application of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques, (3) the physical effects of the techniques on detainees, and (4) the effectiveness of the techniques. Those representations were inaccurate in material respects.
The Department of Justice did not conduct independent analysis or verification of the information it received from the CIA. The department warned, however, that if the facts provided by the CIA were to change, its legal conclusions might not apply. When the CIA determined that information it had provided to the Department of Justice was incorrect, the CIA rarely informed the department.
Prior to the initiation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program and throughout the life of the program, the legal justifications for the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques relied on the CIA's claim that the techniques were necessary to save lives. In late 2001 and early 2002, senior attorneys at the CIA Office of General Counsel first examined the legal implications of using coercive interrogation techniques. CIA attorneys stated that "a novel application of the necessity defense" could be used "to avoid prosecution of U.S. officials who tortured to obtain information that saved many lives."13
Having reviewed information provided by the CIA, the OLC included the "necessity defense" in its August 1, 2002, memorandum to the White House counsel on Standards of Conduct for Interrogation. The OLC determined that "under the current circumstances, necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate" the criminal prohibition against torture.
On the same day, a second OLC opinion approved, for the first time, the use of 10 specific coercive interrogation techniques against Abu Zubaydah—subsequently referred to as the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques." The OLC relied on inaccurate CIA representations about Abu Zubaydah's status in al-Qa'ida and the interrogation team's "certain[ty]" that Abu Zubaydah was withholding information about planned terrorist attacks. The CIA's representations to the OLC about the techniques were also inconsistent with how the techniques would later be applied.
In March 2005, the CIA submitted to the Department of Justice various examples of the "effectiveness" of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques that were inaccurate. OLC memoranda signed on May 30, 2005, and July 20, 2007, relied on these representations, determining that the techniques were legal in part because they produced "specific, actionable intelligence" and "substantial quantities of otherwise unavailable intelligence" that saved lives.14
#6: The CIA has actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight of the program.
The CIA did not brief the leadership of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques until September 2002, after the techniques had been approved and used. The CIA did not respond to Chairman Bob Graham's requests for additional information in 2002, noting in its own internal communications that he would be leaving the Committee in January 2003. The CIA subsequently resisted efforts by Vice Chairman John D.
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