EMO praises bipartisan senate vote to shed light on U.S.-sponsored torture Clergy urge president to lead declassification process After more than five years of urging the U.S. government to publicly air the truth about its use of immoral interrogation tactics (including torture), “The religious community applauds the Senate Intelligence Committee for voting to seek declassification of the executive summary of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program,” said Rev. Ron Stief, executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), an organization representing more than 300 diverse religious organizations across the country, including Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EM O).
The report is believed to describe the CIA’s use of abhorrent acts of torture, to provide evidence that torture was unnecessary from a national security perspective, and to describe how and why the use of torture was authorized. “The Senate Intelligence Committee took moral responsibility by voting to make public the truth about the CIA’s use of torture,” said Rev. Stief. “As people of faith, the members of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture believe that torture is always wrong. Admitting the truth about the United States’ past is the first step toward redemption.”
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Executive Director and NRCAT Board Member David Leslie has led the Oregon faith community in urging the Senate Intelligence Committee to declassify the report. Leslie applauded the leadership of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who issued the following statement after the committee voted to begin the process of declassifying the 6,200 page report on CIA interrogations: “I believe the American people will be profoundly disturbed by the contents of this report. Today, I joined my colleagues in voting to begin the process of declassifying the findings.
Though I can’t provide any details until that declassification process is finished, I can say that the American people will see that much of what CIA officials have said about the effectiveness of coercive interrogations was simply untrue. I have spoken about the intelligence leadership’s culture of misinformation before and it continues to be a problem to this day.
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