CIA Inspector General: No Evidence Torture Stopped Terror Attacks

Monday, April 27, 2009
John Helgerson

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush administration officials have insisted that the use of torture techniques yielded valuable information that helped the government thwart terrorist attacks in the United States. But the CIA’s own inspector general reported in 2004 that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation methods helped the Bush administration stop any imminent attacks. The findings of the IG report have come to light in the wake of the Obama administration’s declassifying of Justice Department memos from the Bush era.

 
Even though Inspector General John Helgerson’s findings were available to key Bush administration officials, some concluded that the use of torture was producing important intelligence. One of those was Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department’s principal deputy assistant attorney general under Bush, who wrote in a May 30, 2005, secret memo to CIA General Counsel John Rizzo: “As the IG Report notes, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks. And because the CIA has used enhanced techniques sparingly, ‘there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness.’”
 
And yet Bradbury concluded that the use of torture was effective, by relying on other still secret memos that were produced after the IG report.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
CIA Official: No Proof Harsh Techniques Stopped Terror Attacks on America (By Mark Seibel and Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy)

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