CIA boss to defend ‘brutal’ tactics

johnbrennan-ap-netCIA Director John Brennan is set to defend his agency’s past use of interrogation methods after a highly critical Senate report.

Mr Brennan will speak to journalists and agency staff in a rare televised speech from CIA

headquarters.

The report said “brutal” methods like waterboarding and sleep deprivation did not lead to

life-saving intelligence and the agency misled politicians.

Former Bush administrations officials have rallied to the CIA’s defence.

In an interview with Fox News, former US Vice-President Dick Cheney said the report was

“deeply flawed”.

Mr Cheney said Mr Bush “knew everything he needed to know” about the programme, and the report was “full of crap”.

His former boss led the charge against the report ahead of its release on Tuesday.

“We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf,” he told CNN on Sunday.

Current CIA director John Brennan was expected to make a statement yesterday afternoon and take questions at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Correspondents says the speech is intended to be a morale boost to the spy agency’s employees as much as a defence of the overall interrogation programme.

In a written statement he has hit back at the report, saying the CIA’s methods prevented .

An outgoing Democratic Senator, Mark Udall, has called on Mr Brennan to quit, citing

interference from the CIA in preparing the report.

A summary of the larger classified report says that the CIA carried out “brutal” and

“ineffective” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the US and misled other officials about what it was doing.

The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in the 2001-2007 programme.

A man crosses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in

Langley, Virginia 14 August 2008 The CIA is now in the uncomfortable position of defending itself publicly.

Fomer US Vice President Dick Cheney said the Senate.

“As a matter of international law, the US is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, said ina statement made from Geneva.

He said there had been a “clear policy orchestrated at a high level”.

The chances of prosecuting members of the Bush administration are unlikely – the US justice department has pursued two investigations into mistreatment of detainees and found insufficient evidence.

On Wednesday, an unnamed justice department official told the Los Angeles Times prosecutors had read the report and “did not find any new information” to reopen the investigation.

US President Barack Obama, who has acknowledged some methods amounted to torture, has said on Tuesday that he hoped that the publication of the report would “help us leave these techniques where they belong – in the past”.

Some Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee released a minority report, accusing the Senate of having a “flawed analytical methodology”, “inadequate objectivity” and “political considerations”.

However, influential Republican Senator John McCain argued that torture “rarely yields credible information” and that even in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden the most important lead came from “conventional interrogation methods”. —

BBC

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