Durbin Statement On Release Of Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Interrogation Practices
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] –U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation practices following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001:
“In a democracy, where the people govern, this kind of honest report must not be concealed.
The interrogation practices detailed in this report are troubling. That our own intelligence agencies refused to disclose the truth even to the highest levels of government is equally disturbing. The report makes it clear that the CIA misled and impeded critical oversight by Congress and even the President of the United States.
Moreover, these often brutal interrogation techniques were ineffective and counter-productive. A program claiming to make Americans safer did the opposite, placing more American lives in danger and rallying our enemies.
For the safety of our troops and overseas personnel, and for the sake of the rule of law that underpins our Constitution, I hope the release of this historic report will lead to reform consistent with our most basic American values.”
Durbin is the Chairman of the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the CIA and the intelligence community, and Chairman of the Senate’s Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Subcommittee.
For more than a decade, Durbin has been highly critical of the CIA’s use of abusive interrogation techniques.
Ten years ago, Durbin authored the first legislation to prohibit cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees. Durbin’s amendment was adopted by Senator John McCain, which subsequently was enacted as the McCain Torture Amendment.
Under questioning from Senator Durbin in January 2005, Alberto Gonzales was the first Bush Administration official to publicly acknowledge the Bush Administration’s position that the Torture Convention’s bar on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment did not apply to interrogations of non-U.S. citizens overseas. This paved the way for the passage of the McCain Torture Amendment, which overturned this Bush Administration position.
In October 2007, Senator Durbin was the first Senator to ask Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey to condemn waterboarding as torture, which Mukasey refused to do.
In December 2007, Senator Durbin was the first member of Congress to call for the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes.
In March 2014, Senator Durbin sent the attached letter to CIA Director John Brennan raising serious concerns about the CIA’s hacking of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence computers and urging declassification of the SSCI report.
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