CIAsenate_large_seal The Senate report is out and linked below. It is remarkable in both its candor and breadth. I was particularly moved by watching Sen. John McCain, a victim of torture, explaining to his colleagues why this country must not only condemn this torture program but come clean about our failure to meet the fundamental values that define us as a people. It was a true profile of courage — an all too rare moment in our contemporary politics where a politician transcends politics and stand boldly on a higher moral ground. What McCain showed was the difference between a politician and a statesman. He proved himself to be the latter this afternoon.

220px-john_mccain_official_portrait_with_alternative_background225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoWhile I have been critical of Feinstein in the past, I considered this speech to be also her finest hour. While I have criticized the lack action from the committee over the years on this issue, Feinstein did overcome considerable pressure from the intelligence community to bury the report. As the video below shows, McCain called the use of the torture was “shameful” regardless of whether it was effective.

What is most remarkable is the direct identification of people like Hayden, Muller, and others who are accused of giving false information to Congress. This record is combined with the admission that dozens of videotapes were destroyed shortly after the CIA was informed that the legality of the program had been raised. The absence of any criminal charges creates an obvious and troubling disconnect given this lengthy account.

It was equally chilling to not only read of the death of one detainee of possible hyperthermia but the fact that two psychologists created a company and received $80 million for their clearly unethical role in the torture program.

Notably, while the President has repeated his condemnation of the program, there remains a disconnect with the actions of his Administration. The CIA continues to oppose the release of the report and, more importantly, shows a continuing failure to appreciate the depth of the criminal character of this torture program. The CIA issued a statement that again claims that the program was “effective.” As I have discussed in prior columns, it does not matter whether torture is effective or ineffective. It is not just a crime but a war crime. The continued effort of the CIA to claim that it got something positive from torture only reaffirms the view of a rogue agency.

Here is the report: Senate Report


  1. The saddest thing about all this is no American can trust the President’s word. I’m sure that was the intent, but Obama apparently doesn’t care about promises made by other Presidents.

    Again, and I will repeat it as often as necessary.

    These people were asked to do this for their country. That is no simple thing to brush off. It was designed to be the least amount required. They were guaranteed privacy and their files sealed. When a President looks you in the eye saying that, especially after recently watching the people jump out of the towers, you think of those people and the Flight 93 who did everything they could to keep that plane away from any buildings, you think what you’re being asked in comparison and cannot deny that request.

    I see something happening in this country and it ought to frighten every one of us. KSM told a Dr. that the U.S. did not need to be destroyed by Muslims. We would destroy ourselves. And we are doing just that. Marching in lockstep to the end of the best thing that ever happened for mankind. I mean that. We’ve learned how to live in a Democracy. Disagreeing with one another, cordially. No more. The viciousness from the left. The lies about a Republicans and their plans.

    A President has told a lie, immeasurable of its consequence. Democrats thought they had the people completely on their side. But, one more time the people stood up and said no. The filth coming into your homes via TV commercials will astound you. We plan to record everything so we don’t have to hear the crap that will be thrown out. If you can’t do that, use the mute button, that’s why it’s there, so you don’t have to listen to the garbage. But if after two years a Democrat is elected President, we are not going to be the country we were, ever again.

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