Did CIA Detention Tactics Go Too Far?

ABC News contributor and former FBI special agent Brad Garrett and NYU Global Justice Clinic Director Meg Satterthwaite discuss cases of those wrongfully detained by the CIA.
6:30 | 12/14/14

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Transcript for Did CIA Detention Tactics Go Too Far?
Now to the growing fallout from that explosive cia torture report. The cia under fire and firing back. After the report blasted the cia for its interrogation tactics and this morning, new questions over whether that report will end helping Khalid sheikh Mohammed, the terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks, when he's sentenced. I spoke with his attorney just before he went to begguantanamo to meet with his client. Khalid sheikh Mohammed captured in March of 2003 and immediately subjected to E.I.T., enhanced interrogation techniques. Stress position, standing sleep deprivation, nudity and repeated waterboarding. 183 times in the first month alone. I found the report shocking. These kind of details put flesh on the bones of a general statement like torture. The extend belly, pushed on it and water would come out of his mouth. That's how full of water he was. Right. The details are -- You're representing someone who I think Americans look at as an appalling person and the cia will certainly say that type of thing as well. You could ask Alexander Hamilton about it, he said precisely in times like this, when we're under amazing pressures and when we have people that we hate, that's where we let our values fly right out the window for expediency purposes. In rational moments, we sign the convention against torture. Reporter: Defenders of the program are unapologetic over treatments of ksm and other detainees. He is in our possession, we know he's the architect and what are we supposed to do? Kiss him on both cheeks? Reporter: The cia claims it received valuable information under the E.I.T. It's just a noble fact. Reporter: Strong opinions on both sides as to whether terrorists, like ksm, deserve what they got, given the American lives lost, the report also exposed a stunning figure, of the 119 in the detention program, 26 had been held by mistake. Including this man of Yemen. Held in solitary confinement for 19 months N a secret cia prison, all because a new passport and a trip to Afghanistan raised suspicions. The senate report providing the first-ever acknowledgment of his case and others like it. And here now, a law professor at New York university and our ABC contributor, brad Garrett has decades of experience with terrorist suspects and interrogation. Meg, tell us how this happened? So what I think happened is, there were some kind of suspicion based on his passport, we don't know. We were never told why. He's picked up in Jordan. The Jordanians tortured him, he's then handed to the cia rendition team, he entered this black site system. 19 months. That's right. That's exactly right. How was he eventually freed? I wasn't working on the case, because nobody knew about his case at that time. What we know is that, he experienced a team that came, said they came from D.C., that they were looking at who was in the different sites, he was going to be release. A few months later, he was released. They realized the mistake, it sounds like. Brad, what is your reaction to that? Well, my initial reaction is the following, when you have somebody in custody with that sort of format, in other words, it isn't like you have to take them in front of the judge in six hours, eight hours, you have plenty of time to figure out who they are, where they have been, who they associate with, and is this somebody that we really need to maybe throw into this type of interrogation technique? For starters. What were they asking your client? Was he interrogated? Yes. So, I don't know of course because we have never been told. We haven't had any acknowledgment until this week. What I do know is that the Jordanians forced him to sign a false confession. My suspicion, he was very distraught. They threatened him. They threatened his wife, et cetera. He was forced to do that. He was thrown into this program. I don't know why it took them so long. Brad, you have firsthand experience interviewing him from the first world trade center bombing. Tell us about that experience and what you learned from that and how it differs from what you're Reading now about the cia report? Well, my approach to every interview is, I don't really care what you have done, the idea is to get you to talk to me and tell me the truth. It's certainly been my experience, how you do that is to develop a relationship with the person, as trite as they sounds. But that's the real key. Sometimes that takes a while. When you walk into the room with knowledge about the person and where they are from and what their history might be, if you don't speak their language, you have a linguist with you that speaks that language and dialect. There's no harm with that approach, and the most important thing, Martha, is that you don't end up with a person that then hates you and his tribe doesn't hate you and the government. Because my concern is that we've created a lot more terrorists is because we made people so angry because of some of the approaches we used Thank you to both of you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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