Senate Republicans prepare to unveil pro-torture report

Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are still defending Dick Cheney's legacy

Published August 4, 2014 2:47PM (EDT)

Dick Cheney                 (Reuters/Larry Downing)
Dick Cheney (Reuters/Larry Downing)

Despite the recent brouhaha over the CIA's spying on Senate staffers, reports indicate that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the upper chamber's intelligence committee, will soon release a redacted version of an in-depth report on the spy agency's use of torture in the years following 9/11.

It will reportedly claim that torture, beyond being illegal, is also ineffective, and was not needed to secure the information used to kill Osama bin Laden.

Republicans, of course, strongly disagree. And according to a new report from Reuters, they're planning to release a document of their own arguing the exact opposite case.

"Information gleaned from these interrogations was in fact used to interrupt and disrupt terrorist plots, including some information that took down bin Laden," said Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Sunday during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Making a move that some believed was intended to telegraph the findings of the Senate Democrats' forthcoming report, President Obama said during a press conference on Friday that the CIA "tortured some folks" after 9/11.

Obama noted that he banned the agency's favored practices during his first day as president, describing the use of systematic torture as "contrary to our values."

For his part, Chambliss has always opposed investigating the CIA's behavior during the George W. Bush presidency. "I still think it is a mistake," the soon-to-retire senator reiterated.

Maine's independent senator, Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, strongly disagreed. King argued that the issue of torture would not be so controversial if the CIA and its backers would just simply admit their mistake.

"They're still trying to justify it and argue it wasn't torture, which is nonsense," King said on CNN. "I think we could put this behind us," he added. "But they keep, they keep trying to justify it. And it's unjustifiable."

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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