CIA Declined to Closely Evaluate Harsh Interrogations
26 Apr 09 | LAT
Current and former U.S. officials say the failure to carefully examine the value of ‘enhanced’ methods such as waterboarding — despite calls to do so as early as 2003 — was part of a broader trend.
The CIA used an arsenal of severe interrogation techniques on imprisoned Al Qaeda suspects for nearly seven years without seeking a rigorous assessment of whether the methods were effective or necessary, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The failure to conduct a comprehensive examination occurred despite calls to do so as early as 2003. That year, the agency’s inspector general circulated drafts of a report that raised deep concerns about waterboarding and other methods, and recommended a study by outside experts on whether they worked.
That inspector general report described in broad terms the volume of intelligence that the interrogation program was producing, a point echoed in smaller studies later commissioned by then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss.
But neither the inspector general’s report nor the other audits examined the effectiveness of interrogation techniques in detail or sought to scrutinize the assertions of CIA counter-terrorism officials that so-called enhanced methods were essential to the program’s results. One report by a former government official — not an interrogation expert — was about 10 pages long and amounted to a glowing review of interrogation efforts. >>>