Fox News Andrea Tantaros Awesome Torture
Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros said the US had closed the book on torture.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

A Fox news pundit has triggered a torrent of online criticism for claiming that the Senate report exposing torture techniques used by US intelligence services has been published because President Barack Obama wants to show that Americans "are not awesome".

Andrea Tantaros, a conservative commentator for Rupert Murdoch's Republican-leaning news outlet, claimed there was no need for discussion on the interrogation methods used by the CIA to extract information from terror suspects, because the subject had been already addressed in the past.

"The United States of America is awesome, we are awesome. We've closed the book on it [torture], and we've stopped doing it," she told the audience of Fox's show Outnumbered.

"And the reason they want to have this discussion is not to show how awesome we are. This administration wants to have this discussion to show us how we're not awesome."

"They don't like this country, they want us to look bad and all this does is have our enemies laughing at us," she added.

Tantaros claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee's 525-page report was published for political reasons as Democrats were desperate to divert attention from what she said were more important issues such as the controversies regarding health care reform and the Internal Revenue Service.

Her comments did not go down well with all netizens:

The harrowing torture report reveals multiple CIA misrepresentations about the effectiveness of the torture programme, which is more brutal and unaccountable than previously thought.

It depicts an ill-equipped agency taking on the difficult task of questioning al-Qaeda suspects.

The CIA is revealed to have mishandled the job and misled the White House on the results.

Obama had earlier defended the timing of the release, saying there is never a "perfect time" to declassify these events.

"It was important for us to release this so that we can account for it... and hopefully make sure that we don't make those mistakes again," he said.

"What's clear is that the CIA set up something very fast without a lot of forethought to what the ramifications might be.

"Some of these techniques that were described were not only wrong but also counterproductive, because we know that often times when somebody is being subjected to these kinds of techniques, that they're willing to say anything in order to alleviate the pain and the stress."