The publication of the long-awaited summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture provides a useful moment to consider the lessons learned from this sorry chapter in American history and the steps that might be taken to avoid its recurrence.
Chairman Wolf, Chairman McGovern, members of the Commission: thank you for inviting me to testify today. This is an important hearing. I would like to share some insights from my recent trip to Iraq where the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is one, but not the only entity, perpetrating gross and widespread violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
“They will kill us because we are Nuer!” shouted a young man trying to get through the gate of the United Nations base in Bor, South Sudan when I was there in early November. The base has been sheltering thousands of people, mostly ethnic Nuer. Due to recent construction, UN staff were closing the gate earlier than usual, and the young man feared being caught out of the safe haven in the majority Dinka town.
It is not every day that a prosecutor is handed 500 meticulously documented, heavily footnoted pages detailing a years-long pattern of egregious criminal activity. Yet Tuesday’s release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s torture program did exactly that.
The summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program describes in horrifying and sometimes gruesome detail the CIA’s systematic and frequent use of brutal techniques that the U.S. and the world have long banned and condemned as torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment