The Mother Of All Torture Reports

Ackerman covers it:

Last week, Feinstein announced that the Senate intelligence committee she chairs finally approved a 6,000-page study into the CIA’s treatment of terrorism detainees in its custody that took almost four years to investigate. By reviewing more than “6 Ag19million pages of CIA and other records,” Feinstein said, the report details how the detainees were treated, how they were interrogated, and, crucially, “the intelligence they actually provided and the accuracy — or inaccuracy — of CIA descriptions about the program.” Feinstein promised “startling details” and “critical questions” about the program, promising it would “settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.” Small problem: the report is secret, so you can’t read it.

At least not yet. Feinstein says the report will remain classified until President Obama and “key executive branch officials” review it. Then her committee will consider declassifying it. So the report that could settle the debate about torture won’t settle the debate about torture until the self-interested parties who’ve stymied accountability for torture decide it’s safe to settle the debate about torture.

The American people have a right to know what war crimes were committed in their name. These crimes were committed in secret, and the perpetrators from the president on down simply declared themselves above the law to get away with it. There has been no accountability – apart from the scapegoating of a handful of reservists at Abu Ghraib who stupidly took photos of what Bush and Cheney had ordered be done to mere suspects. Releasing this report is integral to our survival as an accountable democracy. Hiding it makes America a banana republic, in which our leaders can torture at will and hide the evidence.