Leaked US Government ‘talking points’ on Senate CIA torture report: Reprieve comment

July 31, 2014

Image of Barbed wire

A White House document showing the State Department’s recommended ‘talking points’ on a major Senate report into CIA torture – the executive summary to which is expected to be declassified and released next week – has today been leaked to the Associated Press.

The document says that the soon-to-be-published report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence “leaves no doubt that the methods used to extract information from some terrorist suspects caused profound pain, suffering and humiliation.”

The document also argues there has already been sufficient debate around the methods of torture used. It says: “Our Congress issued this report, and the Obama administration strongly supported its declassification, in that spirit. This report will help the American people can understand what happened in the past, and that will help to guide us as we move forward.”

However, serious concerns have been raised by legal charity Reprieve and other rights groups working with the victims of CIA torture that the report will be heavily redacted.

The leaking of the document was followed today by revelations that CIA staffers improperly accessed the computers of those in the Senate working on it, in attempts to doctor information contained within.

Commenting, Cori Crider, Strategic Director of Reprieve, said: “Whoever wrote this document is right about one thing – the story of CIA torture is one of which no American can be proud. For years, Reprieve’s clients have described horrific ordeals at the hands of the CIA. From the rendition of children and pregnant women to the torture of innocent men, the ‘war on terror’ continues to cast a long shadow across the US. The CIA has tried desperately to stop the truth coming out, going to far as to spy on Senate staffers writing this torture report. But the American people deserve to know what was carried out in their name. We should name the victims, admit to our black sites, and be sure this never happens again.”


1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s Press Office in New York: clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk / 001 929 258 2754