The CIA Doesn’t Want You to Know How Badly It Botched Torture
The hotel bar TVs were all flashing clips of Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein denouncing the CIA for spying on her staff, when I met an agency operative for drinks last week. He flashed a wan smile, gestured at the TV and volunteered that he’d narrowly escaped being assigned to interrogate Al-Qaida suspects at a secret site years ago.
"I guess I would’ve done it," he said, implying you either took orders or quit. But everybody in the counterterrorism program knew what was going on in those places, he said, and he was glad the agency found something else for him to do at the last minute. "Look what’s happened."
Four years after Feinstein launched her probe of that interrogation program, her committee and the CIA are locked in a death-struggle over what can be released from the panel’s 6,300-page, still-classified report. The impasse is bringing renewed attention to statements by former CIA and FBI agents that buttress the committee’s all-but-official conclusion that the agency exaggerated the interrogation program’s successes and minimized its abuses. Read more.
Photo: Charges of spying on the Senate isn’t the worst the intelligence agency faces. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA