A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.
The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A.'s operation and oversight of a program carried out by agency officials and contractors in secret prisons around the world in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also provides a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects.
The 525-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture is a deeply disturbing read. It documents, among other things, CIA officers forcing hummus into a detainee's rectum, imprisoning an "intellectually challenged" man "solely as leverage to get a family member to provide information," and hiding the truth about the horror from the rest of the government.
Perhaps the worst part of all of it is that the CIA should have known inflicting all that pain was pointless — because their own officers told them. This is, in some ways, the most telling sentence of the entire report:
CIA officers regularly called into question whether the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques were effective, assessing that the use of the techniques failed to elicit detainee cooperation or produce accurate intelligence.