President Obama has been urged by twelve former Nobel Peace Prize winners to make sure that a Senate report on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation tactics is released. They have asked this of the president so the U.S. can put an end to a practice condemned by many as torture.
The report in question would be the most comprehensive account of the CIA’s interrogation practices since the attacks of September 11th. This report could be an opportunity for the United States, and the world, to come to terms with interrogation techniques that went too far; so claim the laureates in their open letter.
The release of the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has been stalled because the Obama Administration, the CIA, and lawmakers clashed over how much of it should be redacted. Each camp has essentially been lobbying for small pieces of information to be omitted in a thinly veiled attempt to put off releasing this report for as long as possible.
“When a nation’s leaders condone and even order torture, that nation has lost its way,” said the letter. The letter also states, when speaking about American leaders, they have “eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend” by engaging in and justifying torture”
The letter asks the president for “full disclosure to the American people, of the extent and use of torture and rendition by American soldiers, operatives, and contractors, as well as the authorization of torture and rendition by American officials.”
The letter pleads with the Obama administration to demonstrate a clear path to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, along with any other US international “black sites”. The so called “black sites” are overseas facilities where US forces have conducted torture.
The reason for the letter being released appears to be that the redactions were becoming too much. “I have concluded the redactions eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions,” concluded Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat and the committee chairperson. This also accompanies two years’ worth of campaigning by advocates for human rights for the report to be released.
The letter was signed by José Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, F.W. De Klerk, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunus, John Hume, Bishop Carlos X. Belo, Betty Williams, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Oscar Arias Sanchez and Mohammad ElBaradei.
The full letter for those wishing to read it is available here: