our budget... we either put out our story or we get eaten. [T]here is no middle ground."24 The same CIA officer explained to a colleague that "when the [Washington Post]/[New York T]imes quotes 'senior intelligence official,' it's us... authorized and directed by opa [CIA's Office of Public Affairs]."25
Much of the information the CIA provided to the media on the operation of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program and the effectiveness of its enhanced interrogation techniques was inaccurate and was similar to the inaccurate information provided by the CIA to the Congress, the Department of Justice, and the White House.
#11: The CIA was unprepared as it began operating its Detention and Interrogation Program more than six months after being granted detention authorities.
On September 17, 2001, the President signed a covert action Memorandum of Notification (MON) granting the CIA unprecedented counterterrorism authorities, including the authority to covertly capture and detain individuals "posing a continuing, serious threat of violence or death to U.S. persons and interests or planning terrorist activities." The MON made no reference to interrogations or coercive interrogation techniques.
The CIA was not prepared to take custody of its first detainee. In the fall of 2001, the CIA explored the possibility of establishing clandestine detention facilities in several countries. The CIA's review identified risks associated with clandestine detention that led it to conclude that U.S. military bases were the best option for the CIA to detain individuals under the MON authorities. In late March 2002, the imminent capture of Abu Zubaydah prompted the CIA to again consider various detention options. In part to avoid declaring Abu Zubaydah to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which would be required if he were detained at a U.S. military base, the CIA decided to seek authorization to clandestinely detain Abu Zubaydah at a facility in Country 26 but stated that this plan would be presented to the president. At a Presidential Daily Briefing session that day, the president approved CIA's proposal to detain Abu Zubaydah in Country .—a country that had not previously been considered as a potential host for a CIA detention site. A senior CIA officer indicated that the CIA "will have to acknowledge certain gaps in our planning/preparations,"
The CIA lacked a plan for the eventual disposition of its detainees. After taking custody of Abu Zubaydah, CIA officers concluded that he "should remain incommunicado for the remainder of his life," which "may preclude [Abu Zubaydah] from being turned over to another country."27
The CIA did not review its past experience with coercive interrogations, or its previous statement to Congress that "inhumane physical or psychological techniques are counterproductive because they do not produce intelligence and will probably result in false answers."28 The CIA also did not contact other elements of the U.S. Government with interrogation expertise.
In July 2002, on the basis of consultations with contract psychologists, and with very limited internal deliberation, the CIA requested approval from the Department of Justice to use a set of coercive interrogation techniques. The techniques were adapted from the training of U.S.
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