Heinrich: C.I.A. Interrogation Techniques Immoral

Dec 9, 2014

Sen. Martin Heinrich speaking on the Senate Floor on December 9, 2014.
Credit Screenshot from YouTube video courtesy of Martin Heinrich.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which released a damning report today on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation techniques after the September 11, 2001, attacks under President George W. Bush.

“Reducing a human being to a state of despair through systemic subjugation and pain and humiliation is unquestionably immoral,” the Democrat said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It should never happen again with the blessing of the American government.”

Heinrich said the results of the report were not to be considered a condemnation of CIA staff and personnel who work hard and follow the law. 

Here are The New York Times’ seven key points to take away from the committee’s report:

The C.I.A.’s interrogation techniques were more brutal and employed more extensively than the agency portrayed.

The C.I.A. interrogation program was mismanaged and was not subject to adequate oversight.

The C.I.A. misled members of Congress and the White House about the effectiveness and extent of its brutal interrogation techniques.

Interrogators in the field who tried to stop the brutal techniques were repeatedly overruled by senior C.I.A. officials.

The C.I.A. repeatedly underreported the number of people it detained and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques under the program.

At least 26 detainees were wrongfully held and did not meet the government’s standard for detention.

The C.I.A. leaked classified information to journalists, exaggerating the success of interrogation methods in an effort to gain public support.