04.03.14

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds Intelligence Committee’s Vote to Declassify Interrogation Report

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify portions of its study of the Bush-era CIA Detention and Interrogation Program.  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a former member of the Intelligence Committee who was involved in the preparation of the report and who has advocated for its declassification, released the statement below:

“During my time on the Senate Intelligence Committee, I was shocked at the details we learned about the Bush Administration’s interrogation program, and at the bodyguard of lies that accompanied it.  President Bush and his team set history and the law aside to torture detainees in the name of national security, despite evidence that such methods do not work.  We were also told that torturing detainees was justified by American lives saved as a result of actionable intelligence produced on the waterboard.  That remains far from clear.  The Intelligence Committee’s report will shed a light on this truly dark moment in American history.  It is a moment that passed when President Obama took office and ended the torture program, but it remains vital that we learn from that moment to ensure it is never allowed to happen again.  Declassifying this report and making it available to the public will be invaluable in that process.  I applaud the Intelligence Committee for its work in producing this report and for its vote today.”

Senator Whitehouse also chaired a Judiciary Committee hearing in 2009 titled “What Went Wrong: Torture and the Office of Legal Counsel in the Bush Administration.”

###