Sad lessons from torture report

Sen. Al Franken sums it up best: He issued the following statement after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee's so-called "torture report" on the CIA's interrogation program:...

Sen. Al Franken sums it up best: He issued the following statement after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s so-called “torture report” on the CIA’s interrogation program:

“This report is a sobering reminder that torture is immoral, and it’s not who we are. We are a country that owns up to its own failures, and we need to ensure that this never happens again,” Franken said.

“Torture is torture, and it is wrong. But it’s also ineffective. As this report demonstrates, the CIA’s coercive tactics were not effective in producing the kinds of accurate intelligence we need to aid our national security interests. And the report documents ways that their use was counterproductive.

“I want to commend Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee for their tenacious work in compiling this report, and for making certain that it saw the light of day. The CIA has not been honest with Congress or the public, and I believe the American people have a right to know what’s done in their name.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee spent five years reading and analyzing more than 6.3 million pages of CIA documents to assess the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the post-9/11 era.


That review produced a more than 6,000 page review that was condensed into a 525-page summary the committee released Tuesday that delivered a brutal assessment of the CIA’s practices.

According to the New York Times, here are the report’s biggest conclusions and revelations:

1. “Enhanced interrogation: includes torture: Feinstein, President Obama and Sen. John McCain, who was himself tortured as a POW during the Vietnam War, said that the harsh interrogations described in the report amount to torture.

2. Torture doesn’t work very well: “The use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of obtaining accurate information,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report.

The report debunks the top 20 examples the CIA has used to defend the now-shuttered enhanced interrogation program, claiming that each of the examples “was found to be wrong in fundamental respects.”

3. Torture did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden: The CIA continues to claim that coercive interrogations were crucial to capturing Osama bin-Laden, but the Senate report concludes that the most “accurate” CIA information that led to bin Laden’s capture came from a detainee before the detainee was tortured.

4. One prisoner died, apparently from hypothermia, after being chained, nearly naked, to a concrete floor

The report shows how the CIA employed sleep deprivation to wear down victims: It “involved keeping detainees awake for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”


Other techniques included “rectal rehydration,” “ice water “baths,” and threats against the prisoners’ families.

Don’t think it amounts to torture? How would you feel if you were accused of being a terrorist and these things were done to you?

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