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Senate Committee: CIA torture in wake of 9/11 was ineffective and illegal

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, speaks to reporters about the release of a report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, while walking from the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 9, 2014. A US Senate panel releases its highly-controversial report into harsh interrogation tactics of Al-Qaeda terror suspects on Tuesday, a move that has prompted fears of a backlash around the world. American embassies were on heightened alert as Senator Dianne Feinstein, the powerful chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she would unveil the long-delayed report's summary at 11:00 am (1600 GMT) despite a warning from US Secretary of State John Kerry about the impact it could have. The 500-page summary of a longer report is expected to be the most extensive detailing of the CIA's brutal interrogation of Al-Qaeda suspects after the 9/11 attacks of 2001.       AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, speaks to reporters about the release of a report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, while walking from the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 9, 2014.

Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) blamed CIA headquarters, analysts and contractors for the illegal use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (EITs) used on al-Qaeda detainees in the aftermath of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Today, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) blamed CIA headquarters, analysts and contractors for the illegal use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (EITs) used on al-Qaeda detainees in the aftermath of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Feinstein said the CIA's program amounted to "indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations and our values."

The Central Intelligence Agency issued a response that in many ways is in direct contradiction of today's report. The CIA statement says, " [R]eviews indicate that the program, including interrogations of detainees on whom EITs were used, did produce valuable and unique intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives."  Feinstein went into exacting detail of the EITs that included days of sleep deprivation, violent abuse, and promises that the detainees would not leave CIA confinement alive.

What is your reaction to the findings and the CIA response?

Guests: 

Rachel VanLandingham, Lt. Colonel (U.S. Air Force, ret.); Former U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate (2000-2012); From 2006-2010, legal advisor for international law at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command, where she advised on operational and international legal issues related to the armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq; Associate Professor, Southwestern Law School in LA

Jeffrey Addicott, Lt. Colonel (U.S. Army, ret.); Professor of Law at St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio, where he is the director of the Center for Terrorism Law; Addicott's a 20 year JAG officer and was senior legal counsel to the Green Berets

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