US embassies and military bases are preparing for security threats ahead of the release of a report on CIA interrogation techniques in the wake of September 11.
THE Senate Intelligence Committee assessment will be the first public accounting of the agency’s use of “torture” on al-Qaeda detainees held at “black” sites in Europe and Asia.
The committee was expected on Tuesday to release a 480-page executive summary of the 6000-plus-page document compiled by Democrats on the panel.
“There are some indications the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to US facilities and individuals all around the world,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday.
“The administration has taken prudent steps to ensure the proper security precautions are in place at US facilities around the globe.”
Likewise, Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said “there is certainly the possibility the release could cause unrest” and therefore combatant commands have been directed to take protective measures.
US officials who have read it say it includes disturbing new details about the CIA’s use of sleep deprivation, confinement in small spaces, humiliation and the simulated drowning process known as waterboarding.
It alleges the harsh interrogations failed to produce unique and life-saving intelligence – a conclusion disputed by current and former officials, including CIA Director John Brennan.
It also asserts the CIA lied about the covert program to the White House, the Justice Department and congressional oversight committees.
President Barack Obama has said, “We tortured some folks.”
Earnest said regardless of whether the US gleaned important intelligence through the interrogations, “the president believes the use of those tactics was unwarranted, that they were inconsistent with our values and did not make us safer”.
While the White House has said it welcomes the release of the summary, officials say they do have concerns about potential security threats that could follow.
On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry asked the committee’s chairwoman, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, to “consider” the timing of the release.
White House officials said Obama had known of Kerry’s plan but the president continued to support the report’s release.
Republican Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN on Sunday US intelligence agencies and foreign governments had privately said the release of the report would be used by extremists to incite violence likely to cost lives.
Rogers questioned why it needed to be made public, given the Justice Department investigated and filed no criminal charges.