Scott Statement on Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Torture Report

December 9, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations on the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s redacted summary, released today, of its report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency:

“The declassified summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report confirms that the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program had a policy of torture in contravention of federal law and international conventions. While the CIA suggests that such tactics were necessary to protect the nation from future terrorist attacks, the report indicates that the relationship between many counterterrorism successes cited by the CIA in support of the policy and the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ was tenuous at best and non-existent at worst.

“The problem with torture is that when you begin torturing someone, you have no idea if you will be able to get any accurate, actionable information.  So when you have a policy of torture, you have to accept the possibility that on some occasions, no meaningful information will be acquired as a result.  This report adds insult to injury in that it suggests that none of the CIA’s torture in the name of the security of the United States produced any meaningful, actionable intelligence. 

“After World War II, we tried, convicted, and, in some cases, executed Japanese soldiers for war crimes that included charges of waterboarding.  The United States is seen as a moral authority in the world, but we failed to lead by example in how we treat enemy combatants in our custody.  Regrettably, our use of torture only encourages other countries to torture our courageous men and women in uniform if captured.  As the report outlines how the CIA’s policy violated criminal law and our nation’s constitutional values, I hope that the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on this issue soon after the next Congress convenes in January.”

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