February 27th, 2009
10:25 AM ET
6 years ago

Senate committee preparing to launch CIA review

CNN has learned that a Senate committee is going to review the CIA's interrogation practices under former President George W. Bush.
CNN has learned that a Senate committee is going to review the CIA's interrogation practices under former President George W. Bush.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Intelligence Committee is preparing a review of the CIA's controversial interrogation programs under the Bush White House, a Senate Democratic aide told CNN.

The committee would look at how the agency carried out interrogation tactics and whether they provided useful information, the aide said. The review could be announced as early as Friday.

"The intention is not to find evil-doers or lawbreakers," according to the aide, but "the information will go where it goes." It was not immediately clear whether committee Republicans were on board.

Last month, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that calls for a review of the Bush administration's controversial interrogation program to see whether any of the harsh techniques used should be retained.

The "enhanced interrogation techniques" included waterboarding, a method that simulates drowning and is considered torture by the new administration and is widely considered that around the world.

Any Senate review is likely to look into the CIA's detention program and secret prisons, the aide said. At this point, no public hearings are planned. The review process is expected to take up to a year, according to the aide.

CIA Chief Leon Panetta said Wednesday that he cannot envision any circumstance in which he would consider asking the president for permission to use a coercive interrogation technique on a terrorist detainee.

Panetta said he would cooperate with any congressional reviews or inquiries.

"If those committees are seeking information in these areas, we'll cooperate with them," Panetta said Wednesday. "I think that we have a responsibility to be transparent on these issues and to provide them that information."

"I would not support, obviously, an investigation or a prosecution of those individuals" involved in the interrogation program, Panetta said. "They did their job, they did it pursuant to the guidance that was provided them, whether you agreed or disagreed with it."

The Bush administration repeatedly insisted that suspected terrorists were not tortured during their interrogations. Then-President George Bush said in 2006 that top al Qaeda suspects had been held in secret prisons overseas and subjected to "alternative" interrogation methods, which he called "tough" but legal.

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden admitted last year that the agency had used waterboarding on three detainees while they were in U.S. custody.

–CNN's Pam Benson contributed to this report.


Filed under: Obama administration • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    ANGIE-OH February 27th, 2009 11:34 am ET
    when are people going to wake up. we were attacked on 9/11 BECAUSE OF bush
    --------------–
    When are people going to GROW UP? How in the world after just 9 months in office is Bush responsible for 9-11? Ridiculous! No not ridiculous, its stupid!

    February 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. eric

    Maggie stop lying to the people on this page. You are a typical liberal. Too my knowledge I don't remember any attacks since 9/11. You live in a dream world.

    February 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. liz

    It is about time!!!!

    It has been proven many times that torture only brings false information. If we torture others than we have no right to ask that our soldier NOT be tortured. We become the war criminals.

    February 27, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. thomas

    What's good for the goose is good for gander. Bush and Cheney built a lot of prisons. Isn't it time they got a chance to test drive one.

    February 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. buckj1013@q.com

    Our current ADM has spent more money in 6 weeks than the previous ADm and the two prior to that. Why? Attempting to have Gov't take over "everything" Americans do in life. It's called Socialism, or worse.
    Current ADM will spend in four years THREE times what Bush spent – come again with your attacks on the PRes that kept us safe after cleaning up the attack that was allowed by the Clinton ADM for treating several major attacks on the USA as mere criminal attacks.
    No Obama let the mastermind of the Cole off...sent another one to England and on the streets and England has to follow him 24 hrs a day as they are scared of the kooks. Kooks lover kooks !
    Joan B
    Minneosta

    February 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. E

    Amazing how all you people forget that the republicans laughed at Clinton when he said Bin Laden was a threat. They were too busy spending millions investigating an orgasm. Bush is the reason 9/11 happened, they ignored the warnings Clinton gave.

    February 27, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. E

    Amazing how all you people forget that the republicans laughed at Clinton when he said Bin Laden was a threat. They were too busy spending millions investigating an orgasm. Bush is the reason 9/11 happened, they ignored the warnings Clinton gave.

    February 27, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Wide Awake in America

    Because of the Bush Administration the United States is now considered a nation that invades other nations, that murders women and children and tortures innocent people.

    February 27, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Steve (the real one)

    Jess February 27th, 2009 9:45 am ET
    Let us all join hands at the airport on the day they load up George Bush , Dick, Donald, Conni Rice on to the plane bound for the Hauge
    These are criminals, little more.
    -----------
    That my friend, is one door you really don't want to have opened because every dem congressman and senator who supported the war with funds (Congress holds the purse strings) will make that long march to the Hauge too, right? Don't give me the they were bullied speech because that won't play at the World Court, sorry, they freely cast their votes!

