FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program

The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On October 5, 2007, you spoke publicly about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I strongly oppose. In defending the program, you stated that “the techniques that we use have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress.” This statement was misleading in at least three respects.

First, despite your reference to information being “fully disclosed,” most of the members of the full Senate Intelligence Committee were not briefed about the program until several years after the program was created. Second, your administration continues to refuse to provide any legal opinions about the program to the Committee. Third, and perhaps most importantly, your statement implied that members of Congress have consented or acquiesced to the program or the techniques. As senior Administration officials are well aware, I have vigorously opposed the program, and continue to do so. The program is of highly questionable legality, it is inconsistent with our values as a nation, and it does not make our nation any safer. In fact, I believe that it may have the effect of exposing Americans- including military and other U.S. personnel to greater risk. As I stated earlier this year, “detainees should never be interrogated except as authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations.”

I have detailed the bases for my strong objections to the CIA’s program in classified correspondence, sent shortly after I was first briefed on it. More recently, I have stated my opposition publicly, although I am prohibited by classification rules from providing further details about my concerns in a public setting.

Your words and actions have prevented both Congress and the public from having the full, informed debate that this important topic deserves. The program should have been briefed to the full Senate Intelligence Committee at the outset, and the continued failure of your Administration to provide the Committee with any relevant Department of Justice legal opinions is entirely unjustified. Furthermore, while I strongly believe that the Army Field Manual should govern all interrogations, if you truly believed that the procedures authorized in that Manual were inadequate for certain terrorist suspects, you should have explained your position to Congress and the American people from the outset. I hope that you will finally provide that explanation now. Americans deserve more than misleading statements and euphemistic references to “alternative interrogation techniques.”

The threat posed by al Qaeda and its affiliates is our top national security priority. Like all Americans, I believe that suspected terrorists should be detained and questioned, but I must strongly oppose a program that is based on such questionable legal, moral and national security grounds.

Respectfully,

Russell D. Feingold
U.S. Senator

 

More articles by:

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.

August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail