As is now widely known, the U.S. government committed grievous acts of torture for years following 9/11. These acts, carried out by both the Armed Services and the CIA, were authorized at the highest levels of government. In 2009, the Senate Intelligence Committee - the committee overseeing U.S. secret agencies like the CIA and NSA - was directed to investigate and report on allegations of torture committed by the CIA at the direction of political leaders. The report was completed in 2012. After repeated long delays, marked by controversies over CIA spying on the Senate staff doing the investigation and a dispute over extensive redactions, the Committee's summary of the report has finally been released. Although the Senate report is deeply flawed by what it leaves out, we believe that its conclusions and the evidence it provides in support of those conclusions are hugely significant and warrant close scrutiny.
Key points from the Senate torture report:
1. Interrogation techniques employed on terrorist suspects who were forcefully disappeared by the CIA into secret prisons around the world were far more brutal than previously known or disclosed by the CIA. Torture techniques were applied in combination and frequently non-stop over weeks or months, causing injury, severe psychological trauma and death to detainees. At least 26 detainees were wrongfully held.
2. The torture techniques employed by the CIA are “a stain on our values” and have gravely damaged our country in the eyes of the world.
3. CIA torture did not work. It did not lead to “actionable intelligence,” did not disrupt any terrorist plot (no “ticking bomb” was defused), did not lead location of Osama bin Laden. Not a single claim of effectiveness, that could not have been derived from non-abusive methods and others sources can be demonstrated.
4. The CIA provided incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information to Congress, the President, the Department of Justice, the Media, the CIA Inspector General, and the public.
The released summary of the report can be found at: http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf"
1. Convey the key findings and conclusions of the report to as many people as possible. Follow WSRCAT commentaries and links at wsrcat.org
2. If you belong to an organization or congregation, devote a meeting to discussing the report and its implications. Please invite a WSRCAT speaker/facilitator [email@example.com]
3. Demand from your U.S. Senators that the full report, with minim redactions, be made public.
4. Support WSRCAT, National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) and other anti-torture allies' calls for action in the coming months. These include our continuing commitment to holding U.S. government leaders accountable for committing torture, a crime under both international and domestic law; support for tougher legislation against torture, and ending indefinite detention at Guantanamo prison.
Truth and Reconciliation
A Statement from WSRCAT
The CIA, the President, and the Senate's Torture Report
by Rob Crawford
"Astounding events over the last several weeks have once again put U.S. torture in the spotlight. Evidence of spying by the CIA on Senate staffers investigating the Agency provoked an unprecedented apology from CIA director John Brennan, calls for his removal, and a response from President Obama at his August 1st press conference...."
Click here to continue reading...