[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 149 (Tuesday, December 9, 2014)]
[Pages S6405-S6414]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       AND INTERROGATION PROGRAM

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I want to thank the leader for his 
words and for his support. They are extraordinarily welcome and 
  Today, a 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence 
Committee's 5\1/2\ year review of the CIA's detention and interrogation 
program, which was conducted between 2002 and 2009, is being released 
publicly. The executive summary, which is going out today, is backed by 
a 6,700-page classified and unredacted report with 38,000 footnotes 
which can be released, if necessary, at a later time.
  The report released today examines the CIA's secret overseas 
detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive 
interrogation techniques, in some cases amounting to torture.
  Over the past couple of weeks, I have gone through a great deal of 
introspection about whether to delay the release of this report to a 
later time. This clearly is a period of turmoil and instability in many 
parts of the world. Unfortunately, that is going to continue for the 
foreseeable future whether or not this report is released.
  There are those who will seize upon the report and say ``See what the 
Americans did,'' and they will try to use it to justify evil actions or 
incite more violence. We can't prevent that, but history will judge us 
by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness 
to face an ugly truth and say ``never again.''
  There may never be the right time to release this report. The 
instability we see today will not be resolved in months or years. But 
this report is too important to shelve indefinitely.
  My determination to release it has also increased due to a campaign 
of mistaken statements and press articles launched against the report 
before anyone has had the chance to read it. As a matter of fact, the 
report is just now, as I speak, being released. This is what it looks 
  Senator Chambliss asked me if we could have the minority report bound 
with the majority report. For this draft that is not possible. In the 
filed draft it will be bound together. But this is what the summary of 
the 6,000 pages looks like.
  My words give me no pleasure. I am releasing this report because I 
know there are thousands of employees at the CIA who do not condone 
what I will speak about this morning and who work day and night, long 
hours, within the law, for America's security in what is certainly a 
difficult world. My colleagues on the Intelligence Committee and I are 
proud of them, just as everyone in this Chamber is, and we will always 
support them.
  In reviewing the study in the past few days, with the decision 
looming over the public release, I was struck by a quote found on page 
126 of the executive summary. It cites a former CIA inspector general, 
John Helgerson, who in 2005 wrote the following to the then-Director of 
the CIA, which clearly states the situation with respect to this report 
years later as well:

       We have found that the Agency over the decades has 
     continued to get itself in messes related to interrogation 
     programs for one overriding reason: we do not document and 
     learn from our experience--each generation of officers is 
     left to improvise anew, with problematic results for our 
     officers as individuals and for our Agency.

[[Page S6406]]

  I believe that to be true. I agree with Mr. Helgerson. His comments 
are true today. But this must change.
  On March 11, 2009, the committee voted 14 to 1 to begin a review of 
the CIA's detention and interrogation program. Over the past 5 years a 
small team of committee investigators pored over the more than 6.3 
million pages of CIA records the leader spoke about to complete this 
report or what we call the study. It shows that the CIA's actions a 
decade ago are a stain on our values and on our history. The release of 
this 500-page summary cannot remove that stain, but it can and does say 
to our people and the world that America is big enough to admit when it 
is wrong and confident enough to learn from its mistakes. Releasing 
this report is an important step to restore our values and show the 
world that we are, in fact, a just and lawful society.
  Over the next hour I wish to lay out for Senators and the American 
public the report's key findings and conclusions. I ask that when I 
complete this, Senator McCain be recognized. Before I get to the 
substance of the report, I wish to make a few comments about why it is 
so important that we make this study public.
  All of us have vivid memories of that Tuesday morning when terrorists 
struck New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. Make no mistake--on 
September 11, 2001, war was declared on the United States. Terrorists 
struck our financial center, they struck our military center, and they 
tried to strike our political center and would have had brave and 
courageous passengers not brought down the plane. We still vividly 
remember the mix of outrage, deep despair, and sadness as we watched 
from Washington--smoke rising from the Pentagon, the passenger plane 
lying in a Pennsylvania field, and the sound of bodies striking 
canopies at ground level as innocents jumped to the ground below from 
the World Trade Center. Mass terror that we often see abroad had struck 
us directly in our front yard, killing 3,000 innocent men, women, and 
  What happened? We came together as a nation with one singular 
mission: Bring those who committed these acts to justice. But it is at 
this point where the values of America come into play, where the rule 
of law and the fundamental principles of right and wrong become 
  In 1990 the Senate ratified the Convention against Torture. The 
convention makes clear that this ban against torture is absolute. It 

       No exceptional circumstances whatsoever--
  Including what I just read--

     whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political 
     instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as 
     a justification of torture.

  Nonetheless, it was argued that the need for information on possible 
additional terrorist plots after 9/11 made extraordinary interrogation 
techniques necessary.
  Even if one were to set aside all of the moral arguments, our review 
was a meticulous and detailed examination of records. It finds that 
coercive interrogation techniques did not produce the vital, otherwise 
unavailable intelligence the CIA has claimed.
  I will go into further detail on this issue in a moment, but let me 
make clear that these comments are not a condemnation of the CIA as a 
whole. The CIA plays an incredibly important part in our Nation's 
security and has thousands of dedicated and talented employees.
  What we have found is that a surprisingly few people were responsible 
for designing, carrying out, and managing this program. Two contractors 
developed and led the interrogations. There was little effective 
oversight. Analysts, on occasion, gave operational orders about 
interrogations, and CIA management of the program was weak and 
  Our final report was approved by a bipartisan vote of 9 to 6 in 
December of 2012 and exposes brutality in stark contrast to our values 
as a nation.
  This effort was focused on the actions of the CIA from late 2001 to 
January of 2009. The report does include considerable detail on the 
CIA's interactions with the White House, the Departments of Justice, 
State, and Defense, and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  The review is based on contemporaneous records and documents during 
the time the program was in place and active. These documents are 
important because they aren't based on recollection, they aren't based 
on revision, and they aren't a rationalization a decade later. It is 
these documents, referenced repeatedly in thousands of footnotes, that 
provide the factual basis for the study's conclusions. The committee's 
majority staff reviewed more than 6.3 million pages of these documents 
provided by the CIA, as well as records from other departments and 
agencies. These records include finished intelligence assessments, CIA 
operational and intelligence cables, memoranda, emails, real-time chat 
sessions, inspector general reports, testimony before Congress, 
pictures, and other internal records.
  It is true that we didn't conduct our own interviews, and I wish to 
state why that was the case. In 2009 there was an ongoing review by the 
Department of Justice Special Prosecutor, John Durham. On August 24, 
Attorney General Holder expanded that review. This occurred 6 months 
after our study had begun. Durham's original investigation of the CIA's 
destruction of interrogation videotapes was broadened to include 
possible criminal actions of CIA employees in the course of CIA 
detention and interrogation activities.
  At the time, the committee's vice chairman, Kit Bond, withdrew the 
minority's participation in the study, citing the Attorney General's 
expanded investigation as the reason.
  The Department of Justice refused to coordinate its investigation 
with the Intelligence Committee's review. As a result, possible 
interviewees could be subject to additional liability if they were 
interviewed, and the CIA, citing the Attorney General's investigation, 
would not instruct its employees to participate in interviews.
  Notwithstanding, I am very confident of the factual accuracy and 
comprehensive nature of this report for three reasons:
  No. 1, it is 6.3 million pages of documents reviewed, and they reveal 
records of actions as those actions took place, not through 
recollections more than a decade later.
  No. 2, the CIA and CIA senior officers have taken the opportunity to 
explain their views on CIA detention and interrogation operations. They 
have done this in on-the-record statements in classified committee 
hearings, written testimony and answers to questions, and through the 
formal response to the committee in June 2013 after reading this study.
  No. 3, the committee had access to and utilized an extensive set of 
reports of interviews conducted by the CIA inspector general and the 
CIA's oral history program.
  So while we could not conduct new interviews of individuals, we did 
utilize transcripts or summaries of interviews of those directly 
engaged in detention and interrogation operations. These interviews 
occurred at the time the program was operational and covered the exact 
topics we would have asked about had we conducted interviews ourselves.
  These interview reports and transcripts included but were not limited 
to the following: George Tenet, Director of the CIA when the Agency 
took custody and interrogated the majority of detainees; Jose 
Rodriguez, Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, a key player 
in the program; CIA General Counsel Scott Mueller; CIA Deputy Director 
of Operations James Pavitt; CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo; CIA 
Deputy Director John McLaughlin; and a variety of interrogators, 
lawyers, medical personnel, senior counterterrorism analysts, and 
managers of the detention and interrogation program.
  The best place to start on how we got into this situation--and I am 
delighted that the previous Chairman Senator Rockefeller is on the 
floor--is a little more than 8 years ago, on September 6, 2006, when 
the committee met to be briefed by then-Director Michael Hayden.
  At that 2006 meeting the full committee learned for the first time--
the first time--of the use of so-called enhanced interrogation 
techniques or EITs.
  It was a short meeting, in part because President Bush was making a 
public speech later that day disclosing officially for the first time 
the existence of CIA black sites and announcing

[[Page S6407]]

the transfer of 14 detainees from CIA custody to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 
It was the first time the interrogation program was explained to the 
full committee, as details had previously been limited to the chairman 
and vice chairman.
  Then, on December 7, 2007, The New York Times reported that CIA 
personnel in 2005 had destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two 
CIA detainees--the CIA's first detainee Abu Zubaydah, as well as Abd 
al-Rahim al-Nashiri. The committee had not been informed of the 
destruction of the tapes.
  Days later, on December 11, 2007, the committee held a hearing on the 
destruction of the videotapes. Director Hayden, the primary witness, 
testified the CIA had concluded the destruction of videotapes was 
acceptable, in part because Congress had not yet requested to see them. 
My source is our committee's transcript of the hearing on December 11, 
2007. Director Hayden stated that if the committee had asked for the 
videotapes, they would have been provided. But of course the committee 
had not known the videotapes existed.
  We now know from CIA emails and records that the videotapes were 
destroyed shortly after CIA attorneys raised concerns that Congress 
might find out about the tapes.
  In any case, at that same December 11 committee hearing, Director 
Hayden told the committee that CIA cables related to the interrogation 
sessions depicted in the videotapes were `` . . . a more than adequate 
representation of the tapes and therefore, if you want them, we will 
give you access to them.'' That is a quote from our transcript of the 
December 11, 2007, hearing.
  Senator Rockefeller, then-chairman of the committee, designated two 
members of the committee staff to review the cables describing the 
interrogation sessions of Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. Senator Bond, 
then-vice chairman, similarly directed two of his staffers to review 
the cables. The designated staff members completed their review and 
compiled a summary of the content of the CIA cables by early 2009, by 
which time I had become chairman.
  The description in the cables of CIA's interrogations and the 
treatment of detainees presented a starkly different picture from 
Director Hayden's testimony before the committee. They described 
brutal, around-the-clock interrogations, especially of Abu Zubaydah, in 
which multiple coercive techniques were used in combination and with 
substantial repetition. It was an ugly, visceral description.
  The summary also indicated that Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri did not, 
as a result of the use of these so-called EITs, provide the kind of 
intelligence that led the CIA to stop terrorist plots or arrest 
additional suspects. As a result, I think it is fair to say the entire 
committee was concerned and it approved the scope of an investigation 
by a vote of 14 to 1, and the work began.
  In my March 11, 2014, floor speech about the study, I described how 
in 2009 the committee came to an agreement with the new CIA Director, 
Leon Panetta, for access to documents and other records about the CIA's 
detention and interrogation program. I will not repeat that here. From 
2009 to 2012, our staff conducted a massive and unprecedented review of 
CIA records. Draft sections of the report were produced by late 2011 
and shared with the full committee. The final report was completed in 
December 2012 and approved by the committee by a bipartisan vote of 9 
to 6.
  After that vote, I sent the full report to the President and asked 
the administration to provide comments on it before it was released. 
Six months later, in June of 2013, the CIA responded. I directed then 
that if the CIA pointed out any error in our report, we would fix it, 
and we did fix one bullet point that did not impact our findings and 
conclusions. If the CIA came to a different conclusion than the report 
did, we would note that in the report and explain our reasons for 
disagreeing, if we disagreed. You will see some of that documented in 
the footnotes of that executive summary as well as in the 6,000 pages.
  In April 2014, the committee prepared an updated version of the full 
study and voted 12 to 3 to declassify and release the executive 
summary, findings and conclusions and minority and additional views.
  On August 1, we received a declassified version from the executive 
branch. It was immediately apparent the redactions to our report 
prevented a clear and understandable reading of the study and prevented 
us from substantiating the findings and conclusions, so we obviously 
  For the past 4 months, the committee and the CIA, the Director of 
National Intelligence, and the White House have engaged in a lengthy 
negotiation over the redactions to the report. We have been able to 
include some more information in the report today without sacrificing 
sources and methods or our national security.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record following my 
remarks a letter from the White House, dated yesterday, transmitting 
the unclassified parts of report, and it also points out that the 
executive summary is 93 percent complete and that the redactions amount 
to 7 percent.
  Mr. President, this has been a long process. The work began 7 years 
ago when Senator Rockefeller directed committee staff to review the CIA 
cables describing the interrogation sessions of Abu Zubaydah and al-
Nashiri. It has been very difficult, but I believe documentation and 
the findings and conclusions will make clear how this program was 
morally, legally, and administratively misguided and that this Nation 
should never again engage in these tactics.
  Let me now turn to the contents of the study. As I noted, we have 20 
findings and conclusions which fall into four general categories: 
First, the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques were not an 
effective way to gather intelligence information; second, the CIA 
provided extensive amounts of inaccurate information about the 
operation of the program and its effectiveness to the White House, the 
Department of Justice, Congress, the CIA inspector general, the media, 
and the American public; third, the CIA's management of the program was 
inadequate and deeply flawed; and fourth, the CIA program was far more 
brutal than people were led to believe.
  Let me describe each category in more detail. The first set of 
findings and conclusions concern the effectiveness or lack thereof of 
the CIA interrogation program. The committee found that the CIA's 
coercive interrogation techniques were not an effective means of 
acquiring accurate intelligence or gaining detainee cooperation.
  The CIA and other defenders of the program have repeatedly claimed 
the use of so-called interrogation techniques was necessary to get 
detainees to provide critical information and to bring detainees to a 
``state of compliance,'' in which they would cooperate and provide 
information. The study concludes both claims are inaccurate.
  The report is very specific in how it evaluates the CIA's claims on 
the effectiveness and necessity of its enhanced interrogation 
techniques. Specifically, we used the CIA's own definition of 
effectiveness as ratified and approved by the Department of Justice's 
Office of Legal Counsel. The CIA claimed that the EITs were necessary 
to obtain ``otherwise unavailable'' information that could not be 
obtained from any other source to stop terrorist attacks and save 
American lives, that is a claim we conclude is inaccurate.
  We took 20 examples that the CIA itself claimed to show the success 
of these interrogations. These include cases of terrorist plots stopped 
or terrorists captured. The CIA used these examples in presentations to 
the White House, in testimony to Congress, in submissions to the 
Department of Justice, and ultimately to the American people.
  Some of the claims are well known: the capture of Khalid Shaikh 
Mohammed, the prevention of attacks against the Library Tower in Los 
Angeles, and the takedown of Osama bin Laden. Other claims were made 
only in classified settings to the White House, Congress, and 
Department of Justice.
  In each case, the CIA claimed that critical and unique information 
came from one or more detainees in its custody after they were 
subjected to the CIA's coercive techniques, and that information led to 
a specific counterterrorism success. Our staff reviewed every one of 
the 20 cases and not a single case holds up.
  In every single one of these cases, at least one of the following was 
true: One, the intelligence community had

