and operated, how it was briefed to the Congress and other parts of the Executive Branch, its compliance with guidance from the Department of Justice, and the information produced. The study is ongoing. We have reviewed thousands of documents on a number of high-value detainees, and will review the cases of all such detainees.
The Committee’s study will continue until we complete our work, regardless of any decision by Attorney General Holder on whether to proceed to a criminal investigation. I look forward to continued cooperation with our work from the CIA and the Administration.”