Extraordinary Techniques for Extraordinary Times: A Study of the CIA’s Use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

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2021-05

Authors

Day, Cara

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Abstract

The Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs) used by the Central Intelligence Agency in their Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) Program on captured members of al-Qaeda after the September 11, 2001 attacks have been the subject of much scrutiny by politicians and the American public. This paper will study why the CIA chose to use EITs after largely forgoing the use of coercive questioning after the Cold War and to what extent the use of these measures was effective in obtaining unique, actionable intelligence that could be used in the War on Terror to bolster our defense against al-Qaeda. In this paper, I will cite multiple studies conducted on the EIT program and the writing of major figures involved in the design, approval and implementation of these EITs to make the argument that these techniques yielded intelligence that potentially saved countless American lives and led to the capture or killing of many high-level al-Qaeda operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

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