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Who’s Afraid of the Torture Report?


November 18, 2015
Ashley Gorski and Noa Yachot / ACLU

Multiple government agencies are doing their best to ignore a 6,900-page elephant in the room: a mammoth report, authored by the Senate Intelligence Committee, detailing the horrors of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/whos-afraid-torture-report

(November 10, 2015) -- Multiple government agencies are doing their best to ignore a 6,900-page elephant in the room: a mammoth report, authored by the Senate Intelligence Committee, detailing the horrors of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program.

A New York Times article published today reveals an absurd and scandalous state of affairs in the executive branch. Last December, the Senate released a summary of the torture report to the public and sent the full report to several government agencies, with the explicit instructions that it be used “to help make sure that this experience” -- of torture, secret detention, and CIA deception -- “is never repeated.”

Despite the Senate’s clear intent at the time, the Justice Department has prohibited government agencies from even opening the full torture report. Yes, the agency responsible for federal law enforcement is forbidding officials across the Obama administration from reading the most detailed account in existence of the CIA’s past torture program as well as the agency’s related evasions and misrepresentations to Congress, the White House, the courts, the media, and the American public .

The refusal to read the report relates to ACLU Freedom of Information Act litigation demanding its release. Earlier this year, after Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) took over as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he wrote to President Obama with the unprecedented request that the agencies transfer their copies of the full torture report back to the Senate. Because congressional documents aren’t subject to FOIA, he clearly hoped to impact the outcome of our case and prevent the report from being released.

After the ACLU filed an emergency motion to stop the transfer of the report, the government agencies told the court that they’d honor the “status quo” -- committing to hold on to the report. Now, the Justice Department is apparently interpreting that commitment to prevent government officials from reading the report.

The stakes are high. In the words of the Times’ report, the Justice Department is “effectively keeping the people in charge of America’s counterterrorism future from reading about its past.”

Under the Bush administration, the Justice Department played an integral role in the CIA program, beginning with its authorization of most of the torture methods the agency would use on detainees. Today’s Justice Department should welcome a thorough examination of the terrible mistakes of the past -- not seek to ensure that the report never sees the light of day.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the former SCCI chair who led the research and writing of the report, wrote to the Justice Department last week, asking Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey to allow government officials to read the full report in order to learn “from the mistakes of the past to ensure that they are not repeated.” We wholeheartedly agree.

All of this raises the question: Why is the executive branch fighting so hard to keep the full torture report from the American public? Perhaps because officials know that the report is damning -- and its release will spur renewed calls for CIA accountability.

But ignoring the torture report won’t make it go away. Truth has a way of coming out eventually.

Comments
Anonymous
And YOU'RE doing YOUR best to ignore everything too. You certainly haven't listened to the tape of my former husband dying and begging for assistance, telling them to please help him while screaming every 3 or 4 seconds through one part of the tape, choking horribly on the toxic chemicals of overwhelming smoke and ultimately being denied the service he was begging for bc they COULDN'T retrieve him before his body was burnt beyond DNA recognition.

Nobody who participated in the crime has shown any remorse to this day, so don't EVEN advise me about compassion and don't EVEN imply I'm hideous bc I think both are wrong acts (torture and heinous murder of a capital nature.)

Not every homicide qualifies as a capital crime, though it's probably needless to inform anyone here of that except to emphasize that they committed a cruel and unusual crime so, according to the Supreme Court's former ruling, should qualify to receive a "cruel & unusual punishment."

You appear to have no ability to think that BOTH acts were stupid and doggedly focus on getting these "people," some of whom paid to make the planes operation happen, released into a free society where once they ARE unfettered, they'll possibly order it done to someone else. No remorse makes change impossible.

I'm not referring to American people necessarily when I say they'll do it to someone else. I don't think the people who really did involve themselves with Osama bin Laden should be allowed an opportunity to target anyone else in the world. I don't believe hatred confines itself to only one group of people, I think other people will be in immediate danger if some of the prisoners are released. I'm referring to Khalid Sheik Mohammed who, even though he was tortured over 100 times, had evidence against him beFORE they did that (I'll never f'n understand why our government just had to do that.)

But there's nowhere for the prisoners to go if you close Guantanamo. You really think they could survive in a federal prison with other Americans who might remember, be angry and maybe stab them to death in the shower? They would have to be just as isolated in a federal prison as they are now.

I don't even believe they should be stabbed to death, I'm just saying what I've heard convicts are capable of doing.

OTOH I DO have a MAJOR problem with Dick (head) Cheney being awarded a goddam STATUE of his ugly-ass face, to be showcased in the halls of Congress using MY dime to make it happen. And I VOTED for Bush twice. What the hell is people's problem anyway that they could build a f'n statue to him after he almost singlehandedly RUINED the case for us. None of Eric's remaining murder-helpers will get death bc they were tortured and the entire BUSH administration KNEW GODDAM WELL THAT IF ANYONE FOUND OUT IT WOULD DISQUALIFY THE SUSPECT FOR THE DEATH PENALTY.

But they did it anyway, which tells me they never gave a tinker's damn what we thought. And CHENEY had the ridiculous nerve to say we should STILL be doing it. Is there more density between his ears than in a black hole? Does he know anything about the Defense attorneys representing these people? Or is he just too gd arrogant to believe they can do anything to him.

What IS he, a freakin' untouchable? I don't think so. I looked up all the defense attorneys names who were doing the case of the prisoners who had evidence against them beFORE they were tortured. None of the attorneys are stupid or unprofessional and at least one of them is so highly competent I found it frightening.

I'll never vote for any of the people who follow Bush's Party again until they apologize and mean what they say - and try to make restitution for it (possibly by throwing the statue to the ground and watching it break into almost as many pieces as my heart did when the terrorist act first occurred.) Whatever.

The only one I still like is Richard Clarke, former Counterterrorism Commander, because he DID apologize and meant what he said, and seems to have been mostly consistent about it.

Hide Behind
Smoke and it stinks from Hell to heaven but in todays gutless yea lacking of moral character runs through every officer of government its elected officials and those gutless s and worthless bureaucrats in their do nothing government.mIt is far too late to begin an attempt to punish the evil asmthose who could and were supposed to punish them are the evil.


US is completely corrupt and our political financial interest all fell ibto Congressand they in turn under the Executive Departments.

End the.farce no way it is only game in town

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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