[[Page S6408]]

information separate from the use of EITs that led to the terrorist 
disruption or capture; two, information from a detainee subjected to 
EITs played no role in the claimed disruption or capture; and three, 
the purported terrorist plot either did not exist or posed no real 
threat to Americans or U.S. interests.
  Some critics have suggested the study concludes that no intelligence 
was ever provided from any detainee the CIA held. That is false and the 
study makes no such claim. What is true is that actionable intelligence 
that was ``otherwise unavailable'' was not obtained using these 
coercive interrogation techniques.
  The report also chronicles where the use of interrogation techniques 
that do not involve physical force were effective. Specifically, the 
report provides examples where interrogators had sufficient information 
to confront detainees with facts, know when they were lying and when 
they applied rapport-building techniques that were developed and honed 
by the U.S. military, the FBI, and more recently the interagency High-
Value Detainee Interrogation Group, called the HIG, that these 
techniques produced good intelligence.
  Let me make a couple of additional comments on the claimed 
effectiveness of CIA interrogations. At no time did the CIA's coercive 
interrogation techniques lead to the collection of intelligence on an 
imminent threat that many believe was the justification for the use of 
these techniques. The committee never found an example of this 
hypothetical ticking timebomb scenario.

  The use of coercive technique methods regularly resulted in 
fabricated information. Sometimes the CIA actually knew detainees were 
lying. Other times the CIA acted on false information, diverting 
resources and leading officers or contractors to falsely believe they 
were acquiring unique or actionable intelligence and that its 
interrogations were working when they were not.
  Internally, CIA officers often called into question the effectiveness 
of the CIA's interrogation techniques, noting how the techniques failed 
to elicit detainee cooperation or produce accurate information.
  The report includes numerous examples of CIA officers questioning the 
agency's claims, but these contradictions were marginalized and not 
presented externally.
  The second set of findings and conclusions is that the CIA provided 
extensive inaccurate information about the program and its 
effectiveness to the White House, the Department of Justice, Congress, 
the CIA inspector general, the media, and the American public.
  This conclusion is somewhat personal for me. I remember clearly when 
Director Hayden briefed the Intelligence Committee for the first time 
on the so-called EITs at that September 2006 committee meeting. He 
referred specifically to a ``tummy slap,'' among other techniques, and 
presented the entire set of techniques as minimally harmful and applied 
in a highly clinical and professional manner. They were not.
  The committee's report demonstrates that these techniques were 
physically very harmful, and that the constraints that existed on paper 
in Washington did not match the way techniques were used at CIA sites 
around the world.
  Of particular note was the treatment of Abu Zubaydah over a span of 
17 days in August 2002. This involved nonstop interrogation and abuse, 
24/7, from August 4 to August 21, and included multiple forms of 
deprivation and physical assault. The description of this period, first 
written up by our staff in early 2009 while Senator Rockefeller was 
chairman, was what prompted this full review.
  But the inaccurate and incomplete descriptions go far beyond that. 
The CIA provided inaccurate memoranda and explanations to the 
Department of Justice while its Office of Legal Counsel was considering 
the legality of the coercive techniques.
  In those communications to the Department of Justice, the CIA claimed 
the following: The coercive techniques would not be used with excessive 
repetition; detainees would always have an opportunity to provide 
information prior to the use of the techniques; the techniques were to 
be used in progression, starting with the least aggressive and 
proceeding only if needed; medical personnel would make sure that 
interrogations wouldn't cause serious harm, and they could intervene at 
any time to stop interrogations; interrogators were carefully vetted 
and highly trained, and each technique was to be used in a specific way 
without deviation, and only with specific approval for the interrogator 
and detainee involved.
  None of these assurances, which the Department of Justice relied on 
to form its legal opinions, were consistently or even routinely carried 
  In many cases, important information was withheld from policymakers. 
For example, foreign intelligence committee chairman Bob Graham asked a 
number of questions after he was first briefed in September of 2002, 
but the CIA refused to answer him, effectively stonewalling him until 
he left the committee at the end of the year.
  In another example, the CIA, in coordination with White House 
officials and staff, initially withheld information of the CIA's 
interrogation techniques from Secretary of State Colin Powell and 
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. There are CIA records stating 
that Colin Powell wasn't told about the program at first because there 
were concerns that ``Powell would blow his stack if he were briefed.'' 
Source: Email from John Rizzo dated July 31, 2003.
  CIA records clearly indicate, and definitively, that after he was 
briefed on the CIA's first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, the CIA didn't tell 
President Bush about the full nature of the EITs until April 2006. That 
is what the records indicate.
  The CIA similarly withheld information or provided false information 
to the CIA inspector general during his conduct of a special review by 
the IG in 2004.
  Incomplete and inaccurate information from the CIA was used in 
documents provided to the Department of Justice and as a basis for 
President Bush's speech on September 6, 2006, in which he publicly 
acknowledged the CIA program for the first time.
  In all of these cases, other CIA officers acknowledged internally 
that information the CIA had provided was wrong.
  The CIA also misled other CIA and White House officials. When Vice 
President Cheney's counsel David Addington asked CIA General Counsel 
Scott Muller in 2003 about the CIA's videotaping the waterboarding of 
detainees, Muller deliberately told him that videotapes ``were not 
being made,'' but did not disclose that videotapes of previous 
waterboarding sessions had been made and still existed. Source: E-mail 
from Scott Muller dated June 7, 2003.
  There are many more examples in the committee's report. All are 
  The third set of findings and conclusions notes the various ways in 
which CIA management of the Detention and Interrogation Program--from 
its inception to its formal termination in January of 2009--was 
inadequate and deeply flawed.
  There is no doubt that the Detention and Interrogation Program was, 
by any measure, a major CIA undertaking. It raised significant legal 
and policy issues and involved significant resources and funding. It 
was not, however, managed as a significant CIA program. Instead, it had 
limited oversight and lacked formal direction and management.
  For example, in the 6 months between being granted detention 
authority and taking custody of its first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, the 
CIA had not identified and prepared a suitable detention site. It had 
not researched effective interrogation techniques or developed a legal 
basis for the use of interrogation techniques outside of the rapport-
building techniques that were official CIA policy until that time.
  In fact, there is no indication the CIA reviewed its own history--
that is just what Helgerson was saying in 2005--with coercive 
interrogation tactics. As the executive summary notes, the CIA had 
engaged in rough interrogations in the past.
  In fact, the CIA had previously sent a letter to the Intelligence 
Committee in 1989--and here is the quote--that ``inhumane physical or 
psychological techniques are counterproductive because they do not 
produce intelligence and will probably result in false answers.''

