4-26-2012By Dixon Osburn
Director, Law and Security Program
One year after Osama bin Laden’s death, torture proponents are gearing up once again to argue that the United States should be a country that engages in official cruelty. Jose Rodriguez, former director of the National Clandestine Service of the CIA, is even using the May 1st anniversary of the bin Laden operation to release his new book that falsely claims torture works.
Let’s get our facts straight. Top level officials including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have debunked the claim that torture led to bin Laden. Retired generals and admirals as well as professional interrogators have repeatedly said that torture is counterproductive, illegal, immoral and wrong. But we don’t know the full story of what happened in the CIA interrogation program.
The SSCI has nearly completed a 3-year long review and 4,000-page report of the CIA’s post-September 11 detention and interrogation practices. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the SSCI, confirmed that torture did not lead to bin Laden. It is time for SSCI to release the report.
Tell the SSCI to release a full accounting of CIA torture and abuse. We can only move forward, and not repeat mistakes of the past, by understanding what happened.
Let’s end the torture debate. It’s time for the United States to stand by national security policies based on facts and not fiction.