Jan 5, 2015
On December 9, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee finally issued the de-classified 524-page executive summary of its 6,000-page classified report on the use of torture in CIA interrogations of “terror suspects.” The summary describes – sometimes in grisly detail – some of the disgustingly inhuman crimes the CIA carried out against its prisoners.
It then repeats what many intelligence experts, government officials and politicians have said for years about this torture program: through torture, the CIA gained no new useful information about terrorist activities – and specifically, no new information in its hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The report also says the CIA systematically lied to Congress, the president and the news media about the value of what torture victims told their interrogators.
This report was five years in the making. The Senate Intelligence Committee started its investigation of the CIA after Obama issued an order supposedly ending the torture program shortly after taking office. CIA officials resisted releasing information to the Senate committee, and even hacked into the committee members’ computers a few months ago in a last ditch attempt to stop release of any part of the report.
The CIA clearly wanted to torture prisoners, even after it became clear that the information it obtained had no real value in fighting terrorism. In fact, the CIA torture has been a campaign of terror against anyone who resists the U.S. and the regimes it supports.
The Senate Intelligence Committee clearly decided to release the summary of its investigation before Republicans take over the committee later this month, so that Democrats could deny any responsibility for what the CIA did. Yet it is impossible to believe that the members of this committee – both Democrats and Republicans – did not know all along that the CIA was torturing, and that the use of torture was accomplishing nothing other than terrorizing people resisting U.S. domination.
The U.S. may pretend to be a beacon of democracy for the world – but this report shows otherwise. And both the parties have blood on their hands.