[[Page S6409]]

That was a letter from John Helgerson, CIA Director of Congressional 
Affairs, dated January 8, 1989.
  However, in late 2001 and early 2002, rather than research 
interrogation practices and coordinate with other parts of the 
government with extensive expertise in detention and interrogation of 
terrorist suspects, the CIA engaged two contract psychologists who had 
never conducted interrogations themselves or ever operated detention 
  As the CIA captured or received custody of detainees through 2002, it 
maintained separate lines of management at headquarters for different 
detention facilities.
  No individual or office was in charge of the Detention and 
Interrogation Program until January of 2003, by which point more than 
one-third of CIA detainees identified in our review had been detained 
and interrogated.
  One clear example of flawed CIA management was the poorly managed 
detention facility referred to in our report by the code name COBALT to 
hide the actual name of the facility. It began operations in September 
of 2002. The facility kept few formal records of the detainees housed 
there, and untrained CIA officers conducted frequent unauthorized and 
unsupervised interrogations using techniques that were not, and never 
became, part of the CIA's formal enhanced interrogation program.
  The CIA placed a junior officer with no relevant experience in charge 
of the site. In November 2002, an otherwise healthy detainee--who was 
being held mostly nude and chained to a concrete floor--died at the 
facility from what is believed to have been hypothermia.
  In interviews conducted in 2003 by the CIA Office of the Inspector 
General, CIA's leadership acknowledged that they had little or no 
awareness of operations at this specific CIA detention site, and some 
CIA senior officials believed, erroneously, that enhanced interrogation 
techniques were not used there.
  The CIA, in its June 2013 response to the committee's report, agreed 
that there were management failures in the program, but asserted that 
they were corrected by early 2003. While the study found that 
management failures improved somewhat, we found they persisted until 
the end of the program.
  Among the numerous management shortcomings identified in the report 
are the following: The CIA used poorly trained and nonvetted personnel.
  Individuals were deployed--in particular, interrogators--without 
relevant training or experience. Due to the CIA's redactions to the 
report, there are limits to what I can say in this regard, but it is a 
clear fact that the CIA deployed officers who had histories of 
personnel, ethical, and professional problems of a serious nature. 
These included histories of violence and abusive treatment of others 
that should have called into question their employment with the U.S. 
Government, let alone their suitability to participate in a sensitive 
CIA covert action program.
  The two contractors that CIA allowed to develop, operate, and assess 
its interrogation operations conducted numerous ``inherently 
governmental functions'' that never should have been outsourced to 
contractors. These contractors, referred to in the report in special 
pseudonyms, SWIGERT and DUNBAR, developed the list of so-called 
enhanced interrogation techniques that the CIA employed.
  They developed a list of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques 
that the CIA employed. They personally conducted interrogations of some 
of the CIA's most significant detainees, using the techniques including 
the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and al-
  The contractors provided the official evaluations of whether 
detainees' psychological states allowed for the continued use of the 
enhanced techniques, even for some detainees they themselves were 
interrogating or had interrogated. Evaluating the psychological state 
of the very detainees they were interrogating is a clear conflict of 
interest and a violation of professional guidelines.
  The CIA relied on these two contractors to evaluate the interrogation 
program they had devised and in which they had obvious financial 
interests. Again, it is a clear conflict of interest and an avoidance 
of responsibility by the CIA.
  In 2005, the two contractors formed a company specifically for the 
purpose of expanding their work with the CIA. From 2005 to 2008, the 
CIA outsourced almost all aspects of its detention and interrogation 
program to this company as part of a contract valued at more than $180 
million. Ultimately, not all contract options were exercised. However, 
the CIA has paid these two contractors and their company more than $80 
  Of the 119 individuals found to have been detained by the CIA during 
the life of the program, the committee found that at least 26 were 
wrongfully held. These are cases where the CIA itself determined that 
it had not met the standard for detention set out in the 2001 
Memorandum of Notification which governed the covert action. Detainees 
often remained in custody for months after the CIA determined they 
should have been released. CIA records provide insufficient information 
to justify the detention of many other detainees.
  Due to poor recordkeeping, a full accounting of how many specific 
detainees were held and how they were specifically treated while in 
custody may never be known. Similarly, in specific instances we found 
that enhanced interrogation techniques were used without authorization 
in a manner far different and more brutal than had been authorized by 
the Office of Legal Counsel and conducted by personnel not approved to 
use them on detainees.
  Decisions about how and when to apply interrogation techniques were 
ad hoc and not proposed, evaluated, and approved in a manner described 
by the CIA in written descriptions and testimony about the program. 
Detainees were often subjected to harsh and brutal interrogation and 
treatment because CIA analysts believed, often in error, that they knew 
more information than what they had provided.
  Sometimes CIA managers and interrogators in the field were 
uncomfortable with what they were being asked to do and recommended 
ending the abuse of a detainee. Repeatedly in such cases they were 
overruled by people at CIA headquarters who thought they knew better, 
such as by analysts with no line authority. This shows again how a 
relatively small number of CIA personnel--perhaps 40 to 50--were making 
decisions on detention and interrogation despite the better judgments 
of other CIA officers.
  The fourth and final set of findings and conclusions concerns how the 
interrogations of CIA detainees were absolutely brutal, far worse than 
the CIA represented them to policymakers and others.
  Beginning with the first detainee, Abu Zubaydah, and continuing with 
others, the CIA applied its so-called enhanced interrogation techniques 
in combination and in near nonstop fashion for days and even weeks at a 
time on one detainee. In contrast to the CIA representations, the 
detainees were subjected to the most aggressive techniques 
immediately--stripped naked, diapered, physically struck, and put in 
various painful stress positions for long periods of time. They were 
deprived of sleep for days--in one case up to 180 hours; that is 7\1/2\ 
days, over a week, with no sleep--usually in standing or in stress 
positions, at times with their hands tied together over their heads, 
chained to the ceiling.
  In the COBALT facility I previously mentioned, interrogators and 
guards used what they called rough takedowns in which a detainee was 
grabbed from his cell, clothes cut off, hooded, and dragged up and down 
a dirt hallway while being slapped and punched.
  The CIA led several detainees to believe they would never be allowed 
to leave CIA custody alive, suggesting to Abu Zubaydah that he would 
only leave in a coffin-shaped box. That is from a CIA cable on August 
12, 2002.
  According to another CIA cable, CIA officers also planned to cremate 
Zubaydah should he not survive his interrogation. Source: CIA cable, 
July 15, 2002.
  After the news and photographs emerged from the U.S. military 
detention of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, the Intelligence Committee held a 
hearing on the matter on May 12, 2004. Without disclosing any details 
of its own interrogation program, CIA Director John

[[Page S6410]]

McLaughlin testified that CIA interrogations were nothing like what was 
depicted at Abu Ghraib, the U.S. prison in Iraq where detainees were 
abused by American personnel. This, of course, was false.
  CIA detainees at one facility, described as a dungeon, were kept in 
complete darkness, constantly shackled in isolated cells with loud 
noise or music and only a bucket to use for human waste.
  The U.S. Bureau of Prisons personnel went to that location in 
November 2002 and, according to a contemporaneous internal CIA email, 
told CIA officers they had never ``been in a facility where individuals 
are so sensory deprived.'' Source: CIA email, sender and recipient 
redacted, December 5, 2002.

