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February 06, 2013

Roll Call: Brennan Should Tackle Torture in Confirmation Hearings

Op-ed by Elisa Massimino.

It’s been four years since President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning torture and eight years since the CIA shelved the torture techniques euphemistically known as “enhanced interrogation.” But the debate over the U.S. government’s post-9/11 trip to “the dark side” — reignited most recently by “Zero Dark Thirty” — persists.

This week that debate moves to the Senate Intelligence Committee, where John O. Brennan, Obama’s pick to head the CIA, appears for his confirmation hearing. Before becoming Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, Brennan was deputy executive director of the CIA under George Tenet from 2001 to 2003. It was during that time that the agency began operating its “enhanced interrogation” program.

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