The CIA Had A Very Familiar Justification For Systematic Torture

CIA seal

The Washington Post reports that CIA torture at "black sites" during the war on terror was worse than the public ever knew, according to a 6,300-page report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here's how the spy agency justified it at the time (President Obama dismantled the network in 2009):

"The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives," one U.S. official briefed on the report told The Post.

That argument has been used throughout the post-9/11 war on terror, most recently to justify mass NSA surveillance.

"Fifty-four times this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe - saving real lives," Rep. Mike Rogers (Rep. - Mich.), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told the House floor in July. "This isn't a game. This is real."

Rogers claim is unfounded.

And the official briefed on the Senate torture report, speaking to CIA's justification, told The Post: "Was that actually true? The answer is no."

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