CIA Director John Brennan has defended the agency’s post-9/11 interrogation methods but admitted some techniques were “harsh” and “abhorrent”.
Speaking at CIA headquarters, he said some officers acted beyond their authority but most did their duty.
A scathing Senate report two days earlier said “brutal” methods like waterboarding were ineffective.
But Mr Brennan asserted the CIA “did a lot of things right” at a time when there were “no easy answers”.
“Our reviews indicate that the detention and interrogation programme produced useful intelligence that helped the United States thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives,” Brennan told a rare CIA news conference in Virginia.