FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2012
National interfaith coalition calls for public release of torture report findings; says public release is needed in light of “Zero Dark Thirty”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee adopted a more than 6,000-page report on its three-year investigation into the U.S. government’s past use of torture during interrogations. This comes shortly before the release of “Zero Dark Thirty,” a film that some people think shows that torture led to the capture of Osama bin Laden. This claim is contrary to what military, intelligence and psychology experts have said about the effectiveness of torture. In response to the outcome of the bipartisan vote, Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released the following statement:
Americans of all faiths have reason to applaud the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee today. The outcome of the committee’s three-year investigation into U.S.-government-authorized torture is a 6,000-plus page report that contains the facts about torture. Through its bipartisan vote to adopt the report, the committee has created a document that may help settle the debate over the use of torture by providing facts that show that torture harmed our national security.
All religions teach us that torture is wrong. Unfortunately, some people ignore the immorality and illegality of torture and claim that it has helped protect the United States from attack. In an era of uncertainty and fear, they are sometimes persuasive.
Some are claiming that the soon-to-be-released movie, “Zero Dark Thirty,” supports the belief that torture was useful for U.S. security – that it provided us with intelligence leading to Osama bin Laden. This contradicts what we have been told by those who have access to the classified record – including Senator John McCain, who today released a statement saying that torture is “an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence” and that it is his hope that the Intelligence Committee “take whatever steps necessary to finalize and declassify this report.”
Senator McCain’s statement also said that it is his “sincerest hope that we Americans, for all of our many disagreements, can nonetheless manage to agree that torture of the kind described in this report is unworthy of our national honor and should no longer be a matter for discussion.” The Senate Intelligence Committee can and must settle the debate on torture once and for all by releasing its report and findings to the public.