WASHINGTON: Republicans on the US Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release a report asserting the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques helped bring down Osama bin Laden and disrupt terrorist plots, the panel’s top Republican said on Sunday.
“Information gleaned from these interrogations was in fact used to interrupt and disrupt terrorist plots, including some information that took down bin Laden,” Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Democrats who control the Senate Intelligence Committee are expected to issue their own report that alleges the CIA techniques, such as “waterboarding,” did not help yield valuable intelligence and were not necessary.
The two reports will come five years after the committee authorized a probe into the CIA’s possible use of torture after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
It is unclear when the Democrats’ report will be released because Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the committee, has said she may challenge some redactions made by the Obama administration.
Barack Obama, who banned the practices after taking office in 2009, said on Friday the CIA had “tortured some folks” during former President George W Bush’s administration.
Republicans on the committee have long disagreed with Democrats about the use of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, and they largely boycotted the committee’s probe.
“I thought it was a mistake then. I still think it is a mistake,” Chambliss said on CBS. The investigation has been plagued with difficulties. The CIA conceded last week it had improperly monitored computers used by committee investigators looking into the torture allegations. The revelation prompted two Democratic senators to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan, who took over the spy agency last year. Senate committee members appearing on Sunday television news shows did not call for Brennan’s resignation, but said the CIA had committed a breach of trust that needed to be addressed.
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