The so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” employed during the Bush administration were “ineffective,” according to a long-awaited report [text, PDF] released Tuesday by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website]. According to the report, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] deliberately misled Congress and the White House about information obtained using enhanced interrogation techniques between 2002 and 2007, which were more brutal than the public was led to believe. The more than 600 pages of materials [additional views, PDF; minority views, PDF] that were released to the public are based on millions of internal CIA documents and took over five years to produce. The full report, totaling more than 6,700 pages, remains classified but has been shared with the White House.
Last month the UN Committee Against Torture [official website] found [report, PDF] the US has fallen short of full compliance [JURIST report] with the Convention Against Torture international treaty [text]. Police brutality [JURIST report], detention facilities, military interrogations and the criminalization of torture itself were several of the top concerns. The committee raised particular concern regarding the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detention facility, urging the US to cease the indefinite holding of suspects of terrorism-related activities without official charge or trial, to “appropriately prosecute those responsible” for detainee mistreatment and to “ensure effective redress for victims.” The panel called on the US to abolish unreasonable sleep deprivation during military interrogations as well as the practice of sensory deprivation, as scientific studies have shown that it induces psychosis. The committee also urged the US to federally criminalize torture.