Former CIA Officials Ready to Defend Agency After Torture Report's Release

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Former NSA/CIA Director Michael Hayden listens to a question during a Reuters CyberSecurity Summit in Washington May 12, 2014. Larry Downing/Reuters

A group of former CIA officials are gearing up to defend the agency when the Senate releases its long-awaited report investigating “enhanced interrogation” tactics used on prisoners after 9/11. The highlight of their PR push will be a website, “CIASAVEDLIVES.COM,” which is set to go live when the report is released on Tuesday, Foreign Policy reported.

The domain was registered on November 2 under a private registration name, through DomainsByProxy, a company that guards the identity of registrants.

Bill Harlow, who was a top CIA spokesperson during the George W. Bush administration, told FP the website will be “a one-stop shopping place for the other side,” stocked with “newly declassified documents, documents that were previously released but not well read and host a repository for op-eds and media appearances by various officials.”

Harlow, along with former CIA Directors Michael Hayden and George Tenet, and Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr., the former head of the counterterrorism division, have teamed up for the media campaign, FP and BuzzFeed report. The tapes included information sought by court order for use in litigations, according to Harpers.

The domain name echoes the title of a book written by Rodriguez in 2012. Rodriguez is perhaps best known for destroying videotapes in 2005 of al Qaeda Abu Zubeidah being subjected to “enhanced interrogation tactics” that critics call torture.

His book, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, is a defense of the CIA’s tactics following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Harlow also had a hand in writing the book.

“We did what we were asked to do, we did what we were assured was legal, and we know our actions were effective,” Rodriguez wrote in a recent op-ed in the Washington Post.

Correction: This article originally mistated the first name of Bill Harlow,  a top CIA spokesperson during the George W. Bush administration.