Washington, Dec 12: After a Senate report into Central Intelligence Agency’s treatment of terrorism suspects triggered global revulsion, the CIA chief has defended the techniques used by the interrogators on terror suspects post 9/11 attacks.
In a rare media briefing, CIA Director John Brennan, however, admitted that in limited number of cases the methods had not been authorized and were “abhorrent”.
Brennan said: “There was information obtained, subsequent to the application of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), from detainees that was useful in the (Osama) bin Laden operation.”
He further said the internal CIA reviews indicate that the detention and interrogation program produced useful intelligence that helped the US thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives.
He, however, said it was difficult to ascertain that the use of EITs had yielded useful intelligence.
“We have not concluded that it was the use of EITs within that program that allowed us to obtain useful information from detainees subjected to them. The cause and effect relationship between the use of EITs and useful information subsequently provided by the detainee is, in my view, unknowable,” he said.
“Irrespective of the role EITs might play in a detainee’s provision of useful information, I believe effective, non- coercive methods are available to elicit such information,” he further said.
Brennan said the CIA’s detention and interrogation programmes came amid fear of another wave of assaults from al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks as the intelligence agency grappled with a task it was “not prepared” for.
(With Agency Inputs)