CIA abuse report: US increases security at its facilities around the world
The US has increased security at its facilities around the world ahead of the release of a report expected to reveal details of harsh CIA interrogations, the White House says.
Embassies and other sites were taking precautions amid “some indications” of “greater risk”, a spokesman said.
A 480-page summary of the Senate report is due to be released on December 9.
It is expected to detail the CIA’s campaign against al-Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11.
As well as detailing the controversial methods used by CIA operatives in an effort to extract information from high-value suspects, the report is expected to say harsh interrogations failed to deliver appropriate results.
Publication of the report has been delayed amid disagreements in Washington over what should be made public.
The full 6,000-page report, produced by the Senate Intelligence Committee, remains classified.
The 480-page summary is being released by Democrats on the panel.
President Barack Obama halted the CIA interrogation program when he took office in 2009, and has acknowledged that the methods used to question al-Qaeda prisoners amounted to torture.
During the presidency of George W. Bush, the CIA operation against al-Qaeda – known internally as the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation – saw as many as 100 suspected terrorists held in “black sites” outside the US.
They were interrogated using methods such as waterboarding, slapping, humiliation, exposure to cold, and sleep deprivation.
Leaks about the Senate report first emerged in August this year, prompting Barack Obama to declare: “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”
President Barack Obama added that he believed officials at the time had used harsh methods because of the “enormous pressure” to prevent another attack on the US in the wake of 9/11.
A previous investigation into the program, by the US justice department, ended with no criminal charges in 2012 – a result that angered civil rights organizations.
Reports that US intelligence had used waterboarding first emerged in the years following the 9/11 attacks, and the CIA confirmed in 2008 that it had interrogated three al-Qaeda suspects using that method in 2002 and 2003.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on December 8 that the Obama administration welcomed the impending release, but said there were “some indications” it could increase the risk to US facilities across the world.
“The administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place,” Josh Earnest said.
Secretary of State John Kerry had earlier asked Senate Intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein to “consider” changing the timing of the report.
Josh Earnest told reporters it would be “difficult to imagine” an ideal time to make the summary public.
Human Rights Watch said last-minute attempts to delay publication showed how important the document was for understanding the “CIA’s horrific torture program”.
“US foreign policy is better served by coming clean about US abuses rather than continuing to bury the truth,” HRW’s Washington director Sarah Margon said.
Despite reports that CIA operatives went beyond legal interrogation limits imposed by the Bush administration, the former president has led the charge against the report’s release, defending the CIA on US TV.
The full report is the outcome of years of research by the Senate intelligence panel, currently controlled by Democrats. Republicans on the committee are expected to release their own report.
The panel first voted to make the executive summary public in April.