For Immediate Release
PHR applauds today’s decision by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to adopt a report documenting its three-year investigation of CIA interrogation practices—and calls on the committee to submit it for declassification review so that the public learns the report’s key findings.
The report, which examines the so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the George W. Bush administration as part of its “war on terror” following 9/11, is believed to show that such torture was ineffective in countering security threats to the United States. According to Sen. John McCain, an ex officio member of the Intelligence Committee, the report shows “that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence.
“The committee’s report could be a key step in finally removing torture from the toolkit of US government intelligence gathering,” said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, PHR’s senior medical advisor. “Now we must use the committee’s findings to seek accountability for the harm caused by torture and to ensure that such techniques are never used again.”
In the past decade, PHR has produced several reports on the use of torture in US-operated detention centers, including by health professionals, and has called on Congress to investigate the extent of US practices that resulted in the torture and abuse of hundreds of detainees. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is the fullest examination to date by Congress into US torture practices.
Following today’s 9-6 vote to adopt the report, the Committee must now decide whether to submit it for a review that could lead to making parts of it public.
PHR urges the committee to make public those parts of the report concerning the use of torture. The American public must know what interrogation practices have been employed by the CIA.
“We have a right to know what practices were carried out in our name,” said Kristine Huskey, who directs PHR’s Anti-Torture Program. “If this report is made public, Americans will understand not only what has been done in the past, but also how to forge ahead in ways that protect our national security without sacrificing precious human rights.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.