We already know the US tortures. We’ve known it for a long while. Politicians are now ‘debating’ if there is anything about torturing that the public should not know.
WASHINGTON – Plans to declassify a report on secret detention and interrogation programs ran by the CIA have triggered tension between the Senate and the administration of Barack Obama.
The president of the United States, is apparently trying to protect those guilty of committing one of the most sinister crimes in recent history. But Obama also wants to avoid giving the impression that the US Government is intruding into an Arena that is the competence of the Senate and that has everything to do with separation of powers, although judging by Obama’s actions, many people think that this boat has already left port.
Obama ‘confessed last Friday that torture techniques were used by the CIA to interrogate suspects and emphasized that a “line had been crossed”. However, he attempted to justify the commission of crimes against humanity by asking critics to take into account the context of widespread fear following the attacks in Washington and New York on September 2001. He laughably said that people would be wise if they did “not judge too harshly” those who “did things that were wrong.”
The chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who on other occasions allowed torture to happen, accused the Democratic Obama Administration of censoring “key facts” that feed the main conclusions of the document written by the senatorial committee.
Feinstein explained that she had sent a letter to Obama proposing a series of changes in the wording and warned that the report would not declassified until she found that all the wording is “appropriate”, which implies that its publication is not imminent.
It is customary, to declassify confidential documents which are reviewed by the Government, whose bureaucrats remove some details citing ‘national security’. The US did so in June before publishing the infamous legal memorandum that attempted to justify indiscriminately murdering people with drone strikes.
The report mainly sought to justify the murder of American citizens. In recent months, the Obama Administration has worked with the Senate committee on parts of the CIA report to be disseminated, but, judging by Feinstein’s accusations, both branches of government seem to be in disagreement at this point about what the public should and should not know.
“It is important that a process of declassification protects sources and methods and other crucial information to our national security,” said a White House spokesman on Monday. On Thursday, the CIA admitted that some of its employees reserved the prerogative to spy on the US Senate. Then the intelligence agency flatly denied any improper practices.
The secret detention and interrogation program ran by the CIA, which was promoted by the administration of Republican George W. Bush after the 11-S, was ‘officially’ closed by the Obama administration back in 2009. But before the supposed termination, techniques were used by US intelligence agencies to torture alleged members of Al Qaeda.
Those practices had always been suspected to be more severe than what it was divulged by the government, and today, critics of the secret program are vindicated. Torture as used by Western intelligence agencies is not only ineffective to prevent so-called terror attacks, but also has been proven to violate every single human and constitutional right of those who are victims of government terrorism.
Apparently, the Senate report accuses some former senior CIA members of misleading Congress, the White House and the Justice Department about the interrogation system, in which extremely aggressive methods were used. This is not the first report on the controversial program, but it is possibly the most complete on its extent and the role of the agency. That does not mean, of course, that the public has learned or will learn everything it needs to know about government abuse of power. It only means that despite all kinds of public and private posturing, neither will the American not any other government be honest and / or open with the public for fear to reveal the extent of their crimes.
In 2008 and 2009 several internal memos about the program spread out in public They argued that the Bush Administration did not incur into torture when using practices such as waterboarding, and revealed that some of the interrogation methods were done in “extremely uncomfortable positions” for those who were imprisoned in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo bay in Cuba.
The debate over making part of the report public or not, is not new. The document that contains more than 6,000 pages and that cost 40 million dollars to produce, was concluded in December of 2012. In June of 2013, the CIA sent the Senate committee a one hundred page version in which it countered the Senate’s main conclusions. That document has also been kept secret but it is expected that, with the declassification of the report prepared by the Senate on the interrogation program, the CIA‘s position will change in regards to its disclosure.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute. Read more about Luis.