Senate Report Marks Important Step Forward in Efforts to Learn from Past Prisoner Abuse, Improve National Security
WASHINGTON, DC Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee released an unclassified version of 232-page report on detainee treatment, a document that reaffirms Human Rights First's assertion that detention and interrogation practices implemented in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks violated U.S. laws and have made Americans less safe.
"This report is an important step towards a fuller public understanding of how the policies of torture and abuse of prisoners have weakened our nation," stated Elisa Massimino, CEO and executive director of Human Rights First. "Now, we must take the next step. The Obama administration should use this document as the foundation for a non-partisan inquiry to ensure that we do not repeat this shameful chapter in our nation's history. We must strengthen the bulwark against those who continue to press the false choice between security and our values."
In March 2009, Human Rights First submitted a statement for the record to the Senate Judiciary Committee calling for the establishment of an independent commission to examine post-9/11 abuses. The organization has consistently urged President Obama to lead this effort and investigate the facts and circumstances of post 9-11 U.S. government detention and interrogation operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo and at secret prison sites throughout the world.
This independent inquiry would be based on the findings of today's Senate report, which concludes that the use of torture and other harsh interrogation techniques