WASHINGTON - The United States has beefed up precautions to protect Americans and U.S. facilities abroad in anticipation of possibly violent responses to the release of a long-awaited Senate report on harsh interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.
The U.S. military has put thousands of troops on alert ahead of the Tuesday release of the report, which is expected to detail the CIA's post-Sept. 11 detention and interrogation program, defense officials said.
"There are some indications that ... the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world," Earnest said. "So, the administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at U.S. facilities around the globe."
But President Obama still "strongly supports the release of the declassified summary" of the report, said Earnest, adding that it could be an opportunity to "be clear about what American values are and be clear about the fact that the administration believes ... that something like this should never happen again."
Earnest said that the administration and intelligence officials had been working with the Senate Intelligence Committee to release as much information as possible.
The document, a nearly 500-page summary of a 6,200-page report compiled by committee's Democrats, has been the subject of sparring between the panel and the CIA. Those familiar with its contents have described it as critical of detainee treatment in secret CIA prisons in the years following the 9/11 attacks. It is also said to conclude that the use of harsh interrogation methods was not effective.
Pressed about whether Obama believes that useful, actionable information had been obtained from the methods employed against suspected terrorists and other foes, Earnest said that "even if they did" that the president believes "that it wasn't worth it, and it did not enhance the national security of the United States of America."