DENVER — Outgoing Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who’d indicated that he wouldn’t rule out reading a classified report on the C.I.A.’s Bush-era torture program if the disturbing details weren’t made public, is satisfied with the report that was declassified and released Tuesday that showed that the agency misled the White House about the extent and brutality of its interrogation methods.
The long-delayed report, which took five years to produce and is based on more than six million internal agency documents, is a grisly account of the methods used by the C.I.A. to interrogate terror suspects — not just waterboarding but “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration”, which the C.I.A.’s chief of interrogations described as a way to exert “total control over the detainee.”
However grotesque, the report’s release is a positive step forward for the country, Udall argued, although many Republicans worried that it would only spark more violence against the United States.
“The release of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program is an historic victory for our nation, the Constitution, and our system of checks and balances. This study ensures that the truth about the CIA’s brutal torture program finally comes out and that the agency can learn from its repeated missteps and start to restore its integrity,” Udall said.
“My goal from day one has been holding the CIA accountable, shedding light on this dark chapter of our history, and ensuring neither the CIA nor any future administration would make these grievous mistakes ever again. The report released today achieves those goals and affirms that we are a nation that does not hide from its past, but learns from it.
“We can protect our national security without compromising who we are as Americans. This landmark study — and the millions of pages of agency documents and testimony it is based upon — shows that torture is not effective and does not make us safer.”
Udall, who was defeated in November by GOP Senator-elect Cory Gardner, sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and had long fought for the details of the C.I.A.’s torture program to be made public.
The panel voted 11-3 in April in favor of declassifying the report, despite strong opposition from the C.I.A., which was found to have spied on committee members who had access to the still-classified documents.