W. Paul Smith notes that it was one year ago that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finished compiling a massive report, more than 6000 pages, on the torture regime constructed by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. You’ve never seen that report because the Obama administration has classified it and refused to release it, even in redacted form.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s adoption of a sweeping 6,300-page study detailing the CIA’s post-9/11 detention, rendition, torture and interrogation program. But the public has yet to see one word of it.
That’s because, even though it deals with some of the most important and contentious issues this country has grappled with in recent years, the entire report remains classified.
Here’s what we do know about the report:
First, it is almost certainly the most exhaustive, detailed investigation of the CIA torture program to date. The committee spent more than three years researching the program, including reviewing six million pages of documents.
Second, according to senators who have seen it, the report includes a damning indictment and repudiation of the longstanding claims that torture and ill treatment led to accurate and actionable intelligence.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said the report “confirms for me what I have always believed and insisted to be true – that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence.”
And according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the report details how “the CIA repeatedly provided inaccurate information about its interrogation program to the White House, the Justice Department, and Congress.”
This was later confirmed by Stephen W. Preston, former CIA general counsel, who, during the confirmation process in August to become the general counsel for the Department of Defense, sent written responses to questions from Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) about the report, writing that the CIA’s “briefings to the Committees included inaccurate information related to aspects of the program of express interest to Members.”
It’s bad enough that Obama has refused to allow prosecutors to charge Bush administration officials with torture. That, in and of itself, is a very clear violation of the Convention Against Torture. They he also refuses to even let the American people see the evidence of what happened makes it doubly appalling.