A report released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation” program is expected to create a wave of backlash against Americans abroad, prompting embassies and military outposts to prepare for violent protests around the world.
The full details of the report are expected to generate discontent and hostility towards Americans in uniform and government employees living and working outside of the U.S., especially in the home nations of the detainees inducted into the program.
The government has already beefed up security on bases and at embassies in advance of the report’s release, putting the military on high alert.
The report specifies interrogation procedures that in many cases amount to torture, say critics of the program. The report includes graphic details of the CIA’s practices including extended periods of waterboarding, sexual threats and “rectal feeding” among the methods of interrogation.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the program in an interview with the New York Times saying that the program was “the right thing to do, and if I had to do it over again, I would do it.”
“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Cheney said. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”
The report indicates that the CIA falsely portrayed the program as a success to Congress and the White House throughout its course. Members of the CIA who objected to the practices were routinely overruled.
Other facts revealed by the report indicate that the program involved more people than originally reported and that a larger percentage of the detainees were subject to the interrogation techniques. Of the 119 detainees, 26 failed to meet the standards for detention including one “intellectually challenged” member who was held to put pressure on a family member.
Because of the expected backlash many politicians have condemned the release of the report, although Maine Sen. Angus King maintained that it was the right decision.
“We did things that we tried Japanese soldiers for war crimes for after World War Two,” King told Reuters. “This is not America. This is not who we are. What was done has diminished our stature and inflamed terrorists around the world.”
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