Rice Wrong about Torture, Bipartisan Task Force Says
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Ambassador James R. Jones offered the following comments in response to a video from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defending the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11:
"The Constitution Project's bipartisan, independent Task Force on Detainee Treatment recently completed an exhaustive two-year study of the United States' use of torture after September 11. The Task Force's 600-page report documents that the interrogation techniques Secretary Rice references were, in many instances, torture. Moreover, the Task Force firmly states that the publicly available evidence does not support her contention that their use saved American lives.
"We acknowledge that President Bush sought and received advice that these techniques were lawful. But, that advice has since been repudiated by legal scholars and by the very government agency that provided it, and we believe the lawyers who authorized the use of torture failed both the president and the American public.
"We understand an even more detailed, but still-classified, report by the Senate Intelligence Committee reached similar conclusions about the ineffectiveness of torture, and we have urged its immediate declassification and release. Although these subjects are painful and difficult, the United States must confront them honestly to ensure that we do not repeat errors made in the frightening days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C."
Jones, a former Democratic Congressman from Oklahoma and Ambassador to Mexico under President Bill Clinton, co-chaired the Task Force with Asa Hutchinson, a former GOP Congressman from Arkansas and Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. The Task Force on Detainee Treatment was charged with examining the treatment of suspected terrorists in U.S. custody during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
The video was shown earlier today at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The Task Force report, released April 16, is available at www.detaineetaskforce.org .
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