4-30-2013By Glenn Carle
Former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats, National Intelligence Council Author, The Interrogator
The argument about whether torture works is still raging. Four years after President Obama ended the torture program, torture proponents continue to claim that torture saved American lives and was necessary to find criminals like Osama bin Laden. Just last week, Condoleezza Rice said that because of torture, “we have not had a successful attack on our territory.”
I served the CIA for 23 years, and I was directly involved in the “enhanced interrogation” program. I know from experience that torture not only undermined our values and Constitution, it made us less safe.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has produced the most comprehensive report on the post-9/11 CIA torture program, based on a review of more than 6 million pages of official records. Those who have read the report say that it shows the CIA torture program was much more widespread and cruel than we thought, and much less effective at gathering actionable intelligence than torture proponents claim.
However, the Obama Administration is sitting on this report and has delayed its release. On Friday, Vice President Biden supported the report’s release. Ask President Obama to work with Congress to declassify the torture report.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and national security experts (me included) have said publicly that torture did not lead to bin Laden or save American lives. But until this report is released, torture proponents will continue to argue that we should return to torture.
Let’s be clear: torture is un-American, illegal, and immoral. Let’s end this debate once and for all. Urge President Obama to work with Congress to declassify the torture report.