REPORT: Why Bush’s ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Program Failed

Yesterday, the Washington Post published an article on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Bush-era interrogation techniques. Greg Sargent flagged two paragraphs of the story revealing that the White House intends to release a 2004 CIA report that casts serious doubt on the effectiveness of Bush’s torture program:

Government officials familiar with the CIA’s early interrogations say the most powerful evidence of apparent excesses is contained in the “top secret” May 7, 2004, inspector general report, based on more than 100 interviews, a review of the videotapes and 38,000 pages of documents. The full report remains closely held, although White House officials have told political allies that they intend to declassify it for public release when the debate quiets over last month’s release of the Justice Department’s interrogation memos. […]

Although some useful information was produced, the report concluded that “it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks,” according to the Justice Department’s declassified summary of it.

Just yesterday, former Vice president Dick Cheney said of Bush’s “enhanced interrogation” methods, “I think it was absolutely the right thing to do. I am convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives.”


The truth of the matter — as this 2004 CIA report purportedly shows — is that “enhanced interrogation” doesn’t work. In fact, it endangers American lives and helps terrorists recruit new foot soldiers.

ThinkProgress produced an extensive report titled Why Bush’s “Enhanced Interrogation” Program Failed. The report shows that the “enhanced” techniques praised by Cheney yielded unreliable information that failed to stop attacks, mobilized insurgents, and ruined America’s moral and legal authority. Download a pdf of the full report HERE. Every time you hear a conservative repeat the canard that torture kept America safe, refer to this report as a handy rebuttal.