Torture Survivor Rehabilitation Center Hails Bi-Partisan Vote to Declassify Portion of CIA Torture Report
St. Paul, MN & Washington, DC – The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT) released the following statement in response to today’s bi-partisan vote by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to declassify the executive summary, findings, and conclusions of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) former detention and interrogation program.
“For five years, Senator Dianne Feinstein has been leading the Senate Intelligence Committee in a monumental effort to uncover the brutal truth of the CIA’s illegal and misguided policies of torture and cruelty,” said Curt Goering, executive director of CVT. “As a result, we now know that the CIA program was far more cruel, sweeping, and ineffective than previously known.
“The committee members who voted across party lines to declassify a portion of the report deserve the gratitude and support of our nation. Their actions today bring the American people one step closer to the truth about a detention and interrogation program Senator Feinstein rightly describes as ‘un-American, brutal.’
“Now it’s up to President Obama to take the lead and declassify those portions of the report as a matter of priority. The President has already publicly stated he is ‘absolutely committed to declassifying [the] report.’ We welcome his support and strongly urge him, after today’s bi-partisan vote, to promptly turn that pledge into a reality.
“Given that the CIA’s own program is the subject of the Committee's ‘scathing’ report and the serious allegations about CIA interference with the Intelligence Committee’s investigation, it is abundantly clear the agency has an inherent conflict of interest. In order for the facts to see the light of day, stronger leadership from the President is required. It is essential for the President to direct the White House staff to lead the declassification process, and not allow the CIA to drive the process.
“The American people are entitled to a full, public accounting of the torture and cruelty done in their name and the consequences of those actions. Declassification and release of the 400 plus page executive summary, findings, and conclusions is a significant first step to ensuring safeguards are in place and necessary reforms occur so that we do not repeat this grave misconduct again. But in order to fully reckon with the past illegal policies of torture, the Committee should send the remaining portions of the entire 6,300 page report for declassification and public release."
NOTE: Releasing the report has gained bi-partisan, widespread support from more than 150 political, national security, foreign policy, military, and religious leaders; over 65 human rights, civil liberties, and open government groups; and nearly 30 national, regional, and local editorial boards.
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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