Washington, D.C. – In response to comments from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defending the legality and efficacy of the Bush-era CIA torture program during the former president’s library dedication, Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino issued the following statement:
“You have to understand history so you don’t repeat it. You could search through his whole library and not find the one book people need to read: the classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture. Until it is released, former government officials will continue to cite secret knowledge about how torture saved American lives, while denying that torture was actually used, and this debate will forever infect American ideals.”
In December 2012, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) voted to adopt its 6,000 plus page report on the former CIA detention and torture program. This vote marked an important step toward ensuring that past policies and practices of torture and official cruelty in U.S. intelligence operations are not be repeated. The committee, led by Chair Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and joined by 8 members, including Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), voted 9-6 to adopt the report, which is now with the Obama Administration for review and comment. The administration was to have responded to the committee on February 15th, but the results of its review have yet to be shared with Congress. The committee will take a vote in coming months on whether to declassify the report.