Yesterday the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its "Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program - Foreword, Findings, and Conclusions, and Executive Summary." (BIG PDF!) The report is 525 pages, heavily redacted, and includes graphic details about the torture techniques used by the CIA. The study found that American torture was not confined to a handful of aberrational cases or techniques, nor was it the work of rogue CIA agents. It was an officially sanctioned, worldwide (over 1/4 of the world's countries participated in some way!) regime of torture that had the acquiescence, if not explicit approval, of the top members of both political parties in Congress.
Many current and former CIA- and GW Bush Administration officials, including George W Bush and Dick Cheney themselves, are defending the effectiveness of the methods that were used (there's even a site that's popped up called "CIA Saved Lives." I would highly recommend going over to Glenn Greenwald's Intercept site where he's been live blogging the report as he combs through it. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' statement on the report says it well and succinctly:
“A great nation must be prepared to acknowledge its errors. This report details an ugly chapter in American history during which our leaders and the intelligence community dishonored our nation’s proud traditions. Of course we must aggressively pursue international terrorists who would do us harm, but we must do so in a way that is consistent with the basic respect for human rights which makes us proud to be Americans. “The United States must not engage in torture. If we do, in an increasingly brutal world we lose our moral standing to condemn other nations or groups that engage in uncivilized behavior.”
U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 2014. Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program. [PDF, 65.7MB, 525 pages] Foreword by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein, Findings and Conclusions, Executive Summary. Approved December 13, 2012, Updated for Release April 3, 2014, Declassification Revisions December 3, 2014. UNCLASSIFIED.
U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 2014. Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program: Additional Views. [PDF, 2MB, 27 pages]. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Senator Wyden, Senator Udall, Senator Heinrich, Senator King, Senator Collins.
U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 2014. Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program: Minority Views, Additional Minority Views. [PDF, 14.5MB, 167 pages] Minority Views Of Vice Chairman Chambliss Joined by Senators Burr, Risch, Coats, Rubio, and Coburn. (June 20, 2014 Revised for Redaction on December 5, 2014).
The CIA has its own responses to the report, currently listed on its Reports page.
- CIA's June 2013 Response to the SSCI Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program [PDF 5.4MB*]
- Note to the Reader [PDF 180.8KB]*
- Statement from Director Brennan on the SSCI Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program
- CIA Fact Sheet Regarding the SSCI Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program
Other official statements.
Obama, Barak. 2014. Statement by the President Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. White House. Office of the Press Secretary. "For Immediate Release" (December 09, 2014).
Feinstein, Dianne. 2014. Intel Committee Releases Report on CIA Detention, Interrogation Program. Press Release. (Dec 9, 2014).
Here at Stanford, we've purchased the paper copy from Melville House Publishers and have archived a digital copy in the Stanford Digital repository. Both copies will soon be available via Searchworks.