54ºF

SA terrorism expert weighs in on torture report

SAN ANTONIO – Interrogation techniques secretly used by the CIA were released in detail by the Senate Intelligence Committee in their so-called "torture report."

The report from the Senate Intelligence Committee will be the first public accounting of the CIA's use of what critics call torture on al-Qaida detainees held at "black" sites in Europe and Asia. The committee released a 480-page executive summary of the 6,000-plus-page report compiled by Democrats on the panel.

The report also says the enhanced interrogation techniques were not effective -- but not everyone agrees with the release of the report or its findings.

"The average waterboarding session lasted 10 seconds (and) had to have a doctor present. Yes, it's unpleasant, but does it rise to the level of torture? The answer is no. What rises to the level of torture is what our enemies do when they saw off your head," said St. Mary's University Law professor Jeff Addicott.

Addicott said he believes the report's release was a political ploy by the Democrats and dangerous to U.S. troops around the world.

"This is something that we don't need to be talking about in time of war. This war against al-Qaida and (its) associated forces which includes ISIS now -- we don't need to give them propaganda tools to use against us," Addicott said.

Addicott admits there were issues but none of them had to do with interrogation techniques.

"There's some missteps. A couple of people were allegedly the wrong people that we had and we might have had abuses by individuals in their individual capacity, but that doesn't speak to the issue," said Addicott.

Addicott said he believes only the U.S. Supreme Court could deem the tactics torture, and it hasn't.