    February 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Jack CArlson

    WHO allowed the FAnnie MAe and Freddie Mac to engage (and encouraged them to do so) in subprime, questionable loans, etc?
    The Democrats folks.
    WHO tried to introduce legistation to stop the root of this crisis? It was Bush/McCAin, and they did so TWICE. This was BLOCKED by Dodd, Schumer and Frank (all democrats) I am in this field and know exactly what happend.
    Americans were so blinded by celebrity we have the most inexperienced Pres in American History at a time we neede "knowledge". Palin CLEANED up ALaska, – after Obama left So Community job in Chicago crime was 80% higher....how dumb could we be?
    Jack CArlson
    Seattle WA

    February 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. CNN moderation purgatory...

    ANGIE-OH February 27th, 2009 11:34 am ET

    when are people going to wake up. we were attacked on 9/11 BECAUSE OF bush.
    ---------------------------------
    Really?
    Clinton let Bin Laden go how many times? And this was AFTER he hit the WTC the first time.
    9/11 was a direct result of Clinton failing to stop Bin Laden when he had the chance. And I do believe he had some 3 or 4 solid chances to do it.
    Bush would have issued the order to kill him on the first siting.
    9/11 was a forgone conclusion before Bush was ever sworn in.
    There was no intelligence saying who, what , where or when.
    Just that some guys MAY be planning to use a plane.
    You know how many planes are in the air at any given moment? Thousands.

    February 27, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Check please....

    "Why is CNN promoting republicans even by posting their pictures here. These people should be locked up and throw the keys away. Never seen or heard!"

    The height of tolerance, thank you lib.

    February 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Brian

    After their findings, I wouldn't be surprised if federal marshals show up and arrest him at his Texas ranch.

    February 27, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Dan, TX

    We can learn from History – but only if we can find the truth about what the history is. There will be several books written by historians and they will use the results of such an investigation. This review may also improve the CIA – what was good, what was bad about those policies.

    I think 9/11 was a terrible. But if 9/11 was responsible for the Iraq war, then the terrorists won and are continuing to win. The Iraq war has destroyed the American economy, and thereby the world economy. Who can say the terrorists did not win a victory larger than they ever could have hoped to achieve. Why would terrorists want to strike again and distract us from destroying ourselves in Iraq?

    February 27, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. ALAN FROM PA.

    DEAR MR BUSH, I WOULD JUST LIKE TO THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF ALL TRUE AMERICANS FOR KEEPING MY FAMILY AND COUNTRY ABSOLUTELY SAFE AFTER 911. UNFORTUNATELY IT IS HARD TO SAY I WISH I COULD FEEL THIS WAY NOW WITH THE CURRENT CIRCUS IN TOWN.

    THANKS AGAIN.

    PS. GOD HELP US ALL

    February 27, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Hayden Zeke

    They won't find anything, Vlad the Impaler (Dick "Elmer Fudd" Cheney) has already shredded everything.

    February 27, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. dont drop the soap Georgie

    Bye bye little boy.

    February 27, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. bill

    The review will take a year; I'm sure Keith Obiwan will think that's too long, but I'm sure he will count the days, each night on this show. I think that a year from now, with the shape this country will be in, even Demos seemingly hell bent on punishing 'the past' instead of trying to focus on the future, will seem like idiots if they are still pursing this matter. God help us all.

    February 27, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Kevin ST Pete, FL

    Limbaugh and Hannity to have cow in about this in 5...4..3...2...

    February 27, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Steve(the smart one)

    How you like the payback Steve?

    February 27, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Ian Minneapolis, MN

    Eric, 9/11 HAPPENED! Don't be brainwashed. Just because there hasn't been attack since 9/11 doesn't mean that the warning signs were ignored completely. And just because another attack hasn't happened some how justifies it...I don't get the logic.

    February 27, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. eric

    Angie_oh you are so stupid. What could Bush have done in 9 months that would have led to 9/11. Let me guess it was an inside job so that Cheney and our government could make a ton of money for their rich friends. I truly feel sorry for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Rick

    And democrats wonder why we don't trust them with national security. If we do what France and the democrats want we will all be kneeling on our prayer rugs 5 times per day.

    February 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Maggie

    Hey, Eric, what part of "I am not a liberal" did you not understand? Do I need to use one-syllable words for you?

    There have been attacks since 9/11, just not planes flying into buildings. Remember the anthrax attacks? Remember the attacks on our first amendment rights? Remember the warrantless wiretapping? An attack is an attack regardless of how you wrap it up. Bush is responsible for many of the attacks on the American people. That's fact. That particular fact transcends parties and affliiations and spectrum. And are my words too multi-syllabic for you?

    I've voted republican and democrat throughout my voting life. I don't hang on to a particular party for any reason. What about that do you not understand?

    February 27, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Linda K.

    Some say that Bush wasn't responsible for 9-11 because he'd been president for such a short time. If (and I hope it doesn't happen) we're attacked sometime in 2009, will those same people blame Obama? Or, because he's been president for such a short time, will it go back to Bush? You can't have it both ways.

    February 27, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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