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Report doubts value of harsh CIA techniques

  • December 13, 2012 - 9:21 PM

After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday approved a long-awaited report concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA against terror suspects did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.

The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee's Republicans. The outcome reflects the partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA's use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were forbidden.

The report is the most detailed independent examination of the agency's efforts to "break" dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy because of torture scenes in a forthcoming Hollywood film, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Officials familiar with the report said it makes a detailed case that subjecting prisoners to "enhanced" interrogation techniques did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden and often were counterproductive in the broader campaign against Al-Qaida.

The 9-to-6 vote indicates that at least one Republican voted in favor of the report, but committee officials declined to provide a breakdown.

It could be years before the public gets even a partial glimpse of the report or its conclusions. Even if it is released, the report would probably have little effect beyond providing restoking a largely dormant interrogation debate.

WASHINGTON POST

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