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Key quotes from CIA chief on torture report

12 december 2014, 13:35
0
Director of Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan takes questions from reporters during a press conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. ©AFP
Director of Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan takes questions from reporters during a press conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. ©AFP

 CIA chief John Brennan acknowledged some of the US intelligence agency's interrogators went too far in their treatment of detainees and said "non-coercive" questioning can work to obtain useful information from suspects, AFP reports.

Here are some key quotes from the Central Intelligence Agency director's rare, live press conference on Thursday:

   'Abhorrent' and unauthorized 

 "In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all. And we fell short when it came to holding some officers accountable for their mistakes."

  'Agonizing choices' 

 "The previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue Al-Qaeda and prevent additional terror attacks against our country while facing fears of further attacks and carrying out the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life.

"There were no easy answers, and whatever your views are on EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques), our nation and in particular this agency did a lot of things right during this difficult time to keep this country strong and secure."

  'Not prepared' 

 "In many respects, the program was uncharted territory for the CIA, and we were not prepared. We had little experience housing detainees, and precious few of our officers were trained interrogators. The president authorized the effort six days after 9/11, and it was our job to carry it out."

   Reform 

 "To address the concerns identified, the CIA has implemented a number of reforms in an effort to make sure those mistakes never happen again."

  Efficacy 'unknowable' 

 "There's no way to know if some information obtained from an individual who had been subjected (to enhanced interrogation techniques) at some point during his confinement could have been obtained through other means. It's an unknowable fact."

 "Irrespective of the role EITs might play in a detainee's provision of useful information, I believe effective, noncoercive methods are available to elicit such information -- methods that do not have a counterproductive impact on our national security and on our international standing."

  'False information' 

 "I tend to believe that the use of coercive methods has a strong prospect for resulting in false information, because if somebody is being subjected to coercive techniques, they may say something to have those techniques stopped.

"And I think this agency has said that individuals who are subjected to those techniques here provided useful information as well as false information."


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