  Throughout the program, multiple CIA detainees subjected to 
interrogations exhibited psychological and behavioral issues including 
hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia, and attempts at self-harm and self-
mutilation. Multiple CIA psychologists identified the lack of human 
contact experienced by the detainees as a cause of psychiatric 
  The executive summary includes far more detail than I am going to 
provide here about things that were in these interrogation sessions, 
and the summary itself includes only a subset of the treatment of the 
119 known CIA detainees. There is far more detail--all documented--in 
the full 6,700-page study. This briefly summarizes the committee's 
findings and conclusions.
  Before I wrap up, I wish to thank the people who made this 
undertaking possible. First, I thank Senator Jay Rockefeller. He 
started this project by directing his staff to review the operational 
cables that described the first recorded interrogations after we 
learned that the videotapes of those sessions had been destroyed. That 
report was what led to this multiyear investigation, and without it we 
wouldn't have had any sense of what happened.
  I thank other Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of 
whom is on the floor today, from the great State of New Mexico. Others 
have been on the floor who voted to conduct this investigation and to 
approve its result and make the report public.
  Most importantly, I want to thank the Intelligence Committee staff 
who performed this work. They are dedicated and committed public 
officials who sacrificed a significant portion of their lives to see 
this report through to its publication. They have worked days, nights, 
and weekends for years in some of the most difficult circumstances. It 
is no secret to anyone that the CIA does not want this report coming 
out, and I believe the Nation owes them a debt of gratitude. They are 
Dan Jones, who has led this review since 2007, and more than anyone 
else, today's report is a result of his effort. Evan Gottesman and Chad 
Tanner, the two other members of the study staff, each wrote thousands 
of pages of the full report and have dedicated themselves and much of 
their lives to this project. Alissa Starzak, who began this review as 
co-lead, contributed extensively until her departure from the committee 
in 2011.
  Other key contributors to the drafting, editing, and review of the 
report were Jennifer Barrett, Nick Basciano, Mike Buchwald, Jim 
Catella, Eric Chapman, John Dickas, Lorenzo Goco, Andrew Grotto, Tressa 
Guenov, Clete Johnson, Michael Noblet, Michael Pevzner, Tommy Ross, 
Caroline Tess, and James Wolfe; and finally, David Grannis, who has 
been a never-faltering staff director throughout this review.
  This study is bigger than the actions of the CIA. It is really about 
American values and morals. It is about the Constitution, the Bill of 
Rights, our rule of law. These values exist regardless of the 
circumstances in which we find ourselves. They exist in peacetime and 
in wartime, and if we cast aside these values when convenient, we have 
failed to live by the very precepts that make our Nation a great one.
  There is a reason why we carry the banner of a great and just nation. 
So we submit this study on behalf of the committee to the public in the 
belief that it will stand the test of time, and with it the report will 
carry the message: ``Never again.''
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                              The White House,

                                     Washington, December 8, 2014.
     Hon. Dianne Feinstein,
     Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Senate, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Feinstein: I write in response to your 
     letters to the President transmitting versions of the 
     executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the Senate 
     Select Committee on Intelligence's report regarding the 
     Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) former detention and 
     interrogation program.
       The President believes that the Agency's former detention 
     and interrogation program was inconsistent with our values as 
     a Nation. To reflect our values, one of his first acts in 
     office was to sign an Executive Order that brought an end to 
     the program.
       Since the Committee first delivered a version of its 
     executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the report 
     (report) in April, the Administration has worked in good 
     faith with the Committee on the declassification effort. On 
     August 1, the Administration provided a version of the 
     report, as well as minority and additional views that would 
     declassify 85 percent of the text. Since then, at the request 
     of the Committee, the Administration has continually sought 
     to reduce further the redactions in the report in a manner 
     that also protects U.S. national security. We have 
     appreciated the constructive dialogue with the Committee over 
     the last few months, which allowed us to work through more 
     than 400 of the Committee's requests for declassification.
       Today, we are delivering to the Committee a version of the 
     Committee report, as well as minority and additional views, 
     that are over 93 percent declassified. The minimal redactions 
     are the result of a considerable effort by the Director of 
     National Intelligence, working with the CIA, Department of 
     Defense, Department of State, and other agencies, to review 
     and declassify hundreds of pages of information related to 
     the historical CIA program.
       As we have shared with you in prior letters and 
     conversations, the President supports making public the 
     declassified version of the Committee's important report as 
     he believes that public scrutiny and debate will help to 
     inform the public's understanding of the program and to 
     ensure that such a program will never be repeated. As we have 
     also shared with you, in advance of release of the Committee 
     report, the Administration has planned to take a series of 
     security steps to prepare our personnel and facilities 
     overseas. We have already initiated those security 
     precautions and will continue to implement them consistent 
     with prior conversations about the timing of the Committee's 
     expected release of its report.
       The Committee report reflects a significant five year 
     effort, and we commend the Committee and its staff on its 
     completion. The report also reflects extraordinary 
     cooperation by the Executive Branch to ensure access to the 
     information necessary to review the CIA's former program, 
     including more than six million pages of records. We must 
     now, however, begin to look forward to the future. The men 
     and women in the Intelligence Community are fundamental to 
     America's national security. They perform an important 
     service to our country in very trying circumstances. They 
     make extraordinary sacrifices to keep the American people 
     safe, often without any expectation of credit or 
     acknowledgment. As they carry on the nation's critical work, 
     they have the President's support and appreciation, as I know 
     they have yours.
                                                W. Neil Eggleston,
                                         Counsel to the President.

  I very much appreciate your attention, and I yield to Senator McCain.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Heitkamp). The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I wish to begin by expressing my 
appreciation and admiration to the personnel who serve in our 
intelligence agencies, including the CIA, who are out there every day 
defending our Nation.
  I have read the executive summary and I also have been briefed on the 
entirety of this report. I rise in support of the release--the long-
delayed release--of the Senate Intelligence Committee's summarized 
unclassified review of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques 
that were employed by the previous administration to extract 
information from captured terrorists. It is a thorough and thoughtful 
study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose to 
secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the United 
States and our allies, but actually damaged our security interests as 
well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.
  I believe the American people have a right--indeed a responsibility--
to know what was done in their name, how these practices did or did not 
serve our interests, and how they comported with our most important 
  I commend Chairwoman Feinstein and her staff for their diligence in 
seeking a truthful accounting of policies I hope we will never resort 

[[Page S6411]]

again. I thank them for persevering against persistent opposition from 
many members of the intelligence community, from officials in two 
administrations, and from some of our colleagues.
  The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us 
difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in 
attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it 
nonetheless. They must know when the values that define our Nation are 
intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies 
that are conducted in secret. They must be able to make informed 
judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported 
them were justified in compromising our values, whether they served a 
greater good, or whether, as I believe, they stained our national 
honor, did much harm, and little practical good.
  What were the policies? What was their purpose? Did they achieve it? 
Did they make us safer, less safe, or did they make no difference? What 
did they gain us? What did they cost us? What did they gain us? What 
did they cost us? The American people need the answers to these 
questions. Yes, some things must be kept from public disclosure to 
protect clandestine operations, sources, and methods, but not the 
answers to these questions. By providing them, the committee has 
empowered the American people to come to their own decisions about 
whether we should have employed such practices in the past and whether 
we should consider permitting them in the future.

