Ex-CIA official: CIA torture report will ‘cost American lives’

14 Dec

The Hill

By Scott Wong – 12/14/14 07:00 AM EST

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Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein’s decision to release the CIA torture report will “cost American lives,” a former top CIA official said in a radio interview that aired Sunday morning.

“You are going to hand ISIS and the al-Nusra Front [terrorist groups] a massive information and operations victory … This is going in the end to cost American lives,” former CIA Officer and Station Chief Gary Berntsen said when asked what he would have warned Feinstein about making the report public.

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Berntsen helped lead the CIA’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He made his remarks on The Cats Roundtable, host John Catsimatidis’s radio show on AM 970 in New York, and they echo similar comments from CIA veterans like former Director Michael Hayden.

“It’s a devastating report in that it puts out on the table the dirty laundry of the agency … there wasn’t a balanced approach to the report,” Berntsen said. “And this is going to damage our relationships with foreign intelligence services around the world.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee report was released by Feinstein, a California Democrat, just weeks before her party hands over control of the upper chamber to Republicans. The report detailed “enhanced interrogation techniques” including waterboarding and rectal hydration, and critics including Berntsen have called the document partisan

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