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 Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid