U.S. military and State Department officials around the world were on alert Tuesday after the release of a report that found the CIA's interrogation techniques used in the war on terror were more brutal than the agency had previously disclosed.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the entirety of the federal government is aware that American personnel and facilities worldwide could become targets by people angered over the findings in the Senate Intelligence Committee report. Earnest would not divulge the details of the security precautions, but he said "preparations have been underway for months now to prepare for this day."
"There are some indications that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world, so the administration has taken the prudent steps to ensure that the proper security precautions are in place at U.S. facilities," Earnest said Monday.
U.S. Marines have established crisis response teams assigned to both the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Central Command and are deployed in the region. Those teams are capable of responding quickly to a crisis.
The Marines also have larger sea-based expeditionary units that are capable of a variety of missions, including rapidly evacuating an embassy or protecting U.S. personnel and facilities. And they have stationed personnel at most major embassies.
"In advance of the report's release, combatant commanders were given guidance to take necessary force protection measures," said Maj. John Caldwell, a spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps. "Actions taken were proportionate to the commander's area of responsibility and threat assessment. Marine Corps crisis response forces...while uniquely capable, are but one of many options available to combatant commanders."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told CNN the administration has worked "very closely" with Congress to minimize the potential fallout from the report's release.
"This has been a long period of engagement and negotiation, but we feel we have been able to protect our people," he said in the interview.
The report, which details programs that President George W. Bush described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" but President Obama has labeled as "torture," revealed new details about the post-Sept. 11 detention and interrogation programs carried out by the CIA.
The interrogations, which included waterboarding and sleep deprivation, were carried out at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, "black sites" in other countries and the U.S. Navy facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The report also concluded that the techniques did not help identify imminent threats to U.S security.
When the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were uncovered by media reports starting in 2003, many around the world protested the actions by the American jailers. While there were no reports of large-scale attacks against American facilities or personnel, at least one man, U.S. contractor Nick Berg, was decapitated over what his killers described as anger over the abuses at the Iraqi prison.
Contributing: Jim Michaels