Senate CIA torture report: It’s a good day to be an American

by James J. Walsh Research Associate, MIT SSP at Massachusetts Institute of Technology 10.12.2014

Well, it’s not all good. Today’s report released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence documents the ugly and unlawful use of torture by the US government. Arguably as disturbing are revelations that the CIA misled the public, the Congress, and other parts of the executive branch about its activities. It made false claims about the effectiveness of enhanced interrogation, hid the scale and severity of the program, and even destroyed videotape evidence.

But as I watched on TV, as Chairwoman Feinstein and then Senator McCain presented the report, I could not help but feel a sense of drama, as if history was watching.

I have known Senator Feinstein for many years and have found her to be a serious person who understands policy, principle, and politics. She has been a vocal defender of the intelligence community, which made her remarks all the more powerful. Senator McCain, a former POW who was subjected to torture, spoke to core American values in a way that few people can.

At this particular moment, mid-day on December 9, 2014, these two longtime lawmakers rose to the occasion and made one proud to be a citizen of the United States. In turn, the Democrat and the Republican reminded us what statesmen look like. They spoke in measured, somber tones and did not seek political advantage. They stood in the well as defenders of democracy and the rule of law.

So yes, it’s not a bad day to be an American.The Conversation

This is an extract of an article that was originally published on The Conversation. To read the whole original article.

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