Thursday, December 11, 2014


WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a redacted summary of its 6,000-page report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency.  The report concludes that the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques in the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001 did not effectively assist the agency in acquiring intelligence or in gaining cooperation from detainees.  The report also shows that the CIA worked to undermine oversight of its Detention and Interrogation Program, actively misleading the Congress, the Department of Justice, and the White House.  In reaction to the report, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) released the following joint statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“We are outraged by the actions described in this report.  In the name of the United States, the CIA directed the torture of detainees in our custody, twisted the law to justify its torture program, and engaged in a prolonged campaign to frustrate congressional oversight and accountability of any sort. 

“This report clears up any remaining ambiguity about the differences between torture and so-called ‘enhanced interrogation.’  As federal law defines the term, and as the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice have interpreted that statute since January 22, 2009, the CIA engaged in ‘torture.’

“Torture is ineffective.  Torture does not yield actionable intelligence.  Torture is a crime under federal law and international convention.  Torture is an affront to American values that date back to George Washington’s command of the Continental Army.  Torture is wrong.  In their zeal to protect the country, the officials responsible for the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program betrayed the principles at our country’s core.

“There has already been some suggestion that it is wrong to release this report at this time, given our exposure in the world.  There will never be a convenient moment for the government to confront the sins of its past.  We are fortunate, indeed, to be citizens of a democracy that is able and willing to engage in the hard work of acknowledging these actions, and to take the steps necessary to ensure that it never happens again.

“But let us be clear: if there is backlash over this report, at home or overseas, the fault lies, not with the decision to discuss torture, but with the decision to torture in the first place.

“Because this report outlines government policy that violates both criminal law and constitutional values, we urge Chairman Goodlatte to hold hearings in the Judiciary Committee on the CIA’s torture program as soon as the new Congress convenes.  These hearings should be held in public, to the extent possible.  An open discussion of these policies is long past due.

“We continue to be reflect on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who in 1963 reminded us:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.”
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