Support the news

What The Senate ‘Torture Report’ Means46:20
Download

Play

With guest host John Donvan

The explosive Senate “torture report” on harsh interrogation techniques years in the making is out.  And it’s graphic and controversial.

This frame grab from video, provided by Senate Television, shows Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Senate investigators have delivered a damning indictment of CIA interrogation practices after the 9/11 attacks, accusing the agency of inflicting pain and suffering on prisoners with tactics that went well beyond legal limits. (AP)
This frame grab from video, provided by Senate Television, shows Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Senate investigators have delivered a damning indictment of CIA interrogation practices after the 9/11 attacks, accusing the agency of inflicting pain and suffering on prisoners with tactics that went well beyond legal limits. (AP)

We’re supposed to be the good guys. So what does it mean when a headline making Senate report  — the so-called “torture report” – argues the CIA acted abominably in what it once did to Al Qaeda captives?  Mock executions. Making one guy live inside a box. Forcing food into parts of the body not made for eating.  Is that us? Did the times demand it? Or does the report — as its critics argue — get a lot of it wrong, possibly on purpose, for political reasons, at great cost to an agency on whose work we’re still going to depend —  today — and tomorrow? This hour, On Point: What they call the Torture Report. Reading between the lines.
-- John Donvan

Guests

Josh Gerstein, White House reporter for POLITICO. (@joshgerstein)

Jeffrey Addicott, retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army. Director of and professor at St, Mary University's Center for Terrorism Law. Author of the book, "Terrorism Law."

Thomas Pickering, career ambassador. Distinguished fellow of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.Member of the Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment.

Steven Kleinman, career intelligence officer and former interrogator. Former senior adviser on interrogation to the Special Operations Task Force in Baghdad, Iraq.

From The Reading List

Senate Select Committee On Intelligence: Committee Study on the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program — "Nevertheless, such pressure, fear, and expectation of further terrorist plots do not justify, temper, or excuse improper actions taken by individuals or organizations in the name of national security. The major lesson of this report is that regardless of the pressures and the need to act, the Intelligence Community's actions must always reflect who we are as a nation, and adhere to our laws and standards. It is precisely at these times of national crisis that our government must be guided by the lessons of our history and subject decisions to internal and external review."

POLITICO: Senate report: CIA misled public, Bush on use of torture — "A long-awaited Senate report concludes that the CIA repeatedly misled the public, Congress and the White House about the agency’s aggressive questioning of detainees — including waterboarding, confinement in small spaces and shackling in stress positions — after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, minimizing the severity of the interrogations and exaggerating the usefulness of the information produced, including its role in setting in motion the U.S. raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden."

USA Today: Sen. Bob Kerrey: Partisan torture report fails America — "I do not need to read the report to know that the Democratic staff alone wrote it. The Republicans checked out early when they determined that their counterparts started out with the premise that the CIA was guilty and then worked to prove it."

This program aired on December 10, 2014.

Related:

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news