News / USA

Senate Panel Orders Release of CIA Torture Report

Senate Panel Orders Release of CIA Torture Reporti
X
Kent Klein
April 04, 2014 4:49 PM
Parts of a secret report alleging that the CIA tortured terror suspects may become public within the next month. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, the Senate Intelligence Committee vote to declassify the information is part of the panel's ongoing feud with the spy agency.
Kent Klein
The Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to release parts of a secret report criticizing the CIA's methods of interrogating terror suspects after the 2001 al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington.

The committee's 6,200-page report says waterboarding and other interrogation techniques used during the presidency of Republican George W. Bush were unnecessarily cruel and yielded little valuable intelligence.

Committee chair Dianne Feinstein says she hopes a 480-page summary of the report should be declassified within 30 days.

"And the results, I think, were shocking.  The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation.  It chronicles a stain on our history that must never be allowed to happen again.  This is not what Americans do," said Feinstein.

The committee's vote was 11-to-3, with some minority Republicans voting with Democrats in favor of releasing the summary.

The panel's top Republican, Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, said it's time for the country to move on.

"I was never in favor of this report being done.  I think it was a waste of time.  We had already had a report done by the Armed Services Committee on this issue, and this is a chapter in our past that should have already been closed," said Chambliss.

Feinstein says the report also points to major problems with the CIA's management of its interrogation program and its interaction with the White House and Congress.

"This is also deeply troubling, and shows why oversight of intelligence agencies in a democratic nation is so important," she said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA have been locked in a war of words about the report.  Senators say the agency spied on their investigators and withheld files.

The CIA says Senate staffers had illegal access to files, and that the report lacks interviews from top agency officials.

The release of the summary could lead to less transparency in the U.S. intelligence community, not more, according to human rights professor Jeffrey Bachman at Washington's American University.  He says officials will seek to avoid embarrassment.

"I think it will raise questions of clear violations of the international human rights law, and potentially the laws of war, and so I think this will actually cause greater restraint and constraint, not with, necessarily, practices, but with information in the future," said Bachman.

President Obama has said he supports declassifying the summary.  Officials say he will instruct the intelligence community to cooperate fully.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to make public key parts of a long-awaited report highly critical of the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation techniques during the war on terror.

Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, speaking Thursday, said the report "exposes the brutality" of interrogation practices first brought to public light during the presidency of George W. Bush.

The newly-declassified 480-page executive summary also concludes the CIA repeatedly misled officials about the severity of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation.

Additionally, the report -- assembled entirely by Democrats -- concludes that those practices did little to produce valuable intelligence from terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Thursday's 11-3 committee vote -- opposed by three Republicans on the panel -- comes as the Senate committee and the CIA remain locked in a bitter feud related to the report.

Senators have accused the CIA of spying on their inquiry and deleting key files, while the CIA says Senate staffers illegally accessed classified information that could jeopardize the safety of its operatives.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking Thursday, repeated President Obama's support for releasing the summary. He told reporters the CIA will be instructed to complete the declassification quickly.

Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss said he voted for the release of the summary "to get it behind us," while calling the Senate probe a "waste of time."

He also challenged findings saying the program failed to help track down Osama bin Laden and other terror suspects. He said information extracted from the interrogations led to the uncovering of other terror plots, as well as to bin Laden's demise.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More