WASHINGTON – It was a case of he said, she said.
Or, he said, she tweets.
When CIA Director John Brennan held a rare news conference Thursday to challenge findings in the Senate torture report, a leading critic of the agency's interrogation tactics against terrorist suspects did not wait for dust to settle before having her say. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which produced the explosive study, unleashed a barrage of tweets through her office as Brennan spoke.
Some of the points and counterpoints:
He said: "There was useful intelligence — very useful, valuable intelligence that was obtained from individuals who had been at some point subjected to the EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques). Whether that could have been obtained without the use of those EITs is something, again, that is unknowable."
She tweeted: "Brennan: 'unknowable' if we could have gotten the intel other ways. Study shows it IS knowable: CIA had info before torture." And: "No evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through use of EITs."
He said: "It is our considered view that the detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques provided information that was useful and was used in the ultimate operation to go against (Osama) bin Laden."
She tweeted: "Critical intelligence that led to bin Laden was unrelated to EITs." And: "Study definitively proves EITs did not lead to bin Laden. Page 378."
He said: "Over time, enhanced interrogation techniques, EITs, which the Department of Justice determined at the time to be lawful and which were duly authorized by the Bush administration, were introduced as a method of interrogation."
She tweeted: "Covert authority did not include authorization to use coercive interrogation techniques."
He said: "I wish the committee took the opportunity to ask CIA officers involved in the program at the time, what were you thinking? What did you consider? What was the calculus that you used as far as going forward on it? .... It's lamentable that the committee did not avail itself of the opportunity to be able to interact with CIA personnel."
She tweeted: "100+ interview reports, oral and written testimony, CIA's response and numerous CIA meetings all contributed to study."