Maine Senators Use The Word “Torture” To Describe CIA Torture

Torture posterWell, this is amazing. Following months of public pressure, the Senate intelligence committee voted 11-3 on Thursday to declassify portions of the lengthy investigation into the CIA’s use of torture at secret black sites around the world. The executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the Senate panel’s 6,300-page report will be released.

Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME) supported the release of the Senate Torture Report, using a word that nobody thought Washington politicians have in their vocabulary (emphasis added):

We remain strongly opposed to the use of torture, believing that it is fundamentally contrary to American values. While we have some concerns about the process for developing the report, its findings lead us to conclude that some detainees were subjected to techniques that constituted torture. This inhumane and brutal treatment never should have occurred. Further, the report raises serious concerns about the CIA’s management of this program.

Our vote to declassify this report does not signal our full endorsement of all of its conclusions or its methodology. The report has some intrinsic limitations because it did not involve direct interviews of CIA officials, contract personnel, or other Executive branch personnel. It also, unfortunately, did not include the participation of the staff of Republican Committee members. We do, however, believe in transparency and believe that the Executive Summary, and Additional and Dissenting Views, and the CIA’s rebuttal should be made public with appropriate redactions so the American public can reach their own conclusions about the conduct of this program.

Torture is wrong, and we must make sure that the misconduct and the grave errors made in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program never happen again.

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on April 4, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    Enhanced interrogation always sounded like a Frank Luntz thing to me.

    We’re definitely going to have to let the CIA investigate itself, so we can get to the bottom of this. 🙂

    Personally, I think all roads lead to Cheney and Bush’s dad. I’m not being sarcastic this time.

    • #2 by Richard Warnick on April 5, 2014 - 10:38 am

      I blogged about the origin of the Bush administration’s “new” term for torture back in 2007:

      “What is verschaerfte Vernehmung? It translates as ‘aggravated interrogation,’ or one could say ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’ Verschaerfte Vernehmung is the euphemism for torture coined by the Gestapo during World War II.”

      • #3 by Larry Bergan on April 5, 2014 - 4:07 pm

        George Orwell has loomed large over this country since before I was born. What a great talent he had for facing the truth and telling us about it.

        I couldn’t help but notice that in the comments section of your May 2007 article, I predicted that Romney would be the presidential pick. Darn I’m good! 🙂

      • #4 by Larry Bergan on April 5, 2014 - 4:31 pm


        Wrong election. That would have been McCain.

        I was seeing even FARTHER into the future then I thought. 🙂

      • #5 by Richard Warnick on April 5, 2014 - 5:27 pm

        Here we are 7 years later (and 11 years after the fact). We had to wait this long for any Washington politician to utter the “T word” in connection with the Bush administration or the CIA.

      • #6 by Larry Bergan on April 5, 2014 - 6:49 pm

        A few things have happened since Rush Limbaugh compared torture to a college prank. Limbaugh’s station managers have been exposed for keeping him on the job, no-matter how many advertisers bolt from his show. That disproves the oft-repeated lie, that the market decides who gets to be on the airwaves.

        There are murmurings happening at the FCC that you will never see reported by Big-Media for obvious reasons, so I’ve referred you to BradBlog.

        Maybe these senators are trying to get out in front of the game by using the T word.

  2. #7 by cav on April 6, 2014 - 9:51 am

    What’s ‘New-Speak’ for Forced amputation of anything from lips, to fingers to testicles to arms and legs, burning the stumps thereof, etc ( little of which will make the final CIA cut when the congress finally releases the redacted offering), all in an environment contrived to punish – in the pursuit of information leading to the arrest of our fears… Transmagnifabandanjuality? Oh, but, the Iranians or the North Koreans, or the Vietnamese, or the Iraqis, or the Afghanistan or Yemenis, or the Venezuelans, or the Nicaraguans or the ‘Indians” must surely have been behind triggering my paranoid delusions. They all have highly sophisticated balsa wood killer drones I’m told.

  3. #8 by Larry Bergan on April 6, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    The plane! The plane! The plane! The plane! The plane! The plane! ect…………

  4. #9 by mindless progressive on April 6, 2014 - 1:41 pm

    Well if Cheney and daddy bush started the torture, and they are untouchable, why is it our mindless progressive friends are not sanctioning obama for retention in Gitmo, and ongoing rendition?

    To be fair, if we were not all mindless progressives, we would demand and support Obamas impeachment for the very same crimes, not to mention prosecution for droning innocents to death with these expedient,cowardly, terror weapons.

    Time to get busy, mindless or not.

