from the painful-truths dept.
The NYT reports that with the release of the long-awaited Senate report on the use of torture by the United States government — a detailed account that will shed an unsparing light on the Central Intelligence Agency’s darkest practices after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the US is bracing itself for the risk that it will set off a backlash overseas. Some leading Republican lawmakers have warned against releasing the report, saying that domestic and foreign intelligence reports indicate that a detailed account of the brutal interrogation methods used by the CIA during the George W. Bush administration could incite unrest and violence, even resulting in the deaths of Americans. The White House acknowledged that the report could pose a “greater risk” to American installations and personnel in countries like Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Iraq. But it said that the government had months to plan for the reverberations from its report — indeed, years — and that those risks should not delay the release of the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee. “When would be a good time to release this report?” the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, asked. “It’s difficult to imagine one, particularly given the painful details that will be included.”
Among the administration’s concerns is that terrorist groups will exploit the disclosures in the report for propaganda value. The Islamic State already clads its American hostages in orange jumpsuits, like those worn by prisoners in CIA interrogations. Hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria were subjected to waterboarding, one of the practices used by the CIA to extract information from suspected terrorists. The 480-page document reveals the results of Senate investigation into the CIA's use of torture and other techniques that violate international law against prisoners held on terrorism-related charges. Though many details of the Senate's findings will remain classified – the document is a summary of a 6,000-page report that is not being released – the report is expected to conclude that the methods used by the CIA to interrogate prisoners during the post-9/11 years were more extreme than previously admitted and produced no intelligence that could not have been acquired through legal means.