Press Releases

WashingtonSenator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s false claims on the effectiveness of torture in an ABC News interview:

“President Trump last night in an interview repeatedly asserted that torture works. This is false. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report lays this out in excruciating detail. The architect of the 9/11 attacks was water boarded 183 times and didn’t provide any actionable intelligence that we didn’t already have. As the committee detailed, he also fabricated extensive misinformation under torture. Facts are stubborn things, even for presidents.”

The report’s conclusion with regard to the false claim that torture is effective follows:

Senate Intelligence Committee Study on CIA Interrogation and Detention

            Conclusion: The CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were not effective.

  • At no time did the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques lead to the collection of imminent threat intelligence, such as the hypothetical “ticking time bomb” information that many believe was the justification for the use of these techniques.
  • The committee reviewed 20 of the most frequent and prominent examples of purported counterterrorism “successes” that the CIA has attributed to the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques. Each of those examples was found to be wrong in fundamental respects. In some cases, there was no relationship between the claimed counterterrorism “success” and any information provided by a CIA detainee during or after the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

    In the remaining cases, the CIA inaccurately represented that unique information was acquired from a CIA detainee as a result of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, when in fact the information was either (a) acquired from the CIA detainee prior to the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques or (b) corroborative of information already available to the intelligence community from sources other than the CIA detainee, and therefore not unique or “otherwise unavailable,” which was the standard for effectiveness the CIA presented to the Department of Justice and policymakers.
  • The methods in question—which were based on discredited coercive interrogation techniques such as those used by torturous regimes during the Cold War to elicit false confessions—regularly resulted in fabricated information. During the brutal interrogations, the CIA was often unaware the information was fabricated, leading CIA officers or contractors to falsely conclude that they were acquiring unique or actionable intelligence when they were not.
  • Internally, CIA officers regularly called into question the effectiveness of the CIA’s interrogation techniques, noting how the techniques failed to elicit detainee cooperation or produce accurate intelligence.
  • The CIA acknowledges that it never adequately reviewed the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques, despite a recommendation by the CIA inspector general to do so and similar requests by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and the leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee. After the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques failed to elicit information from the last detainee in CIA custody in 2007, a CIA review team internally concluded that future CIA interrogations should incorporate more rapport-building techniques and that the CIA should conduct research on interrogation techniques used by other U.S. government agencies.