Sept. 17, 2001

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks

President Bush authorizes the CIA to capture, detain and question al-Qaeda suspects.

March 28, 2002

Al-Qaeda suspect captured

Abu Zubaida, a suspected top al-Qaeda operative, is apprehended and, days later, transferred to a secret prison in Thailand. In August 2002, he is waterboarded 83 times.

August 2002

Justice Department’s harsh interrogation memo

The Justice Department finalizes a memo justifying harsh interrogation. This memo is withdrawn in December 2004 after its existence is made public.

October 2002

Al-Qaeda operative captured in Dubai

Al-Qaeda suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is captured in Dubai. He is soon transferred to the CIA’s secret facility in Thailand. He is waterboarded there and later is threatened with mock execution as well as a power drill while detained in Poland.

November 2002

Prisoner dies at CIA black site

Gul Rahman, an Afghan being held at a CIA black site in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit, dies. Rahman was doused with water and left partially unclothed in cold weather. He died of hypothermia.

March 2003

Khalid Sheik Mohammed captured

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, is captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He is waterboarded 183 times while held in CIA custody in Poland.

Jan. 23, 2004

Key al-Qaeda courier detained

Hassan Ghul, a key al-Qaeda courier, is captured in Iraq. He is taken to a CIA black site in Romania where he provides information that helps lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Ghul provides critical information before he is exposed to harsh questioning.

May 7, 2004

Counterterrorism report completed

The CIA’s Inspector General Report on Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities is completed. The document is not released until August 2009.

Dec. 30, 2004

CIA releases interrogation techniques used

Justice Department Assistant Attorney General Daniel Levin receives a background paper from the CIA detailing the use of combined techniques for interrogation of detainees.

Nov. 2, 2005

CIA’s secret prisons revealed

The Washington Post reveals that the CIA has been holding prisoners in secret detention sites in Eastern Europe.

November 2005

Order to destroy interrogation recordings

Jose Rodriguez, director of the CIA’s clandestine service, orders videotaped interrogations of Abu Zubaida and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri to be destroyed.

Sept. 6, 2006

Prisoners transferred to Guantanamo Bay

President Bush announces that the CIA’s secret prisons have been emptied and that 14 high value detainees including Khalid Sheik Mohammed have been transferred to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. At the same time, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases the names of the 14 prisoners held in the CIA’s secret prisons.

July 20, 2007

Order to continue enhanced interrogation methods

President Bush issues an executive order allowing the CIA to continue its use of some harsh interrogation methods on al-Qaeda suspects. The methods approved in the order do not include waterboarding.

February 2008

CIA director testifies

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying that fewer than 100 people have been in CIA secret custody since Sept. 11, 2001, and that one-third of those prisoners were exposed to enhanced interrogation techiques. Hayden also says three detainees in the program were waterboarded.

Jan. 22, 2009

Obama shuts down secret prisons

President Obama issues executive orders ending the CIA’s secret overseas prison network and prohibiting enhanced interrogation measures on detainees.

March 2009

CIA investigated

The Senate Intelligence Committee begins its investigation into the CIA interrogation program.

August 2009

CIA prosecutor assigned

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. names long-time prosecutor John H. Durham to lead a review of nearly a dozen cases of detainee mistreatment by CIA interrogators and contractors. In November 2010, Durham declines to file criminal charges against CIA officials for the destruction of the videotapes depicting brutal CIA interrogations of high value detainees.

April 22, 2010

Review of detainee treatment

A report by the International Committee of the Red Cross on detainee treatment is published by the New York Review of Books.

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden killed

Osama bin Laden is killed by a Navy SEAL team in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

January 2012

CIA interrogation report completed

The Senate Intelligence Committee completes its report on the CIA’s interrogation program. A year later, CIA Director John Brennan issues a rebuttal report from the CIA to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

December 2014

Report released

The Senate Intelligence Committee report is released.​

SOURCE: “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program,” staff reports.