Afghan leader: C.I.A. program 'violated human rights'

Dec 11, 2014, 4:06 AM EST
Mohammed Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan speaks during a news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Presidential Arg Palace, December 6, 2014 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
AFP/Getty Images

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said the C.I.A.'s brutal interrogation programme "violated all accepted norms of human rights in the world". The BBC reports:

He is among many world leaders condemning how the agency imprisoned and questioned al-Qaeda suspects. A U.S. Senate report on the programme has said the harsh methods did not lead to unique intelligence that foiled plots.

The report also concluded the agency misled politicians and public about the 2001-2007 programme. The C.I.A. has defended its actions in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., saying they saved lives.

And President Barack Obama has said it was now time to move on, despite acknowledging some of the C.I.A.'s actions amounted to torture. None of the countries where the prisons were located has been identified in the report, but several countries suspected to have hosted sites reacted strongly to the publication.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Ghani, who became president in September, called the report "shocking".

"There is no justification for such acts and human torturing in the world."

He vowed to investigate how many Afghans had suffered abuse at US detention centres.

One of the two psychologists who devised the C.I.A.'s harsh Bush-era interrogation methods said on Wednesday that a scathing U.S. Senate report on the torture of foreign terrorism suspects "took things out of context" and made false accusations. Reuters reports:

"It's a bunch of hooey," James Mitchell told Reuters from his home in Florida when asked for his response to the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings released on Tuesday. "Some of the things are just plain not true."

A day after the Senate report was issued, the U.S. Defense Department said it was shutting its detention facility at Bagram and no longer has custody of any prisoners in Afghanistan, closing another controversial chapter of Washington's long fight against Islamic militancy.

The United States faces mounting criticism from the United Nations as well as foreign governments that Washington often reprimands for human rights violations. The Senate report concluded C.I.A. interrogation tactics were ineffective and often too brutal.

The C.I.A. paid $80 million to a company run by the two former Air Force psychologists without experience in interrogation or counter-terrorism who recommended waterboarding, slaps to the face and mock burial for prisoners captured after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to the Senate investigation.