Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Summary of the Torture report has been released

Today the senate released the summary of the torture report. You can find it here. They missed releasing it on international human rights day by a day! It is a big file (500ish pages) and it is heavily redacted. We still have to push for the full report which is several thousands of pages. And of course we still have to push for accountability. These were crimes against humanity and the the torturers and the higher ups (BUSH and CHANEY TO NAME TWO) should pay for these crimes. Sen. Feinstein's summary of the summary is here.
According to Feinstein these are the Key findings:
The study’s 20 findings and conclusions can be grouped into four central themes,
each of which is supported extensively in the Executive Summary: 2
1. The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.
2. The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the
program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.
3. The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.
4. The CIA program was far more brutal than the CIA represented to policymakers and
the American public.

One of the key findings in my opinion is one shared with bmaz at emptywheel and that is that they knew it was torture and they knew it was illegal before they started and when they were doing it-- and they did it anyway:

Here, from page 33 of the Report, is the language establishing the above:
…drafted a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft asking the Department of Justice for “a formal declination of prosecution, in advance, for any employees of the United States, as well as any other personnel acting on behalf of the United States, who may employ methods in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah that otherwise might subject those individuals to prosecution. The letter further indicated that “the interrogation team had concluded “that “the use of more aggressive methods is required to persuade Abu Zubaydah to provide the critical information we need to safeguard the lives of innumerable innocent men, women and children within the United States and abroad.” The letter added that these “aggressive methods” would otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute, “apart from potential reliance upon the doctrines of necessity or of self-defense.”
AND BY THE WAY-- THE GOVERNMENT NOW ADMITS THAT ABU ZUBAYDAH  WAS NOT PART OF AL-QUEDA -- they tortured the man and produced false information from the torture that was then used to scare the American people and falsely imprison many others....and now they admit that he was a nothing. I will have more on this later. Meanwhile the Intercept has a very good working summary here.

More on the men released to Uruguay

Free at last.

Read the update here.