WASHINGTON-- Bishop Richard E. Pates, Chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, applauds the recent decision by Senators Susan Collins (R/ME) and Angus King (I-ME) to vote in favor of declassifying parts of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's (SSCI) report on CIA interrogation practices. Support from all Senators on the Committee in an upcoming vote on the release of this report is crucial to putting this shameful chapter of U.S. sponsored torture behind us.
For Catholics, torture is "an intrinsic evil" and cannot be justified under any circumstance. Bishop Pates has sent numerous letters to the SSCI urging release of this report. In his most recent letter dated March 17, 2014, he stated, "Only by acknowledging past practices can the United States move to regain the moral high ground as a protector and promoter of human rights."
Numerous experts in interrogation have called torture an ineffective way to gain reliable information. Instead the use of torture by the U.S. has served as a recruiting device for terrorists who attack us.
"It is time for the United States to take a clear stance against torture. Release of the full report on CIA interrogation practices will help our country strengthen its moral credibility," said Bishop Pates. In addition to urging that the SSCI vote to declassify and release their report, the bishop urged the Obama Administration to support the expedited release of this report.
Senators Collins and King on April 2 announced their decision to vote in favor of declassifying the Findings & Conclusions and Executive Summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report regarding the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Detention and Interrogation Program. The committee originally approved this report in December 2012, before Senators Collins and King joined the Committee. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to vote on the declassification of the report's Findings & Conclusions and lengthy Executive Summary on Thursday, April 4.