  This report strengthens self-government and ultimately, I believe, 
American security and stature in the world. I thank the committee for 
that valuable public service.
  I have long believed some of these practices amounted to torture as a 
reasonable person would define it, especially but not only the practice 
of waterboarding, which is a mock execution and an exquisite form of 
torture. Its use was shameful and unnecessary, and, contrary to 
assertions made by some of its defenders and as the committee's report 
makes clear, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track 
down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities.
  I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will 
produce more bad than good intelligence. I know victims of torture will 
offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors 
will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their 
torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their 
suffering. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that 
which most distinguishes us from our enemies--our belief that all 
people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights which are 
protected by international conventions the United States not only 
joined but for the most part authored.
  I know too that bad things happen in war. I know that in war good 
people can feel obliged for good reasons to do things they would 
normally object to and recoil from. I understand the reasons that 
governed the decision to resort to these interrogation methods, and I 
know that those who approved them and those who used them were 
dedicated to securing justice for victims of terrorist attacks and to 
protecting Americans from further harm. I know their responsibilities 
were grave and urgent and the strain of their duty was onerous. I 
respect their dedication, and I appreciate their dilemma. But I dispute 
wholeheartedly that it was right for them to use these methods which 
this report makes clear were neither in the best interests of justice, 
nor our security, nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and 
treasure to defend.
  The knowledge of torture's dubious efficacy and my moral objection to 
the abuse of prisoners motivated my sponsorship of the Detainee 
Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits ``cruel, inhuman or degrading 
treatment'' of captured combatants, whether they wear a nation's 
uniform or not, and which passed the Senate by a vote of 90 to 9.
  Subsequently, I successfully offered amendments to the Military 
Commissions Act of 2006, which, among other things, prevented the 
attempt to weaken Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and 
broadened definitions in the War Crimes Act to make the future use of 
waterboarding and other ``enhanced interrogation techniques'' 
punishable as war crimes.
  There was considerable misinformation disseminated then about what 
was and wasn't achieved using these methods in an effort to discourage 
support for the legislation. There was a good amount of misinformation 
used in 2011 to credit the use of these methods with the death of Osama 
bin Laden. And there is, I fear, misinformation being used today to 
prevent the release of this report, disputing its findings and warning 
about the security consequences of their public disclosure.
  Will the report's release cause outrage that leads to violence in 
some parts of the Muslim world? Yes, I suppose that is possible and 
perhaps likely. Sadly, violence needs little incentive in some quarters 
of the world today. But that doesn't mean we will be telling the world 
something it will be shocked to learn. The entire world already knows 
we waterboarded prisoners. It knows we subjected prisoners to various 
other types of degrading treatment. It knows we used black sites, 
secret prisons. Those practices haven't been a secret for a decade. 
Terrorists might use the report's reidentification of the practices as 
an excuse to attack Americans, but they hardly need an excuse for that. 
That has been their life's calling for a while now.
  What might come as a surprise not just to our enemies but to many 
Americans is how little these practices did aid our efforts to bring 9/
11 culprits to justice and to find and prevent terrorist attacks today 
and tomorrow. That could be a real surprise since it contradicts the 
many assurances provided by intelligence officials on the record and in 
private that enhanced interrogation techniques were indispensable in 
the war against terrorism. And I suspect the objection of those same 
officials to the release of this report is really focused on that 
disclosure--torture's ineffectiveness--because we gave up much in the 
expectation that torture would make us safer--too much.
  Obviously, we need intelligence to defeat our enemies, but we need 
reliable intelligence. Torture produces more misleading information 
than actionable intelligence. And what the advocates of harsh and cruel 
interrogation methods have never established is that we couldn't have 
gathered as good or more reliable intelligence from using humane 
  The most important lead we got in the search for bin Laden came from 
using conventional interrogation methods. I think it is an insult to 
the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence 
without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert that we can't win 
these wars without such methods. Yes, we can, and we will.
  But in the end torture's failure to serve its intended purpose isn't 
the main reason to oppose its use. I have often said and I will always 
maintain that this question isn't about our enemies; it is about us. It 
is about who we were, who we are, and who we aspire to be. It is about 
how we represent ourselves to the world.
  We have made our way in this often dangerous and cruel world not by 
just strictly pursuing our geopolitical interests but by exemplifying 
our political values and influencing other nations to embrace them. 
When we fight to defend our security, we fight also for an idea--not 
for a tribe or a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion or for a 
King but for an idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with 
inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations 
believed the same. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget 
it ourselves, even momentarily.
  Our enemies act without conscience. We must not. This executive 
summary of the committee's report makes clear that acting without 
conscience isn't necessary. It isn't even helpful in winning this 
strange and long war we are fighting. We should be grateful to have 
that truth affirmed.
  Now, let us reassert the contrary proposition: that is it essential 
to our success in this war that we ask those who fight it for us to 
remember at all times that they are defending a sacred ideal of how 
nations should be governed and conduct their relations with others--
even our enemies.
  Those of us who give them this duty are obliged by history, by our 
Nation's highest ideals and the many terrible sacrifices made to 
protect them, by our respect for human dignity, to make

[[Page S6412]]

clear we need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any 
war. We need only remember in the worst of times, through the chaos and 
terror of war, when facing cruelty, suffering, and loss, that we are 
always Americans and different, stronger, and better than those who 
would destroy us.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak in 
a seated position.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, I come to the floor to wholly 
support the comments of my colleagues, the Senator from California and 
the Senator from Arizona, to speak about a matter of great importance 
to me personally but more importantly to the country.
  The Senate Intelligence Committee's entire study of the CIA's 
detention and interrogation program--I will just call it the program--
is the most in-depth, the most substantive oversight initiative the 
committee has ever taken. I doubt any committee has done more than 
this. It presents extremely valuable insights into crucial oversight 
questions and problems that need to be addressed by the CIA.
  Moreover, this study exemplifies why this committee was created in 
the first place following the findings of the Church Committee nearly 
40 years ago, and I commend my friend and the committee's leader, the 
Senator from California, for shepherding this landmark initiative to 
this point. For years, often behind closed doors, without any 
recognition, she has been a strong and tireless advocate, and she 
deserves our thanks and recognition.
  It is my hope and expectation that beyond the initial release of the 
executive summary and findings and conclusions, that the entire 6,800 
pages, with 37,500 footnotes, will eventually be made public--and I am 
sure it will--with the appropriate redactions. Those public findings 
will be critical to fully learning the necessary lessons from this dark 
episode in our Nation's history and to ensure that it never happens 
again. It has been a very long, very hard fight to get to this point. 
Especially in the early years of the CIA's detention program, it was a 
struggle for the committee to get the most basic information or any 
information at all about the program.
  The committee's study of the detention and interrogation program is 
not just the story of the brutal and ill-conceived program itself; this 
study is also the story of the breakdown in our system of governance 
that allowed the country to deviate in such a significant and horrific 
way from our core principles. One of the profound ways that breakdown 
happened was through the active subversion of meaningful congressional 
oversight--a theme mirrored in the Bush administration's warrantless 
wiretapping program during that same period.
  I first learned about some aspects of the CIA's detention and 
interrogation program in 2003 when I became vice chair of the 
committee. At that point and for years after, the CIA refused to 
provide me or anybody else with any additional information about the 
program. They further refused to notify the full committee about the 
program's existence. My colleagues will remember there was always the 
Gang of 4, the Gang of 6, or the Gang of 8. They would take the 
chairman and vice chairman, take them to the White House, give them a 
flip chart, 45 minutes for the Vice President, and off he would go. 
Senator Roberts and I went down by car and were instructed we couldn't 
talk to each other on the way back from one of those meetings. It was 
absurd. They refused to do anything to be of assistance.
  The briefings I received provided little or no insight into the CIA's 
program. Questions or followup requests were rejected, and at times I 
was not allowed to consult with my counsel. I am not a lawyer. There 
are legal matters involved here. They said we couldn't talk to any of 
our staff, legal counsel or not, or other members of the committee who 
knew nothing about this because they had not been informed at all.
  It was clear these briefings were not meant to answer any questions 
but were intended only to provide cover for the administration and the 
CIA. It was infuriating to me to realize I was part of a box checking 
exercise that the administration planned to use, and later did use, so 
they could disingenuously claim they had--in a phrase I will never be 
able to forget--``fully briefed Congress.''

