The real-life “torture report” was more than 6,700 pages long, but it’ll take you just two hours to be pulled deep into the story of how it all came about. Amazon Studios docudrama The Report follows chief investigator Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) as he works to put the pieces together of a CIA program that allowed for the brutal interrogation of potential terrorists.
More than 100 people were detained as part of the program, and at least three dozen were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which included waterboarding, forced standing for hours, cold conditions, confinement in small boxes, walling, and sleep deprivation.
The timeline of the program begins with the 9/11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people were killed. It ends 13 years later with the public release of a report that showed the “enhanced interrogation techniques” CIA agents used against people who were suspected to be part of Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations were actually ineffective and possibly inhumane.
September 17, 2001
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush signed a secret memo that authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to detain and hold suspected terrorists.
February 7, 2002
Bush signed an executive order that stated the Third Geneva Convention — which gives protections to prisoners of war regarding torture and mistreatment — does not apply to “members of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces.”
2002 to 2003
Some detainees were waterboarded dozens of times, with one person reportedly waterboarded 183 times. Zubaydah lost his eye while in CIA custody, and Gul Rahman, a suspected terrorist, died.
Sometime in 2003
Officials with the White House and the Justice Department advised the CIA not to destroy tapes that were made of the interrogations.
November 2, 2005
The Washington Post published an article breaking the news that the CIA had been detaining and interrogating Al Qaeda prisoners in secret facilities known as “black sites.”
November 8 or 9, 2005
Former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service Jose Rodriguez ordered the destruction of the videotapes. In explaining his decision years later, he said, “I knew the tapes would leak someday, and I feared retribution from Al Qaeda for my people.” Current CIA Director Gina Haspel reportedly played a role in their destruction.
September 6, 2006
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was briefed for the first time on the CIA’s interrogation program. Later that day, President Bush delivered a speech to the nation, in which he claimed the CIA’s interrogation techniques helped the United States bring terrorists to justice.
December 6, 2007
January 2, 2008
The Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into the CIA detention and interrogation program.
March 5, 2009
August 30, 2012
The Department of Justice announced it will not prosecute any CIA employees for the interrogation methods or the deaths that resulted from them.
December 13, 2012
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report, named the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, was approved by the committee.
December 9, 2014
The report was released to the public. It found that, contrary to what President Bush said in 2006, the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” was “not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the program a “stain on our values and on our history.”
June 16, 2015
Congress approved an anti-torture amendment in the defense authorization bill. The McCain-Feinstein Amendment restricted interrogation methods to those that are authorized in the Army Field Manual, so “there can be no return to the era of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques,” Feinstein said.