The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matthew Allee, (202) 675-2312;

Senate Intelligence Committee to Investigate CIA Detention and Interrogation

A Very Welcome Development, but Proceedings Should Be Open to the Public, Says ACLU


Multiple news reports today indicate that the Senate Intelligence Committee will launch an investigation into the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) detention and interrogation programs. The investigation will seek to uncover how the agency was given the authority to establish black site prisons abroad to indefinitely detain individuals, as well as to interrogate them using torture and abuse. The American Civil Liberties Union welcomes the committee's investigation, and calls for the proceedings and findings to be open to the public.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"When President Obama issued executive orders to end the CIA's authority to detain individuals abroad and to end torture through government-wide adherence to the Army Field Manual's interrogation guidelines, America began the long and grueling process of putting the abusive policies of the Bush administration behind us. But we cannot forget how our nation got to this point. We need to examine the failed policies of the last eight years in order to learn from these mistakes. This is what the Senate Intelligence Committee announced today it seeks to accomplish.

"This could become an extraordinarily important investigation because, up to this point, the CIA has faced very little scrutiny for its role in torture. It is a very welcome sign that Senator Feinstein is using her new chairmanship to exercise some real oversight.

"In order for the investigation's effectiveness to reach its full potential, the proceedings need to be open to the public. Transparency is necessary for our nation to pull itself out of the darkness in which these failed policies were created."

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

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