  In the years that followed I fought and lost many battles to obtain 
credible information about the detention and interrogation program. As 
vice chair I tried to launch, as has been mentioned, a comprehensive 
investigation into the program, but that effort was blocked.
  Later in 2005, when I fought for access to over 100 specific 
documents cited in the inspector general report, the CIA refused to 
  The first time the full Senate Intelligence Committee was given any 
information about this detention program was September 2006. This was 
years after the program's inception and the same day the President 
informed the Nation.
  The following year when I became chairman, the vice chairman, Kit 
Bond, and I agreed to push for significant additional access to the 
program. For heaven's sake, at least allow both the Senate Intelligence 
Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, on a full basis, to be 
informed about this and also to include our staff's counsel on these 
matters. We finally actually prevailed and got this access. I think I 
withheld something from them until they agreed to do that which enabled 
us to have much-needed hearings on the program, which we proceeded to 
  As chairman, I made sure we scrutinized it from every angle. However, 
the challenge of getting accurate information from the CIA persisted. 
It was during this period that the House and Senate considered the 2008 
Intelligence Authorization Act and a potential provision that set the 
Army Field Manual--which is the only way to go--as the standard for the 
entire American Government, including the CIA. This would have 
effectively ended the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, a term 
eerily sanitized in bureaucratic jargon for what, in a number of cases, 
amounted to torture.
  As chairman, I knew the inclusion of the Army Field Manual provision 
would jeopardize the entire bill. I thought it might bring it down. 
People would think it was too soft or too radical or whatever, but I 
was committed to seeing the bill signed into law. In the end, it was an 
easy decision.
  I supported including the provision to end the CIA's program because 
it was the right thing to do. I did it because Congress needed to send 
a clear signal that it did not stand by the Bush administration's 
  The House and Senate went on to pass the bill with bipartisan votes. 
Although the Bush administration vetoed the bill to preserve its 
ability to continue these practices, it was an important symbolic 
  In the same period, I also sent two committee staffers, as our 
chairwoman has indicated, to begin reviewing cables at the CIA 
regarding the agency's interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. I 
firmly believed we had to review those cables, which are now the only 
source of important historical information on this subject, because the 
CIA destroyed its tapes of some of their interrogation sessions. The 
CIA destroyed those tapes against the explicit direction from the White 
House and the Director of National Intelligence.
  The investigation that began in 2007 grew under Chairman Feinstein's 
dedication and tremendous leadership into a full study of the CIA's 
detention and interrogation program. The more the committee dug, the 
more the committee found, and the results we uncovered are both 
shocking and deeply troubling.
  First, the detention and interrogation program was conceived by 
people who were ignorant of the topic and made it up on the fly based 
on the untested theories of contractors who had never met a terrorist 
or conducted a real-world interrogation of any kind.
  Second, it was executed by personnel with insufficient linguistic and 
interrogation training and little, if any, real-world experience.
  Moreover, the CIA was aware that some of these personnel had a 
staggering array of personal and professional failings--enumerated by 
the committee's chairman--including potentially criminal activity, that 

[[Page S6413]]

have disqualified them immediately not only from being interrogators 
but from being employed by the CIA or anybody in government.
  Nevertheless, it was consistently represented that these 
interrogators were professionalized and carefully vetted--their term--
and that became a part of the hollow legal justification of the entire 
  Third, the program was managed incompetently by senior officials who 
paid little or no attention to critical details. It was rife with 
troubling personal and financial conflicts of interest among the small 
group of the CIA officials and contractors who promoted and defended 
it. Obviously it was in their interest to do so.

  Fourth, as the chairman indicated, the program was physically very 
severe, far more so than any of us outside the CIA ever knew. Although 
waterboarding has received the most attention, there were other 
techniques I personally believe--one in particular--that may have been 
much worse.
  Finally, its results were unclear at best, but it was presented to 
the White House, the Department of Justice, the Congress, and the media 
as a silver bullet that was indispensable to saving lives. That was 
their mantra. In fact, it did not provide the intelligence it was 
supposed to provide or the CIA argued that it did provide.
  To be perfectly clear, these harsh techniques were not approved by 
anyone ever for the low-bar standard of learning useful information 
from detainees. These techniques were approved because the Bush 
officials were told, and therefore believed, that these coercive 
interrogations were absolutely necessary to elicit intelligence that 
was unavailable by any other collection method and would save American 
lives. That was simply not the case.
  For me, personally, the arc of this story comprises more than a 
decade of my 30 years of work in the Senate and one of the hardest 
fights--I think the hardest fight--I have ever been through. Many of 
the worst years were during the Bush administration.
  However, I did not fully anticipate how hard these last few years 
would be in this administration to get this summary declassified and to 
tell the full story of what happened. Indeed, to my great frustration, 
even after months of endless negotiations, significant aspects of the 
story remain obscured by black ink.
  I have great admiration for the President, and I am appreciative of 
the leadership role he has taken to depart from the practices of the 
Bush administration on these issues. His Executive order formally ended 
the CIA's detention program practices, and that is a good example. It 
is a great example.
  It was, therefore, with deep disappointment that over the course of a 
number of private meetings and conversations I came to feel that the 
White House's strong deference to the CIA throughout this process has 
at times worked at cross-purposes with the White House's stated 
interest in transparency and has muddied what should be a clear and 
unequivocal legacy on this issue.
  While aspiring to be the most transparent administration in history, 
this White House continues to quietly withhold from the committee more 
than 9,000 documents related to the CIA's programs. I don't know why. 
They won't say, and they won't produce.
  In addition to strongly supporting the CIA's insistence on the 
unprecedented redaction of fake names in the report, which obscures the 
public's ability to understand the important connections which are so 
important for weaving together the tapestry, the administration also 
pushed for the redaction of information in the committee's study that 
should not be classified, contradicting the administration's own 
Executive order on classification.
  Let me be clear.
  That order clearly states that in no case shall information fail to 
be declassified in order to conceal violations of law and efficiency or 
administrative error or prevent embarrassment to a person, 
organization, or agency.
  In some instances, the White House asked not only that information be 
redacted but that the redaction itself be removed so it would be 
impossible for the reader to tell that something was already hidden. 
  Given this, looking back, I am deeply disappointed, rather than 
surprised, that even when the CIA inexplicably conducted an 
unauthorized search of the committee's computer files and emails at an 
offsite facility, which was potentially criminal, and even when it 
became clear that the intent of the search was to suppress the 
committee's awareness of an internal CIA review that corroborated parts 
of the intelligence committee's study and contradicted public CIA 
statements, the White House continued to support the CIA leadership, 
and that support was unflinching.
  Despite these frustrations, I have also seen how hard Chairman 
Feinstein has fought against great odds, stubborn odds, protective 
odds, mysterious odds, which are not really clear to me. I have tried 
to support her thoughtful and determined efforts at every opportunity 
to make sure as much as of the story can be told as possible, and I am 
deeply proud of the product the committee ended up with.
  Now it is time to move forward. For all of the misinformation, 
incompetence, and brutality of the CIA's program, the committee's study 
is not and must not be simply a backward-looking condemnation of the 
past. The study presents a tremendous opportunity to develop forward-
looking lessons that must be central to all future activities.
  The point has been made--I thoroughly agree--that the vast majority 
of people who work at the CIA--and there are tens and tens of thousands 
of them--do very good work and are working very hard and have 
absolutely nothing to do with any of this. But if this report had not 
been released, the country would have felt that everybody at the CIA--
and the world would have felt it--was involved in this program. It is 
important to say that that was not the case. It was just 30 or 40 
people at the top. Many of the people you see on television blasting 
this report were intimately involved in carrying it out and setting it 
  The CIA developed the detention program in a time of great fear, 
anxiety, and unprecedented crisis. It is at these times of crisis when 
we need sound judgment, excellence, and professionalism from the CIA 
the most.
  When mistakes are made, they call for self-reflection and scrutiny. 
For that process to begin, we first have to make sure there is an 
absolutely accurate public record of what happened. We are doing that. 
The public release of the executive summary and findings and 
conclusions is a tremendous and consequential step toward that end.
  For some, I expect there will be the temptation to reject and cast 
doubt, to trivialize, to attack or rationalize parts of the study that 
are disturbing or are embarrassing. Indeed, the CIA program's dramatic 
divergence from the standards that we hold ourselves to is hard to 
reconcile. However, we must fight that shortsighted temptation to wish 
away the gravity of what this study found.
  How we deal with this opportunity to learn and improve will reflect 
on the maturity of our democracy. As a country, we are strong enough to 
bear the weight of the mistakes we have made. As an institution, so is 
the Central Intelligence Agency. We must confront this dark period in 
our recent history with honesty and critical introspection. We must 
draw lessons, and we must apply those lessons as we move forward. 
Although it may be uncomfortable at times, ultimately we will grow 
stronger, and we will ensure that this never happens again.
  I thank the Presiding Officer and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, I know the time for recess for 
caucus is approaching and I know there are other Members on the 
Democratic side who want to speak. It is now time for a Member from the 
Republican side to speak.
  I ask unanimous consent that the recess be delayed for 5 minutes so 
the distinguished Senator from South Carolina might speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is ordered.
  The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you very much. I have been a military lawyer for 
over 30 years. That has been one of the highlights of my life--to serve 
in the Air Force. During the debate about these

