A contradiction of principles
The public finally will see a small part of the $40 million, 6,300-page report the Senate Intelligence Committee commissioned on detention and interrogation practices used by U.S. intelligence agencies following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
According to sources who have read the classified report and spoke about it to the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity, the report details techniques that fit the definition of torture and that the CIA misled the White House, Congress and the public about the results.
"The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and committee chairwoman. "This is not what Americans do."
That, of course is the point. Americans need to decide what Americans do. As much as many Americans might think torturing suspects for information is a swell idea, it contradicts U.S. principles, the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law.
The committee voted to release the 480-page executive summary, but it must go for clearance to the White House and the CIA for declassification. The CIA, while objecting to some of the findings, has said that it already has implemented reforms recommended by the report.
President Obama has said that he favor the report's release. He should ensure its rapid declassification to make that happen.