Late last year, a summary of the Senate’s long-awaited report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation methods” used on detainees between 2001 and 2006 was released to the public. Americans were finally given access to major portions of the 6,000-page document â the result of reviewing 6 million communications and 9,400 classified documents at a cost of $40 million dollars. Along with the report, the Justice Department released a statement indicating they would not prosecute CIA interrogators who may have committed war crimes as “the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain convictions beyond a reasonable doubt.”
At the center of much of the controversy is President George W. Bush’s former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, John Yoo, who joined The Costa Report this week to express concerns about the veracity of the report’s conclusions. Yoo is known for authoring the legal opinions which authorized CIA agents to use “enhanced interrogation techniques” during the War on Terror. According to Yoo, the investigation methodologies used by the Senate were “deeply flawed” and therefore the report’s conclusions cannot be trusted. One example Yoo cites is the failure of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) to conduct interviews with any participants or victims. So there are no eye-witness accounts to corroborate the information which was studied. Yoo stated that the report was a “flawed enterprise from the very beginning.”
Yoo also addressed widespread concerns over the CIA’s involvement in other illegal or morally-questionable activities. “The idea that there are rogue CIA agents out there, doing things without anyone knowing â¦ I don’t think is actually true based on what I knew from my time in government,” said Yoo. According to him, the CIA is “very concerned about acting legally.” As evidence, Yoo said the General Counsel’s office employs over 100 lawyers for the purpose of ensuring the agency complies with the law. He also reminded the public that Federal prosecutors “with no partisan interest” have investigated all claims of CIA torture, and found no basis for prosecution. In Yoo’s view, that is a more credible opinion than a Senate Report which failed to interview eyewitnesses.
To hear the full interview with John Yoo, visit The Costa Report.