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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid