Stop the C.I.A. Spin on the Senate Torture Report
An opinion piece by Antonio M. Taguba
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — THE Senate Intelligence Committee will soon release key sections of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects after 9/11. In remarks on Friday anticipating the report’s release, which he has publicly supported, President Obama acknowledged that “we tortured some folks.”
In fact, from leaks to the press and the statements of those familiar with the report, we know the committee has determined that C.I.A. torture was more widespread and brutal than Americans were led to believe. The committee reportedly has also found that the C.I.A. misled Bush administration officials and Congress about the extent and nature of the torture, and that torture was ineffective for intelligence gathering.
Even though a bipartisan majority of the committee voted to declassify the report, there is a concerted effort to discredit it by depicting it as partisan and unfair. The report’s detractors include the C.I.A. itself: The agency’s rebuttal will be released alongside the report’s key sections. While the C.I.A. is under no obligation to stay silent in the face of criticism, it seems that between its apparently excessive redactions and its spying on the committee’s computers, the agency is determined to resist oversight.