King, Collins support release of CIA torture report’s findings

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, Photos by Troy Bennett (BDN) and Joshua Roberts (Reuters).

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins. Photos by Troy Bennett (BDN) and Joshua Roberts (Reuters).

Maine’s two U.S. senators, both of whom sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday said the government should declassify portions of a report on the use of torture by the CIA.

It was the first time that either Angus King, and independent, or Susan Collins, a Republican, had called for any of the report to be made public. The committee will vote Thursday on whether to declassify the report’s executive summary and findings and conclusions.

The report was adopted by the Intelligence Committee last year. Critics of the CIA’s “Detention and Interrogation Program,” as well as government transparency activists and many others have called for its release ever since.

In a joint statement, King and Collins said they had some concerns about the process for developing the report — which happened before either Senator was on the committee — they nonetheless concluded from its findings 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,” they wrote.

The senators said their votes to declassify the report does not mean they endorse all of its methodology, and raised questions about why direct interviews of CIA officials, contracted personnel or members of the executive branch were not interviewed.

King and Collins support not only the release of the report’s central findings, but of the CIA’s response and other “dissenting views.” Sources familiar with the report tell McClatchy that the report shows that the use of “harsh interrogation techniques” was much more widespread than the CIA has admitted, and that “the CIA’s own internal documents confirm the agency’s culpability in the hypothermia death of one Afghan captive — an incident that also has never even been publicly discussed.”

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.