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August 08, 2014

Human Rights First Prepares for the Release of the SSCI Torture Report

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to release its report on the CIA’s use of torture any day now. Human Rights First and our partners have been doing our part to make sure that the report is declassified and released intact.

An opinion piece by Ret. General Antonio Taguba, a longtime member of our coalition of retired military leaders, appeared in the New York Times. General Taguba is a courageous figure in the fight against torture and the author of the military’s investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Human Rights First has also placed a 5-day series of print ads in the Washington Post designed to rebut false claims made by those who support torture. See all five ads in our slideshow below.

On Tuesday, our board member Alberto Mora —who as the Navy’s General Counsel and fought against abusive interrogations within the Department of Defense— along with General Joe Hoar (former CENTCOM commander), Major General Paul Eaton, Col. Steve Kleinman (an expert interrogator) and Michael Quigley, a member of our team who previously worked as a military interrogator conducted a press call for national security reporters to set expectations for the report. After the press call, Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino joined Mora and some of our coalition partners to brief Senate staffers on the report and its significance.

We organized two public letters from our coalition partners. The first, from our retired military leader partners, calls on President Obama to exhibit leadership on this issue. The second, from our professional interrogator and intelligence expert partners, raises concerns about reports that CIA director John Brennan is cooperating with the architects of the torture program to discredit the report.

Human Rights First’s own experts have been in the press, too. A piece by Michael Quigley entitled “Senate report will set the record straight on torture” has appeared in The Hill, and Raha Wala has been quoted in articles by The Wall Street JournalMSNBC and The Daily Beast.

More resources, including a Senate Report FAQ and fact sheet, are available on our campaign site.