“One of the most powerful tools in our arsenal to protect and advance our interests around the globe is the moral authority of the United States of America," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. "And the commander-in-chief concluded that the use of the techniques that are described in this report significantly undermines the moral authority,”
That report, issued Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, found techniques used by CIA interrogators were ineffective in obtaining information about possible terror plots following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Former CIA officials defended some of the methods, however, and claim they led to the capture of senior al-Qaida operatives, including Osama Bin Laden.
But the White House responded to those claims by saying that the “information could have been obtained using tactics that are consistent with the Army Field Manual or other law enforcement techniques and that essentially, enhanced interrogation techniques were not necessary to obtain that information.”
The 6,000-page report, of which just 500 pages were released in an executive summary, received worldwide criticism for torture and detention methods used by the agency.
The summary, issued Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee after five years of investigation and $40 million, found that not only was waterboarding used – a technique to simulate drowning, and a preferred method of CIA interrogators – but the agency also employed mock executions, sexual threats and degrading treatment against inmates held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba and other “secret CIA prisons,” called black sites.
Earnest said the Obama administration issued executive actions in 2009 that asked that the Justice Department and other agencies to review “the way that the U.S. government interrogates those individuals who are in U.S. custody.”
The outcome of that review included guidelines for transferring detainees in U.S. custody to other countries and also receiving assurances about how those individuals would be treated, according to Earnest.