Statement on President Obama's National Defense University Speech
St. Paul, MN – In response to President Obama’s speech today at the National Defense University, Curt Goering, executive director of the Center for Victims of Torture™, issued this statement:
“We appreciate President Obama’s assurance that U.S. counterterrorism policies will become more transparent to the American people. One essential step towards fulfilling that pledge is to make public the Senate Intelligence Committee’s extensive report on the CIA’s unlawful, ineffective and misguided detention and interrogation program after September 11, 2001.
“As a sign of his commitment to transparency in national security, CVT urges President Obama to voice his support for the Intelligence Committee declassifying and releasing the report to the fullest extent possible. The public is entitled to a complete reporting of what happened, detailing how and why the CIA’s past policies of torture and cruel treatment came to be used.
“Releasing the report has earned widespread support, including from Vice President Joe Biden, Senator John McCain and the bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment. It is our hope President Obama will join them. By doing so, he will lead the United States to regaining its global leadership against torture and cruel treatment.
“The report is currently before Executive Branch agencies and departments for their review and to provide feedback to the Intelligence Committee. The President, without delay, must designate a senior White House official to coordinate one consolidated response that incorporates the views of all the relevant agencies, including the Departments of State, Defense and Justice.
“CVT will not cease in our efforts to uncover the truth and secure a public accounting of the facts to make certain the U.S. government does not return to official policies of torture and cruel treatment.”
NOTE: The Center for Victims of Torture has published an update on the political, religious, human rights, national security, foreign policy, and military leaders who support declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture.
The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit headquartered in St. Paul, MN with an office in Washington, D.C. and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org.
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