Torture report profile: George Tenet

George Tenet

George Tenet

Role: CIA director
Years: 1996 to 2004

After one CIA detainee died and another was threatened with a gun and a drill, Tenet set standards for CIA detentions and interrogations in 2003 that allowed diapering for prolonged periods, slaps, sleep deprivation, the withholding of food, loud music and isolation. His memo did not address other widely-used, brutal techniques, such as cold water dousings and light deprivation, and so these persisted. The inspector general said after interviewing Tenet in 2003 the director believed “if the general public were to find out about this program, many would believe we are torturers.” Bill Harlow, a spokesman for Tenet, declined to comment.