Senate Intelligence Chair Laments CIA Torture Program: ‘Never Again’

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced the release of the CIA torture report on the floor Tuesday.

“History will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say, never again,” she said.

The California Democrat fleshed out the key findings of the report, emphasizing that the torture — or coercive interrogation — techniques used during the Bush administration failed to yield valuable information and in some cases yielded bad intelligence that the CIA then acted on.

Feinstein also said some CIA officials misled the policymakers and the public about the utility of its interrogation program.

She suggested the torture program was the work of a small group of bad actors.

“What we have found is that a surprisingly few people were responsible for designing, carrying out, and managing this program,” she said. “Two contractors developed and led the interrogations. There was little effective oversight.”

She lamented that while some might use the report to justify “evil actions,” “releasing this report is an important step to restore our values and show the world that we are in fact a just and lawful society.”

“My words give me no pleasure,” she said. “I’m releasing this report because I know there are thousands of employees at the CIA who do not condone what I will speak about this morning and who work day out, day and night, long hours, within the law, for America’s security in what is certainly a difficult world. My colleagues on the Intelligence Committee and I am proud of them just as everyone in this chamber is, and we will always support them.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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