Senate Votes to Declassify CIA Torture Report
By Jess Ballance
Today the Senate intelligence committee finally voted across party lines, 11-3, to declassify the torture report which has the potential to end the debate on torture once and for all. The Senate intelligence committee’s 6,300-plus page report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program is based on a five-year review of over 6 million pages of official documents. Now, the burden is on the White House to declassify the report and put an end to years of speculation and mistruths.
In a recent piece in The Hill , Human Rights First’s Raha Wala wrote,
For far too long the public conversation on torture has been marred by self-serving statements by the same government officials that authorized torture in the first place. That can’t be allowed to stand. The Senate intelligence committee vote to declassify its historic report on the CIA’s post-9/11 use of torture has the potential to end the debate on torture, but it’s up to President Obama to help solidify his legacy in the fight against torture by making sure the report sees the light of day.
Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino commended Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the committee, “both for leading this painstaking investigation of the CIA program, based on a review of more than 6 million pages of official records, and for her tenacity in ensuring that the American people will have the opportunity to learn from it.”
Human Rights First has been at the forefront of pushing for the release of the torture report with as few redactions as possible. Now, it is up to President Obama to fulfill his commitment to declassify the report so that as a nation, we can learn from the past and vow never to repeat it.