[[Page S6414]]

techniques, I was very proud of the fact that every military lawyer 
came out on the side that the techniques in question were not who we 
are and what we want to be.
  We are one of the leading voices of the Geneva Convention. We have 
stood by the Geneva Convention since its inception. I am convinced that 
the techniques in question violate the Geneva Convention. I am also 
convinced that they were motivated by fear, fear of another attack. Put 
yourself in the shoes of the people responsible for defending the 
country right after 9/11. We had been hit. We had been hit hard. 
Everybody thought something else was coming.
  As we rounded these guys up, there was a sense of urgency and a 
commitment to never let it happen again that generated this program.
  Who knew what, when? I do not know. All I can tell you is the people 
involved believed they were trying to defend the country and what they 
were doing was necessary. Did they get some good information? Probably 
so. Has it been a net loser for us as a country? Absolutely so. All I 
can say is the techniques in question were motivated by fear of another 
attack, and people at the time thought this was the best way to defend 
the Nation. I accept that on their part.
  But as a nation, I hope we have learned the following: In this 
ideological struggle, good versus evil, we need to choose good. There 
is no shortage of people who will cut your head off. The techniques in 
question are nowhere near what the enemies of this Nation and radical 
Islam would do to people under their control. There is no comparison.
  The comparison is between who we are and what we want to be. In that 
regard, we made a mistake. No one is going to jail because they should 
not, because the laws in question--the laws that existed at the time of 
this program--were, to be generous, vague.
  I spent about a year of my life with Senator McCain working with the 
Bush administration and colleagues on the Democratic side to come up 
with the Detainee Treatment Act which clearly puts people on notice of 
what you can and cannot do. Going forward we fixed this problem. How do 
I know it is a problem? I travel. I go to the Mideast a lot. I go all 
over the world. It was a problem for us. Whether we like it or not, we 
are seen as the good guys. I like it.
  Sometimes good people make mistakes. We have corrected the problem. 
We have interrogation techniques now that I think can protect the 
Nation and are within our values. The one thing I want to stress to my 
colleagues is that this is a war of an ideological nature. There will 
be no capital to conquer. We are not going to take Tokyo. We are not 
going to take Berlin. There is no air force to shoot down; there is no 
navy to sink. You are fighting a radical extreme ideology that is 
motivated by hate. In their world, if you do not agree with their 
religion, you are no longer a human being.
  The only way we can possibly defeat this ideology is to offer 
something better. The good news for us is that we stand for something 
better. We stand for due process. We stand for humane treatment. We 
stand for the ability to have a say when you are accused of something. 
Our enemies stand for none of that. That is their greatest weakness. 
Our greatest strength is to offer a better way.
  When you go to Anbar Province and you go to other places in the 
Mideast that have experienced life under ISIS--ISIL--and Al Qaeda, the 
reaction has almost been universal: We do not like this. When America 
comes over the hill, and they see that flag, they know help is on the 
  To the CIA officers who serve in the shadows, who intermingle with 
the most notorious in the world, who are always away from home never 
knowing if you are going back: Thank you. There is a debate about 
whether this report is accurate line by line. I do not know. Is this 
the definitive answer to the program's problems? I do not know, but I 
do know the program hurt our country.
  Those days are behind us. The good guys air their dirty laundry. I 
wished we had waited because the world is in such a volatile shape 
right now. I do fear this report will be used by our enemies. But I 
guess there is no good time to do things like this.
  So to those who helped prepare the report, I understand where you are 
coming from. To those on my side who believe that we have gone too far, 
I understand that too. But this has always been easy for me. I have 
been too associated with the subject matter for too long. Every time 
our Nation cuts a corner, and every time we act out of fear and abandon 
who we are, we always regret it. That has happened forever. This is a 
step toward righting a wrong. To our enemies: Take no comfort from the 
fact that we have changed our program. We are committed to your demise. 
We are committed to your incarceration and killing you on the 
battlefield, if necessary.
  To our friends, because we choose a different path, do not mistake 
that for weakness. What we are doing today is not a sign of weakness. 
It is a sign of the ultimate strength--that you can self correct, that 
you can reevaluate and you can do some soul searching, and you can come 
out with a better product. The tools available to our intelligence 
community today over time will yield better results, more reliable 
results. The example we are setting will, over time, change the world.
  To defeat radical Islam you have to show separation. Today is a 
commitment to show separation. The techniques they employ to impose 
their will have been used for thousands of years. They are always, over 
time, rejected. The values we stand for--tolerance, humane treatment of 
everyone; whether you agree with them or not--have also stood the test 
of time. Over time, we will win, and they will lose. Today is about 
making that time period shorter. The sooner America can reattach itself 
to who she is, the worse off the enemy will be.

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.