U.S. diplomatic facilities and military installations overseas are under increased security Tuesday as the Senate prepares to release a long-awaited report detailing the CIA's interrogation methods since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The 6,000-page report is said to detail such extreme interrogation techniques as confinement in small places, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which simulates drowning. Obama administration officials have been so concerned about possible violence against U.S. interests that Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Senate Intelligence Committee chair Diane Feinstein last week about the potential backlash.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Monday "prudent steps" have been taken to boost security at U.S. facilities in the event of violent protests.
Obama banned so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" after he took office in 2009. Earnest said the president believes it is important for the American people to have as clear a look as possible into exactly what happened.
The Senate report will be the first public documentation of the CIA's alleged use of torture on al-Qaida suspects during the so-called War on Terror. Those who have seen the report say it alleges the CIA misled lawmakers and the White House on how useful the techniques were in getting information.
Cheney defends CIA actions
But former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the agency's actions in an interview with The New York Times. Cheney, one of the program's strongest supporters, said he never believed the CIA withheld information from the Bush administration, and that the program had been authorized by the Justice Department.
The former vice president said the CIA officers who ran the program should be "decorated, not criticized."
Former CIA director Michael Hayden denies the CIA lied about its program. He said releasing the report will make it less likely that countries that cooperated in the past with Washington on the War on Terror will do so in the future.