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US on alert ahead of CIA 'torture report' release

Security for US facilities and individuals overseas has been stepped up ahead of the release of a report on the CIA’s interrogations methods, expected on Tuesday.

world Updated: Dec 09, 2014 21:38 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
CIA,obama,CIA torture report

Security for US facilities and individuals overseas has been stepped up ahead of the release of a reporton the CIA’s interrogations methods, expected on Tuesday.

The report compiled by the senate intelligence committee is expected to say the CIA and its supporters grossly exaggerated the usefulness of those methods, essentially torture.

The spy agency differs. Former CIA officials have said key intelligence leading to the Osama bin Laden raid in Abbottabad came from the use of these methods.

A view of the CIA building. Photo : Agencies

President Barack Obama ended them in his first week in office in 2009. He wants the report to be released. But there are some concerns about its timing — secretary of state John Kerry tried to get more time, but failed.

“There are some indications that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to US facilities and individuals all around the world, so the administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at US facilities around the globe,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday.

Officials insisted preparations for handling the backlash, in any, have been on for a while ever since the release of the report became a possibility. They were re-emphasized last week.

State department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “all chiefs of mission were asked to review their mission security posture in advance of the upcoming release of the report” several months ago.

“That was something that we reiterated again over the last couple of days given the likely pending release,” she added.

The senate committee is expected to release a 500-page summary of the report, which runs into about 6,300 pages. A 100-page declassified version of the CIA response is also expected to be made public at the same time.

The CIA has been opposed to release of the report fearing consequences for those named, even by their aliases — won’t be hard to make out who is who among them, they have argued.

The spy agency used these methods in the war against terror in the aftermath of 9/11, and claims it has had all the necessary authorization — and the Bush administration agrees.

“We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf,” said George W Bush, who authorized them, in a TV interview. “These are patriots and whatever the report says, if it 'inishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base.”

First Published: Dec 09, 2014 21:26 IST