- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2014

A former director of the CIA said Sunday that he hopes agency interrogators are effected by the disturbing tactics used to elicit information from alleged terrorists.

“I would be very, very disappointed if this didn’t take a human toll on our CIA investigators because, after all, even though that person sitting across from you is a terrorist, he’s still a human being,” Michael Hayden said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I would not want someone doing this who isn’t effected by it.”

He said it is unknowable if enhanced interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, sleep depravation and rectal feedings, gained valuable intelligence. While some things are off the table in interrogations, he said many techniques, including waterboarding, fall in a gray area that would depend on circumstances.

“If we had not done this and a subsequent attack had taken place, what would today’s conversation be like?” he said.

A Senate report released last week on CIA interrogations detailed actions that many have called torture but some officials in the agency maintain never crossed that line. The report found that 26 of the 119 prisoners did not meet the legal criteria to be imprisoned, and some were released after the CIA found they had the wrong person.

Mr. Hayden said that, while those prisoners may not have met the “high bar” to be legally imprisoned, that doesn’t mean they weren’t members of the terrorist group al Qaeda or a danger to Americans.

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