By Vladimir Gladkov
The Senate select committee on intelligence has approved a long-awaited report on interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency in the so-called fight against terrorism, and it will be handed over to the Obama Administration. According to its authors, the report clearly shows that the use of so-called “enhanced-interrogation techniques” was a “terrible mistake”.
It took the Senate committee three years to prepare the report. During that time, the techniques of interrogation and gathering information used by the CIA during the “war on terror” declared by George W. Bush were thoroughly investigated. According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, committee chairperson, the report is based on 6 million documents and is the most accurate reflection of the operations of a network of CIA secret prisons. At the same time, the main conclusion of the findings is that the use of coercive interrogation methods actually failed to gain important information.
However, this opinion contradicts statements by former U.S. President George W. Bush and members of his administration that the use of torture made it possible to gather vital information. The report’s authors emphasize that the affirmation that the use of torture had ultimately led to the elimination of Bin Laden does not reflect reality. Moreover, according to Feinstein, such affirmations belittle the role of intelligence officers who had done a huge work to discover the terrorist number one.
The American human rights activists have welcomed a decision to recognize the findings in the report with enthusiasm. “By voting to adopt this report, the committee has sent a clear message that torture and abuse have no place in US intelligence operations,” said Human Rights First’s Melina Milazzo.
The CIA secret prisons continue operating in many countries. Meanwhile, unjustified torture and abuse of Bradley Manning at a military prison have shown that not only terrorists but also American servicemen could be subjected to torture. Moreover, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the applications of the Espionage Act used by the White House to persecute public workers who are bold enough to raise topics that are disadvantageous for the government have sharply increased during Obama’s presidency. By taking into account the policy pursed by the Obama Administration, it’s easy to suggest that the report’s findings will never be released to the public.