CIA Director John Brennan held a press conference today at CIA headquarters where he took questions about the recently released “torture report,” the enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) used in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and the future of those agents who used the techniques on prisoners.

Via Bloomberg:

“The cause and effect relationship between EITs and useful information provided by the detainee is, in my view, unknowable,” Brennan said today in remarks at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters outside Washington.

It is Brennan’s first public appearance since the release this week of a report critical of the agency’s interrogation of terrorism suspects a decade ago. The report, by Senate Democrats on the intelligence committee, concluded the CIA misled Congress about overseas interrogations and that they were more brutal and less effective than the CIA claimed.

“We feared more blows from an enemy we couldn’t see and an evil we could not fathom,” Brennan said, referring to the impetus for developing a detention and interrogation program for captured terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

“The program was uncharted territory for the CIA and we were not prepared,” Brennan said. “We failed to live up to the standards we set for ourselves.”

The Senate report cost $40 million and took six years to complete and is the most comprehensive assessment of the CIA’s “black site” detention facilities and the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on at least 119 terrorism suspects after the terrorist attacks.

Although the White House reportedly has said that Brennan has the full confidence of the President, the tone of the press conference was somber, and the press took full advantage of the outrage and confusion over the report’s findings to press Brennan on how the CIA plans on holding those responsible accountable, and whether or not those agents who did use EITs will be protected by the Agency during future committee probes.

You can watch the full video of the press conference here:


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