Over the past several decades, and especially since the terrible tragedy of 9/11, the CIA has been at the forefront of our Nation's campaign against
As part of the CIA's global effort to dismantle al-Qa'ida and to prevent future terrorist attacks, the Agency was directed by President Bush six days after 9/11 to carry out a program to detain terrorist suspects around the world. Certain detainees were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), which the Department of Justice determined at the time to be lawful and which were duly authorized by the Bush Administration. These techniques, which were last used by the CIA in December 2007, subsequently were prohibited by an Executive Order issued by President Obama when he took office in January 2009.
Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released a redacted version of the Executive Summary, Findings, and Conclusions of its Study on CIA's former detention and interrogation program, along with Minority Views and the Additional Views of a number of Committee members on the same subject. The CIA has also released its redacted June 2013 response to the Study, which is being posted on our website, www.cia.gov.
As noted in CIA's response to the study, we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the Agency made mistakes. The most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the Agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program of detaining and interrogating suspected al-Qa'ida and affiliated terrorists. In carrying out that program, we did not always live up to the high standards that we set for ourselves and that the American people expect of us. As an Agency, we have learned from these mistakes, which is why my predecessors and I have implemented various remedial measures over the years to address institutional deficiencies.
Yet, despite common ground with some of the findings of the Committee's Study, we part ways with the Committee on some key points. Our review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives. The intelligence gained from the program was critical to our understanding of al-Qa'ida and continues to inform our counterterrorism efforts to this day.
We also disagree with the Study's characterization of how CIA briefed the program to the