CIA fights back, counters torture report
Countering US senate’s report, three former CIA directors argued in an op-ed on Wednesday, enhanced interrogation programme worked and helped foil terrorist plots.Updated: Dec 12, 2014 08:21 IST
Countering US senate’s report, three former CIA directors argued in an op-ed on Wednesday, enhanced interrogation programme worked and helped foil terrorist plots.
Some other former employees of the intelligence outfit have set up a website, ciasavedlives.com, to counter the narrative of a rogue agency portrayed by the senate report. They have found widespread support from officials of the Bush administration, when the programme was in use. Vice-president Dick Cheney called the senate report “crap”.
CIA has been hit very hard by the report. And though it has issued a detailed rebuttal, Director John Brennan is scheduled to address a rare news conference later Thursday.
In the oped in The Wall Street Journal, directors George Tenet, Porter J Gross and Michael Hayden said the reportwas “one-sided”, “marred by errors” and “partisan attack on the agency”.
They argued that the programme helped disrupt terrorist plots and prevent mass casualty attacks, get to know al Qaeda a whole lot better and capture its operatives. Information extracted from Abu Zubaydah, who has matured prominently in the report, through the interrogation programme led to the capture of Ramzi Bin al-Shibh.
And information obtained from them both, through the use of the same programme again, netted Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, also called KSM, the 9/11 mastermind.
And KSM led the CIA to Riduan Isamuddin, aka Hambali, East Asia’s chief al Qaeda ally and the perpetrator of the 2002 Bali bombing in which more than 200 people died. “We are convinced that both ( Zubaydah and KSM) would not have talked absent the interrogation program,” wrote the former directors.
KSM also helped them reach Hambali’s brother, who was then plotting a 9/11-style attack on the west coast. “Had that attack occurred, the nightmare of 9/11 would have been repeated.”
And, as had been noted by theory before, CIA claims, the programme would go on and help in capturing Osama bin Laden.
First Published: Dec 11, 2014 23:45 IST