Time to Reopen the Case on CIA Torture


It has been a year and a half since the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finished its 6,000-page report on torture by the Central Intelligence Agency. It’s been two months since it voted to declassify portions of it. But what we’ve seen leaked so far is next to nothing.

I was at the CIA when the torture program was conceived. I refused to be trained in the techniques and when I left government I confirmed that torture was official U.S. policy. Partly as a result, I have been locked away almost as long as the Senate report. But the issues remain, not only as a matter for history, and a question of justice; they remain because we still can’t be sure whether ours is a nation governed by people who condone torture or not.

It is vital that we know this at a time when so many headlines raise questions about intelligence gathering that intercepts phone calls and emails, or analyzes metadata from millions of different sources. Even if we accept that much of that work is necessary, we should have—we must have—confidence that the government will deal honestly, fairly and with restraint to keep our country and its people safe, and without violating the Constitution.

How can we have such confidence if the government leaves the door open to torture by pretending it can close that door behind us, that we can just walk away, holding no one accountable for the actions that were taken.

The most revealing defense of what the CIA did was published in The Washington Post in April when the Senate voted to declassify a few pages of its vast report.

Former CIA official Jose Rodriguez, the agency’s..

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/03/time-to-reopen-the-case-on-cia-torture.html