    • #10 by Richard Warnick on April 6, 2014 - 8:20 pm


      Unless Bush and Cheney are prosecuted, you know President Obama has absolutely nothing to worry about. Lack of accountability is the new normal. Unlike Bush and Cheney, Obama hasn’t confessed on the record to ordering torture.

  5. #11 by Larry Bergan on April 6, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Let’s start with the frail old man, and go from there.

  6. #12 by cav on April 6, 2014 - 9:42 pm

    (EJM) Enhanced Jargonian Manipulation

  7. #13 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2014 - 9:13 am

    This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough held forth about how hypocritical he thinks the Dems are with the Senate CIA torture report. Nobody on the show ever uttered the word “torture.”

    It’s amazing to me how media people make up their own rules about this. If any other country did what the CIA did, they would unhesitatingly call it “torture.”

  8. #14 by cav on April 7, 2014 - 11:21 am

    Presumably Pelosi and DiFi knew what was going on and by their silence approved of it.

    (CNN) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said former Vice President Dick Cheney “set a tone and attitude for the CIA” that allowed for the controversial techniques used by the agency in the Bush-era detention and interrogation program.

    Her comments follow a Senate Intelligence Committee vote last week to release key parts of a report that concludes the CIA misled the government and public about aspects of the agency’s practices in the post-9/11 program.

    • #15 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2014 - 12:35 pm

      Maybe they knew, maybe they didn’t. I doubt that the Bush administration told them the whole truth even in classified briefings. And suppose they didn’t approve and wanted to go public, which at the time meant being called “traitors” at the very least? What proof could they muster? The rules of the secret briefings prohibited them from sharing the information with anyone (no exceptions), or even taking notes.

      If I were in the same position as high-ranking (but powerless) Democrats in Congress, I’d like to think I would be smart enough to refuse to be briefed under those impossibly restrictive rules– thus escaping the Bush administration’s plan to make me an accessory after the fact to their crimes.

  9. #16 by cav on April 7, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    Darth WAS but the self appointed vice president. At that it was by one lame vote of the not-so-supreme court. None of those briefed by our very own state sponsored torturers could see past one oath they swore to – more secrecy upon access to our terrible, hidden, illegal, reality, beyond to the OTHER, more important oath they also swore to – the one about upholding the Constitution, representing The People. Their paychecks were on the line, I get that! Still, none of them will get slack from me ’cause they were wrong wrong wrong, top to bottom, inside-out, every which way (ht to brewski) despite what any Gonzales or Woo memos might be twisted to justify.

    If they were so wimpy about such things, they were hired for the wrong job. Maybe fluffer for the .01% / MIC instead of ‘High-ranking Congressional members’.

    In any event the shame is theirs – further evidence we are ‘governed’ by slime-balls.

    PS, this report is going to be the very model of redaction. Watch for it in the fantasy isle.

    • #17 by cav on April 7, 2014 - 2:53 pm

      Wrong side of the bed for me…them?…they’re just lovable.

    • #18 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2014 - 4:29 pm

      I don’t have time to look up where I read this. According to those who were briefed, in those secret briefings the CIA never told members of Congress about the fact they were torturing people.

      We can’t really be sure who knew what, when. Possibly a feature, not a bug?

  10. #19 by cav on April 7, 2014 - 5:39 pm

    I had the understanding they got to see all of the Abu Ghraib pics that didn’t make it to the tack-boards of America. Plus some.

    But what do I know? I’m just a Dirty Fookin Hippie.

    • #20 by Richard Warnick on April 8, 2014 - 10:41 am

      Congress Bans Release of Abu Ghraib and Other Torture Images

      The rationale? Disclosure of such images would allegedly “endanger citizens of the United States, members of the United States Armed Forces, or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States.”

      That’s bunk of course: the lives endangered aren’t the abstract ones listed in the law, but of the victims of torture. Banning the release of such evidence is a way of hiding the evidence, evading accountability, encouraging recurrences, all under the guise of “protecting” Americans.

  11. #21 by cav on April 8, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    But, the ground covered by that ‘Unique’ ruling also provided the shade under which still another CIA “patriot’ destroyed a plethora of other video documentation of their torture – instead of yielding to Congress’s subpoena of that self-same information. Once again enhancing our level of safety. Thanks for that Mr independent employee of We-The-People.

    Anyway, what was congress going to do with it but bury it? He just saved all of them the trouble of still another embarrassing and hypocritical vote, leaving but one target for our stilted ‘Morality’.
    He was no doubt given an ‘under-the-table’ promotion and reassigned to spying on a beachfront community in Oahu.

