Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tell the Senate: Release the SSCI Report on CIA Torture!

Human Rights First has released a letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and is asking the public to sign on. This is an important action anyone can take to help bring about accountability for US war crimes, especially torture. The text of their call and the letter follows (readers can skip if they wish and follow this link to sign the letter now):
Tell the Senate: Release the Real Book on Torture!
Release the Real Book on Torture!

One year after bin Laden's death, torture proponents are gearing up once again to reignite the debate. But let's get our facts straight. Top level officials including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have debunked the claim that torture led to bin Laden. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has nearly completed a 3-year long review, 4,000-page report of the CIA's post-September 11 detention and interrogation practices. Let's end the torture debate. It's time for the United States to stand by national security policies based on facts and not fiction. Tell the SSCI to set the record straight and release the real book on torture.
Release the SSCI report on CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

Dear Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MA), Bill Nelson(D-FL), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Mark Udall (D-CO), Mark Warner (D, VA), Ron Wyden (D-OR):
As members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), we urge that you make the forthcoming SSCI report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program public with as few redactions as possible. We strongly support the Committee’s ongoing effort to investigate and establish the facts surrounding the CIA interrogation, rendition, and detention programs. These issues have been the subject of intense speculation and debate, and the absence of a comprehensive examination of the facts based on the actual historical record has been extremely corrosive and divisive. For example, soon after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, proponents of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” claimed that information derived from torture revealed his whereabouts. The anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death will likely result in another contentious debate about the use of torture and cruelty in interrogations. The public is entitled to a complete reporting of the facts, detailing how and why these techniques came to be used. The use of cruel interrogation techniques long denounced by the United States as forms of torture represented a dramatic reversal from the principles to which our nation has aspired for over 200 years. We believe that these policies were abhorrent, illegal and ineffective. But, in the absence of a comprehensive review based on the classified record, people on both sides of this controversy continue to claim the facts are on their side. The Committee should let the facts speak. It should let the American people know what was done in their name. There can be no justification for continuing to deny the public the facts. As you know, the bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee Report on the role of the Department of Defense in detainee abuses has already been made public.


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