Writing in The Telegraph, Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009, accuses the report’s authors of “cherry picking” their way through the documents to make their case, while failing to interview any witnesses from the period.
The interrogations “added enormously to what we knew about al-Qaeda as an organisation,” he maintained, “and led to the disruption of terrorist plots, saving American and Allied lives.”
• graphic details of the CIA’s torture techniques, including how prisoners were waterboarded until they passed out
• how at least one detainee died of suspected hypothermia in Afghanistan after being made to sleep half-naked on a concrete floor in the winter
• how the CIA falsely claimed torture helped find Osama bin Laden
• how the agency’s leaders lied to the US Congress and foreign ambassadors over the scale and brutality of its secret programme.
It’s possible to conceive of reasons that would be good enough. The code for the nuclear bomb that will go off in central Manhattan in 20 minutes sorta stuff. Smash a few fingers for that maybe. Vile, brutal, immoral and illegal though that would be, probably fair enough.
But this? No.