U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today responded to the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by the Central Intelligence Agency.
“Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a small number of CIA officials decided to listen to the advice of outside contractors who told them that the way to quickly get important information from captured terrorist suspects was by using coercive interrogation techniques that had been developed and used by communist dictatorships during the Cold War, despite years of evidence that torture is not effective,” Wyden said.
“In fact, these techniques were not effective. While I understand this is a dangerous world and am grateful to the rank-and-file intelligence professionals that keep our country safe, the facts show that torture did nothing to protect America from foreign threats.
“The current CIA leadership has been alarmingly resistant to acknowledging the full scope of the mistakes and misrepresentations that surrounded this program for so many years. I hope this report is the catalyst CIA leaders need to acknowledge that torture did not work and close this disgraceful chapter in our country’s history.”
Wyden pushed to launch the investigation in 2009, and played a critical role in ensuring the report came to light, despite a campaign to delay its release and obscure critical details. Along with Chairman Dianne Feinstein and others on the committee, Wyden succeeded in reversing a number of unnecessary redactions that did nothing to protect intelligence assets.