NBC’s Richard Engel: Senate Dems ‘Rewriting History and Scapegoating’ on Interrogations

• December 9, 2014 1:41 pm


NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel said that Senate Democrats who released a report on CIA interrogation techniques on Tuesday were "scapegoating and rewriting history" in an attempt to wash their hands of any involvement in approving CIA practices in the post-9/11 environment.

"So many people knew what was going on. This wasn't a program that was over one or two weeks in a couple of dark sites," Engel told MSNBC's Ronan Farrow. "Everybody knew about it."

Engel said that some of those implicated told him that they were being used as scapegoats by the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by outgoing Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.).

"The CIA was asked to do this; was given authorizations to do this. And now many people involved are saying to me privately, ‘Now we're being held out to dry. You asked us to do this, and now the world is coming down on top of it," Engel said.

Engel questioned the value of releasing the report on Tuesday and said it proves the United States is "still living in that 9/11 era."

"When you look back, how are you going to remember this? Is it going to be remembered as the period in which the CIA, in secret while lying to the political leadership, beat some people to death and did horrible things and didn't get any results, which is what today's report is suggesting, or was it a period when the country was very nervous, the CIA was asked to do these horrible things, the practice stopped, and then you have the political leadership pretending that it didn't know anything and trying to wash its hands of the problem."