CIA report shows US promotes human rights, democracy: Officials

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Washington: The release of a Senate committee report on detention and interrogation techniques of the CIA, which mostly amounted to torture and have raised concerns across the globe, shows how the US effectively promotes human rights and democracy, top American officials have said.

“As Americans, we are committed to sending a clear message to the world that we support transparency, and that’s part of how we resolve to never use these types of techniques again.

That is why the (US) President supported the declassification of this document,” a senior administration official said yesterday.

The release of the highly damaging report sets an example of a democracy by showing that the US has a process for working through these issues, that that process includes taking an accounting of what took place, having a degree of transparency about what’s been done in the past, resolving to move forward together as one country, the official said.

Secretary of State John Kerry said release of this report affirms again that one of America’s strengths is its democratic system’s ability to recognise and wrestle with its own history, acknowledge mistakes, and correct course.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said without this report the American public would not know what actually took place under the CIA’s torture program.

“This is how we, as Americans, make our nation stronger.

When we realise there is a problem we seek the evidence, we study it, we learn from it, and then we set about to enact change,” he said.

Torture is inconsistent with democratic principles of freedom and is a violation of the right to be free from cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment at the hands of the government, said Congressman Jerry Nadler, former Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

“That’s part of the strength of our democratic institutions,” said an official requesting anonymity.

“We have made clear that torture is prohibited at all times and in all places with respect to US personnel, and our ability to demonstrate our commitment to that principle is also how we can help support that principle around the world.

It’s part of how we more effectively promote human rights and democracy,” a senior administration official said.

Welcoming the release of the report, Human Rights First said this is how a strong democracy deals with its mistakes.

“We look at what we did, however painful that is, and we take the necessary steps to make it right. America is strongest when we keep faith with our ideals and uphold the rule of law,” it said.

“Thanks to the Senate’s report, Americans can now see for themselves how far we fell short of that standard, how little we gained and how much we lost because of it,” said Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino.

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