The declassified version of the CIA report on torture by the Senate Intelligence Committee is to be released Tuesday. A 600-page executive summary is being disseminated out of thousands of pages in the report, which is expected to characterize the enhanced interrogation techniques conducted by the agency after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks as torture. To learn more about who authorized torture, who was tortured and other players involved, here are eight names to know in the CIA torture report:
George W. Bush
Bush was president during the time when the enhanced interrogation techniques were conducted by CIA agents at black sites, or secret prisons, shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. President Barack Obama outlawed the practice and has since characterized the techniques as torture. The report is also expected to label the methods torture. The findings are expected to determine that Bush was misled by the CIA about the effectiveness of the techniques and their “nature,” according to the New York Times. But Bush administration officials aren’t throwing the CIA under the bus with the report’s impending release. The former president praised the operatives as “patriots” in an interview with CNN. "And whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off-base," Bush said. "And I knew the directors, I knew the deputy directors, I knew a lot of operators -- these are good people, really good people. And we’re lucky as a nation to have them.” An unnamed Bush official told the Times: “We’re going to stand behind these guys.”
Arguably the most influential vice president in history, Cheney, who was also a former defense secretary, was heavily involved in national security issues in the Bush White House. That included CIA interrogations, and Cheney pushed for the techniques that will be outlined in the report, according to the Washington Post. The former vice president didn’t view the methods as torture. He also denied that the CIA misled the Bush administration.
“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Cheney told the Times. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”
Gonzales headed the Justice Department as Bush’s attorney general from 2005 to 2007. He was also a proponent of the controversial interrogation methods when he was Bush’s counsel from 2001 to 2005. During that time, he drafted a memo in 2002 that authorized the techniques, saying the Geneva Conventions didn’t apply to the methods used on suspected Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
"This new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions requiring that captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges,” he wrote.
Yoo was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department when Gonzales was White House counsel. Yoo was among those who said the Geneva Conventions, the international rules that determine how captives are treated, cannot be applied.
“[M]embers of al Qaeda cannot receive the protections accord to POWs under [the Geneva Conventions] because al Qaeda is a non-state terrorist organization that has not signed the conventions,” Yoo wrote to Gonzales in a August 2002 memo.
Tenet’s tenure as CIA director spanned the presidencies of Bush and Bill Clinton. He headed the agency from 1996 to 2004 and was in charge of the agency when the controversial interrogation techniques were being used. But he told “60 Minutes” that “we don’t torture people.”
"The image that's been portrayed is, we sat around the campfire and said, 'Oh, boy, now we get to torture people.' Well, we don't torture people. Let me say that again to you. We don't torture people. Okay?” Tenet said in a 2007 interview. "The context is it's post-9/11. I've got reports of nuclear weapons in New York City, apartment buildings that are gonna be blown up, planes that are gonna fly into airports all over again. Plot lines that I don't know -- I don't know what's going on inside the United States. And I'm struggling to find out where the next disaster is going to occur. Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through. The palpable fear that we felt on the basis of the fact that there was so much we did not know. I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots."
Hayden headed the CIA from 2006 to 2009, and is among the Bush administration officials backing the methods. He also denied that the agency misled the administration.
"To say that we relentlessly over an expanded period of time lied to everyone about a program that wasn't doing any good, that beggars the imagination," he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
He also slammed the intelligence committee, which is run by Democrats and headed by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for not questioning any CIA operatives involved in the program for its report.
"First of all, the CIA workforce will feel as if it has been tried and convicted in absentia since the Senate Democrats and their staff didn't talk to anyone actively involved in the program. Second, this will be used by our enemies to motivate people to attack Americans and American facilities overseas," Hayden said.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
The mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks is the most high-profile captive to be subjected to the techniques, which were credited for him confessing to his involvement in the plot. His lawyer claimed he was waterboarded 183 times and deprived of sleep for seven days, according to the Daily Mail.
While proponents of the methods say they worked on Mohammed, others, like U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said they weren’t effective. McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who was tortured, said in 2011 that the techniques “actually produced false and misleading information” from Mohammed about other plots and players involved in them, according to ABC News.
Enhanced interrogation techniques were used on Ghul, a Pakistani national detained at a secret CIA prison who was credited with giving information that led the CIA to track the courier connected to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It was the surveillance of the courier that sparked the successful operation that killed bin Laden in 2011.
But it’s unclear whether the techniques are what led to that information. Feinstein didn't mention Ghul by name, but she said a CIA detainee gave the agency useful information “and accurate intelligence” before he was subject to the enhanced interrogation techniques. Unnamed U.S. officials told Reuters that the senator was referring to Ghul, which, if true, bolsters the case that the methods aren't effective in extracting intelligence.