In our wide-ranging conversation with Sen. Ron Wyden yesterday, we dug into what he calls the “culture of misinformation” at U.S. intelligence agencies. He detailed some of the issues he sees at the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but when it came to a five-year-long Senate investigation into interrogation techniques used by the CIA, he said he couldn’t reveal any details without breaking the classification rules.
Wyden has said that he believes “the American people will be profoundly disturbed by the contents of the report…[they] will see that much of what CIA officials have said about the effectiveness of coercive interrogations was simply untrue.”
As the White House determines when and how to declassify the report, some of the details have begun to trickle out. A team at McClatchy has obtained the still-classified conclusions of the report which questions the legality of the CIA’s use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding. Specifically, the report states that the CIA:
- Used interrogation methods that weren’t officially approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or CIA
- Provided inaccurate information on the effectiveness of the techniques to the DOJ
- Used techniques that were “brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers”
- Impeded oversight by the White House, Congress, and the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General