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Senate Report on CIA Torture

Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rica was President Bush's National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005, and Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009. Rice's main focus regarding the CIA’s program was ensuring that it comply with the law, stating that “she would not object to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques if the attorney general determined them to be legal.” 

On July 29, 2003, CIA Director George Tenet and CIA General Counsel Scott Muller provided inaccurate information to Rice, Vice President Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales. This information included a warning that "termination of this program [would] result in loss of life, possibly extensive," and "that 'major threats were countered and attacks averted' because of the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques." After being provided with this information, Cheney and Rice “agreed that the CIA was executing Administration policy in carrying out its interrogation program.”

In 2004 Rice requested “an independent study of the foreign intelligence efficacy of using enhanced interrogation techniques.” The CIA responded that “[t]here is no way to conduct such a study” but supplied some supposed key examples of successes of the CIA’s program. These included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed “provid[ing] the first lead to an operative known as ‘Issa al-Hindi’” and the thwarting of the United Kingdom "Urban Targets" Plot. These examples were “inaccurate representations” and the intelligence on these matters “all came from intelligence sources unrelated to the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.”

In June 2007, Rice “expressed her concern about the use of nudity and a detainee being shackled in the standing position for the purpose of sleep deprivation.” Rice told James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen that “she would not concur with an interrogation program that included nudity.”  She eventually agreed to a proposed CIA program that would include sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation, facial grab, facial slap, abdominal slap, and forcefully grabbing the collar of a detainee in a motion called an "attention grab."