WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A Senate Intelligence Committee report, released Tuesday, called the CIA's interrogation of terrorism suspects after Sept. 11, 2001, more brutal than it acknowledged to the White House or to the public. The explosive report indicated interrogations during the George W. Bush era were not effective and little information to prevent the attack on World Trade Center was obtained. The majority report of the committee said CIA tactics were "deeply flawed." The report took five years to assemble and involved over six million internal CIA documents, and concludes the CIA routinely misled the White House and Congress about information it obtained from interrogation suspects.
Only 524 pages of the 6,000-page final report were declassified and released Tuesday. In the foreword, Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that she could understand the CIA's "impulse to consider the use of every possible tool to gather intelligence."
"Nevertheless, such pressure, fear and expectation of further terrorist plots do not justify, temper or excuse improper actions taken by individuals or organizations in the name of national security. The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the intelligence community's actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards."
A summary of the report is available here.
The report explains, in graphic detail, techniques the CIA used to torture imprisoned terrorist suspects, and suggests more suspects endured waterboarding than the three acknowledged by the CIA.
The CIA is preparing its own study of its program, and committee Republicans are expected to submit a rebuttal. Prior to the report's release, Congressional Republicans said the report would smear the CIA and the Bush White House with out-of-context information.
The White House backed the release of the report after the U.S. State Department warned diplomatic and military outposts of possibly increased levels of anti-American sentiment and violence following the release.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee spoke against the release of the report, saying it will incite "violence and deaths" abroad. Other prominent Republicans have backed the CIA and condemned the release of the report but breaking ranks was Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., saying the "American people are entitled" to the information in the report.
McCain, a POW and torture survivor during the Vietnam War, stressed how the report proves torture is an ineffective interrogation technique and often results in fabricated, non-actionable intelligence.
"The truth is a hard pill to swallow," said McCain. "[Americans] must be able to make informed judgements 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."
As for the potential of a violent backlash, McCain admitted it was a possibility but terrorists "hardly need an excuse" to attack Americans as that has been their "calling for a while now."