CIA chief challenges Senate torture report
WASHINGTON - CIA Director John Brennan is acknowledging that agency officers did "abhorrent" things to captive terror suspects, and he says he can't prove the harsh treatment made the prisoners cooperate. But he defends the overall post-9/11 interrogation program for stopping attacks and saving lives.
That is the carefully balanced case that Brennan attempted to make Thursday during an unprecedented televised news conference at CIA headquarters.
At the heart of Brennan's remarks was this: That while today's CIA takes no position on whether the brutal interrogation tactics themselves led detainees to cooperate, there is no doubt that detainees subjected to the treatment offered "useful and valuable" information afterward.
Brennan said it was "unknown and unknowable" whether the harsh treatment yielded crucial intelligence that could have been gained in any other way.