CIA Director: 'Torture is Counterproductive'

GOSS: Again, we don't comment on legislation when -- whatever happens on the Hill happens on the Hill. We basically are capabilities people. We don't do torture because we don't need to do torture and it's counterproductive. We have our own techniques for our debriefings and they yield good results.

GIBSON: But by not embracing the John McCain amendment, doesn't that leave an impression in people's minds that perhaps the CIA might be doing things that you and I would not be proud of?

GOSS: It certainly -- it should not leave that impression because we don't embrace any legislation. We are a part of the government, the Executive Branch. It's not our job to make policy, and it's not our job to lobby for legislation. I did that when I was in Congress. I don't do that down here.

GIBSON: There have also been stories in the press in recent weeks about a covert prison system, or secret prisons, some of which may exist in Eastern Europe for the holding of suspected terrorists. Why do we need that?

GOSS: Why do we need press speculation?

GIBSON: Those kinds of prisons.

GOSS: If you're talking about the press speculation, it's gotten way out of bounds. I don't know exactly what you're referring to, but I can absolutely assure you that I have read some allegations in the media that are just simply outlandish.

GIBSON: Well, The Washington Post story of two weeks ago I'm talking about, or within the last two weeks about, about, about covert, a covert prison system.

GOSS: Okay. Are you -- what is your question?

GIBSON: Why do we need -- do we have them?

GOSS: Let me put it this way. We're fighting a war on terror. We're doing quite well in it. Inevitably, we are going to have to capture some terrorists, and inevitably they're going to have to have some due process, and inevitably that is going to happen, and it's going to be done lawfully and under the, under all of the law and order and protections of due process that this country affords.

During the interview, Goss also spoke about the agency's post-9/11 role.

GIBSON: In light of what is certainly perceived in this country as intelligence failures leading to 9/11 and intelligence failures prior to the Iraq war as pertains to weapons of mass destruction, why should people believe in or trust the CIA?

GOSS: Well, we are perhaps the gold standard by any measure in terms of human intelligence. You can argue it, but I think when you get through at the end of the day we are the preeminent human intelligence collection agency in the globe. We have the greatest technology, the greatest support systems, the greatest case officers, and the greatest analysts working together. We don't get it right every time, but I don't think there is anybody who can come close. I would also say that there is nobody else out there doing what we do. We're unique. This is a very special activity. It's an overseas job. It involves lots of skills and techniques, a lot of sacrifice of time, family time in particular. This is a unique world and we have wonderful people dedicated and doing great things in it.

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