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Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report

Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report 

The logo of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is shown in the lobby of the
CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia March 3, 2005.
(Reuters) - Graphic details about sexual threats and other harsh interrogation
techniques the CIA meted out to captured militants will be detailed by a Senate
Intelligence Committee report on the spy agency's anti-terror tactics, sources
familiar with the document said.

The report, which the committee's majority Democrats are expected to release
on Tuesday, describes how senior al Qaeda operative Abdel Rahman al Nashiri,
suspected mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, was threatened by his
interrogators with a buzzing power drill, the sources said. The drill was never
actually used on Nashiri.

In another instance, the report documents how at least one detainee was
sexually threatened with a broomstick, the sources said.

Preparing for a worldwide outcry, and possibly even violence, from the
publication of such graphic details, the White House and U.S. intelligence
officials said on Monday they had taken steps to shore up security of U.S.
facilities worldwide.

"There are some indications that … the release of the report could lead to
greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the
world," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Some interrogation tactics meant to force detainees to divulge information on
terrorist plots and cells, went beyond the harsh techniques authorized by White
House, CIA and Justice Department lawyers working for President George W. Bush's
Justice Department, according to the sources familiar with the report.

Earnest reiterated that President Barack Obama supports making the document
public "so that people around the world and people here at home understand
exactly what transpired."


Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence agencies secretly circulated a bulletin warning
of possible violent reactions overseas, a senior intelligence official told
Reuters. The Pentagon has also warned field commanders they should take
appropriate steps to protect U.S. troops and bases overseas.

Intelligence committee Democrats are expected to post the report on the
panel's website on Tuesday, along with lengthy critiques of it by committee
Republicans and the CIA.

The report, which took years to produce, charts the history of the CIA's
"Rendition, Detention and Interrogation" program, which Bush authorized after
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush ended many aspects of the program before leaving office, and Obama
swiftly banned so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques," which critics say
are torture, after his 2009 inauguration.

The committee's bottom-line conclusion is that harsh interrogations did not
produce a single critical intelligence nugget that could not have been obtained
by non-coercive means.

That conclusion is strongly disputed by many intelligence and
counter-terrorism officials, who say that there is no question such
interrogations led to major breakthroughs.

Obama believes that regardless of whether the interrogation methods produced
useful information, "the use of these techniques was not worth it because of the
harm that was done to our national values and the sense of what it is that we
believe in as Americans," Earnest said.

Cases in which CIA interrogators threatened one or more detainees with mock
executions - a practice never authorized by Bush administration lawyers - are
documented in the report, the sources said.

Interrogation practices which the Justice Department had authorized were
sometimes used to extremes, as in the case of Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian who is
alleged to have served as an organizer and de-facto travel agent for the
Afghanistan-based al Qaeda core organization headed by Osama bin Laden. Abu
Zubaydah was kept awake and interrogated for five days without a break.

While the Justice Department had authorized techniques like sleep
deprivation, controls and supervision of such methods were sometimes lax when
the CIA began detaining and interrogating militants starting in August 2002,
said sources familiar with the interrogation program.

A more rigorous system of monitoring how the techniques were used was in
place by early 2003, the sources said.

The 500-plus page report which the Intelligence Committee has prepared for
release -- a summary of a much more detailed, 6,000-page narrative which will
remain secret - includes a 200-page narrative of the interrogation program's
history and 20 case studies of the interrogations of specific detainees.

Citing the case studies, committee investigators claim the CIA misrepresented
how effective harsh interrogations were in extracting important
counter-terrorism information, according to the sources familiar with the

(Additional reporting by Roberta
Rampton, Steve
Holland and David
Alexander; Editing by Warren
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