Yesterday the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its “Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program – Foreword, Findings, and Conclusions, and Executive Summary.” (BIG PDF!) The report is 525 pages, heavily redacted, and includes graphic details about the torture techniques used by the CIA. The study found that American torture was not confined to a handful of aberrational cases or techniques, nor was it the work of rogue CIA agents. It was an officially sanctioned, worldwide (over 1/4 of the world’s countries participated in some way!) regime of torture that had the acquiescence, if not explicit approval, of the top members of both political parties in Congress.
Many current and former CIA- and GW Bush Administration officials, including George W Bush and Dick Cheney themselves, are defending the effectiveness of the methods that were used (there’s even a site that’s popped up called “CIA Saved Lives.” I would highly recommend going over to Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept site where he’s been live blogging the report as he combs through it.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ statement on the report says it well and succinctly:
“A great nation must be prepared to acknowledge its errors. This report details an ugly chapter in American history during which our leaders and the intelligence community dishonored our nation’s proud traditions. Of course we must aggressively pursue international terrorists who would do us harm, but we must do so in a way that is consistent with the basic respect for human rights which makes us proud to be Americans.
“The United States must not engage in torture. If we do, in an increasingly brutal world we lose our moral standing to condemn other nations or groups that engage in uncivilized behavior.”
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