    Justice! Damn, we’re good.

    • #22 by Richard Warnick on April 8, 2014 - 3:47 pm

      Jose Rodriguez, who headed the CIA’s torture program, authorized the destruction of the tapes and just won’t shut up about it. He thinks he’s a big hero, but if what they were doing was legal why destroy the evidence?

  12. #23 by Larry Bergan on April 8, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    One of the most terrible stories I remember hearing about Abu Ghraib is that the young man who got the photos out to the public, was rejected by the people in his life, as if he did something worse then torture by getting the truth out.

    That’s like blaming the doctor who performed a colonoscopy for giving you prostrate cancer.

  13. #24 by cav on April 8, 2014 - 6:08 pm

    Richard. Lately you’ve done a fine job fleshing out my screeds with appropriate links. For this I wish to thank you.

  14. #25 by El Progresso Retardo. on April 9, 2014 - 10:57 am

    Bottom line for all of the people going on and on about cheney, bush, and the protestations of the feinstein winged monkey, is that you live in a rogue nation.

    Doesn’t anyone acknowledge that the ENTIRETY of the methodology of torture that was perpetrated by the bush admin, and covered up by the “who me, what me worry” congress is that israel our feral winged monkey buddy trained our people, and are currently helping train our police forces in brutality, terror, and humiliation, and actual torture?

    The arrogance is breathtaking to behold..IT’S STILL GOING ON UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION!! If it is not held to account then what chance do any of have to not be picked up if our “owners” don’t like what we are saying?

    Did scumbucket bush sign his name to the NDAA? No, obama did.

    Is bush firing drones at anyone now? Does he have the capacity to even remotely compete with our current murderer in chief who utilizes these terror weapons at 8 times the rate bush did? Do I need to answer that?

    I fear, while I am merely retarded, the rest of you here, have been LOBOTOMIZED!

    • #26 by Larry Bergan on April 9, 2014 - 8:58 pm

      Retardo (glenn):

      You have always lambasted Jimmy Carter here, who never fired ONE shot in anger. Why do you wonder how we got here?

      Obama is no more in charge of the military or the CIA then you, I or Bush Jr. was.

      Think; Rumsfeld/Cheney, Dumb/Dumber, Bevis/Butthead.

  15. #27 by El Progresso Retardo. on April 10, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    Jimmy Carter was the president responsible for 20% interest and the “malaise” which in turn led to the election of Ronald Reagan. Of course he deserves the pillory, he was a crappy president albeit perhaps a decent human being.

    Uh..Jimma was a nuclear engineer, builder/helper, operator of about the most vile weapon on the planet. Nuff said.

    I guess you forgot about the hostage crisis and his plans to free them which ended in debacle. He may not have fired any shots in anger, that would be because his harebrained scheme wound up in the desert roasted by its own errors.

    As well Jimma was responsible for the creation of the rapid deployment force…which later would become the means to just about every sovereignty violating secret acts of war that was to follow after.

    Nope, sorry there Larry, someday you may admit it, but they are all the same.

    obama must sign off on every drone strike, and if you do not know this, you aren’t really qualified to make general statements. He is responsible, as commander in chief, albeit a piece of shit one. I cannot yet understand how an person’s ideology can alter the perception of reality as concerns murder and terrorism, something this president is well mired in.

    We probably would have been better off with his brother Billy, at we would have laughed and had a good time…Malaise indeed.

    Chomsky disagrees with you…—-.htm

  16. #28 by Larry Bergan on April 12, 2014 - 2:50 am

    Retardo (glenn):

    I knew people who never made a dishonest dime in their lives who benefited from having their money in the bank when the interest rate was at 20%.

    Of course that was before the 401k scam.

    Are you going to blame Jimmy Carter for the nuclear attacks on Japan?

    Please respond.

  17. #29 by Larry Bergan on April 12, 2014 - 3:10 am

    OH! I forgot that Nathan Erkkila prevented you from commenting.

    Maybe he can reverse that. I don’t know how. 🙁

    • #30 by Nathan Erkkila on April 16, 2014 - 8:23 pm

      The question is why? He was a troll. He commented here to get a rise out of us. Unlike other conservative posters, he was a jerk about it.

      • #31 by brewski on April 16, 2014 - 10:52 pm

        If jerkiness is grounds from getting one banned, then Cliff, Glendy, Shane should have been banned long ago.

  18. #32 by Larry Bergan on April 17, 2014 - 1:02 am

    If we can’t flick a “consevative” blogger off our finger, we’re not worth our salt.

    Just don’t use my fuck,n – or anyone else’s – real name!!

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