Senate Report on CIA Torture

Porter Goss

Porter Goss was the head of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006. He told the administration that the CIA’s program “save[d] hundreds, if not thousands, of lives,” and “produced intelligence that allowed the U.S., and its partners, to disrupt attacks such as 911-style attacks planned for the U.S. West Coast and for Heathrow airport.” In 2005, “Dateline NBC aired a program that included on-the-record quotes from Goss” and quotes from "senior U.S. intelligence analysts’ stating that intelligence obtained from CIA interrogations ‘approaches or surpasses any other intelligence on the subject of al-Qaida and the construction of the network.’” In 2006, Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the program had brought “incredible information” to the CIA, that it was a “professionally-operated program,” and that “the CIA's interrogation program is ‘not a brutality. It's more of an art or a science that is refined.’” The Committee later “submitted official Questions for the Record related to the history, legality, and the effectiveness of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program.” The CIA did not respond to these questions.

When the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General reviewed the program in 2005, “Goss requested in writing that the inspector general not initiate further reviews of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program until reviews already underway were completed," and then asked if an internal CIA review “would satisfy the inspector general recommendation for an independent review of the program.” “The inspector general responded that the senior officer review would not satisfy the recommendation for an independent review.”

”According to CIA records, no CIA officer, up to and including CIA Directors George Tenet and Porter Goss, briefed the president on the specific CIA enhanced interrogation techniques before April 2006.” In May 2005, “the White House informed the CIA that a National Security Council Principals Committee meeting would be necessary to discuss the use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Faraj al-Libi,” but Goss “instructed CIA officers to proceed as planned, indicating that he would call the principals individually and inform them that, if Abu Faraj al-Libi was found not to be cooperating and there were no contraindications to such an interrogation, he would approve the use of all of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques other than the waterboard.”