While Report on CIA Abuse Stays Secret, Senators Blast Tinseltown Torture
All of which is well and good, even if we don’t consider the movie to be pro-torture. The problem is, the senators are complaining about fake torture when they could be showing us the truth about the real stuff . If the problem with Zero Dark Thirty is that it’s not an accurate presentation of the utility of torture (and we shudder at the thought that torture ought to be evaluated according to its utility), the senators could make a major push to declassify a massive report put together by Feinstein’s committee into what the CIA’s torture program did and didn’t do.
Last week, Feinstein announced that the Senate intelligence committee she chairs finally approved a 6,000-page study into the CIA’s treatment of terrorism detainees in its custody that took almost four years to investigate. By reviewing more than “6 million pages of CIA and other records,” Feinstein said, the report details how the detainees were treated, how they were interrogated, and, crucially, “the intelligence they actually provided and the accuracy — or inaccuracy — of CIA descriptions about the program.” Feinstein promised “startling details” and “critical questions” about the program, promising it would “settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.” Small problem: the report is secret, so you can’t read it.
At least not yet. Feinstein says the report will remain classified until President Obama and “key executive branch officials” review it. Then her committee will consider declassifying it. So the report that could settle the debate about torture won’t settle the debate about torture until the self-interested parties who’ve stymied accountability for torture decide it’s safe to settle the debate about torture.