The CIA "provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public" about the "brutal" interrogation techniques it used on terrorism suspects, a long-held Senate intelligence committee report finds.
The report provides the most comprehensive public accounting of the interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
It looked at more than 6 million pages of CIA material over the course of more than three years, and it came to two major conclusions: The CIA misrepresented the interrogation techniques it was using at secret prisons abroad, and it also overstated the techniques' efficacy. The report details the techniques used on detainees and found that those interrogations led to no useful intelligence.
The report does not use the word torture, and it doesn't weigh the legality of the program. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the intelligence committee, writes in the report that it is her "personal conclusion that, under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured."
The CIA rejects those criticisms, saying the Senate report is wrong.
In a statement, Director John Brennan admitted to some "shortcomings" and said the CIA had implemented some "remedial measures."
"Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives," Brennan said. "The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al-Qaida and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day."
What's in it is so sensitive and controversial that the report's release has sparked public spats between the CIA and Senate lawmakers.
It all came to a dramatic head on the floor of the Senate in March. Feinstein accused the CIA of trying to thwart her committee's work by deleting files and later by illegally spying on Senate computers. The CIA — which eventually apologized to the Senate — had accused Feinstein and her committee of improperly removing classified documents from a government network.
On Dec.9, 2014, the Senate made public a 500-page executive summary of the report, which still remains classified.
Announcing its release, Feinstein said the report found a program that is a "stain on our values and our history." But she said it is important to release this report because it will show the world that "America is big enough to admit when it is wrong." The release of this report is important, she said, because the U.S. needs to "face an ugly truth and say never again."