George W. Bush, C.I.A. Officials Challenge 9/11 Torture Report

| by Sean Kelly

Former President George W. Bush is attempting to rebut a not-yet-released Senate report that details torture methods used by the C.I.A. during interrogations in the time that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The New York Times says the report shows that “the C.I.A. misled Mr. Bush and his White House about the nature, extent and results of brutal techniques like waterboarding” and that Bush and his advisers ultimately decided that their best course of action was to “stand behind” the C.I.A. in support of their efforts.

The 6,000-page report is supposedly intensely critical of the interrogation methods used on terrorism suspects in regard to 9/11, allegedly revealing previously unknown details about what exactly occurred and “questioning the efficacy of torture.”

Bush and his officials are denying that they were misled by the C.I.A., with some officials going so far as to call those claims absurd.

“The idea that George Tenet, John McLaughlin, Mike Hayden and Steve Kappes would knowingly mislead the President and the country is absurd,” one former official said. “This was not a rogue program. And nobody in our administration is going to throw the C.I.A. over the side on this.” The official claims that neither Bush nor his advisers were questioned by the committee who compiled the report.

“Once the release occurs, we’ll have things to say and will be making some documents available that bear on the case,” acting C.I.A. director John McLaughlin said. McLaughlin claims that the report “uses information selectively, often distorts to make its points, and as I recall contains no recommendations.”

“We’re not here to defend torture,” General Michael Hayden said. “We’re here to defend history.”

The report is set to be made public this week, and its release is being criticized by many. Many, including Secretary of State John Kerry, believe that the report could potentially “instigate violence and endanger Americans held captive by terrorist groups.”

Source: The New York Times / Photo Credit: theguardian.com