"Enhanced interrogation" is a direct literal translation of the German "verschaerfte vernehmung" – and that's what the Gestapo manual called the same techniques. Whether the US knew this literal translation or not, it is still quite ironic that the techniques are the same, including waterboarding," McGovern, who worked at the CIA for over 40 years, said Tuesday.
McGovern's comments came just hours after the US Senate Intelligence committee released a scathing report on CIA interrogation techniques, many of which amounted to torture.
"It is necessary to expose these things to the light of human conscience and to international opinion so people can see what happened and hopefully be deterred from letting it happen again," McGovern said.
There is a UN convention against torture that prohibits such practices, McGovern explained, however, he added, after 9/11 everything changed, fears were stoked in the hearts of Americans and torture gradually became something that could be considered and debated.
McGovern also discussed why torture was still being employed, despite clear evidence that it rarely produced useful information.
"The head of army intelligence said no reliable information has ever come from torture. So the question arises, if no reliable information comes from torture, then why would you do it? I have an answer to that: if you want unreliable information, torture works like a charm," McGovern said.
On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary report that included over 500 pages of the detailed investigation into the CIA interrogation techniques that were used on alleged al-Qaeda agents, following the 9/11 attacks on Washington and New York.