"Here the CIA has done this report a number of years ago," he said. "It's a very thorough report. In fact, it was done by people who were not supportive of the program to begin with. It was very thorough. Any and all abuses were brought to light. Many of those abuses were then referred for possible prosecution to the Department of Justice. It seems to me that the CIA did everything that is was supposed to have done and yet now, both the organization and the individuals concerned are being subject to double jeopardy."
Grenier condemned the interrogation tactics that were unauthorized and pointed echoed some of the IG report's conclusions which noted that the detention program improved as time went on, and noted that prior to 9/11 the CIA simply did not have the capacity to interrogate Islamic terrorists.
"You can't have people who are freelancing. Unfortunately, I think in the very early days, apparently there was a certain amount of freelancing that took place," Grenier said. "It takes time to develop a disciplined, professional program…Part of the problem here was that the CIA got into this business and was trying to construct a locomotive as it was going 60 miles down the track."
In some ways, the much anticipated report raises more questions than it provides answers. During the two year investigation, for example, Helgerson and his staff viewed most of the 92 videotapes made of Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri's interrogations but noted that 21 hours of interrogations were missing. The missing hours include the two waterboarding sessions of al-Nashiri.
The announcement today by the Obama administration in some ways tries to address the underlying question posed by Helgerson and his report: Did torture work?
The CIA released two intelligence reports that former Vice President Richard Cheney had called to be declassified. Last May, Cheney claimed the reports showed that the CIA's interrogation program worked. The reports, while noting the valuable intelligence that came from detainee interrogations, do not specifically address which tactics worked, and which did not.
The IG report concluded the same. "There is no doubt," the report stated, "that the Program has been effective. Measuring the effectiveness of [enhanced interrogation techniques] however, is a more subjective process and not without some concern."